Richard Possin

Richard Possin

Japan, NZ, AK and occasionally Australia

Richard Possin's Passions

Snowboarding

Richard Possin's Bio

Me lovey powder

Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on August 7, 2016

I want to like it, really I do...
2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For the most part I've loved having this watch which I use for my 2 main fitness activities, running and split boarding.

The reason I've given it 2 stars and really wouldn't recommend this watch to anyone is that it's let down by synchronisation issues with movescount (the website that stores all your 'moves').

About 6 months ago there was a software update that meant I couldn't sync via bluetooth. Given I was overseas and didn't have my laptop to sync via cable this was really annoying. It was finally fixed a month later. Not good enough.

Right now (Early August '16), due to another software update I can't synch my watch - that is I can't transfer all of my moves out of the watch to movescount which is kinda the whole reason I have this stupid watch. I've been told by support that it will be fixed sometime "in the next month". WTF. How completely useless. Given the watch can only store a certain number of moves before it starts overwriting the oldest move, I'm really disappointed. The watch is basically useless to me right in the middle of the southern hemisphere ski touring season. The GPS function is (usually!) really handy when split boarding as it offers a navigation option. Because I can't sync, I can't add waypoints for my touring days.

The customer service is useless, the usual "We're very sorry" platitudes but very little information on how and/or when they are going to fix the problem.

When it works, it's great. You see see all kinds of useful info e.g. exactly where you went downloadable to google maps (or any other map software), total vertical, Heart rate (if you have HR strap) etc basically anything.

I'll be contacting backcountry.com for a refund as this product is unreliable.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on July 5, 2016

Good Grippy Skins
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'd previously owned voilé skins and they were approaching the end of their useful life, so I thought I'd try another brand. These are lighter than the voilés so that's an immediate benefit. They're also pretty grippy, I'd rather sacrifice a little weight/glide if it means a grippier skin. My only gripe was one of the clips snapped the first time I used them, luckily it was the tail clip and not the tip so I had the rest of the trip with a ski strap to hold it in place. When I got home (it happened it japan) backcountry.com very promptly arranged for a new pair. Overall pretty happy with these skins.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on May 24, 2016

Top Radio for the backcountry
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having a radio in the backcountry makes great sense. With wind, even 20 metres of distance can mean shouting yourself hoarse and still not being heard. Having the ability to squirrel the radio in a pocket so the battery stays warm and a mic extension on your pack chest strap is gold. No more stopping and getting the unit out of your pocket. Charges with a USB cable. Highly recommended, although I haven't tried it at long ranges.

(2)

 

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on November 3, 2015

Primes are Prime
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Loving my primes, had them just over a year. I previously had Karakoram Split 30's, which were also good, but the Primes offer (when you include ski crampons) about a 200 gram weight saving.

The heel lock mechanism is slightly different, more robust. Locking heels down for short skates is easy.

Forget the "Airstrap" (toe strap) that is supplied with the bindings, it's very light but extremely weak and one broke very soon after I started using them. Karakoram, to their credit, replaced them no questions asked with a sturdier version.

You can theoretically leave your bindings on going from ride to tour, but I wouldn't recommend this, particularly in powder, as you need to clean the snow out of all the contacts points between binding and toe piece otherwise you risk bending the slider plates in the toe piece.

The highback has a quick flick knob that takes you from a preset (but adjustable) forward lean to no forward lean for a bigger touring stride.

If you get karakoram bindings, make sure you get their board clips as Voilé clips won't work with these bindings (trust me).

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on September 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I haven't always been the biggest fan of burton softgoods, but my driver X's are a complete exception. I absolutely love these boots. They are the toughest bit of my gear. Just about everything else I've replaced or worn through - except these. They have been everywhere with me over the last 5 years.

A lot of my turns have been earned and this is where they've taken a beating. From bush bashing in Australia just to get to the snow line to thigh crushing traverses of lateral moraine in NZ - these boots just keep giving.

I've replaced the laces on one boot, which is easy to do in the field.

