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Old 02-08-2013, 05:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HELP...new equipment for first time in 7 years!

Hi all -my first post here, so be gentle

I need some help picking a whole new set up. I have narrowed it down to a few bits of kit, but first I'll give you a bit of background.

I have been riding for around 13 or more years now and get away at least twice if not four or five times every season. I am purely a freerider and would consider myself to be advanced/expert in that I can handle almost any surface (be it powder/groomed/off-piste/back-country/hard-packed/ice/slush and even mud, lol!), most of my buddies are skiers and I have no problems at all keeping up (I like to go fast) and have experience in countless different resorts from the 'hills' of Sweden, Bulgaria, all the major French resorts (many minor too), Switzerland, even managed to get a spot of boarding done in Derbyshire last month when the snow came!

I'm 5'10" and around 16.5 stone (230lbs/105kg), a UK boot size 10 (US 11) and currently my 'everyday' board is an 05/06 168cm Palmer Classic, which is a very stiff and even for my size/weight I think is quite a long board. I use Burton Fusion bindings (Burton F-Base in the US) from the '06 season -the ones with the unique sub-frame, step-in system- and I LOVE them. I know that they died out, got bad press and most folk didn't like them but I have honestly NEVER had an issue with them...not once. I last year started on my second set as the old ones died through old age and a couple of years back panic-bought two more pairs from eBay in case I couldn't get hold of them anymore. However, I will concede they are heavy...I mean VERY heavy -I reckon 3, 4, 5...maybe even ten times the weight of modern bindings and combined with my long thick board by whole set up weighs a ton! Not to mention I find it hard to find board bags to fit my kit in.

Now, as much as I love my super quick entry bindings and have now major issues with my board, it is time to look at the new technologies and get some new (lighter) gear. I have borrowed/hired other boards in the past and have no problems on say a 158cm board. I do like quite a stiff set up and tend to crank everything down real tight (although managed a whole trip with no toe strap) but I was also hoping the new stuff could help change my style into a more modern looser fit but without me going the way of the short, floppy, loose freestyle. I'm not at all interested in hitting the parks but wouldn't mind getting into a bit more jibbing whilst flying down the mountain.

Here's what I've got my selections down to. I know a lot of this is subjective and I'm still not certain whether to stick with the stiff boards I know or move to something different, but it's an expensive experiment to get wrong, which is why I'm looking at you guys for help

Boards: Burton Custom X -unsure on length and if I desperately need a wide or not

Volkl Selecta


Boots: Northwave Caliber

Deeluxe Spark XV

Flow Talon Focus/HyLite Focus


Bindings (quick entry is an absolute MUST -no amount of convincing me a conventional two strap front entry is the way forward will work). I only have the one option so far: Any variant of the SP Fastec system -SP Mountan Ltd, Gnu Psych/Choice/Mutant/Agro, Volkl Fastec Prime Alu.

A lot of seemingly random choices there, but any advice or guidance would be much appreciated. I guess I'm just not sure which direction I wanna take my boarding from here.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are quite a few boards out there that would fit your needs and I'm sure you would love them. The Custom X is one of those boards. It has classic camber which would fit your needs. If you feel like trying some hybrid camber, you could also check out the Gnu Billy Goat, Never Summer Heritage, Raptor or F1 or even the YES Pick your Line if you like a little bit of taper for the pow days.

As for bindings, go with ratchets! Just kidding . But check out Flow. In my opinion they're better built than GNU. I haven't had Völkl bindings in my hands though. In any case you would need an adapter for the Custom X because it uses Burton's ICS Channel system.

And boots: Don't listen to recommendations on boots. Go to a local store (if you can find one) and try on all the stiffer boots they have. Your own personal footprint makes every boot feel different. No matter how great the tech sounds - if your heel lifts you will hate the boots.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Bindings

Bring your boots to a shop and actually try entry of the bindings. I like the entry of cinch over flow, but that is before the flow came out with nasty strap. The hinge system is similar to the k2 cinch now. Another thing is the k2 high back connects with the heal cup, for heel side response , the flows depend on the cable that wraps around high back for response . I felt the cinch were stiffer and more responsive but I only gave flow a weeks. With flows some people have to insert foot, pull up high back , insert foot more , pull lock. I see it all the time , I don't know if it is by design , incorrect setting, boot combination. The newer flows are more powder friendly. The cinch have a traditional option, if you change the buckles or strap if you don't like their friction buckles. I changed mine to unbuckle in powder easier.

