The BIG purchase
Long time lurker here, I have decided to finally sign up and ask you lot some serious questions....
I have always used hired or second hand gear (that just fits) and have been riding for 15 years (about 5days a year) and have never actually purchased anything substantial. Therefore I have been riding around on loads of different gear and have an idea of what I want.
I really need your perspective as after 15 years of part time boarding: I still feel like an amateur! :dunno:
It's my birthday soon :D and the wife has allowed me to spend some serious cash on my dream set up! :D:D:D
But now I feel I'm spoilt for choice!
I am 95kg (210lbs) with a 29cm (US12) and very wide foot, I ride mostly in Nth Japan and Sth NZ and I hunt off trail powder and natural kickers.
Basically I like to carve along and now and then throw myself off of something big to see what happens...:cheeky4:
Therefore I was thinking of:
Solomon Synapse boots (as they are apparently the best for the distinguished wide-footed-cave-man)
Attack banana 159W (as it will hopefully float over the pow but will still pop for a random 20ft kick!? is that correct?)
and.... some bindings?!?! (help!)
Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
(ps I live no where near snow so cannot test any gear other than in the shop, So I just want to fill a board bag, arrive at Rusutsu in Feb and be able to carve up.... can it be done?)
The Synapse in general could be a great boot, but you really need to go to a shop and try on as many boots as possible. Boots really are a personal choice and fit everyone different. The best boot regardless of price and other factors is the one that fits comfortably, has minimal heel lift and provides the support you are looking for.
Personally I use a Salomon F22 and love the quality and fit. The F22 has a narrow foot box so despite how I great and versatile I think it is, it wouldn't be the right fit for you.
I have the synapse wide boot and i really like it but i think that Head boots might have been a bit wider. Burton and Forum seem to fit pretty well also. That should give you some brands to try on when you go to a store and try them on.
Ride, K2, Celsius, are some other brands you may want to try. Fit is key, no doubt on that one.
Like others said, you really should try lots of boots to find what feels right before deciding on something specific.
The Attack sounds like a good option for you. 159 might be a little on the small side, but definitely doable if you want something a little smaller and manuverable. If you are looking for stability and float in powder, somthing a little bigger would be ideal. Example: Im 210 lbs and ride a 161.5 TRice. It's a good size for a do everything board, but in powder the ideal size would be a little bigger.
As for bindings, one option I would look at are the Rome Targas. I don't know many others because I haven't been in the market for bindings for a few years because I like my Rome's so much.
If you have your eye on the attack banana why not?
Should be a pretty good all round board, but if you plan to ride it in Japan I would say you want to go a bit longer than 159 at your weight.
I am 80kg and ride a 157 for most conditions, but when its deeper than 40cm or so (pretty often) I will be on something longer. Since you want a 1 deck quiver I would advise a 161 wide if they have one. Bit more stability and float in the powder. Will still be fine for jumps.
If Japan is where you do most of your riding go longer still (163/4).
Here in Japan you don't know how many Aussies or Kiwis I have seen stuck in waist deep pow with nowhere to go but unstrap and do the stamina sapping hike back to the piste.
As for bindings burton cartels or missions would probably fill your needs nicely without being over the top in terms of price.
Boots, you must try these on and find the best fit for your feet.
For what its worth I am selling a stepchild OG powder 164 for $300, I rode it for 6 runs only in Rusutsu last year but it wasnt enough board for me (6'3" 105kg)so I went back to my 172 swallowtail which I love. It would be an awesome board for your size in those conditions. My g/f rides the same board in a 153 and absolutely loves it. The smooth nose up turn is the secret to getting a powder board to float well, short sharp up turned noses just dont float.
PS this is not a hard sell just letting you know, its a good board to look at but you may want something wider with a size 12 hoof.
As for boots I also have a wide flipper and thirty two boots have been the best fit for me although I have not tried the salomons you speak of. DO NOT buy boots sight unseen from an overseas online store unless you want to spend $$$$$ on return postage. You could possibly use a Jindy board shop to send you the ones you think will fit with the option of returning them via post till you get the right pair. Time 2 Ride in Jindy would be a good start as they are very helpful with that kind of stuff.
Bindings, you have been using rentals so you will be easy pleased. Dont overlook burton customs, they are cheap and work well for the style of riding you do, I have been using my pair for years.
I hope this is of some help to you in regards to the Japan side of your problem, for NZ/Aus conditions you can use any freestyle/all mountain board that you like the look of, the attack banana would fit the bill nicely.
PS I will be in Rusutsu in feb ( I am in Hokkaido for 6 weeks starting jan 21) so hit me up with a private message, we can go shred some powder together and you can blow out at my strange looking 180 powder board lol.
GREAT advice guys thanks so much!
I had a ride on a 161 last year at Teinei and was really gutted by the lack of maneuverability.
So back on my 158 I just had to go that much faster!!... all the time!!!... to maintain the float in powder.
But yes we all learn from our mistakes. You've talked me into at least a 161!
Im am off to try on a million boots and will let you know how I end up.
(ETM: I just had my leave approved for all of Feb! :D:D:D Ill text you when I hit the mountains Denwa bango wo oshiete kudasai? (I still have my Jap iphone (oh hey, know anyone nippon-side who wants to buy two iphone 3gs? pretty good nick and great batteries?)))
I have wide flat feet caused by having a duck for a father, but that's another story...my 32's fit fucking awesome. You really do need to try on boots, even if you say you can't, understand that you are effectively shooting in the dark. If ordering online find somewhere with a localish distributor so u can return.
The board, w/e there are so many to choose from, I'm sure that Attack Banana will work fine, as long as you get something middle of the road flexwise with some rocker in it (for that Japan pow).
Bindings, my limited experience is with Ride and K2. The Rides I had were just not the right model for me, but I was able to experience some rockstar customer service from them (broke a ratchet spring mid-season during an epic season, had 4 ratchets and 4 ladders in my mailbox within the week). My K2 Uprises this year were fairly comfortable and damp, but small parts seem to want to disappear off them, and I cannot squeeze any customer service out of them whatsoever. I got a reply once but it was not followed by any helpful reality, so yea. Continuing to research bindings, the top of my shortlist are Raiden Machine or Blackhawk, or some Romes, both of which are very well represented here on these forums. Flux's are too but do not have the dampening and canting I desire.
Have fun! Gear shopping fucking rules!
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