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Thread: Newbie boot question

  1. #1
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    Question Newbie boot question

    I'm new to Hard boots. I recently bought a pair of Burton Reactors in our classified section. The seller claimed the boots were in good shape with no problems. I'm not bad with soft boots, no problems on the black diamonds in the trees in the Hills on the west coast but I'm having a heck of a time with these hard boots!

    After a ruff day on the hill (many hard crashes) I took a close look at the boots and see something that might be causing me troubles. The spring set up is different on L and R boot? And Since I ride goofy should I reverse the springs on these boots? Does this spring set up look right? Something doesn't look right here. How would this effect the performance?

    Any advice would be great!
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  2. #2
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    I run slightly steeper lean angles on my rear boots. I'm not familiar with this Burton set-up, but they look easy enough to adjust. I would experiment with different settings, but they look very different from each other...

  3. #3
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    Hey welcome!
    Where about in BC are you?

    Try to set those boots the same first. Try and take it from there.
    INSTRUCTION | CASI L2 - hard boots all the way! | Vancouver Carvers' Diaries 2013/14 | Items for sale

  4. #4
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    Looks like the right boot is set to more forward lean. I run a similar setup, but I ride regular. As Denver Steve mentioned, many people have more forward lean on the rear boot. For goofy, this does look strange.

  5. #5
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    What can you adjust?
    Depending on your boots there may be two things to adjust here:
    (a) the amount of lean the boot has
    (b) the amount of flex (resistance) the boot gives on flexing.
    Sometimes the two are related, but often you can adjust both separately. I don't know those boots, but perhaps someone here does, or maybe you can work out what the various adjustments do.

    I can't quite tell from your photos which way they are set. As the man suggests, I would set them both to the middle settings, identically, and start from there. You have a lot of variables to deal with to start, so taking some out of the equation is a good idea.

    What's the effect of it?
    Personally I like the front boot pretty much as upright as it will go, and the rear with as much forward lean as I can dial into it. So my "leans" are set at the extremes of the available ranges. Then the "stiffness" bit I just give as much flex as I can get out of the springs. I also ride with a slight amount of toe-lift (front foot) and heel lift (rear foot) from the bindings, which works with the lean on the boots, if you think about it. Riding flat is also common however, it's a matter of taste and depends for me on what boots I'm using.

    For me, without the front boot being fairly upright I can feel that my front edge, particularly toe-side, can be a challenge to hold in the snow. When I turn, something clever happens with that front leg and I need the boot to be fairly upright and fairly stiff for it to work. It feels like I'm pushing against the upright part of the boot, and the front edge there engages because of that. Something like that.

    So if you start neutral with both, and have problem with your edge breaking away at the front, you could try making the front boot more upright. I've experimented with this and (with my style) my front edge hold is directly related to the lean on that front boot.

    I can't remember what happens if I don't have my rear lean maxed out, but my stance has a fairly bent rear leg and I probably simply can't get into it without some lean/ heel lift. I'm not sure how that manifests itself precisely.

    There are other variables too of course - distance between the boots for example, but it's best to play with one at once for obvious reasons.

  6. #6
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    Looks like double or longer spring in right boot all under the plastic and one over and under on left boot. If you are running goofy either reverse the set up and hope for the best or as suggested by Blue B even them up and start from the begining one spring over and under on each and make adjustments from there. No quick fix it's all personal from now on.

  7. #7
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    I'm curious. Are you trying to figure out riding hard boots on a 197 Burner? (in photo) That might be part of the problem

    As blue sggested, I would adjust the springs even, and as others have said, more forward lean on rear boot.
    Last edited by BobD; February 21st, 2012 at 07:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    Wow! Thanks for all the informative replies!

    Blue B - I live up in Prince George. The hills up here are nice and quiet in comparison to the coast and Okanagan no lines at the lifts or chances of accident are low. Unfortunately I have never seen anyone on Hard boots up here so learning from what I'm reading here and the videos on youtube.

