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Choosing Base Snowboard Bindings for Conversion for Skiboarding -The Good and the Bad

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  • Choosing Base Snowboard Bindings for Conversion for Skiboarding -The Good and the Bad

    I have been doing a lot of testing of a variety of base snowboard bindings for use for skiboarding and have come to some conclusions that I want to share for DIY skiboarders or for those who will use the new SBOL conversion kit when it becomes available
    1/ try to find a base binding that has a pretty rigid highback and has an aluminum heel cup . The entire baseplate does not need to be aluminum and an aluminum heel cup attached to a plastic composite side wall and baseplate is fine as long as the plastic composite is pretty stiff . This is important for lateral stability at the base of your boot . A fairly rigid highback is important to give enough side to side support for the attached wings when you lean sideways.
    Lots of snowboard bindings , even more expensive bindings are made of all composite material and tend to be have more lateral flex then we skiboarders want . There is a trend in snowboarding even in high end bindings to have more flex laterally to perform better in the park and also to have a more flexible highback . Remember in snowboarding the rider is going mostly heel to toe whereas we are going side to side . Interestingly even for hard boot snowboarders who use Bomber bindings .. Bomber has created ways to give the rider more side to side flex in their ultra rigid bindings. We don't want or need that . The Rocker binding was originally an attempt by Jake to create a new snowboard binding combining a uber rigid 3 strap winged binding on top with a mechanical subfloor to allow more flex laterally for snowboarding . I liked the top of the binding and asked Jake to adapt that for skiboarding and it worked fine. Expensive bindings do not necessarily mean better for skiboarders , finding the right binding to convert is really important . I have been working directly with Greco to find the right bindings to convert for his SBOL modified bindings and I think Greco being a rider of soft boot bindings himself understands all the issues involved and has been able to come up with the bindings that have the right requirements .

    As an example of a failed coversion attempt . I used an all plastic Salomon Binding called the Salomon Boss that my son has had good results with snowboading . I did not like it at all for skiboarding . The highback was too flexy and the all plastic sidewalls and heel cup had too much give laterally for my tastes for skiboarding .

    2/ How about Flow bindings? While the idea of a rapid rear entry binding is super cool , the Flow binding design has some inherent weaknesses for aggressive skiboarding . Previous Flow bindings were difficult to convert because the Flow lever rested right against the highback and there was no room to install wings. New high end Flow bindings have a separate rachet receiver that allow enough room above to install wings . I converted a high end Flow Nx2-At 300 dollar binding to use for skiboarding and thought it had great promise and was super cool in terms of ease of entry but yesterday I had a catastrophic fail . Here is an analysis of this fail :
    The flow binding is a double ladder strap system on 4 ends of a leather pad over the top of the boot. There are plastic rachet straps on both sides with a lock lever to allow adjustment of the length of those straps .. on the new high end Flow bindings on one side are thick deep grooves with a traditional big rachet lever . That side did not fail. On the other side the strap has very low grooves very close together to allow micro adjustability. The lever that holds the strap in place is very small and has a very small part that fits in the groove . Ok the other thing to understand about a Flow binding is that you run the leather pad over your boot a little looser then you would traditional straps to allow some give in the system once the highback is locked down otherwise it is uncomfortable on the top of your boot . Ok, next think about an advanced rider trying to hold an edge on a steep icy slope . Valmorel has shown some pictures of the angulated stance we use . The idea is to throw your body down away from the slope looking down the hill rather then leaning into the slope. You can get great edge pressure by your whole body leaning away from the hill while your inside edges are right up against the steep hill. I was just in this position when I caused the catastrophic failure . As I was doing this my boot pulled against the leather pad on top of my boot and forced both straps to slide right out on the side with the micro shallow grooves and flimsy rachet hold down which were on the edge of the skiboard edging into the hill , while I was leaning the other way down hill forcing a catastrophic ejection .

