Originally Posted by Zachripper81
I was in the same situation as you so far as riding in old
gear but last season my boots started to fall apart after my first day and needed replacement. Didn't have a lot of options for stores to visit or from the boots they had, but got the 2011 Ride Ful (in neon orange
, nonetheless). I'm huge on comfort which is why I didn't look online and the Fuls are as cozy as everyone says they are. I don't remember talking much to the sales guy about stiffness, probably because there were so few options to pick from in the first place, but I was surprised to learn this was a "freestyle" boot. I'm almost 100% freeride (groomers, trees, powder, crud, moguls, anything not park or vertical ice) and these boots were such a huge upgrade over my old ones I still find it baffling. So comfortable, adjustable, warm, no binding slip, and THE CONTROL??? I had figured "how big a difference could boots really make, and what can you change and improve on boots?" but the first couple turns in these gave me a spiritual awakening. It was like what I imagine Neo felt at the end of the Matrix (first and only good one) when everything slowed down for him after he came back to life - suddenly, everything before seemed so imprecise and slow and I couldn't figure out how I had been able to do anything before these boots.
I'm still deciding on a new board and bindings for this season and I don't know jack about binding stiffness or even how other boots compare, but this longwinded story is my vote of assurance to you that these boots did a great job on everything I threw at them and I don't think you'd be disappointed with them.
Two weeks until I'll have a chance to get up this season, can't wait...
Wow, cool story. Kinda hard to believe that my old boots would ever fall apart. They seem so solid still. Anyways, it's awesome to hear what kind of affect new boots can have on your control of the board. It's amusing though because prior to buying my new 161 Machete, I was really questioning my rational behind getting a new snowboard. My old one was doing the job and could last forever I'd imagine, but the feeling I got the second I strapped into the Machete was priceless. It is such a playful, extremely light and responsive board that can rip through the pow better than my old all-mountain powder board could, even though the machete is built for more freestyle oriented riding. I'm using my old bindings and boots until I can manage to save a bit of $$. Perhaps 1 will be Christmas gift to self. I can just imagine how much better the board is gonna feel under my feet when you upgrade boots and the bindings. If only I had $700 bucks lying around here somewhere!!!
I do LOVE the look of the Ride FuL boots, but there's an issue. Now this may sound corny or may not make sense but I was in the shop last week doing a preview of all the different bindings and I'm not sure I'm a fan of Ride's bindings. The ratchets are not solid enough to last long, especially under cold conditions and aggressive mount/dismount from board. The piece that allows you loosen the binding feels very flimsy, as if it could break very easily or malfunction if it got wet and cold/frozen. When tightening the binding I noticed that the ratchet wasn't as consistent and smoothe of a transition from setting to setting.
What I did notice was that the ratchet for the Burton Cartel EST was very efficient. The ratchet never slipped when tightening and felt solid to grasp while the release to loosen the bindings was built for season(s) :P
I believe that if I go with a Burton Binding then I have to buy burton boots and the Burton bindings on the Cartel are just too well made not to purchase. Ratchet ability in the cold is super important. More so than weight or flex, lol, to make my point.
Gotta admit that the Ride bindings do look sick though. I just like to buy style, but style with quality that will last longer than a season. I still use shoulder pads and an old sweaty t-shirt from 15 years ago to play hockey in, lol.