    BobD - It seemed like a good idea at the time to get a 197 Burner and a 183 Volkl GS board to learn on . Now I know why the Burner looks like it has never been used even original bar code stickers still attached lol. So learning on the 183 Volkl GS. I bought a new pair of TD3 bindings 3' can't on both. I must admit both feet forward with a heavy angle feels vary strange.

    I'll try playing around with the springs. Does anyone know where I could buy springs like this? Possible valve springs? I'm missing a spring on one side which seems to prevent me from leaning back (under spring tension).


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    Last edited by Frostie; February 21st, 2012 at 10:16 AM.

  9. #9
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    I think that one factor that could speed up your progress the most would be getting of both of those big boards...
    I'm sure that someone on Bomber would be willing to trade you a much smaller, softer and wider board, for either of yours. Burner would go very quickly and you might be able to even get some extra cash, depending on what you get in trade.
    Failing the concept above, I'd just set the plates onto your stiffest, or narrowest, freeride board and use that for learning. You'll be able to ride mellower angles, board would flex easier before going Mach3 and turn way tighter.
    Next, forget the black diamonds for now. Find nice wide steeper green, or very mellow blue and take one step at the time. Feel your balance, feel your exdges. Re-read Jacks "Norm" and other articles. Try one turn at the time, but really rail it to uphill stop. Try linking few with clean edge to edge transitions. At the same time pay attention to what your boots are "telling you", for further stance (width/angles/cant/lift) and boot (stifness/lean) adjustments.

    If you ever come to Vancouver, plan for a ride with local crew. Just drop me, or CarvingScooby, a message trough forum.
    INSTRUCTION | CASI L2 - hard boots all the way! | Vancouver Carvers' Diaries 2013/14 | Items for sale

  10. #10
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    Frostie,

    Myself and energyrail are close by. Im in Ft St James and energyrail is in Dawson. We actually had 3 hardbooters at Powder King a couple weekends ago. Welcome to the tribe. I have some smaller boards that you can borrow to get a different feel. Ill be in PG on Thurs. nine six one eight two nine five. text me.

    greg

  11. #11
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    Hi Frostie, those Reactors look setup correct for a goofy to me? Al the Reactors I have used looked similar (I am goofy as well; right boot much more upright than the left/rear). It looks like your right boot may have had a different spring subbed in or both springs stacked under the ride/relax mechanism for less forward lean. If you have shorter legs/wider stance like me you may find this helpful. As others have said; your board choice is probably not making learning easier though

  12. #12
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    I dunno what the conventional wisdom is on making the switch to hardboots, but a day with them on a board you're used to might not be a bad idea. I switched to hardboots like 15 years ago, but the thing I remember most about the transition was that the hardboots made my setup WAY more prone to "biting" me when I screwed up. Get lazy, catch an edge and - WHAM! - body slam! They beat the crap out of me on the first day, and I had nearly 15 years of snowboarding experience by that time and had been working toward the stiffest soft boot setup I could create for a couple of years. A more forgiving board might make for an easier transition.

    LOL on learning on a 197 Burner. I've been doing this a LONG time and that thing scares me! Good idea going to that "shorty" Volkl. That's not going to be the easiest either though.

    C
    Last edited by GV27; February 22nd, 2012 at 08:59 AM.

  13. #13
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    What a great community we have here!

    Okay let me back up a bit from my original boot question.


    my specs:
    Male
    just over 6'-4"
    age 37
    260 lbs
    size 12 feet riding goofy

    I love snowboarding and going fast! After enjoying some great extreme carving videos I decided to give hardboots a try. A found Bomberonline classifieds and right away found an add for the the Sims Burner 197 & the Volkl 183 GS for a price that I was happy with. Being a big guy I figured I needed a board over 180. My plan was to learn on the Volkl and hope to some day give the Burner a ride. I found some Burton Reactors on the Classifieds and TD3's from YYZ.


    So all my equipment arrived and had to give it a try! I threw some Dr Scholl's inserts in the boots to help my narrow feet fit tight in the Mondo 29.5. I threw the TD3's on the Volkl and went to a little community hill used mostly by kids to learn. But unfortunately the hill is so small after a 2 -3 turns at a reasonable speed i was at the bottom of the hill and all the kids like to play bumper cars with there boards while waiting in line so after 3 little runs decided to call it a day. My first impressions were pretty good, although such a limited amount of time on the board with hardboots.