    My Technine binding which I used later yesterday also has a double ladder but the ladder on both sides have nice deep grooves especially on the critical ankle strap and a much more robust rachet lever on both sides .. Also it is a three strap system so the load is only on a single strap at a time rather then on the big leather pad and in a three strap system you run the straps nice and tight , rather then looser like a flow system .. A three strap system will likely never fail doing the same manuever .. I actually did the exact same manuever using this binding on the same slope later in the day with no issue , of course .

    In final analysis .. I would be very hesitant about converting Flow bindings if you are an aggressive skiboarder . Remember again we put way different strains on our snowboard bindings then snowboarders do who are edging front to to heel and not aggressively putting the extreme lateral stresses we put on bindings !


    Bottom line , if you really want to have the best experience ,let Greco do all the work for you finding the best base bindings and cobbling it all together or if you are going to do it on your own be careful what binding you choose to convert and remember that an expensive snowboard binding great for snowboarding does not always equate with a better binding for skiboarding .!
    Boards :
    Spliffs
    Condors
    Crossbows
    Sherpa

    Boot:
    K2 BFC 100

    Bindings:
    Zero Pro Non release Binding
    Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
    Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
    Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

  • #2
    Jack -- have you tried any of the step-in snowboard bindings? I only ask as may have an opportunity to get a pair of free Switch Bindings with boots from a buddy that upgraded and I like the idea of being able to step in and then just cinch up the added 3rd strap or in this case the only strap. Thoughts?
    Boards:
    2016 Spruce tuned Head Jr. Caddys - 131cm
    2013 Spruce "CTS" 120s
    2010 Spruce "Yellow/Red" 120s
    2018 Spruce "CTS" Crossbows - 115cm
    2016 RVL8 Spliffs - 109cm
    2008 RVL8 Revolt "City" - 105cm
    2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Icky - 104cm
    2011 Defiance Blades - 101cm

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Wookie View Post
      Jack -- have you tried any of the step-in snowboard bindings? I only ask as may have an opportunity to get a pair for free Switch Bindings with boots from a buddy that upgraded and I like the idea of being able to step in and then just cinch up the added 3rd strap or in this case the only strap. Thoughts?
      Yes I am familiar with the Switch binding . I think it would not work for skiboarding even with a installed highback wing , top rachet strap and riser .. It would not give enough side to side support without the other two straps to hold you in .. it really depends on the rigidity of the boot and a soft snowboard boot does not give enough side to side rigidity by itself without all three straps tying you into a deep firm aluminum heel cup and firm sidewalls and baseplate. ...

      here is a video for those not familiar

      Boards :
      Spliffs
      Condors
      Crossbows
      Sherpa

      Boot:
      K2 BFC 100

      Bindings:
      Zero Pro Non release Binding
      Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
      Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
      Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jjue View Post
        ..... I think it would not work for skiboarding even with a installed highback wing , top rachet strap and riser .. It would not give enough side to side support without the other two straps to hold you in .. it really depends on the rigidity of the boot and a soft snowboard boot does not give enough side to side rigidity by itself without all three straps tying you into a deep firm aluminum heel cup and firm sidewalls and baseplate ......>
        Rigidity was my concern as well. The version my buddy is looking to part with actual have what would be the 2nd strap built into the boot and connected to the steel baseplate embedded in the sole of the boot. Who knows if that will be enough even if I add a top strap. If I get them for free it might be something to tinker with over the season or next summer.
        Boards:
        2016 Spruce tuned Head Jr. Caddys - 131cm
        2013 Spruce "CTS" 120s
        2010 Spruce "Yellow/Red" 120s
        2018 Spruce "CTS" Crossbows - 115cm
        2016 RVL8 Spliffs - 109cm
        2008 RVL8 Revolt "City" - 105cm
        2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Icky - 104cm
        2011 Defiance Blades - 101cm

        Comment


        • #5
          Cough cough........Ride lx old style all aluminum binding is probably the best binding to use for skiboard modification. Its affordable, doesn't have canting like majority of snowboard bindings, and the MOST rigid out there. A modified Ride binding can be seen here http://www.skiboardsonline.com/p/ggo...otbinding.html

          Can you post up pictures of the Flow binding failure? I was very interested in converting them, I am sure I am not the only one who wants to see.

