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Thread: Soft Bindings For Freecarving

  1. #1
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    Soft Bindings For Freecarving

    Now that hybrid freeride carving boards have arrived (swoard dual)..does anyone have any good recommendations of soft boot compatible bindings to work with higher positive stance angles e.g. 60F, 45R ?

  2. #2
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    Catek

    Catek Freeride www.catek.com

  3. #3
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    Currently Freeride 2 Pro EVO ?

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    Catek FR2 Pro Limited (now unavailable) looked better than the so-called (flimsier looking) improved Evo version.
    Anyone got views /experience of these or know where to get the limited edition?
    What about Nidecker Act Carbon?

  5. #5
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    Flows with stiff straps. Older Pro FR (Freeride) models had the biggest, stiffest straps. I don't even ride those any more on my soft setups because I want more mobility from my softies. You feel almost like you're wearing hard boots in those, regardless of the boots you are actually wearing. The angles can be cranked up ridiculously, and they'll cost way less than the Cateks. I've never tried the Cateks, but I'd wager that their two strap design doesn't even come close to what the old Flow PRO FR strap did for foreward and side-to-side support.

    Here:s a circa 2006 model after they shrunk the strap and baseplate a bit:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Flow-Pro-FR-Snow...item2eaa07d85c
    I have a set of these on a F2 Eliminator at +36 and +15 (I ride duck on all my other freestyle boards). I could crank them up higher if I wanted to, but I do hardboots at around 65/60 for real carving. The model before this one had a wider baseplate and an even bigger strap, and that's the one I no longer use due to lack of mobility.
    http://www.amazon.com/Flow-Pro-S-FR-.../dp/B0007D8Y5S
    P.S. I have both the PRO-S and PRO-C (carbon highback) models of this one sitting in boxes, but I'm not quite ready to sell them yet. Maybe soon.
    Last edited by johnasmo; January 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 PM.
    Fresh snow is like fresh bread; it's only fresh for a day.

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    +1 on flows, i have been riding flows since 2002 and couldn't even imagine using anything else now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob View Post
    Catek FR2 Pro Limited (now unavailable) looked better than the so-called (flimsier looking) improved Evo version.
    Anyone got views /experience of these or know where to get the limited edition?
    What about Nidecker Act Carbon?
    actually, the carbon high backs on those are overkill I think. I have both nidecker highbacks for mine and plastic. I prefer the drake matrix backs I have on them to the softer plastic ones catek provides or the stiffer carbon ones catek also uses.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob View Post
    Now that hybrid freeride carving boards have arrived (swoard dual)..does anyone have any good recommendations of soft boot compatible bindings to work with higher positive stance angles e.g. 60F, 45R ?
    uhhhhhh, it's called a hardboot.

    softboots are specifically made to work with lower angles.

  10. #10
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    Thanks blokes.

    What IS that Dave? Where can I find out more?

    What do we think of Flow NXT AT and F2 Cinch ctx for eroding the 'low stance angle only' dogma for carving w softboots?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob View Post
    Thanks blokes.

    What IS that Dave? Where can I find out more?

    What do we think of Flow NXT AT and F2 Cinch ctx for eroding the 'low stance angle only' dogma for carving w softboots?
    what dave posted was a burton 3 strap binding. the one pictured was called "system" they sucked, like all 3 strap bindings. there is a reason why no one makes 3 strappers anymore.

  12. #12
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    Catek, Nidecker, Burton, Ride, Flow, seem to be the favorites among the people here. Plenty of info on this with search function.
    INSTRUCTION | CASI L2 - hard boots all the way! | Vancouver Carvers' Diaries 2013/14 | Items for sale

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    Burton Torques 3 strap.

    Still have a couple pair of these, and they are the next best thing to hardboots.

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    i use Salomon Calibers. Match up well with Malamutes.

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    You might as well go with soft hardboots...

    ... because you can't rotate highbacks enough to be parallel to the edge at the angles you are talking about.

    To some extent, that's where the 3-straps would come in. They "catch" your leg as it falls off the highback when you're turning heelside. The downside to that is if the highback is locked in place, the 3rd strap keeps the softboot from flexing normally (read: softly) in any lateral or forward direction.

    The key, if you had 3-strap bindings, would be to unlock the lock connecting the highback to the baseplate for pow or uneven snow to allow full movement / absorbtion and lock it down for smooth groomers.

    If I was going to do it, I'd just source out a pair of very low rise plates, like a Burton-style plate and some very soft, thin-soled hardboots (look into A/T boots), mount it all up and shred.

