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Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

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Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby shaunster_co » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:52 am

For those of you that ride [splitboard], I thought I would share a mod. I did a more in-depth write up for Sparks R&D and a few other forums – if you would like a copy, just let me know.

I have been a skier since I was six years old, but due to a knee injury a few years back I switched to a snowboard, then a splitbaord. For the obvious reasons I wasn’t really thrilled about snowboard boots in the BC. This year I switched to Scarpa Matrix AT boot. I eliminated bindings altogether, and went with the Voile Mountain plates. Rather than touring up with the Voile plates, I installed a Dynafit TLT toe-piece for touring. When touring up I put the mountain plates in my pack - less than 3lbs. I have gone from 11.4lbs on the old setup (boots, bindings) to 6.2 lbs, essentially the farm.

I thought this new setup would be a learning curve, but I am amazed with this system. As far as riding comfort of a hardboot, the 3-buckle Scarpas (Matrix, Rush, F1, etc) are amazing. Some models have a forward lean and canting adjustment - you can closely replicate a soft boot without a modification. I have gotten a few longer ascents in this season – even with the thin snow. Thought I would share pics of the mod for others that splitboard. ~cheers.

IMG_9533.jpg
Replaced touring bracket with Dynafit TLT & adapter plate.
IMG_9533.jpg (99.5 KiB) Viewed 3483 times


IMG_9520.jpg
Ride mode w/boots.
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IMG_9529.jpg
Touring mode with Dynafit TLT
IMG_9529.jpg (112.96 KiB) Viewed 3485 times

Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby Bean » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:04 am

As someone completely unqualified to comment on anything related to snowboarding, hardbooting seems entirely more appropriate than normal snowboard boots for backcountry usage. Pretty cool, especially with the weight savings.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby xam_zerep » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:59 am

This is a great idea! For long rolling run outs that have flats and rises that stop you in board mode, I have wanted a way to lock my heal to allow a bit of control and allow for more effective skating. This setup can do that, right? -Max

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby shaunster_co » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:03 am

xam_zerep wrote:This is a great idea! For long rolling run outs that have flats and rises that stop you in board mode, I have wanted a way to lock my heal to allow a bit of control and allow for more effective skating. This setup can do that, right? -Max


I have actually seen a mod where the entire Dynafit (heel & toe-piece) was installed so that you could 'lock in' the heel - just like a ski and use it for those trail rollers just like you would skiing for more control. I opted for just the Dynafit toe-piece - which is a huge step up in control over the standard touring bracket.

Edit to add: By the way - I should mention; The setup I have uses the Spark R&D adapter plate. Due to the screw size of Dynafits it is a good idea to use the adapter plate rather than a direct mount. With the adapter plate you can use the existing holes [of the touring bracket] so that no drilling is required to mount the Dynafit toe-piece. It scatters the weight so that you do not risk sheering the Dynafit. The plates look like this: http://www.sparkrandd.com/products/dynafit-speed-radical-adapter-new/

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby adamsack » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:25 pm

I was looking for a way to get away from a snowboard boot in the back country, but not being a skier, nor wanting to drop the $$$ on a hard boot, I went another route.

I got the Spark R&D Blaze bindings, which are a huge improvement over mounting my Rides to the Voile tracks. For the boot, I bought a pair of Vasque Radiator mountaineering boots, which has almost identical dimensions to my snowboard boots. They have a much better sole for when you have to dismount, and they can handle a crampon. Oh yeah, they are super warm.

No complaints so far.

Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby metalmountain » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:34 pm

adamsack wrote:I was looking for a way to get away from a snowboard boot in the back country, but not being a skier, nor wanting to drop the $$$ on a hard boot, I went another route.

I got the Spark R&D Blaze bindings, which are a huge improvement over mounting my Rides to the Voile tracks. For the boot, I bought a pair of Vasque Radiator mountaineering boots, which has almost identical dimensions to my snowboard boots. They have a much better sole for when you have to dismount, and they can handle a crampon. Oh yeah, they are super warm.

No complaints so far.



I felt like dealing with splitboards was like trying to constantly make something work in a situation where there was already a perfectly good tool available. I never actually took a board out with mountaineering boots on, but I know how my ankles are and that I have always preferred super stiff snowboard boots. I feared the mountaineering boots just wouldn't do what I needed. I have seen some frankenstein setups that are reported to fix that issue, but I have my doubts. Have you tried the Radiators out this year?

