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Darren Dix

Darren Dix

Kirkwood California

Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a review of on March 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Really, the very MOST important piece of gear you HAVE is your boots, even in bounds. In the B/C, that factor is times 1000, especially if you happen to have problems out there. The higher the altitude, lower temps, higher winds, longer the expedition, etc. etc., the wrong boots will not forgive you. 1st on the list is that they must be comfortable, and not cause cramping, heel burn, blisters, etc. I was most excited when the Deeluxe XV's came out, but in spite of pre-heating them in the shop, I could never make these boots break in and be comfortable AT ALL, and wound up back in my resort boots, my same old Salomon's that are SO comfortable. Problem is, they have no Vibram soles, and crampons clearly would make short work out of them not being designed for them. I did an all day 8 hour tour in these 32's by JJ, without even heating them in the shop, and they were comfortable all day! Yes, I could tell they are new, and they will break in a bit, but I proved out of box that they can go for an 8 hour tour without causing problems such as blisters or other. The gaiters for the laces is SO innovative!! I can only imagine how nice a feature that must be on a 7 day or more outing knowing that your boots will stay dry guaranteed! (actually, I was in very deep snow in the sierras, and with a pair of high gaiters, THEN it's 100% guaranteed dry and warm. without, the snow can still get in the top of your boots.) Wet laces is definitely NOT going to help keep your feet warm, so the lace gaiters are KEY. If these boots hold up to long term use, and multi-day outings, then they are THE BOMB!! The other MAJOR goodies are that they are VERY light, the lightest B/C boot on the market. They ride identical to a resort boot, and if anything, I'm surprised they aren't stiffer like my FITWELL's, which are a TOTALLY different boot, and much heavier. FITWELL's are much warmer, BUT-- I'm sure that changes when the laces freeze up and/or get wet! Plus, the JJ 32's disperse heat and the resulting sweat, and are SO much lighter, and have the same slim profile (if not slimmer) than a typical resort boot. I have to bump up to the X-large setting on my large Karakoram bindings to use the Deeluxe XV's (I sold those), or my FITWELL boots, which I would prefer to use with crampons for super steeps for being stiffer, BUT-- these new JJ 32's are SO much lighter, that even with steel crampons, these won't wear you out so fast as the heavier FITWELL's, and I'm sure that factor is X1000 on longer tours. The JJ32's are very small profile, and use the non-extended setting on large Karakoram bindings, which is better not to have your toe stick out too much off the board, and easier to walk/climb with smaller and narrower boots. Anxious to hear more reviews. Only negative I have read is that the BOA system broke for one dude on the walk mode heels after 4 tours, but maybe he over-tightened his BOA's? Everyone else said 5 stars like me. Thanks, JJ, and 32! SICK!

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a review of on March 16, 2015

1 5

I have a 2014 solution, and a 2014 carbon solution to compare.

Jones had confirmed to the shop on the phone that the 2015 carbon solution 164 is 500 grams lighter than the 2014 carbon solution 164, a MAJOR selling point, and a flat out lie!

Of course, the first thing I did was compare weights of last years carbon 164 to this year's 2015 carbon 164.

190 grams lighter only Brand new, no wax. Lighter, yes, but it felt almost the same right away, and made me highly doubt that it was lighter than last year's deck.

2014 Jones carbon solution 164: 3510 grams, or 7.73 #'s

2015 Jones carbon soluton 164: 3320 grams, or 7.3 #'s

190 grams, or .43 #'s lighter only, NOT 500 grams, or 1.1 pounds lighter as advertised.

Not cool with such an expensive deck (or any deck or other equipment that always weighs more than claimed as well).

I love the last years 2014 deck for being an ice handler and a do it all backcountry mountaineering deck although I did find it a little bit heavy.

The whole point in buying the 2015 solution if you already have the 2014 is ONLY if the weight specs were in fact accurate.

I have never given 1 star, but I am utterly dis-appointed. Even respectfully so, since I love this deck, and gave it 5 stars last year.

But come on, Jones snowboards! you could have told us 200 grams lighter, and I wouldn't be bummed to have it come out to be only 10 grams difference, but 310 grams could not possibly be anything but an intentional exaggeration to sell this deck. Is

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a question about on March 9, 2015

I am debating which split bindings to get, the new Plum bindings from France, or the Karakoram carbon Primes. They both seem to have huge upgrades over anything previous, and both have unique advantages, it appears, although the proof with B/C gear is only in the B/C. I am suspecting the Plum bindings are better, even though to admit that is to go mad since I've seemed to rave about each company starting with Voile, then Spark R&D, then Karakoram which I have REALLY liked, and NOW to say that Plums are even better than Karakoram bindings (and for LESS money! I thought the Plums looked expensive). Have to buy Plum crampons, but they are less money anyway to include a pair of those.

ANYONE??

