I'm beginning to feel like a sucker...
In November, 2008, I received a nice bonus from my company so I decided to finally buy the quality gear I wanted, instead of having to look for year-end clearances or discontinued items. I chose brand new everything (2009); A Never Summer Titan, Flow NXT FRX (supposedly their high-end super-durable big mountain binding) and Flow "The One" lace-up bindings (again, supposedly a stiff, durable big-mountain boot).
Anyway, the Titan rocks in terms of ride, stability, overall performance. I love it...but it's not too durable, at least compared to my last board. After what is now almost two seasons, it's got edge dings, surface scratches, generally well-used. I guess that's not a bad thing. I've ridden it hard, and it has the scars to prove it. However, my NXT FRX bindings have already had to have the tension cable replaced because it was nearly frayed through. Then last week, while packing my gear for a day in Vermont, I notice that my Flow boots have split along the seem on the outside of my back foot (back foot is the binding that broke, too).
Anyway, Flow sold these boots and bindings as being for aggressive riding and durability. I like to think I'm all that, and I do like to ride fast; I just got back from two weeks in Tahoe and the steeps at Kirkwood and Alpine, etc. But seriously, should my gear be falling apart already? I spent lots of money on this shit, and I'm looking at already having to replace the boots. Is two seasons normal wear and tear? My older, lesser stuff lasted longer, but I admit I wasn't as advanced a rider. I'm just a little dismayed -- I spent $1200 for a new kit in 2008, and I'm looking to have start replacing stuff already. :(
Number of seasons is irrelevant. How many days a season do you ride? If it's one, you can probably get away with the same equipment for the rest of this century.
What you describe for the board is normal wear and tear. This is like measuring a car's quality by how often you have to change the oil... It is by no means a yardstick for durability.
The binding cable fraying and the back of your boot splitting may be linked. Try re-aligning and re-adjusting the setup on that foot from the ground up. You might be pushing the high-back into the back of the boot way too hard or something.
It's too late to salvage to boot with anything short of marine grade epoxy, and even that might not work.
EDIT: I tried keeping the first new board I ever bought scratch free.... that lasted about five minutes into the first run before I gave up. You get a board to beat it like a rented mule, not rub it with a silk tampon.
BTW, in answer to your first question, I ride about 30 days a season; this season, ten of 'em were at Tahoe. I didn't think that was too excessive. What's considered "a lot?"
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