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  1. #1
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    Looking for BOA Beta

    One season into the great BOA boot takeover, Iím curious how they held up in the real world. Anyone buy BOA boots and have 10+ days on them to report (positive or negative)? Any notable repair stories from those that work in shops? Looking for real experiences not marketing hype or speculative hate.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CouloirInTheLines View Post
    One season into the great BOA boot takeover, Iím curious how they held up in the real world. Anyone buy BOA boots and have 10+ days on them to report (positive or negative)? Any notable repair stories from those that work in shops? Looking for real experiences not marketing hype or speculative hate.
    I have a couple months in the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 XTD BOA and theyíre great. Much more progressive flex than my old polyamide pair, no issues with the BOA. You can go qiuite tight or quite loose and still be comfortable, and you can leave it very loose while skinning without your foot moving fore and aft. The comfort is amazing for my very wide foot with high-average instep.

  3. #3
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    Any BOA specific questions let me know.

  4. #4
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    I want to know what the break strength of the cable is. If the boa wheel gets knocked off and stuck around a tree branch or something, is the cable going to break?

    seems like it could be worse then skiing with pole straps on when dolphin turning. But Leki did give bushwhacka an alternative there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CouloirInTheLines View Post
    One season into the great BOA boot takeover, Iím curious how they held up in the real world. Anyone buy BOA boots and have 10+ days on them to report (positive or negative)? Any notable repair stories from those that work in shops? Looking for real experiences not marketing hype or speculative hate.
    Ha. The BOA takeover is like 10 years old in bike shoes and at least 5 on touring boots. Snowboard boots have had them even longer.

    Cables can break, and they aren't strong enough to hold your weight if you catch them on something. I've only broken them when hitting rocks pretty hard on my bike shoes. They do wear out eventually. The spools can also break, but again: usually from impact.

    BOA's warranty is incredible: new parts arrive 2-3 days after you request them.

    IMO there's no better system for cinching footwear. The fragility compared with other methods is FAR outweighed by the superior function.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoVT Joey View Post
    I want to know what the break strength of the cable is. If the boa wheel gets knocked off and stuck around a tree branch or something, is the cable going to break?

    seems like it could be worse then skiing with pole straps on when dolphin turning. But Leki did give bushwhacka an alternative there.
    This is not something which could happen due to the design. If the BOA dial becomes disconnected from the shell the cable will not release from the dial so the only exposed cable would be what was between the dial and the first medial guide. This is usually going to be less then 5cm (in most cases much less) which means there will not be enough cable to get snagged around anything which could possibly result in a problem. The only way this could be an issue would be if the BOA dial was not engaged before it took the impact so I could maybe see if you were touring with your boots fully undone this could theoretically happen but if you are worried just keep the boot loose but engage the dial.

  7. #7
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    Can you tighten or loosen the BOA if you lose the dial?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by herrgard View Post
    Can you tighten or loosen the BOA if you lose the dial?
    The only way you could lose the dial is if the cable was to snap and in that case yes you can easily loosen the shell as nothing would be holding the cable tight. If the dial disengages from the shell the dial would still be attached by the short length of cable so you will not lose it.
    Last edited by tompietrowski; 09-20-2023 at 04:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    A more realistic scenario might be getting the boa caught on a snowmobile running board or foot hoop while riding. I could potentially see it getting caught and keeping me pinned in place with the sled but that really isn't any different than a normal buckle on a boot.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason4 View Post
    A more realistic scenario might be getting the boa caught on a snowmobile running board or foot hoop while riding. I could potentially see it getting caught and keeping me pinned in place with the sled but that really isn't any different than a normal buckle on a boot.
    Yeah it really would be the same as a buckle as you say and actually, because the dial does have the breakaway feature you may well find it's slightly safer. The BOA guys are big sledders so spend a lot of time out in the backcountry of Steamboat so you can be assured BOA boots have already spent a lot of hours on the sled.

  11. #11
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    That's good to hear. Hopefully I'll have a set to run through the wringer in the Cascades this winter.