    Next I decided to go to a real hill. I transferred my TD3's to my go to board a 168 Never Summer - Premier. Unfortunately conditions were not the best, a little icy so none of my ski or boarder friends wanted to join. I found getting into the TD3's while standing and sometimes slowly moving down the hill to be challenging. I found my back foot popped out of the binding a few times. Probable binding is not set up right or not getting in the binding properly. I started on the green runs and felt like a complete newbie on a snowboard. For some reason I kept transferring to much weight to my back leg making turns difficult. Wasn't sure of my shoulders should be parallel with the board. It seemed the Volkl felt more stable with the hard boot set up? Something just feels really off, but just writing this off as learning something new. I decided to head over to the blue runs. Weight distribution is off and leaning back to much with the icey conditions make for some hair raising acceleration. I defiantly need to change my boot set up, but not sure what changes need to be done so I start changing foot angle to feel the effects. I slowly starting to move my feet to face a more aggressive angle. The aggressive angle on my wide board (compared to the Volkl) make for more difficult edge transitions. Finally before lunch my angles are up too rear 35, front 65. I decided to turn up the pace a bit and next thing i know I'm really shooting down the run, leaning more into my turns but not feeling very stable with my boot set up. In hindsight i think i might have been standing to up right. I remember the last thing going threw my head was 'maybe i should slow down a bit'. And then I caught an edge...


    Now part of boarding is learning to fall. I always bring my arm to protect my head. Sink down into the board, so that i can hopefully roll back up and relax and let it happen. But for some reason that is not what i did that day. I stayed up right and tensed up. When the edge caught i went down hard and started cartwheeling down the hill. Saw the sky go by me twice before I got my whits to get my board above in the air and skid to a stop on my back. When i came to a stop to lick my wounds i realized I had rotated in my boots. Twisting both ankles pretty bad in the boots. Not sure how i did that? I mean I have crashed lots over the years and never came close to twisting my ankle. Now that was Stupid!


    So it has been 8 weeks now and I think i will be able to back to the hills soon.

    I thought maybe the springs in the back of the boot might have to be adjusted.

    BlueB - yes I would love to ride with you guy next time I'm down south!

    GV27 - so true on the "more prone to biting" with the use of hard boots

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  14. #14
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    You better get your butt up to PK. been hero carving conditions for four weekends straight.
    Read all the tech articles on here.
    I first tried on a 173 factory prime, carving it was easy. learning to make an edge transition sliding was another story.
    Learning that to get down the hill was key at first.
    were you testing it out at the Hart, then moved to tabor/purden
    Come ride with me and Greg(snowboardworm). He likes to instruct, I'll do the demos.

  15. #15
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    Energyrail - yes I have been missing a lot of fun up at PK. Yah as soon as my equipment arrived I had to give it a try so went to the Hart Hill. My first time there (and most likely my last lol) I ended up taking out my ankles at Purden. Yah I ended up meeting up with Greg as he was passing threw town on his boarding adventure and over a few cold beers got some great pointers on proper body position. I'm hoping to head up for half a day on Thursday in soft boots to see how the ankles feel. And if there good count me in for PK!

  16. #16
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    Smile you are not missing a spring--you have an extra one on the other boot

    hi FROSTIE

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostie View Post
    I'm missing a spring on one side which seems to prevent me from leaning back (under spring tension).

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    sorry for the late reply but it took awhile to dig through all my stuff to find the boots you were asking about. i have a broken pair (cracked toe ledge possibly from one of my metal bindings--it cracked while i was using ratraps but over the many years i have at different times used td1 and catek wc bindings also so i don't know which binding was the culprit or if they all contributed to the boot failure) and can mail you whatever parts you need off of it as the rear lean mechanisms are still intact on my trashed pair. no charge of course as i have lots of burton boots lol. however, i don't think it is necessary as your boots already look to be properly tricked out for a goofy footed rider.


    your burton reactors are the 1997/98 model. i have attached a photo of the spring of my stock unmodified 1997/98 burton reactor.

