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  1. #1
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    Educate me on carving hardboot snowboarding

    This year I started longboard skateboarding downhill laps, and it made me want to rail corduroy turns on a snowboard. In my mind that's the hardboot/alpine board...but I don't really know shit about snowboarding.
    Part of this is that I'm stuck here at a little flat hill of corduroy, when I can't get up to bohemia, and trying to keep life interesting.


    If I want to rail alpine carving boards, but I've only skied, surfed, and longboarded....what's the best way to go about that? Bearing in mind I don't have a big budget, so just forking over for a bunch of new gear probably isn't going to happen.

    Is it unrealistic to try to use some old alpine ski boots for this? Am I going to take some hard slams trying to learn, or does the feel of riding skateboards and surfboards sort of mix with the skiing and carving background and gel pretty quickly?

    Any thoughts?


  2. #2
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    I used to ski with a 6'4" Englishman who was a hard booter until he moved west. He was fucking fast as hell and yes, took some crazy falls when it went wrong. Like scary to watch fast.
    Alpine boots are far from ideal and there is little room for error with hard setups.
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  3. #3
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    I learned to ride a long time ago on a semi carving board (Burton M6) with plates and my ski boots. Looking back, that was dumb, but, what did I know. I got the board cheap, with plates, and thought, hey, no boots needed, right? Also, a friend/instructor was heavy into carving, so, he gave me a few serious lessons, which was good.

    First, the problem with ski boots is that little plastic bit that sticks out font and back to click into bindings. Thats going to lift your front edge off the snow every time you try to make an aggressive carving turn, unless you crank those bindings into an extreme front facing position, especially if you have big feet. If you check out hard board boots, they are designed not to do that with a curved front and back. Thats a big thing. I couldn't figure out why I was killing myself on hard front turns until that was pointed out. I was literally lifting the edge off the snow/ice, and, bam, more knee damage. So, you're going to need hard boots, unless you want that extreme angle to ride with, but, that is going to be really fucking hard as a beginner, and just a pain in the ass when you're a bit experienced. Also, if you decide to use ski boots, you're going to blow them out in new ways that will make them useless for skiing, so, don't use your favorite boots, if you go that way. But, don't.
    That said, I always attribute the lessons I got in proper carving technique to riding correctly. Taught me to keep my weight forward, hands out front and level to the hill, and knees pointing into turns. Doesn't translate well to powder, but, that's easy to adapt to afterwards. It's a real buzz to go out there and put razor troughs into corduroy early in the morning, when there's nothing else to do. Great for rock hard groomed weekdays in the east, when nobody is around, because, when you fuck up and go into somersaults, you could kill somebody with that thing.

    Not too many people make carving equipment anymore. Most people I see out there on the stuff are on almost antique equipment these days, like monoboarders. Burton stopped making carving stuff around 2000. I actually have a pair of boots and three boards in storage, but, I still hold out hope to get into it again, although I haven't been that bored in years. I just got back on a board last year for the first time in twenty years, and I'm fine on a regular board for the few times I do it a year. Much more comfy. Soft boots are the best thing about boarding. You can walk and drive in them.
    Heres how you should start. Since, I assume, You don't know how to ride, get a used soft boot and board setup for the first five to ten days. Its going to be tough, especially the first five to ten days. You are going to take serious hits to your body, especially if you're learning on ice. Wear wristguards, kneepads, and elbow pads, at least. After all that, then start thinking about carving, crank the bindings into a much more aggressive position, sharpen up your edges, and concentrate on serious turns. If that feels cool, then look into equipment. I have no idea where you can find it these days, maybe Ebay. Boots will be tough. Boards are thin and stiff, obviously. But, its a lot of fun, when you get it together.
    Last edited by Benny Profane; 11-12-2017 at 10:28 AM.

