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Interesting article. I've never tried hard boots and wondering if it's because of a desire to be anti-ski or is it because of performance reasons? I came from skateboarding and definitely want to associate myself with that rather than skiing, but would I get better performance from hard shell?

I've had my current boots for a year and they are getting close to too soft and I'll need to replace them soon. They are not cheap

Thoughts?
 

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how many days do you ride?

When I was doing 120+ days a season I would buy a new pair each year. I am 290 lbs so I put more force on my boots and wear them down faster. I use the stiffer and more expensive styles, Flow/Nidecker Talon.... Now that I am down to around 30-50 days a year I will probably get new boots every 3 years.

My skier friends doing similar days would keep their hard shells about 5 years but change their interiors out each season, That also costs a lot....

Buy stiffer, higher end boots so they last longer. You can also change out the liners to make them a little fresher.
 

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Hardboot/AT convert...never going back to softies. Infact bought a second pair of non-carbon Atomic Backland that were demo's apparently ridden twice and this past week got them heat moulded and liners 90% dialed. Also upgraded to the Phantom Tech toes for splitting, picked up another Spark One-Binding puck system and a pair of Phantom Links that should be arriving soon. So will have a 3 board quiver converted tor riding in hardboots. The link below is my 2 cents and experience.

 

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Good luck getting those steezy tweaked out grabs nailed in hard boots, stay pitted broz.

On a more serious note - I don’t think hard boots would allow for the fluid feel snowboarding innately searches for.
 

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Until one of the companies actually invest in making a proper hardboot for every day snowboarding and splitting, not just GS, forget it.
 

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Its not just the boot, you got to reconfigure the bindings. For my setup if I had paid MSRP, it would be close to $2k for boots, bindings and one-binding plate/puck interface. Though without the Phantoms and just doing Sparks DynoDH it would still be right about $1k. I don't think its necessarily anti-ski...but it is niche, spendy and for the true believers.
 

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I hate stiff boots. Not an anti-ski thing, I like mobility.

Snowboarding came from skate and surf, you dont skate or surf in super stiff footwear. So why would they snowboard in that?

Also that article reads like a skier who still uses the term "knuckledraggers" wrote it.
 

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Hard boots was one of the things I like the least from skiing all set with going back. To each their own though.
 

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Oh god this fucking article and the bullshit that goes with it.

1. Fuck the guy that wrote this. He's a god damn mountaineer that snowboards and from Boulder. Seriously fuck that guy.

2. No you do not need a hard boot to have the most ultimate performance out of your snowboard. You need to just fucking ride more.

3. We have lateral flex in our boots which is what we use a lot with our natural hip flex when driving a snowboard. If you minimize your lateral ankle flex you are going to lose so much of how you ride. Not to mention say goodbye to your knees when you eat shit.

4. If you go with a hard boot set up you ever notice they're basically mono skiing and have such a progressive forwards stance? Yeah, that's because they don't have any lateral flex. So if you want that just go fucking ski and get out of snowboarding.

5. Boot technology has come so far in the last 20 years yet I've seen a lot of old boring ass fucks (looking at you History of Snowboarding) saying that binding and boot tech hasn't progressed since 1998. Maybe if you got your head out of your asses and wiped the shit from your eyes and looked around you would see there's a plethora of new technology out there that is absolutely amazing. But no these dumb fucks like to sit around and say "it was better when" you know what these are the same fucks that chant MAGA as well I've realized. Welcome to 2020 motherfuckers shits amazing here in the present and going to be better in the future. You want to sit around and say nothing has progressed in 20 years, do us all a favor and just die already.

6. No one rides like Chad Otterstrom. Not the writer of this article, not anyone bemoaning soft boots, not you, not me, not Kevin. NO ONE! That guy is in a league so far beyond any of us, we should all just bask in the glory that is Chad O and let him do his thing because that guy is the realist snowboarder you will ever see.

7. Fuck the guy that wrote this article. It had to be said again.

8. Oh you want to carve? But you don't get time to ride? Guess what much like anything in life you have to repeatedly do it to get good at it.

9. There are some amazingly stiff soft boots on the market that work exceptionally well and don't make you feel like you're locked into a ski boot.

10. Snowboarders are fucking lazy you think they're going to spend 10 hours DIY'ing a hard shell boot to get it to fit? They have a hard enough time understanding swapping out a stock insole with an aftermarket one. Shell punching, grinding, and what not? HAHAHA that's not happening.

Ugh I could go on and on about this. But seriously fuck this granola eating, mountaineering, hack job, douche nozzle from Boulder. Boulder is the god damn Vermont and California of CO rolled into one spot and it's the worst.
 