Some boots will tear up the upper strap of cinch bindings. I have ones with 100 days still good condition , but my wife's are torn up, needing duct tape and she splits time on two board, both with tryst binding booth with worn strap , after only maybe 30 days. Maybe she should be riding medium instead of small , I don't know the reason. The lowest lace hook on the shin can hit the strap just right to wear it down.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basti View Post
There are quite a few boards out there that would fit your needs and I'm sure you would love them. The Custom X is one of those boards. It has classic camber which would fit your needs. If you feel like trying some hybrid camber, you could also check out the Gnu Billy Goat, Never Summer Heritage, Raptor or F1 or even the YES Pick your Line if you like a little bit of taper for the pow days.

As for bindings, go with ratchets! Just kidding . But check out Flow. In my opinion they're better built than GNU. I haven't had Völkl bindings in my hands though. In any case you would need an adapter for the Custom X because it uses Burton's ICS Channel system.

And boots: Don't listen to recommendations on boots. Go to a local store (if you can find one) and try on all the stiffer boots they have. Your own personal footprint makes every boot feel different. No matter how great the tech sounds - if your heel lifts you will hate the boots.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlo View Post
Bring your boots to a shop and actually try entry of the bindings. I like the entry of cinch over flow, but that is before the flow came out with nasty strap. The hinge system is similar to the k2 cinch now. Another thing is the k2 high back connects with the heal cup, for heel side response , the flows depend on the cable that wraps around high back for response . I felt the cinch were stiffer and more responsive but I only gave flow a weeks. With flows some people have to insert foot, pull up high back , insert foot more , pull lock. I see it all the time , I don't know if it is by design , incorrect setting, boot combination. The newer flows are more powder friendly. The cinch have a traditional option, if you change the buckles or strap if you don't like their friction buckles. I changed mine to unbuckle in powder easier.

Some boots will tear up the upper strap of cinch bindings. I have ones with 100 days still good condition , but my wife's are torn up, needing duct tape and she splits time on two board, both with tryst binding booth with worn strap , after only maybe 30 days. Maybe she should be riding medium instead of small , I don't know the reason. The lowest lace hook on the shin can hit the strap just right to wear it down.
Thanks guys, I have looked at Flow and the K2s but I really do like the Gnu/Fastec system -particularly with the pressure-relief button for riding the lifts. I reckon this'll work wonders for me seeing as though I crank everything down.

I'm definitely down with taking boots to a shop and trying them with the bindings, but the problems I have are there aren't a great selection of shops in any kind of reasonable distance from me (TSA at Xscape, Castleford has an absolutely shocking selection and try and tout last years crap instead of the latest and greatest -plus they're very much geared towards freestyle) and moreover, I don't know what boots I want yet. I like the quick T-Track system on the Northwave Caliber's but then again you only normally do your boots up once in the day so how useful is that really? As aggressive as I like to ride, I don't think the Deeluxe will allow me to explore any other sides of snowboarding and by that deduction I reckon I'll end up with Flow boots. Although unlikely to get Flow bindings, they have designed the clean, low-profile boots to work well with rear-entry systems. Now HyLite's...or Talon's??
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by singlelayer View Post
particularly with the pressure-relief button for riding the lifts. I reckon this'll work wonders for me seeing as though I crank everything down.
Coming out of the trees, moguls , or icy steeps ,I'll loosen my strapped in foot at the lift line and tighten it at the top. I can see that their pressure relief would be useful. I'll examine it, if I like it I'll find some way to mount it to my bindings.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edlo View Post
Coming out of the trees, moguls , or icy steeps ,I'll loosen my strapped in foot at the lift line and tighten it at the top. I can see that their pressure relief would be useful. I'll examine it, if I like it I'll find some way to mount it to my bindings.
See this link (skip to 00:45-00:55 seconds for the bit you need).
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