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  4. #4
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    Jan 2009
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    Do not waste your time hacking alpine ski boots you will never accomplish proper forward lean and an acceptable flex pattern. That was done in the 90's. You will get throttled if you are lazy. A soft boot setup is far more forgiving and far less gratifying on corduroy. If you commit to initiating turns with your ankles and keep your knees bent and the board on edge your toe side scorpion ratio will remain low.

    here is your rabbit hole... http://forums.bomberonline.com
    Last edited by mooseknuckles; 11-12-2017 at 10:35 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseknuckles View Post
    here is your rabbit hole... http://forums.bomberonline.com
    I just remembered one thing I saw one day that made my jaw drop. I think a hard setup is just way too uncomfortable for anything off groomers, and fresh grooming at that, but one day I was riding the lift at Jackson and watched some dude on a hard setup rip one of the Alta chutes, never skidding a turn. It was easily one of the most impressive things I have ever seen from a rider. There was a kid who taught boarding way back at Killington who was also beyond good. He actually won the bump off at the end of the season on his hard setup. Didn't see it, wish I did. One only wonders if they still feel pain in their lower legs these days.

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  6. #6
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    Bomber on line is good. I've been hard booting in touring boots for 25 years or so. I never got into racing and love riding pow. Carving is easy, you'll be fine. Go get em tiger!

  7. #7
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    Oct 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    Is it unrealistic to try to use some old alpine ski boots for this? Am I going to take some hard slams trying to learn, or does the feel of riding skateboards and surfboards sort of mix with the skiing and carving background and gel pretty quickly?

    Any thoughts?
    Flat corduroy hill? Perfect.

    It is NOT unrealistic to use an old pair of alpine ski boots, in fact back when I was racing most every serious hard booter/racer scoffed at snowboard specific hard boots as they were too soft and expensive for what they were. And they haven't changed all that much. Experience with Longboarding, surfing, and carving on skis will definitely give you a head start for learning to carve on a snowboard in so many ways.

    As for boots, I used to love my old Rossi R700 alpine boots for racing and free riding. I've also used old super stiff Tecnica TNT. Stiffer the more responsive. I later used Alpina Top rat asyms, snowboard hard boots but only because Alpina was giving them to me. They worked fine but weren't an alpine boot. Average stance angles run front and rear were between 45/50 degrees and 14/15" width for slalom and 16/17" for GS.

    Here's a pic from 1992 at Beaver Creek free riding with the Ski club Vail team. We were railing down Centennial. I was riding for a Sims sponsored team out of NH and those are my Rossi R700 alpine boots with Emery plate bindings.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    I just remembered one thing I saw one day that made my jaw drop. I think a hard setup is just way too uncomfortable for anything off groomers, and fresh grooming at that, but one day I was riding the lift at Jackson and watched some dude on a hard setup rip one of the Alta chutes, never skidding a turn. It was easily one of the most impressive things I have ever seen from a rider. There was a kid who taught boarding way back at Killington who was also beyond good. He actually won the bump off at the end of the season on his hard setup. Didn't see it, wish I did. One only wonders if they still feel pain in their lower legs these days.
    We rode all terrain/all snow conditions on our race setups. Mt Washington days riding the ravines and steep gullies. Way more control and response than with soft boots and flimsy soft boards. Bumps? Yup. Flexion/extension/absorption. The body is an amazing machine for adaptation.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMan View Post
    We rode all terrain/all snow conditions on our race setups. Mt Washington days riding the ravines and steep gullies. Way more control and response than with soft boots and flimsy soft boards. Bumps? Yup. Flexion/extension/absorption. The body is an amazing machine for adaptation.
    Maybe when you're 25......

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  10. #10
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    The answer is in your user name.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Maybe when you're 25......
    Well little fella, I ain't 25, I'm old. And fat. And still can ride my hard boot rig pretty much anywhere on the hill. Steep icy bumps, nah but I don't ride those on skis either.

    I actually find riding a hard boot rig (uni directional, forward stance) is easier on the knees than skiing. Especially in zee pow. Which is where we want to be anyway.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2006
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    11,462
    K2 Clicker is somewhere in the middle. You can rail pretty good with them.

    Ski boots are fine too.

  13. #13
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    Perfect if you just want to play around.

    Alpine surf snowboard Freecarve burton alp 5,6 156cm alpine https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F132380985428

  14. #14
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    Apr 2012
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    So many here have no clue about how to carve which is why they're all confused.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2008
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    Gotta go with GGS here; most of you don't know a carve from a toe nail clipping.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfromterrace View Post
    Bomber on line is good. I've been hard booting in touring boots for 25 years or so. I never got into racing and love riding pow. Carving is easy, you'll be fine. Go get em tiger!
    As a longtime member, I'm sorry to report that Bomber Online is currently, well, not online. It sucks but the ownership of the underlying business is in flux at the moment - we're hoping things get resolved and the forums go back up, but in the meantime, one of the admins set up a temporary site here: http://lucidcarving.forumotion.com. Drop by and say hello - like Alpine Zone, we adore having civil and friendly conversations about snow sports.