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    you are not missing a spring in your right boot but rather you have an extra aftermarket one in your left boot--looks like someone tried a homemade version of either a BTS or upz style spring mechanism. for your right boot only: the stock springless top bolt is how you adjust the amount of forward lean. notice that as you lengthen the exposed portion of the upper bolt (increase the number of exposed threads) the cuff leans forward so that is how you adjust the INHERENT (for lack of a better term) forward lean. in addition to this INHERENT forward lean you will get an extra 10 or 25 degrees by using either the first or second detente position by locking the lever at the back. ignore the old burton literature about riding with an unlocked boot--you ALWAYS ride with the lever locked. that's why it's called RIDE mode--duh! you didn't leave it unlocked when you hurt your ankles did you?


    looks like your right lever is cracked so be careful that you don't snap it off completely--i usually wrap a thick elastic band around it and then pull my pant cuff over it to prevent it from accidently opening otherwise i will have to figure out how to remove one of mine and send it to you. i don't think i have a drift punch that tiny!!!


    the bottom spring is how you increase the resistance to forward lean. compress (shorten)the spring to increase the resistance and decompress (lengthen) the spring to decrease resistance to forward lean by adjusting the height of the bottom bolt.


    now that you know that with the unmodified right boot the forward lean and forward lean resistance is adjusted separately just read the rest of PHILW's post#5 which explains what the settings do in further detail.


    for your left boot only: it looks like the previous seller went through a lot of time (and maybe expense?) to try to ghetto rig some sort of BTS or upz style spring mechanism to increase the range of motion and/or flex and/or dampening for the left boot. since you are goofy you want your right boot more upright and stiffer than your rear boot so the previous seller was probably also a goofy footer like you. you should be able to adjust the rear boot to have more forward lean than the front boot and also to have more flex (and possibly a greater range of motion) than the front boot. looks like you got lucky in this respect.


    my offer to send you the stock spring still stands but i think it would be a step backwards if you yanked the homemade BTS/upz springs and put the original ones back in--but then you may not be a BTS type of guy.


    take BLUEB up on his offer to ride with us next time you are in the lower mainland. that way you can just take one of my broken 1997/98 reactors home with you so you will have you own little parts pile for future use.


    btw has POWDER KING changed much over the years? the last time i was there was when i had to be in mackenzie for work (about 25 years ago) and decided to stay over the weekend before flying out. i think the place was called AZU at the time. don't remember much except that i was constantly up to my neck in powder and there seem to be more trailers and portables than permanent buildings!
    my sincerest apologies if my burton ultraprime offends your alpine sensibilities. i have set up a dedicated phone line for you to lodge your complaints. if there are enough complaints i will burn all my burtons.

    for my 24 hour toll free hotline please dial:

    1-800-EAT SH4T

    have a nice day

  17. #17
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    Oh jeez, as others have said, on trying to learn on a 197cm Burner. I just got one after about 15 years of carving, I had to be pretty careful with it; not user friendly at all in my opinion - like riding a motorcycle with a larger rear tire; just wants to keep falling into corners, and hard to bring back up. I've only had one day on it so far, so no disrespect to the board, I probably need more time with it.

    If you can find something in the 160-170 range, you'll have a better time learning. I don't know much about the Volkl, but even a 180 ish GS board can demand some space to ride until you build some confidence with it and you start riding it, and let it stop riding you.

  18. #18
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    Frostie- hope to hear an update and hope your ankles are ok.

    Respectfully I disagree with tenor about riding unlocked. I rode reactors for ten years and being a big guy myself, not only the danger to your ankle of hyperflexing, I prematurely killed a couple of pairs with cracking all around the ankles and the tongue. Might not be such an issue for a smaller guy but for a clydesdale class ( me not you) it is no bueno. You are not a big guy if I recall Tenorman and that does make a difference.
    The technique for me was to unlock the back and go as straight up as I can with my leg then to lock it, flex the ankle a bit and you will feel it pop in. I have the entire lever mechanism new ( might be Fire though they look the same) as well as two or three older pairs of Reactors still around somewhere that I can rob parts from.

