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Crampon Tips for Skiboarders

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  • Crampon Tips for Skiboarders

    Crampons are often essential backcountry tools for skiboarders. Our boards are wide and short and often need some extra metal for security on the uphill besides our climbing skins.
    I have experimented with a lot of crampons and wanted to write up my thoughts.
    Here is my current uphill aid kit .
    Climbing skins, ski crampons, boot crampons and Skeat brand strap on mini crampons.
    IMG_20210427_094132511 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    Besides your basic climbing skins, I find very helpful strap on Skeats mini crampons. These are basically a line of studs or cleats attached to a voile strap that are easily attached to the front of your skiboard without getting out of your binding . I like putting them on in front of my binding . This gives extra purchase from sliding back on steep icy slopes or steep icy skin tracks.
    IMG_20201226_083713736 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    The problem with these little guys is that they don't help you at all on traversing or sidehilling on steep icy slopes where traditional ski crampons are better. Both of the custom mods I have done this year to the Receptor binding and the Spruce riser allow me to put in upturned simple machine screws through existing holes in the binding that act as crampon studs for ski crampons.
    After experimenting with two version of ski crampons available commercially , I like the B and D crampons because they have a deeper crampon depth compared to the Voile crampons when on put them over my risers.
    Here is a photo comparing the crampon penetration depths of the two commercially available crampons. The B and D crampon does require that you ask for custom drilled 1/4 inch holes 4cm apart in the crampon or drill them yourself to fit the crampon studs . You can use the Voile crampons without any custom work using fender washers and star knobs over the crampon studs.

    IMG_20210427_093030901 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    Here is a picture of my B and D crampon attached to my Spliffs . You will see that there is not enough room for the crampon to seat completely flat between the front HPDE riser but there is still excellent crampon depth as the crampon is angled backwards .
    IMG_20210427_092429434 (1) by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    I attach the crampon using inexpensive M6 star knobs available online.

    Here is an on snow picture showing both the ski crampons and the Skeats attached.
    IMG_20210426_121433243_HDR by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    Yesterday , on climbing on steep skin tracks I found that using both the ski crampons and the Skeats very useful. Steep uphill skin tracks are made by skiers doing kick turns like this .
    FireShot Capture 089 - Google Image Result - by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    Skiers are often able to stablize the uphill ski pointing up the hill because it is long and digs into the snow as they swing around the downhill ski into the traverse making an uphill kick turn.
    Where they turn is often very slippery icy snow created by multiple skiers doing kick turns.. With our short skiboards it is hard to get uphill security on the uphill ski and lateral stability on the downhill ski without crampons and you will often slide backwards trying to make the steep turn when skiers with long skis will not. . The Skeats gives me uphill security and the traditional ski crampons give me stability on the traverse. This is really nice for difficult climbing situations. and made these turns a piece of cake.
    IMG_20210427_092752774 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    This crampon arrangement with the skeats perpendicular to the direction of the skiboard and the ski crampons on the side is exactly the arrangement of crampons on a modern snowshoe as you can see on this comparison view and offers excellent climbing security for fat wide skiboards in difficult icy or slippery terrain.
    IMG_20210427_092827312 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    In situations where you have to take your skiboards off and boot straight up a couloir or steep slope it is useful to have boot crampons. I have a pair of really nice ski boot specific Camp brand Skimo Race crampons that weigh only 1lb for a pair and are easy to have in your pack in case you need them .
    IMG_20210427_093429962 by Jack Jue Jr, on Flickr

    The most important tip with use of crampons both the ski and boot type is to anticipate when you might need them and put them on before you start slipping !
    Boards :
    Blunt Xl, DLP, Spliff, Condor, Rockered Condor , Slingshot, Sherpa, Icelantic Shaman
    K2 BFC 100 Grip walk sole , Dynafit CR Radical AT boot, Ride Insano Snowboard boots
    Zero Pro Non release Binding
    Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
    Spruce Riser with Attack 14 GW /AT binding
    Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)
    Rocker and Sbol Soft Boot Bindings.

  • #2
    This is nicely illustrated, especially the snowshoe comparison. I hadn't heard of boot crampons before, but can see the utility.
    Push the Possible