Heat-moldable liner warning!
Just picked up a pair of Ride Insanos and rode them for 15 days at Steamboat. Great boot. Stiff, responsive, boa system is pretty nice too AND the liner is heat moldable.
Now, I'm into stiff boots because I'm pretty much a directional boarder who loves carving trenches. But until last week I had no idea how much boot flex I put into turns.
Well, late last week the temps dropped to sub zero. (A *high* of zero F at the base. Maybe -10 at the summit early morning.) I wake up early and make my way up to Storm Peak and I'm the first guy staring down at a perfectly groomed blue with an inch of fresh on the top.
I'm super fired up because the morning before I was the first guy down the same run with three inches of fresh on top... and it was paradise. Top to bottom speed run with on-rail turns 25+ yards in length.
So, this morning should be more of the same as far as I'm concerned. I start my run and almost immediately I feel really unstable in my turns so I'm trying to bleed speed with every turn. Even with the wide sloppy turns I had to work the board like crazy.
I then hit some flats with a good amount of speed thinking I could lay it down there but still I'm completely sketched out. WTF?
I get to the bottom of the run and notice that my toes are really cold but not cold enough to where I can't feel them. So I lean forward in my boots and they don't budge. They were frozen solid. I'm talking hard boot solid. But I thought I loved stiff boots!!!
I had a couple more runs thinking that I would get used to the stiffness but no go. It was like a different sport all together.
Anyways, if it looks like you will be boarding in super cold conditions consider a non-heat moldable boot or a non-heat moldable backup pair. I had two days that were more work than fun because I didn't.
Also, keep in mind that the flex in heat-moldable liners probably change progressively (up to a certain point). I think I was getting different rides with them when it was 30F vs 15F vs 0F vs -10F. At the time I didn't notice the difference in flex but, in retrospect, on the days that approached 10F or colder, I was noticably more tentative with my turns.
Really cold days may be the exception rather than the rule but it's not a bad idea to have a backup plan.