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Discussion Starter #1
I've been snowboarding for about 12 years. For the last two seasons, I've been riding "no back" style with the highbacks removed from my bindings. I often get critical and/or skeptical comments about this, but it's not totally unheard of:
The Theory of No Highbacks by Mike Ranquet - Transworld Snowboarding

I love the feeling of freedom and mobility that riding without a highback provides. I've been riding Burton Ruler boots, which have been good, but I'd like to try something with a looser feel and a bit more flex, particularly around the ankle joint. Does anyone have recommendations for a fairly soft boot with a high degree of ankle flexibility? Also, a boot with a nice wide forefoot would be a definite plus.
 

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I'd start with a 32 Lashed, sounds like exactly what you're looking for.

Softer, still high end boot, wider toebox/forefoot area, durable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool, thank you snowklinger.

I researched this online for a little while after making my initial post and the 32 Lashed is actually one of two boots I'm now most interested in. The other boot I came across that sounds like a good match for my requirements is the Rome Libertine. Do you have any idea how it compares to the Lashed?

P.S. I know online recommendations are no substitute for actually trying on boots, obviously, but my local shop had very little to choose from in my size (13-14 U.S.) and nothing that felt great. I'm going to try ordering a pair or two through the mail and just sending them back if they don't fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
KansasNoob, I've been riding some ancient Burton Custom Freestyles but I just ordered a pair of Now IPO bindings for the upcoming season. They come with low, easily removable highbacks but were apparently designed with no back riding in mind.
 

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Couldn't a guy just take the backs off of any binding, pretty much? They're not hard to take off. Two screws and boom. Or is there something about where the straps attach?
 

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KansasNoob, I've been riding some ancient Burton Custom Freestyles but I just ordered a pair of Now IPO bindings for the upcoming season. They come with low, easily removable highbacks but were apparently designed with no back riding in mind.
I read they're supposed to give a skatier feel. Have fun!
 

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Couldn't a guy just take the backs off of any binding, pretty much? They're not hard to take off. Two screws and boom. Or is there something about where the straps attach?
Depends on how the base is designed. But basically yea, most bindings are capible

Which bindings do you use? Kinda want to try this nowQUOTE] Damn it. messed that all up. lol


Check out the switchbacks too.
 

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I basically have the opposite with my El Hefe's. I might take the backs off on a fresh day to try it though. With my boots I doubt losing the highbacks would change much, they're pretty stiff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Couldn't a guy just take the backs off of any binding, pretty much? They're not hard to take off. Two screws and boom. Or is there something about where the straps attach?
No, I think you can go highback-less on just about any binding without problems. Actually, I'm not totally sure why the Now Ipo is better than average for no back riding. I know JF Pelchat rides them with the highbacks off and loves them and I've read they were designed with this in mind as an option. For these reasons, as well as the positive review on Angry Snowboarder, I figured they'd be a good bet.

Overall, though, if you're curious about no back riding, go ahead and try it with whatever binding you happen to have. You should be fine, just take it slow at first.
 

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The biggest issue with taking the highbacks off 'regular' bindings is the heel fit of the boot. Most highbacks sit inside/slot inside the heel loop, so when taking them off, there is more space laterally plus the boot might sit ~1/2" further back. That is why the Switchback bindings have the 'no-back' insert.
But generally it is not a major problem and most boot-binding combos that work with the highback will also work without.
 
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