    I will be posting up pics later today if I can of all my spring cleaning crap which includes a lot of boot parts.
    Quote Originally Posted by eajracing View Post
    ....just dont let it intimidate you..... long boards with big scr's smell fear and will hand you your ass if you let them.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    I ended up trying my hardboots out again at Powder King the other weekend under the guidance of Energyrail & Snowboardworm. All the information you need to learn how to carve is on this site but it sure is easier with someones help on the hill. For learning I set up an older moderately stiff 172 Ride all mountain board I had kicking around. I ended up starting out with my boots in walk mode with the ankle buckles left loose. This was still more control then I normally have with my softboots and the set up felt pretty good for getting an idea of having both feet angled forward and the feel of stiffer boots. After I felt more comfortable I took the boots out of walk and ratcheted up the top buckles for complete control. It takes a bit of getting used too, but I think my first day riding in properly set up bindings, with my feet in the proper position and my hips positioned down hill and riding low into the board felt pretty good! At this point I believe I just need more time on the hill to incorporate what I have learned into my riding. But sadly even though my day at Powder King felt pretty good and I never crashed and I cant think of anything that put stress on my ankle, I had to ice my swollen ankle when I got home and had several days of limping around again. Riding my softboots around doesn't seem to cause any ankle tendon irritation but something I'm doing while in hardboots seems to be putting undue stress on my ankles. So i'm going to have to hang my hardboots up for the season. I have bought one of those balance balls (a round piece of 3/4" plywood balancing on what looks like a baseball) which I try to stand on to help build up my ankle strength. Looking forward to going into the next season with strong ankles! These soft tissue injuries are a real pain in the butt!

    Tenorman - Thanks for all the info on my boots! And thank you very much for the offer on the parts! Okay I see know what they were doing with the home made BTS set up. After I got some guidance in getting my body in the correct position the boot set up felt pretty good. So I will leave them alone for now and work on my skills. Hoping next season to come down to the lowermainland and hit some of the hills down there and maybe ride with some more members of the great community As for Powder King, I don't think much has changed over the years. Although I have only been going there for maybe the last few years. Yes tons of powder! Hills is closed Mon-Wed so when you show up on Thursday there is always a mountain of powder to enjoy. The Atco Trailers are still up there and make up cheap accommodations. (I believe around $50). And for those that like luxury looks like there is chalets to rent. I'll probable stay up there next time the almost 2 hour drive to PG makes for a long day!

    As for my boards...
    My fun softboot board is my: 168 Neversummer Premier (reverse camber)
    Powder days: 194 DNAZ swallow tail
    For learning Hardboots: old 172 Ride All Mountain
    Once I get my Hardboot skills down I"m looking forward to my Stiff 183 Volkl GS and some day the Sims Burner

  20. #20
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    See if you need more or less heel lift under your liner to get the pivot point of your ankle aligned with the pivot point of the boot. Flexing forward (for example) causes a shear stress through your ankle (heel pushed forward, shin pushed back) even with things perfectly aligned. If your ankle isn't up to it, damage will be done. Misalignment of pivot points can make matters worse.

    It sounds like your crash could have stressed your ankles in all sorts of ways and this advice may be irrelevant, but I've found a remarkably small shim under my heel to be quite helpful. YMMV.

    Riding too wide of a board for your stance angle is also going to make your life difficult. I find 50 - 60 degrees to work pretty well - the lateral stiffness is useful for edging torque and the forward flex for absorbing bumps and shifting weight fore-aft. Too little angle and you are giving up the advantages of hardboots and emphasizing the disadvantages. Hardboots are stiffer in fore-aft flex than softboots, in general, so you lose a lot of the ankle action that's so nice in powder and forgiving on hard flats, bumps and jibbing terrain. You gain the leverage and power to rip carves that would put your calves at serious risk in softies.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhD View Post
    get the pivot point of your ankle aligned with the pivot point of the boot.
    Never thought about that before, but it sure makes sense! Thanks

  22. #22
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    His big boots ended up set 45/40 on the ride all-mountain board. with boots only slighty in from the edge of the board.

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