    In reading your original post, however, it doesn't look like you're trying to set up a "one boot-binding to do everything". If that were the case, The 3-strap could be a contender: High angles and 3rd strap on a narrower, ATV-style board for carving and take the 3rd strap off, lower the angles and switch to a wider board for FR and FS. You'd still need 2 boards, but you could get away with 1 pair of boots and bindings.

    If money is not an issue, set your Swoard up with plates.
    www.noboard.ca

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  16. #16
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    A guru! ..Thanks Rob!
    Way past my bedtime now in UK; you've given me lots to think about here.
    Where I am coming from-
    From ideas here, I'd thought to progress carving on the East coast this yr w Catek F2 evos on the seemingly stiff Palmer pulse I have, and w Deeluxe track 700T's on the Prior ATV.
    (East coast tiny hills / runs, so my day not spoiled when I hit the wall...can always dig out a freeride board / telemark kit from the truck and enjoy the rest of the day; or even pop home for lunch and dial another setup).
    But in Europe on proper hills, need a board to commit to the whole day (no truck, no home!. Can't return to valley once on top...no chance to change. Fly in with limited baggage (max one board, and Randonnee setup for AT/ski freeride to cover all options).
    Swoard Dual looks to give the useful flexibility for this sort of trip if setup with soft boots..freeride/carve powder /piste. good in the alps to cover a day on one board. Hardboots would restrict in busy/tortuous/treesprinkled/powder areas/steeps of the mountain + I won't be good enough yet for that sort of terrain in hardboots.
    The swoard guys recommend soft boots to make the most of the flexibility of the dual, but with 30-35 degree angles, binding choice might make or break that concept. Hence the search.
    The 3 strap bindings all look a bit primitive..like an old solution. I wonder if some of the newer 2 strap stuff is better.

  17. #17
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    Rob,
    The T3 plates will go on the atv immediately, with the T3 "second board kit" on a swoard extreme carver at a later date

  18. #18
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    I bought FR2 pro limited... before catek discontinued it

    Good:
    Stiff carbon highback
    Burly thick straps

    Bad:
    -Ankle rachet got broken after 10 days of riding. When you order the binding make sure you order some spare parts!
    -Sponge that was bonded to the carbon highback debonded after 20 days of riding. I glued it back. So far, so good.
    -Thick straps are heavy and not as comfy as burton straps. I replaced toe straps with burton cap straps. and now that burton is selling their ankle straps, I will replace nidecker straps with burton ones.


    They're the binding of choice of softboot carving, IMHO. I was able to dial binding angles to 53/48 and was able to carve almost like hardbooters. Abiliyt to dial lift/cant was also helpful because I use stiff soft boots (32 forecast) which were stiffer than my hardboots (T700 + yellow/yellow BTS)!

    But they're darn expensive for what they do...

  19. #19
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    Leeho; interesting, thanks.
    32 forecast? can't find these.
    Last edited by docrob; January 24th, 2010 at 03:25 PM.

  20. #20
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    Hi docrob,

    Yeah, 32 discontinued that boots as well...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob View Post
    What do we think of Flow NXT AT and F2 Cinch ctx for eroding the 'low stance angle only' dogma for carving w softboots?
    The NXT AT strap is still pretty soft, more of a freestyle strap than a freeride strap. The NXT FX is/was the only NXT style with a strap comparable to the old PRO FR straps.

    That said, even if the binding technology exists to support +60/+45 angles in soft boots, I'm not convinced that it is something worthwhile to pursue. You still won't lay down carves on hard fast groomers as well as higher angles in hard boots, and you will no longer enjoy surfing the crud and powder like you would at lower angles in soft boots. I don't want to start a flame war over this, but although you may be looking for the best of both worlds, you are more likely to get the worst of both worlds -- poor body mechanics for carving, and lack of mobility for freestyle.

    If you want to do an half way decent job of carving a few turns, but keep the primordial fun of freestylin' in soft boots, I wouldn't go beyond maybe +40/+20. These are angles where you still control the edge more with toe/heel foot movements but can still rotate your hips and torso into a strong(ish) heel side carve from time to time.
    Fresh snow is like fresh bread; it's only fresh for a day.