  12. #12
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    Snowboarder here (caveat) who was super skeptical of BOA when it was first introduced 20+ years ago.

    Started riding BOA on the Burton StepOn in W20 and every season since. The technology has improved hugely since its debut. I run boots with double BOA only so that upper and lower zones can be tuned independently (Burton Swath).

    Since this is a ski forum I will get to the salient point: The BOA Warranty is FANTASTIC! I twice broke a dial (calf dial, not boot tongue dial) off a boot by grazing tree branches. In each case the replacement parts reached me in Japan within 72 hours of submitting the claim. The claim process on the website is incredibly simple and comprehensive. Recommended. https://www.boafit.com/en-us/support/warranty

  13. #13
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    This thread is representative of why I hate BOA.

    Every BOA I've ever had broke within a season (my sample size is ~5 pairs of bike shoes). And yes, to be certain, BOA's warranty is great and the repair is easy. But you know what's even better than BOA's warranty: not having to repair my fucking shoe in the first place. Finishing a bike ride with a floppy, not-closed-because-of-stupid-BOA bike shoe sucks. So now I only buy bike shoes with laces, because even if a lace breaks (which happens far less often than boa's breaking) I can tie it off and finish my ride like normal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    This thread is representative of why I hate BOA.

    Every BOA I've ever had broke within a season (my sample size is ~5 pairs of bike shoes). And yes, to be certain, BOA's warranty is great and the repair is easy. But you know what's even better than BOA's warranty: not having to repair my fucking shoe in the first place. Finishing a bike ride with a floppy, not-closed-because-of-stupid-BOA bike shoe sucks. So now I only buy bike shoes with laces, because even if a lace breaks (which happens far less often than boa's breaking) I can tie it off and finish my ride like normal.
    Have you been breaking the cartridge style dials or the previous ones where the dial was permanently fixed into the shoe? I race a bit of DH mountain bike and I use BOA shoes and I have knocked a dial off a couple of times on rocks and logs but I have never managed to do any damage that would prevent the shoe from working once I push the dial back on. Now if you were using the older style where if you break off a dial you cant just push it back on I could totally see how you would have a negative opinion.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tompietrowski View Post
    Have you been breaking the cartridge style dials or the previous ones where the dial was permanently fixed into the shoe? I race a bit of DH mountain bike and I use BOA shoes and I have knocked a dial off a couple of times on rocks and logs but I have never managed to do any damage that would prevent the shoe from working once I push the dial back on. Now if you were using the older style where if you break off a dial you cant just push it back on I could totally see how you would have a negative opinion.
    I think all of mine were the older style, but my failures weren't confined to issues with the dial.

    But even just the dial popping off in a "fixable failure" seems really annoying. Like, how lazy are we as a population where laces are so difficult that we've opted for plastic failure prone bullshit?

  16. #16
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    Oct 2020
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    I should have clarified at the top that I was specifically interested in feedback on BOA alpine ski boots. From what I understand it is a significantly different mechanism than what has been used previously on bike shoes, snowboard boots, touring boots, etc. Hoping to get some feedback now that some folks have a season on them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I think all of mine were the older style, but my failures weren't confined to issues with the dial.

    But even just the dial popping off in a "fixable failure" seems really annoying. Like, how lazy are we as a population where laces are so difficult that we've opted for plastic failure prone bullshit?
    I think this makes a really good point though. Firstly having a dial which could break or damage a boot was a no go so from the very start we pushed for a system which had a fail safe built in but which was also really easy to fix on the hill or be worked on by anyone at home.

    The second point is interesting too. If we could not improve upon what was currently offered in ski boots, ie buckles, then you would be correct. The potential slight hassle of a dial popping off would in no way be worth it. Instead we had to ensure the system was working so much better than what was currently available that a possible slight inconvenience every now and again was acceptable.

    I feel strongly this is where we got to with the BOA system in alpine. The fit is much better, the wrap you can get and the pressure distribution just can not be matched with buckles. This improved fit has also been shown to make the boots ski better. I will link the study in question but the same boot was tested and the only change was switching the closure method from BOA to buckles. It was found skiers could initiate turns 10% quicker and apply 4-6% more force through the turn. Again this was an identical boot and the only difference was buckles or BOA.

