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James's Passions

Snowboarding

James's Bio

puking snow, sunny days with deep snow, spring corn, single track in the rockies, 20 mile paddles off shore.

ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After getting back into skiing after a 14 year hiatus/love affair with snowboarding, I picked up these boots. Boot fitting is very subjective but for me with thin narrow feet, these fit perfectly prior to heat molding.

The Good: light weight, vibram soles, exchangeable soles, intuition liner (hello?!), fit, rigidity, walk/tour mode, and warm. Unbuckle these during touring and they feel like supportive slippers! Ski mode- great all mountain feel; capable of SL, GS, hop turns etc. Haven't been cold in -10 F and never have had clammy swamp feet after 30 non-stop runs, and I run hot.

The Bad: a little movement in the upper section of the boot in ski mode, creaky tour/walk mode. Toe buckle is almost useless.

Overall: One of the best AT/tech boots I have tried on and used. Walk mode seemed better and more silent in some Black Diamond AT boots, but fit was better in the Freedom SL. The bang for the buck is the included custom intuition liner. If I had to buy intuition's for another similar boot, it would have ended up costing more than just going with the Freedom SL. I feel like this is a great hybrid touring/all mountain/race boot that is great to ski, hike, and tour in. They're so comfortable that I don't get that "ahhhh" feeling when taking them off!

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great pole. Light weight and great swing weight. Pole plants are effortless- it's like not having a pole in your hand. Grip is perfect for a variety of hand sizes and the strap is beefy yet supportive.

Only minor complaint is basket size- it's small (obviously) and doesn't do as well when pushing along on pow days?.but then that's what black diamond poles are for!

Scott makes great poles, period.

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

What a great slip on boot- and with vibram to boot! Easy on and off and less hot after a long day then the Blundtstones I was used too. The leather is durable and there is a thin toe and heel cap to add strength and protect the piggies a little.

Sizing- I usually wear 11.5 shoe, and sized down to an 11 in this boot. perfect fit.

Downside- the vibram sole is VERY hard and this makes for zero traction on hard pack snow(packed down plowed road)/ice. It's like having no traction at all compared to my hiking boots with a softer vibram rubber compound. Warm enough for short walks in -5 F and not too warm for office days.

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Easy to cut, apply and skin in. They grip everything from light pow to icy hardpack. Trim tool and skin savers included with a storage bag. They pull off the ski very easily. Zero complaints- great touring skin with some good glide and grip!

(0)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bought these for my wife's Kastle Mx 70 style slalom ski. She uses an AT boot (garmont) for everything- powder skis to icy groomer skis and we couldn't find a good, non-touring binding to accommodate her boot until now.

The marker lords mounted easily to a 70mm wide ski and the 90 mm brakes did not get in the way. They actually fold into the side of the binding when the boot is locked in. The bindings are a little heavy but overall it's an extremely light set up.

Zero complaints. I'll be buying a set for myself!

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on December 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

purchased 164 wide. similar dimensions to the t. rice 164.5. rider weight: 210, 11.5 boot. riding burton diodes and salomon malamutes. I'm coming off the t.rice hp version with c2btx.

Pros: stable, fast, and DAMP. Tons of pop. Not as catchy as a normal camber board. It has a trapezoidal camber profile with very minor banana/rocker. Makes for a very stable caving board that attacks ice, groomers, chop and ruts. Very smooth board. Requires rider attention, but delivers exactly what you want it to do. At 210 lbs, I can butter it, but with a little more effort than the t.rice. The bamboo plates are the bomb. I wish they were on the t. rice. Rides switch well. With a stiff nose and tail, it is nearly impossible to go over the handlebars in pow! C3 makes c2btx feel like a dead banana....C3 brings life back to banana!

Cons: not as easy in powder or when riding flat as c2btx. Not comfortable when trying to ride lazy- it will remind you to focus. c2btx is amazing in pow and is effortless. C3 is not as good, but still better in pow than full camber. With 0.5" set back it helps the deck float better and put rider weight into carving.

Bottom line: full on all-mountain destroyer. what a great ride for every condition! I forgot how much fun camber can be. This takes the best of camber and reverse camber. While not as good as c2btx in pow, the stance dimensions and setback stanch allow for a Jeremy Jones style riding when it's deep. This deck just rips apart everything in front of it. I find that c2btx is more forgiving when riding lazy at the end of the day compared to C3.