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a question about on March 9, 2015

Which are better? The new Plum split bindings from France, or the new Karakoram Prime system? which ones are lighter, the Carbon Plums, or the Karakoram Prime Carbons? The Plums look like they might ride better, hold the board together better, and deals with icing up better, and everything can be done without taking off gloves.

The Karakoram Prime system looks like you can look in with your ski pole basket easily, as well as the risers. It definitely always zaps my energy out there when I have to balance and crouch down to do anything like that, especially to have to take gloves off. ANYONE??

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a review of on March 9, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I wear a 10.5 and I'm an 11 sneaker size. At first, these were very uncomfortable, so I had them re-molded with a toe spacer, and that helped a lot. I wanted to up-size, but that would have just been fighting the real issue, which is simply that these take a long grueling time to break in, like basic training in the army or something like that. Plan short excursions at first, trust me, or you'll regret it.

I was pondering the summits, but I was pretty convinced these would do the job. Anyone have both the summits and the XV's to compare?

Also, I have heard of fit wells more and more, but never have seen or worn them. Thanks for the input on that one from the reviews!

They fit the CAMP steel crampons very nicely with the ridge on the Vibram soles, which are like a dream for traction on rocks and ice, and even the parking lot at the resort!

VERTS perform well because of the stiffness, although I will say the Karakoram adapter un-does the stiffness, and needs to be customized with the same plate you use for your split board.

I wonder how the new prime plates adapt to the VERTS? probably easy I would think.

I'm getting the Karakoram carbon prime's next week. in 10.5, I need the large size Karakoram bindings, and the air strap just barely makes it, but it works nicely. Regular 10.5's can go into medium or large bindings, but these XV's are quite a bit larger than regular boots.

They are also on the heavy side, but not considering the Vibram soles and stiff construction. Still, a lighter version, or "the right light" like JJ says would be awesome.

The tightening system doesn't really stow properly, and needs improvement. They also get loose, and need frequent tightening in the field.

So, excellent boots, but 4 stars to keep them honest and hopefully improve these main points:

#1: Comfort
#2: the tightening system, and the stow-ability.
#3: the weight

I don't have as many hours on these boots as these other reviewers describe. I got them halfway through last season, and have half a dozen outings on them, so I have not had anything break as others have described, but relatively low hours on them.

Thanks for the input, everyone!

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a question about on March 9, 2015

Does anyone know how the high-backs ride compared to the Prime SL non-carbon? I've only ridden the carbon high-backs. They are a bit flimsy, but then again they are 20 grams lighter per binding, and 40 grams is a LOT in the B/C. This makes up for my additional K-clip that I install on all my splitties. The additional K-clip weighs about 50 grams, but in my opinion, they ALL should come with 3 clips. I imagine they don't just to get the weight specs down. Yes, it fact, I have always seen the potential on all split boards to have an undesirable catchy inner edge that can work it's way up to a gap. The 3rd Karakoram clip prevents this, as long as you clean the ice from your inner edges. It also stiffens the deck a touch, and it feels exactly like a non split only because of the 3rd clip.

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a question about on March 9, 2015

Can the old Karakoram bindings be upgraded with the new prime kit? Actually, I'd rather sell my 2014's and buy the new 2015's, but I was just curious. By the time you spend the money to upgrade, you might as well buy the new bindings. Besides, the new 2015's are SO rad, just from the videos.

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Darren Dix

Darren Dixwrote a review of on December 14, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own 3 of these splits (why, one might ask?) You can't bogart the backcountry all to yourself, and it seems that at the end of the season, splitties can be had for 50% off (must be like, zero profit for the retailers, but hey? it is what it is!)

I started with the voile set up on a split decision, and have seen the advancements of the binding systems with GREAT delight, and swear by the Karakoram system, particularly the ultra lights.

I have installed a 3rd K clip to ALL 5 of my splitties and it is WELL worth the additional 50 grams. Don't do it without a drill press, and be willing to patiently start with your smallest drill bit and work all the way up through your bit sizes until you have the correct size so that your holes are precise. If not, you will have un-desired play.
If you install these proper, you will never even notice ANY difference from a non split. If you don't, there will always be that gap that actually will even catch an inner edge when buttering. Now, with the Gecko clueless skins, and the Karakoram system, it is feasible to keep up with your skiing buddies, or even outpace them! I did a double tour with my buddy on skis last year, 2 x 4 hour tours back to back! I know full well that I would not have been up to the second tour without my trick set-up. This deck ROCKS!! I would rather have the C-1 like my "El Nino" deck for skinning, and in general for everything, BUT… if you are a switch hound like me, you will LOVE how C-2 does it ALL except for conditions that you don't want! I leave the undesirable conditions to my Jones solutions. Yes, when it is icy and un-predictable, leave it to Dr. Jones and his mountaineering deck, but for EVERYTHING else, stick with the C-2!

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