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Splitboarding boot options?

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Splitboarding boot options?

Postby mountaingoat-G » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:26 pm

Does anyone have experince with splitboards and boot choices? I'm a long-time snowboarder who used to use snowshoes for backcountry access for snowboarding. In the past, I've tried all sorts of boots for snowboarding including plastic Koflach Superpipes (from the early 90's) and found them to not be supportive enough. I ride my regular board with a very stiff soft-boot: Burton Driver-X for ski area riding. I had trouble hiking in the snowboarding boots as they were too stiff for hiking and hiking in them also caused them to break down over time. I've been thinking about exploring the possibilities of splitboarding as I'm looking for a lighter setup than snowshoes and a board strapped to a backpack. I have some telemark freinds who I would love to be able to join in the backcountry. I used to do a lot of this during college and oftentimes hiked up the mountain in Sorels or hiking boots with my snowboarding boots in the backpack, having to change boots for the ride down, what a pain...
Anyway, I'm wondering if any split-boarders out there have advice about boots :?:
Thanks

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Postby nickonov » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:46 pm

I'd also be interested in hearing about others' experience with splitboards. Having done a little research into them this year, I concluded that they're just toys: neither heavy-duty nor versatile enough to warrant the steep price tag. It would be great to hear that I'm wrong in my assessment.

As it stands, it looks like I'll still be carrying a board on my back on the ascent, and swapping out the snowshoes for the descent. And, one of these days, I'm going to have to pick up a pair of Telemark skis.

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Postby Ken Gross » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:04 pm

First I am not a Boarder, however I have some friends that are.

From what I have seen, an AT (alpine touring) Boot meant for backcountry sking is your best choice for split boarding. An AT boot will have a hinged cuff (in walk mode) which make them very nice to skin in. The Vibram sole will give you the traction your looking for when scrambling over rock and mixed conditions. AT boots also work very well with step-in crampons. When it comes time to join your 2 halves and ride, I think you will really like the performance you get from an AT boot. Compared to most snowboard boots, an AT boot is very torsionally rigid and has a good progressive forward flex. I think you will find that the AT boots are just as comfortable as a plastic mountaineering boot like a Koflach, but will give you much more performance on the ride down.

Your choices in AT boots will be Scarpa, Garmont, Lowa, Crispi, and Dynafit. Try them all on and find which brand fits your feet best, and then scour the internet to find a pair cheap!
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Postby Lhotse » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:25 pm

I've had my spitboard for 2 seasons now. Cut my own Salomon Fastback, mounted the Volie split kit. I love it! Rides just like a regular board. Split kit is $200. Skins I believe were $100. I have Salomon Dialogue snowboard boots which are very comfortable to skin and hike in. Only problem has been climbing with crampons on. My BD contacts keep falling off in steep couloirs. I just ordered some La Sportiva Nuptse boots which some have used for splitboards. They actually market the boot for backcountry snowboarding and High Altitude Mountaineering. Am excited to see how they work. Will let you know. As for the AT boots, I've heard good things about them too. You'd have to use the Voile mountain binding to use them. Havent done much hiking in them, but AT boots work great on technical ice.
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Postby GIR » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:54 pm

I split boarded for several years, before finally making the jump to skiing. I always liked the feel of soft boots to hard boots, and ended up going with a pair of K2 T1's, that I very much liked. They have the BOA system which allows you to quickly tighten the boot for downhill, and just as quick loosen it up for the skin up. They were quite stiff with the extra tongue insert, and they had vibram soles, which were important for me. Highly recommended.

I also have to give props to the voile split kit and splitting your own board. Definitely the way to go.

On a side note, if you are looking for boots in the spring...I suggest K2 clicker boots. Yes, they for the most part suck, but you can find if you are lucky, the old clicker 10 point crampons. That is one slick system, never had a crampon fall off.
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Postby shari3100 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:27 pm

I use my regular snowboarding boots with my splitboard. I haven't gotten to use my board very much yet, so we'll see if I switch boots.

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Postby Andy » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:46 pm

One of my regular partners is a split boarder. He uses his regular mountaineering boots (welted Scarpas). I don't know much about it, but the idea of using regular mountaineering boots for the ascents seems pretty cool! If you want more info email me and I'll give you his email address so you can ask him directly.
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Postby gb » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:15 pm

Another skier commenting...

Splitboards are definitely the way to go, snowshoes pretty much suck. And there's no surer way of making bc skiers angry than bootpacking or even snowshoeing on top of a skintrack.

If you're just seeking powder, find a soft boot that you like. If you're doing some climbing with crampons, most snowboarders I know have plastic boots and plate bindings. When we skied the Needle last year, my buddy used his La Sportiva's and said they worked pretty well both up and down.

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Postby Jason Halladay » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:35 am

nickonov wrote:I concluded that they're just toys: neither heavy-duty nor versatile enough to warrant the steep price tag. It would be great to hear that I'm wrong in my assessment.

I'd say you are wrong in your assessment. :D

I've been riding a splitboard for six seasons now and find them to be hands-down the best backcountry setup for snowboarding. I've used Burton splitboards with the old, Burton-made interface and Voile boards with their own interface. The Voile system is much stronger, easier to use and just better. (Glad Burton made the switch to Voile's interface!)

I've used both standard stiff freeride snowboard boots but found them to be painful for the long tours/hikes and always go back to my Koflach Vertical plastic mountaineering boots with a custom thermo liner. They're definitely a bit softer than I'd like but certainly manageable with good bindings with nice, tall highbacks. And the plastic mountaineering boots work great with crampons, of course.
I picked up a set of plate bindings a couple seasons ago and tried riding with the Koflachs with the plate bindings and that was WAY too soft. I'd really like to score some AT boots to use with these plate bindings as I believe that would be the ultimate setup. But those AT boots are expensive!

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Postby mountaingoat-G » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:40 pm

thanks everyone for all your input. There is definately a lot to go with here. I did go to the Burton website and saw that they did go with the Voile binding system. I was supprised to see other splitboard set-ups that used a standard high-back binding with regular boarding boots. That seemed to be not exactly ideal for going up. Another thing I have found is that the cost of all this stuff really adds up. With all my other hobbies, I'm starting to wonder if I would really be in the backcountry enough to make the investment worthwhile.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in....

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