What the Flex is going on !
Hi Guys , I am a converted skier with a big snowboarding smile I can't get rid of. I am looking at buying my first pair of boots . I went into my local shop and explained my experience and the sales man/ boot fitter suggested Burton Driver x as he said I am familiar to the stiffness and feel of ski boots and like to carve. I see that they are a 10 stiffness rating , the maximum in the Burton range which surprises and worries me . Reading the past forums here I suspect a softer boot would be in order.
I figured that I would throw the question to you guys to debate What rating might be more appropriate or does this guy know his stuff. I know that the hire boots I have had feel on the soft side and I am always trying to tighten them up to stiffen them. I presume they are a low flex rating and I know the fit is dodgy at best. I have custom fitted Ski boots with moulded foot beds so when I swap back to the snowboarding hire boots they feel sloppy which is why I am looking at a good fitting boot to buy.
now my details . I am 6 foot and 77 kg approx 170 pounds . I have had only a total of maybe 15 days of experience snowboarding at the most but I think I am advancing quickly thanks to my experience with skiing and surfing. On the Snow board I like to carve the groomed blue runs at speed ( not world cup speed ) I carve a solid tidy line . And if the powder has dumped then off-piste is for me . I can link powder turns well but the trees are a bit of a challenge at this stage but I will take a lesson on my next trip to Japan. I like to ride the hill like a surfer , looking for bowls and mounds that resemble wave faces floating over the sides and drawing an arcing forehand or backhand turn from squat to full extension working on a smooth progression into the next turn . I avoid choppy bumps and cannot link black diamond unless there is new snow, Then I link 2 to 6 turns before wiping out. Yes I need a lesson. I will not be doing any park or aerials . I will only be boarding a few weeks a year as it is a long trip to the snow from the Gold Coast in Australia .
I have been scoping out the Burton brand and am familiar with the flex rating and models so it is over to you guys I will appreciate any input . Thanks Derwood
Generally speaking a stiffer boot will be more responsive.
A softer boot will be less responsive. It is preference to a point I tend to like softer boots but many here ride stiff boots exclusively.
From the description you gave of the riding you do the driver X would work fine. The biggest thing is fit more then anything else. Dont get too hung up on stiffness, almost all boots get softer after riding in them a bit, coming from ski boots I think the saleman was trying to say that to get the response you are used to the driver X is a good buy.
Personally I think that people who ride uber stiff equipment self identify and tend to ride boards, bindings and boots that are all super responsive and it's what they specifically seek out. In burton speak that would be somebody who might have a custom x with c60's or diodes on it and driver X boots and really digs technical carving and so on.
If you yourself aren't waking up in the morning and saying, yah, I gotta get out there with my uber stiff setup and have super precise control then I think the driver X might be overkill, it's kind of for people who obsess about stiffness and response.
It does sound like your riding style lends itself to a stiffer setup - I ride a similar style with Ions and C60 and diode bindings on boards that tend to be medium to medium stiff, not max stiffness however. So maybe Ions or Imperials for you bootwise.
You should also try to demo some not so stiff stuff, maybe a hybrid camber board with malavita or genesis bindings, you might like a more surfy or even skatey feel, hard to say.
Two final points:
-any rental boot will be mush
-fit is more important than anything else, try on many pairs till you get the fit right. If your foot doesn't match the driver X but did fit in a much softer boot you're still better off in the soft boot with a good fit.
Thanks guys for your input. From what you wrote and my gut feeling I think I will go for a little less stiffness like the Ion you said Lamps or an SLX . I don't want to impede my progress with too stiff a boot . I know that fit is the most important thing in ski boots and your advise on fit first I will take. Thanks again, Ride On , Derwood.
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