          Clip in bindings that include a high back independent of the boot should work well, as you would still want to modify the highback as you would standard snowboard bindings.
          www.skiboardbindings.com GGO Co-Founder

          Check out a review of our bindings http://www.skiboardsonline.com/forum...ad.php?t=13031 (Thanks Rob)

          My setup:
          DLP/Ktps (randomly switch)
          Condors, not rockered (powder/crap conditions board)
          GGO soft boot bindings
          Ride RFL Snowboard Boots

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bee View Post
            Cough cough........Ride lx old style all aluminum binding is probably the best binding to use for skiboard modification. Its affordable, doesn't have canting like majority of snowboard bindings, and the MOST rigid out there. A modified Ride binding can be seen here http://www.skiboardsonline.com/p/ggo...otbinding.html

            Can you post up pictures of the Flow binding failure? I was very interested in converting them, I am sure I am not the only one who wants to see.

            Clip in bindings that include a high back independent of the boot should work well, as you would still want to modify the highback as you would standard snowboard bindings.
            Hi Bee , I totally agree that the old style Ride Lx binding is a great base snowboard binding , I used that binding myself for my first garage creation . The problem for Greco and Sbol is that Ride no longer makes the Lx as an all aluminum binding and it is impossible to get the old binding in bullk quantities. . it is now a composite binding and the Ex aluminum version is cost prohibitive for a base binding for SBOL conversion .

            There really is nothing to see in the Flow binding failure . Study this video of the Flow fusion power set up , you will see that there is a microadjustable ladder strap on one side with a small buckle , this strap is smooth on the outside and has small micro grooves on the other side, the other side of the fusion big pad has a traditional ladder strap with big grooves and a traditional latch , when carving on a steep slope the two ladder straps on the microadjustable side just slid right out , the small latch and micro grooves did not hold the strap from pulling out of the pad under a big lateral load, the top fusion power pad snapped off and I was no longer attached except by the top strap and wings on the highback!!! Rather dramatic and catastrophic . . I have already packed up my binding and it is ready for return ..

            Boards :
            Spliffs
            Condors
            Crossbows
            Sherpa

            Boot:
            K2 BFC 100

            Bindings:
            Zero Pro Non release Binding
            Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
            Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
            Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

            Comment


            • #7
              Jack,

              Would replacing the ladder straps and exofit pad with conventional pads and straps solve the problem while still providing rear entry convience?

              Not practical for a retail option but maybe acceptable to some DIYers.
              sigpic


              Osprey, Sherpa, Custom Coda 120WT, Custom DS110, Condor (Green), Spliff

              Custom Twist Out duck foot bindings, Bombers (custom duck foot base plate and 3 pads), releasable S810ti on custom duck foot riser

              Nordica N3 NXT ski boots (best so far)


              Wife: 104 SII & 100 Blunt XL with S810ti bindings on custom "adjustable duck foot" risers

              Loaners: 125LE, 105 EMP, 101 KTP, 100 Blunt XL, 98 Slapdash, 88 Blunts

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by slow View Post
                Jack,

                Would replacing the ladder straps and exofit pad with conventional pads and straps solve the problem while still providing rear entry convience?

                Not practical for a retail option but mabe acceptable to some DIYers.
                really wouldn't help all that much , you would be able to get a snug fit on the ankle strap by closing the highback but still need to tighten the top strap and the toe strap . so still 3 things to do
                Boards :
                Spliffs
                Condors
                Crossbows
                Sherpa

                Boot:
                K2 BFC 100

                Bindings:
                Zero Pro Non release Binding
                Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                Comment


                • #9
                  After adjusting straps to your boot. Drill hole through adjuster and strap and insert T-nut from underside. That is what I would do on the Flow binding.
                  www.skiboardbindings.com GGO Co-Founder

                  Check out a review of our bindings http://www.skiboardsonline.com/forum...ad.php?t=13031 (Thanks Rob)