    Now you certainly could argue that a perfectly fitted buckle boot would perform as well but the reality is not many people are able to get a perfect fit so having the BOA system be able to quantifiably improve a boot where the only change is switching buckles for BOA is a big step forward in my opinion. Many more skiers will get a boot which not only fits better but also skis better.

  18. #18
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    This is the study I referenced. Its a pretty lengthy read but I happy to answer questions if any of you have any. Its worth a look if you are interested in ski boots or fitting in general.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles...3.1192737/full

  19. #19
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    I put over 100 days on a pair of Scarpa F1s with BOA. Boots were scratched to hell from scrambling on rocks. Never had a single issue with the BOA.

  20. #20
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    Looking for BOA Beta

    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I think all of mine were the older style, but my failures weren't confined to issues with the dial.

    But even just the dial popping off in a "fixable failure" seems really annoying. Like, how lazy are we as a population where laces are so difficult that we've opted for plastic failure prone bullshit?
    During a big ride once I broke a cable on my BOA, so I put a square knot in it, tightened her up and finished the ride. I later fixed it and put a spare cable in my under seat bag, NBD.
    Right now I have a BOA my F1LTís and I donít like it. I want the F1XT (which came out after and that sucks for me). Nonetheless, the reason I donít like it is I cannot get it tight enough.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    During a big ride once I broke a cable on my BOA, so I put a square knot in it, tightened her up and finished the ride. I later fixed it and put a spare cable in my under seat bag, NBD.
    Right now I have a BOA my F1LTís and I donít like it. I want the F1XT (which came out after and that sucks for me). Nonetheless, the reason I donít like it is I cannot get it tight enough.
    I've also knotted broken cables with success. As I said earlier, the fragility is WELL worth it to me for the performance benefit. It's the same as anything else--350g carbon rims aren't as durable as 500g aluminum ones, but I'm willing to take that for the performance.

    The problem with the F1 is likely that the instep is just too high. The BOA can only tighten so much, just like a buckle. I put 4+mm of foam under the tongue of my F1s and RSs to take up that space.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  22. #22
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    The problem with the F1 is likely that the instep is just too high.
    I keep different volume tongues on hand to dial in boot volume.
    https://intuitionliners.com/shop/pro-tour-tongues/

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    The problem with the F1 is likely that the instep is just too high. The BOA can only tighten so much, just like a buckle. I put 4+mm of foam under the tongue of my F1s and RSs to take up that space.
    HmmmmmmmÖ
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    This thread is representative of why I hate BOA.

    Every BOA I've ever had broke within a season (my sample size is ~5 pairs of bike shoes). And yes, to be certain, BOA's warranty is great and the repair is easy. But you know what's even better than BOA's warranty: not having to repair my fucking shoe in the first place. Finishing a bike ride with a floppy, not-closed-because-of-stupid-BOA bike shoe sucks. So now I only buy bike shoes with laces, because even if a lace breaks (which happens far less often than boa's breaking) I can tie it off and finish my ride like normal.
    This is obviously coming from a brand that is using BOA, so take it as you will, but this new system (wonderfully named H+i1) is light years beyond the previous systems in terms of durability. If you would damage your BOA dial to the point that it is not functioning, you would have nuked a buckle or at least bent the baseplate in such a way that it cannot function. In order to cut this new, thicker stainless steel cable, you literally need good cable snips. And even then it will probably take you a couple of cuts (as it did in Ski Monster's BOA repair video haha).

    I'm still running the 2018 proto version I was given and have yet to find it any less durable than the buckles it replaced.

  25. #25
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    I purchased my first set of Power wraps after the cable in my scarpas snapped. Not a fan of BOA. I'd rather go with lace ups...maybe even velcro, although securing liners with Booster straps are still gold standard.
    ďHow does it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the world? I donít know, go ask Rory GallagherĒ. ó Jimi Hendrix

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