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I don't know the guy who wrote this article, but I have been splitboarding with John Keffler, who is mentioned in the article. I know hard boots have their advantages, and disadvantages. There is obviously a lot of emotion in this thread, which probably won't lead to the real answer about what would really make the best snowboarding boot. The funny thing is that I have run into at least 3 hard boot guys who are as anti-soft boot, as certain posts here are anti-hard boot- each side convinced they are right and everyone else is an idiot. It reminds me of the feuding religions we have in the world.

One thing I do know is that everyone I speak to who have switched to hard boots loves them. I guess it all depends on what you want out of snowboarding. I've tried them many years ago, and they were sketchy to me. I didn't like the extreme narrow forward stance required. However, at least with splitboarders, they ride duck stances in their hardboots. AT (Alpine Touring) boots are a different animal than traditional "hard boots" so it may not be an apples to apples comparison. As for me, I'll stick with softboots for now- but as hard as I can get them.

I have a relative who, jokingly, likes to rip on snowboarding. He is a life-long skier. My argument is that snowboarding is far more natural than skiing. Reasoning: look no further than surfing or skateboarding. The human body can brace itself quite well standing sideways on a surf/skate board with no stiff boots and no bindings. Try standing forward like a skier does- you will be on your ass in 2 seconds. That's why skiers need such a stiff interface: to hold them into a position they cannot maintain without that boot/binding.
 

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I have a relative who, jokingly, likes to rip on snowboarding. He is a life-long skier. My argument is that snowboarding is far more natural than skiing. Reasoning: look no further than surfing or skateboarding. The human body can brace itself quite well standing sideways on a surf/skate board with no stiff boots and no bindings. Try standing forward like a skier does- you will be on your ass in 2 seconds. That's why skiers need such a stiff interface: to hold them into a position they cannot maintain without that boot/binding.
If you compare a mono ski and a snowboard, sure. It's going to be easier with your feet apart. In skiing I would make a guess it's more about the momentum from the long planks on your feet that makes it easier to have stiff boots. That, and the need to apply metal edges to the snow.

It's more natural going sideways to a snowboarder. That's why snowboarders walk sideways when they are drunk. Sober and normal people walk forward.

 

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I don’t think hard boots would allow for the fluid feel snowboarding innately searches for.
As someone who rides hardboots, I am pretty convinced they allow exactly for that fluid feel I am searching for. YMMV, though.
4. If you go with a hard boot set up you ever notice they're basically mono skiing and have such a progressive forwards stance?
No, I haven't. Looking at my binding setup and mentally comparing it to a monoski, I think you are wrong there, especially when I compare my monoskiing experiences (those were the days) to my snowboarding experiences. On a related note, when someone tells me that alpine snowboarding is like skiing, I automatically assume they have never tried either. But that's just me.
9. There are some amazingly stiff soft boots on the market that work exceptionally well and don't make you feel like you're locked into a ski boot.
Again, if you think modern hardboots feel like ski boots, it makes me think you lack experience with both (hint: they don't).
I didn't like the extreme narrow forward stance required.
Neither do I, which is why I don't ride what I would regard as an extreme forward stance (something like 40° rear, because with my boot size I cannot go lower without overhang, and 58° front, because I like more splay than the 50/55 hardbooters of yore).
 

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If you compare a mono ski and a snowboard, sure. It's going to be easier with your feet apart. In skiing I would make a guess it's more about the momentum from the long planks on your feet that makes it easier to have stiff boots. That, and the need to apply metal edges to the snow.

It's more natural going sideways to a snowboarder. That's why snowboarders walk sideways when they are drunk. Sober and normal people walk forward.

I want to learn to tele ride my split this season. And the main reason for going to AT boots were because of my small feet, riding women's softboots and could not find a soft boot that was stiff enough. I was very apprehensive about this move. Initially was seriously questioning my decision because despite having them pro fitted/mould, there was pain, weirdness and heal lift. However having spent some big coin was determined to persevere before giving up. It took 3 trips to the boot fitter, 6 days of me tweaking. Now that I'm on the other side of the river, its the promised land...both resort and BC. And my angles, width and duck remain the same as it always was. Also I don't do steezy tweaked out grabs and we don't have any park at the hill.
 

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HAHAHA yeah know nothing about boot fitting, at all. That's a laugh.

Just come out of the closet and admit you're a skier.
I skied once for 15 feet, fell foward and pulled a calf muscle...done. It swelled up like having a golf ball in my calf, it stole 3 weeks of my season. I'll admit that skiing does look fun and more stable for some things; and for other things, skiing looks like it would be a shit show.
 
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