                  My setup:
                  DLP/Ktps (randomly switch)
                  Condors, not rockered (powder/crap conditions board)
                  GGO soft boot bindings
                  Ride RFL Snowboard Boots

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great idea Bee! I would have been less quick to return the binding but I also found the pressure of the pad uncomfortable when I tightened as much as I like , I just like the way the three strap system distributes the pressure on my boot and how tight I can get straps without it being uncomfortable
                    Boards :
                    Spliffs
                    Condors
                    Crossbows
                    Sherpa

                    Boot:
                    K2 BFC 100

                    Bindings:
                    Zero Pro Non release Binding
                    Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                    Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                    Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Flow does make a hybrid system that is more like a three strap set up and less of a big pad pressing down on the boot which might be more comfortable for those used to running a three strap set up tight . There is the same issue with the micro groove ladder strap on one side which would be prone to pull out for skiboarders carving aggressively , something like Bee suggests would need to be done to reinforce the strap attachments on that side before it could be used for aggressive skiboarding ...
                      Boards :
                      Spliffs
                      Condors
                      Crossbows
                      Sherpa

                      Boot:
                      K2 BFC 100

                      Bindings:
                      Zero Pro Non release Binding
                      Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                      Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                      Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Flow system , does , I think have some promise for those skiboarders willing to tinker with the binding to reinforce the ladder strap attachment on one side , and willing to run their front pad a bit looser on their boot then they are used to running a three strap binding tight to their boot ... there is good ankle hold with the system ( at least there was before the catastrophic ladder strap failure !) and the binding is pretty sharp looking ... and entry is very slick .. This is the new NASTY system in the high end flow binding which raises the front pad allowing more room for entry and then tightening down when the binding is locked down.
                        Converted Flow Binding on a Blunt



                        Waiting for boot to be slipped in . Highback flipped backwards with straps out of the way ..

                        Boot shoved into straps ...


                        Unlike the low end Flow bindings there is a separate receiver for the latch which gives enough room to attach the wings to the highback . This is not true on low end Flow bindings


                        Locked and loaded


                        Unfortunately , the twin problems of catastrophic failure along one side with the microgroove ladder straps on agggresive carving and the way the front pad is uncomfortable on my foot ( I get pain and a numb foot) when I run the pad as tight as I feel I need in technical steep terrain , make the Flow system a no go for me . I can get into my three strapper pretty quick .. pics to follow ., and I have never had a three strapper fail like the Flow system did for me . I can run a three strapper nice and tight which feels more secure in technical terrain and yet still be quite comfortable with no unwanted pressure on the front of my boot .

                        by the way anyone who doubts the strength of the Saavi wings that Greco uses for his SBOL modified bindings or of the attachment to the highback need not worry . When the Flow binding failed and ejected me , I had a highspeed fall on a steep slope attached only by the top strap /wing bolt to the highback and fell right down on this without anyting breaking or coming loose . wings intact , bolts intact attachment to highback held and my leg was still attached to the highback , great torture test ! I did not lose my precious Blunts downhill . and most importantly I was intact , !
                        Boards :
                        Spliffs
                        Condors
                        Crossbows
                        Sherpa

                        Boot:
                        K2 BFC 100

                        Bindings:
                        Zero Pro Non release Binding
                        Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                        Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                        Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is how I get into a three strap binding quickly . This is the new SBOL modified Sims Binding .

                          Binding on board ....


                          Top and middle straps all unbuckled and rotated to the back , front strap unbuckled ready for boot to be placed on binding base pad

                          The first strap I attach is the middle strap which pulls my boot back against the highback . I just rotate the straps forward and attach


                          Then the toe strap


                          Finally the top strap is rotated around to the front and attached, pretty quick operation ... getting out is super easy just three latches need to be snapped open and the straps slide out and you are out in a jiffy . ... ps although I have double side boas , the wings have enough give to fit over the boa dials

                          Boards :
                          Spliffs
                          Condors
                          Crossbows
                          Sherpa

                          Boot:
                          K2 BFC 100

                          Bindings:
                          Zero Pro Non release Binding
                          Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                          Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                          Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                          Comment

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