The hard boot set up the OP mentioned was the only thing that slowed me in pulling the trigger on the switch, because I had ideas about a similar setup,and thought it would work well. But I can't see how you wouldn't lose that surfy feel that makes snowboarding so great if you are using hardboots. They are obviously infinitely better for backcountry use that normal boots though, as mentioned previously. Anyone have some thoughts or experience to way in with on that?

So after 15 years of snowboarding I have begun the switch back to skis, or as a friend said, I am returning from the dark side.
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby adamsack » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:57 pm

metalmountain wrote:The hard boot set up the OP mentioned was the only thing that slowed me in pulling the trigger on the switch, because I had ideas about a similar setup,and thought it would work well. But I can't see how you wouldn't lose that surfy feel that makes snowboarding so great if you are using hardboots. They are obviously infinitely better for backcountry use that normal boots though, as mentioned previously. Anyone have some thoughts or experience to way in with on that?


I have used the Radiators for both general mountaineering and splitboarding. They are plenty stiff for snowboarding, in fact stiffer that any 32 or K2 boot I have owned. Although I have never tried to climb in a hard boot, I would think the mountaineering boot would be infinitely better. The boa system is really nice for dialling in your fit.

I only see two potential problems with the Radiator:

1) I don't think they make them any more, but I picked mine up for just over $200 on Sierra Trading Post
2) The tops of the boots don't extend all the way to the tops of the high backs. This does not seem to be a problem, as they are close enough that they do not dig into my calves.

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby shaunster_co » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:17 pm

metalmountain wrote:The hard boot set up the OP mentioned was the only thing that slowed me in pulling the trigger on the switch, because I had ideas about a similar setup,and thought it would work well. But I can't see how you wouldn't lose that surfy feel that makes snowboarding so great if you are using hardboots. They are obviously infinitely better for backcountry use that normal boots though, as mentioned previously. Anyone have some thoughts or experience to way in with on that?


I was really apprehensive about switching to a hardboot for all the reasons you mention. However the 3-buckle Scarpa (not the more rigid Scarpa 4 buckle such as Mastraele), acts almost identical to the soft boots. All Scarpa AT boots have the heat molded Intuition liner. If you really want flex you can leave them in touring mode - they have more forward lean and canting than any snowboard boot I have ever worn. I would give a pair of the Rush, F1, or Matrix a try at Bentgate just to see.. The AT boots have really come a long way over the years. I thought it was going to be a real challenge in a hardboot, but at times I have even forgotten I had hardboots on. It was a pretty seamless transition for me - personally. The hardest part was figuring out which Scarpa I liked best.

Also - the weight. I believe the Scarpa Rush is the lightest, nearly half the weight of the average snowboard boot. Again it is a user preference issue. But off the splitboard I would take a hardboot with a vibram sole any day over a snowboard boot.

Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby metalmountain » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:18 pm

Good info guys, I appreciate it :)
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby Manky » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:40 pm

Chock up another one for Dynafit schweetness, and way to think outside of the box for a hybrid backcountry setup. Most of my boarder friends have long since converted to AT setups, but I say get it done with what works for you.
Everything has changed, is changing and will continue to change...

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby barrows » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:43 pm

A little bump to this thread, with a relevant update. A new splitboard interface and plate binding has been developed, which in my opinion is a game changer for the serious backcountry rider. This system provides a much more precise and responsive ride over any system using the Voile pucks and is also much more durable and dependable. The system is produced in Colorado, by a dedicated splitboarder, and is currently being used by about 30 or so riders in the US, Canada, and Europe. See the details here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phantom-Splitboard-Bindings/363651653710150?fref=ts

Due to the lack of snow in Colorado (until recently) I have only a single day on my set of Phantoms, but I am very, very impressed with the improvement in riding performance. This set up is designed to only work for those who are using a Dynafit toe piece, as that is the best way to tour, and this is a no compromise system.

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Re: Splitboard w/Dynafit - a whole new game!

Postby tylermacguire » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:04 pm

barrows wrote:A little bump to this thread, with a relevant update. A new splitboard interface and plate binding has been developed, which in my opinion is a game changer for the serious backcountry rider. This system provides a much more precise and responsive ride over any system using the Voile pucks and is also much more durable and dependable. The system is produced in Colorado, by a dedicated splitboarder, and is currently being used by about 30 or so riders in the US, Canada, and Europe. See the details here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phantom-Splitboard-Bindings/363651653710150?fref=ts

Due to the lack of snow in Colorado (until recently) I have only a single day on my set of Phantoms, but I am very, very impressed with the improvement in riding performance. This set up is designed to only work for those who are using a Dynafit toe piece, as that is the best way to tour, and this is a no compromise system.


Very cool, thanks for posting!

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