  22. #22
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    Flame away johnasmo ! Much appreciated and v helpful.
    I suspected as much re' the NXT's, but just wanted to check since someone found them good for carving on the extreme carver forum with the dual..although his extensive experience must help.
    I 'm glad you confirmed suspicions re' the max likely angles. Carvers almanac suggests below 30 too.
    Measuring up re' the dual 168, I can manage 32 degrees F and R without overhang, but would want more on the front..say 45.
    Intending to be 75kg when I'm doing this (right in the middle of the recommended wt range for the 168, but right at the edge of the range for the 175 dual), do you think i'd be better losing some manoeverability (tight spots/trees/freeride fun), and ease of use on bumps with the stiffer 175, for slightly lower angles (maybe 4 degrees less) and better body position, or going with the softer 168 with the larger angles?
    I'm not interested in freestyle atall, but want only the freeride /freecarve options.
    You can see the Dual specs on extremecarving.com (PDF there).

  23. #23
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    or accept some rear boot out on the 175 and bring it down to 40/20 or 35/20 ?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnasmo View Post
    The NXT AT strap is still pretty soft, more of a freestyle strap than a freeride strap. The NXT FX is/was the only NXT style with a strap comparable to the old PRO FR straps.

    That said, even if the binding technology exists to support +60/+45 angles in soft boots, I'm not convinced that it is something worthwhile to pursue. You still won't lay down carves on hard fast groomers as well as higher angles in hard boots, and you will no longer enjoy surfing the crud and powder like you would at lower angles in soft boots. I don't want to start a flame war over this, but although you may be looking for the best of both worlds, you are more likely to get the worst of both worlds -- poor body mechanics for carving, and lack of mobility for freestyle.

    If you want to do an half way decent job of carving a few turns, but keep the primordial fun of freestylin' in soft boots, I wouldn't go beyond maybe +40/+20. These are angles where you still control the edge more with toe/heel foot movements but can still rotate your hips and torso into a strong(ish) heel side carve from time to time.
    this one one of the more sensible softboot posts I've seen here in awhile and it's pretty much my thinking as well

    for the Dual, what size foot you have? with softies the 175 would be ideal for someone in a 11 US or bigger. the 168 on the other hand not so much.

  25. #25
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    Flow NXT FRX
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    Bobdea; yes it's a good belt and braces optimum position Johnasmo takes.
    One question; did you check out the Dual spec before you recommended 175? It's quite a unique board designed for extreme carves if you want with hardboots, and freecarves and freeride on powder and harder with soft.. Or are you basing what you say on a standard freecarver.
    My softs outside measurement are 32cm, but 10.5 us. The 175 would give me closer to Johnasmos recommended max angles, but I wonder if I'll struggle in chopped up stuff , and to turn tight enough in tight spots.

  27. #27
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    catek fr2 or the originals work fine. I ride mine with solamon malamutes at about 60 degrees. I can do anything with this that I can with my hardboots.
    "The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is na´ve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair." - H.L. Mencken

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    encouraging!

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob View Post
    Bobdea; yes it's a good belt and braces optimum position Johnasmo takes.
    One question; did you check out the Dual spec before you recommended 175? It's quite a unique board designed for extreme carves if you want with hardboots, and freecarves and freeride on powder and harder with soft.. Or are you basing what you say on a standard freecarver.
    My softs outside measurement are 32cm, but 10.5 us. The 175 would give me closer to Johnasmos recommended max angles, but I wonder if I'll struggle in chopped up stuff , and to turn tight enough in tight spots.
    the 175 is 27 cm wide, this is the waist width I aim for to run 24 and 12 angles in a size 11 softboot best combo of leverage and low angles I can find for my foot. much wider and it's hard to turn it and much narrower and I have to ride high angles. I want a 175 just can't afford one! also a tanker 177 would be a good bet for that type of duty. that actually why I want a dual to replace my tanker 177.

    If I were you I'd run the lowest comfortable angles you can on it, with a 10.5 you could even go duck if you can deal with it. if you have not ridden duck it's worth a try. I don't like it but you might.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by softbootsailer View Post
    Burton Mission Binding $89.00 from Sierra Snowboard.com spring sale
    Bolt the Highback and add top strap...I use 45 deg. F and B
    Size 9.5 US puts toes and heels where they need to be on 168 Supermodel
    Works great for Pow and Carve
    Does NOT WORK for DUCKASS, PARK SH.T, FAKIE ,WHATEVER so DO NOT USE
    for that...OK
    This price is cheap enough for the EXPERTS on here to try...then maybe they could offer their thoughts based actual USAGE...
    I use a similar set up. I bolted the highback and added a strap to some Burton SI bindings. ONLY ONE STRAP TO BUCKLE!!! Plust the Foundation boots are way stiffer than any other soft boot I've tried. I ride more than 50 on the front (disk doesn't show past 45) and about 40 rear.
    Last edited by photodad2001; January 25th, 2010 at 04:54 PM.

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