I'm starting to think about replacing the boots altogether as they're wearing out (slowly), I'm hoping the build quality is still there with new ones.

They're certainly a stiff boot, which I really like - it helps split boarding. In terms of fit, I have a wide foot and they seem to suit that.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on November 26, 2014

Great Shovel
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I upgraded to this from a light aluminium low profile shovel almost a year ago and I'm really happy with it.

Small shovels are fine for occasional side country use, but once you start pushing your boundaries further and further from the fence of your local ski hill, you will quickly realise the efficiency and safety value of a bigger and more capable shovel. A bigger shovel means quicker and more efficient pit digging. The adjustable length handle means good torque on the blade and you won't have to stoop as low as with a lightweight single length shovel. At the risk of stating the blindly obvious, a person buried under snow is literally drowning and the quicker you move the snow and get to them, the more likely they are to survive. The blade also slots onto the hand end of the handle to make a hoe.

Most times I go snowboarding involves getting on a plane so there's always a compromise with size and I like the size and weight of this one.

There's a few small, but worthwhile features thrown in too, such as the slits in the blade. Loop a 120cm sling through and you've got a fairly decent anchor.

If you have holes drilled in the end of your planks you can also make a sled with the supplied nuts and bolts.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on October 8, 2014

Good, but not great
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'm pretty happy with this pack for splitboard touring. I've tested it out on multiple day tours and a 4 day hut trip.

It's a nicely designed, roomy, classic style touring pack with top access . There's 2 pull-to-tighten closures for the main compartment which give the pack good overflow capacity for multi-day adventures. There's also a weird adjustable strap clip closure over the top of the main compartment,.

There's a side access zip to the main compartment and 2 zippered internal pockets in the main compartment. 1 is at the bottom of the pack, which I find fairly useless. The other 1 is next to the side zip to the main compartment.

The 'wet' pocket (avy tools) has more than enough room for shovel, probe, snow saw, rutschblock cord, skins.

The lid is removable, has a key clip and can be adjusted up/down depending on how full the pack is. There's also another key clip in the main compartment on the back panel at the top.

There's A-frame carry as well as a chunky loop for diagonal carry. I did find my splitboard (A-framed, I've never tried diagonal) slapping my legs occasionally when booting, haven't decided if this is a design flaw or whether I need to experiment a little. I think if you pull the top shoulder straps a little tighter this will pull the top of the pack a little closer to your shoulders and push the bottom of the pack out a little thereby pushing the tips of your plank(s) a little further out.

You can vertical carry a snowboard (without ski straps) if you're lightly packed.

There's dual ice axe carry which is well done. The pick sits under a flap and the lower side straps have dual loops/clips. The upper straps have an extra loop, but only one clip.

What would I change?

- You can carry 2 ice axes, but where's the external crampon storage? I put mine under the lid and secured it with the (previously useless) black strap.
- Add drain hole in wet pocket.
- Move zipper pocket from bottom of pack to underside of lid.
- $$$ for what it is.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinwrote a review of on October 2, 2014

Minimum clunk and they dry quick
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I worked out a while ago that the thickness of your socks has almost no bearing on their warmth (with ski/snowboard boots that is) as most of the insulation comes from the boot/liner, not the sock. With this in mind I started buying thinner socks like these that are quick drying, definitely important when away from heat e.g. doing overnighters in the backcountry.

I have only had these for a few months, I haven't had the durability issues that Jared mentions below... yet... I have had durability issues with other icebreaker products - fingers crossed with these. My tip here is wash them on gentle cycle and do NOT put in the dryer. You certainly don't have to wash them every time you wear them either.

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Richard Possin

Richard Possinposted an image about on September 14, 2014

How to store your crampons on this pack

I struggled to find the best way to store my crampons in (or on) this pack when touring. There's an adjustable clip strap that comes up over the main compartment pack closure (but under the lid) that I previously thought was useless until I took my ice axe and crampons. This is what I came up with.

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