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post #21 of (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 10:41 PM
Reformed Creep-o-saurus
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Hey OP...

First lets get our terms right. All-mountain is not the same as freeride. Freestyle stuff tends to be the softest of most scales, all mountain is in the middle, and freeride is on the stiff end.

If you're an "all mountain" rider it means you'll probably spend 1/3rd of your time on manmade features, 1/3rd of your time on groomers, and 1/3rd of your time off-piste (if available).

Freeride is much more heavily weighted towards off piste riding.

If you're an intermediate rider, looking to do everything on the hill (and not limiting yourself to a particular style) then a mid range all mountain board/boot/binding setup would make the most sense.

Driver X boots are quite stiff and I wouldn't suggest them as a logical step from a soft setup. I ride them, with C60 EST bindings (stiff as fuck) and a T7 board (stiff as fuck too), but I'm a freerider to the core. Watching me in the park is like watching Tom Brady try to run with the football. I can do it but it just ain't right!

So again, go for the middle range of whatever manufacturer(s) you choose. I've been happy with Burton stuff lately but that's me, and I'm riding their top of the line stuff which may make a difference. If you can get your hands on a LOT of different equipment you'll be able to tell the difference yourself. Feel the ratchets, try on the boots, take your time!

New gear can make a world of difference if you've grown out of your old equipment in either size or ability.
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