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Notes From the Softboot

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  • Notes From the Softboot

    If you are looking for more softboot information check out: https://forums.skiboardsonline.com/f...478&styleid=14

    I'm starting this thread to collect thoughts and observations on the collective binding experiment simply known as Softbooting. And why it might not work out so great for some riders. Sometime back in the late 90's, someone had a dream. Could you defy both physics and logic, bring skiboarding closer to snowboarding, and have incredibly comfy feet? Maybe. Good luck. What are you smoking? Can I have some? Flash forward to 2020 and it's clear that yes, yes you do have to be high to get down with this. For no other reason than things could go horribly wrong. There is no true standard in softbooting, just some very well thought out guide posts (thanks to the community here) if your going to have any success at all. Your essentially taking a problem, (How do I bind?) throwing the obvious answer (FF pros!) out the window and complicating the matter x300 and the price...just for a shot at nirvana.

    Here are a few observations for the performance envelope conscious rider:
    • Not all bindings are created equal
    • Not all risers are created equal
    • Not all boots are created equal
    • ​​​​​A given softboot build/boot combo that works well on one board may not gel with another.
    • If your not using the Saavi Wing system your dead to me.

    For the record. I'm on my third build. Second pair of boots. Specifically tailored for riding my wider boards with the largest performance envelope (Condors, Sovas, Lions respectfully). I will elaborate on the bullet points in future posts, what failures I've had and write a lot more on what does work. For now here's what a working high performance build looks like:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/17EV...ew?usp=sharing

  • #2
    Looking forward to hearing your insights!!

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

    Boards :
    Spliffs
    DLPs
    Condors
    Slingshots
    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)

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    • #3
      Thanks Jack! Your research into the subject has been invaluable over the years.

      I get a lot of reactions on the hill, I don't mean to. From awe to horror, people want some kind of answer. Is there a god? Why am I not riding those? Are you a jerry? Then they see the softboot binding and I'm supposed to put their blown minds back together. If I'm feeling friendly, and they're extra curious, I may take the time to explain what's going on down there.

      Today I think I'll write a bit about the dreaded subject of the snowboard binding over-hang or binding drag. Aka, "Those bindings aren't designed to go like that." Snowboard bindings vary greatly in width, where the cheaper entry level bindings tend to have a wider footprint not only where the toe strap is, the whole thing is bulkier than it needs to be. This is hell. Without modifications you will be sabotaged before getting anywhere near the grail. Simply stated you will physically be unable carve with your wide binding literally digging into the snow every time you attempt anything other than going in a straight line. To bring home the point that standards don't exist in this niche within a niche, you can buy worthlessriser-less, thirdstrap-less setups right now on ebay. Complete garbage, a con, and a mockery of our grail.

      And I've got secret for ya'll, if your underfoot is 11 or under (god forbid) your riser isn't going to completely eliminate the potential for binding drag. Here's what I'd call a legitiment entry level setup, modified snowjams on the Missouri riser on revolts:

      Note the considerable over-hang. and it's terrible for skiing profile.

      This setup is fully functional unlike that crap on ebay, I rode the crap out of it actually to mostly great success. However, every once in awhile drag would catch me in middle of a deep carve or debris from variable terrain would simply get in the way. Enough to notice, which is quite frankly too much. Ultimately, its the crappy design of the binding (for skiing) that keeps the performance envelope from going from good to fantastic. Today's moral: Pay close attention to your binding profile, the less bulk the better and beware snake oil salesmen peddling false grails!

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      • #4
        photo Reupload for tapatalk users:

        Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Something I forgot to mention in regards to binding profiles. Ride bindings and other all metal bindings are noticeably thinner then their hard plastic counter parts, making a much nicer profile for skiboarding.

          I'd also like to get into riser's a bit. Now the point of a riser is simple, lift the binding high enough to eliminate binding drag from binding overhang. Simple enough in theory, in fact many have made their own risers out of something as simple as a hockey puck or block of wood. In practice, however, a riser is so much more. In softbooting, the riser is your connection to the board, it is the very footprint in which you ride, carve, and land upon just about as much as the binding itself. It provides a degree of leverage over your board which will either aid you tremendously or be your downfall. It's almost as if you are actually "riding the riser". For instance, if your riser is thin or not long enough you will have considerable binding overhang laterally and fore/aft, making you the rider actually have to balance yourself on the riser constantly. So, on top of binding overhang on the board (and the riser) we have heel and toe overhang on the riser. We want to kill all of these things as much as possbile. However, the heel and toe overhang variable is going to really depend on the riders foot size in relation to the riser.

          When I see people selling softboot setups it's almost always the "hockey-puck" riser and if it comes with bindings they usually don't have a proper cuffed third strap, no wonder, its garbage! Next!

          Comment


          • #6

            Go wide! This is an extreme example perhaps but compared to our "entry level" setup you can see the potential for binding drag has been reduced greatly.




            Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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