    Short answers: People do use ski boots, but it's not ideal. You need more forward flex than a ski boot will allow, and ski boots are much longer than an alpine snowboard boot. This forces you to ride very steep angles to reduce toe drag - not great for learning. You could get a pretty good taste of carving with softboots if you have reasonably firm boots, use a BX or freeride board, and use fairly steep angles (for softboots), like 20 and 30 degrees or so - whatever you need to do to eliminate, or at least minimize toe / heel drag.

    From what I hear, surfing is pretty good prep for carving, and there are some similarities to longboard skateboard too - I think you will pick it up pretty quickly. Like modern skis, the board wants to carve, so you just need to figure out how to let it do its thing.

    There are a couple of sessions lined up this season that I know about: Schweitzer in mid-January, Whitefish in late January, Aspen in early February, and Bachelor in early April. If you can make it to any of those, you will probably be able to borrow gear to try out, as long as you're not Bigfoot. If you want to buy gear, it's kind of like skis - you can get into a used carving board for not that much - $100 to $200, and used bindings might run about the same, but boots will be expensive.

    And there is definitely new gear available! Donek.com builds carving boards in Colorado and sells boards and bindings; YYZCanuck.com sells boards, boots and bindings. Priorsnow.com builds/sells alpine boards too.

  17. #17
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    I am bigfoot. It's a real problem.

    Size 13 feet. :-(

  18. #18
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    Oct 2017
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    Ya that's huge. Snowboard hard boots for you unless you ride a wider "race" board if there's even such a thing anymore. I always preferred the wider race boards of the time, like my old Sims asym's or my all time favorite the Mistral ecstasy 159 asym. That board was slightly detuned in flex and wider than many of the old race boards back then. That Mistral kicked ass no matter what the terrain or conditions. Forgiving. If you could find one of those used in 159 or 167 in decent shape, grab one. They were all black.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    I am bigfoot. It's a real problem.

    Size 13 feet. :-(
    Ooh, so sorry to hear about your disability

    A cursory look around suggests you might squeeze into a 30 cm / 30 mondo alpine snowboard boot (what size ski boot do you use?), but it will be hard to find a loaner in that size.

    You can get some brand spanking new 30 mondo Deeluxe boots for $479 CAD: http://www.yyzcanuck.com/shop/boots/deeluxe-track-700/. Deeluxe is a Raichle brand, so probably fit about the same way.

    You could also try blue-tomato.com - they're in Germany, and stock up to 31.0 cm in hard boots. https://www.blue-tomato.com

  20. #20
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    Oct 2005
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    Glad to see interest in alpine snow sliding. Plenny of affordable gear out there. Bunch of facebook groups but you have to get approved to join. Happy to help. Are you in new England?

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  21. #21
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    I've helped several riders over the years with hard boots.

    A major recurring theme: "My knees can't take it anymore" & "Carving boards destroyed my knees".

    Another one: "My knees are painful because of snowboard carving."

    Old school boots pop up at Browse and Buy frequently enough I'm able to call a friend when they show up.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by willywhit View Post
    <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:28.125% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAA pWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY 9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wO HiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GP T6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90G Sy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAA AElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div><p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbcd65UA2n2/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A post shared by Everett McEwan (@evmcewan)</a> on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-11-13T18:07:04+00:00">Nov 13, 2017 at 10:07am PST</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

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    lolwhat??

    haha wtf

  23. #23
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    Just find a used squawl if you are interested in railing hardpack carves on one plank and have a skiing background.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by willywhit View Post
    <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:28.125% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAA pWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY 9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wO HiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GP T6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90G Sy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAA AElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div><p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbcd65UA2n2/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A post shared by Everett McEwan (@evmcewan)</a> on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-11-13T18:07:04+00:00">Nov 13, 2017 at 10:07am PST</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

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    POTD?

    Hey Yeti, if you really want to go full retard this winter why not telemark?? NTTAWWT. I actually saw somewhere recently that carving snowboards are the new back to the future scenario for snowboarding--I guess the new boards are more oriented toward carving than they have been recently.
    [quote][//quote]

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