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
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.