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on November 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I tried to switch to Union's MC after coming off of a 2009 CO2 binding. I had to go back to Burton immediately. Burton's quality and simplicity and MY familiarity convinced me to back.

6' 2", 210 lbs, 11.5 foot (malamutes), lib T.Rice HP 164.5.

PROS:

Light weight (but still noticeably heavier than Union MC)
Easy of adjustability (tool free!)
Cored out baseplate with more cushioning foam. Very stiff.
Amazing new ratchets/straps that make tightening a breeze. Release is effortless. The corkscrew design only helps with cranking, not holding the buckle in place.
Beautiful, professionally finished materials and look.
Ankle strap is more durable than it looks and creates ZERO pressure points.
FLAD on the highback again!

CONS:

Not a feather, but still light.
FLAD takes He-Man strength to open up and adjust. Had to use a knife to leverage it open. Can't imagine doing this in the field on a cold day.
Toe strap with buckle is a little heavy and could be reduced in size/materials.
Ankle strap buckle ratchet is fixed to the strap (not removable). Break a buckle, have to replace the entire strap it appears...

Overall: If you remember 2004 C60 all carbon highbacks and recent version's of the CO2 regarding strength, flex, and weight, this fits nicely in between the two with a slight skew towards being a CO2 upgrade. Quality materials, new design and really superb adjustability. Perfect freeride bindings.

(5)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on November 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Super gloves. Fit great and are low profile. Wind and waterproof. Super grip on anything you grab due to the oiltac. They don't leave an oily residue on surfaces. They can get a little clammy over 25 F if you run hot like I do. I've had trouble pulling digits out of the fingers and pulled the lining out with them. Very hard to put the lining back in. Not so warm below zero. So between 0 F and 25 F, you'll be good to go. I use some smart wool glove liners that fit in very nicely when temps near 0 F, no bulk added. There's just enough room in the gloves for at think liner.

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on November 1, 2013

3 5

So it's been a month since I bought these. Mounted them to my board. They are really light- barely noticeable in weight when on the board. But, it has not been on snow yet and stored in my basement. A little bump on the heel cup here and there and the finish is chipping like it was made of cheap spray paint! Not sure about the durability here.

The highback is stiff but with just a little flex to make it similar to the old Burton CO2 bindings. BUT- there's no padding and the highback looks like raw unfinished carbon fiber on the inside where the boot sits. Wow, not impressed.

The straps are very comfortable and minimal, but feel and look like something from Walmart. Again, we'll see how it holds up over the season.

(0)

 

ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on February 18, 2013

5 5

I'm 6-2, 200 lbs and I need a supportive shoe. This pair offers great support and stiffness where I need it and flexibility for walking and running. These are my go-to for gym work outs and running. Being a larger guy, I needed a strong shoe that will last. 1 year later they still look nearly new and the sole is hardly worn! I wear these 3-4 days/week. Great product!

(0)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on October 5, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's a gore tex pro shell with some stretch. That's nice and will breathe and keep you dry. Burton's style is fantastic so that's a plus. However, the cut is smaller than other AK models (Hover) and this jacket does not have HAND POCKETS. WTF?! It has an internal ipod pocket, a pass pocket, but no hand pockets?! Save $50 and get the hover- it has more pockets, a better fit, and a few more nice features than this jacket. For $600 I want a shell I can wear and use 4 seasons, out in the field or out around town. Without hand pockets this jacket falls far from the hype.

(1)

 

ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on September 4, 2012

5 5

This is a great technical shell. It has a perfect amount of room for multiple types of layers without being too tight or baggy. With a T shirt, it works and looks great for warm weather rain. For cold weather layering, I could fit a Patagonia hooded down sweater on with a fleece on and not feel too bulked up or restricted. The 3L facbric and inner lining material is very durable and smooth. Layers slide in and out easily.

The YKK zippers are similar to previous RIRI zippers, except the teeth are smaller and the zip is cleaner and smoother. They are also more flexible which is great when sitting or bending over.

The jacket has a great cut and does not ride up at the hip or sleeves when reaching etc. The internal pow cuffs are a nice feature when wearing it, but I have big meat hooks and when I pull my hands out, they get caught in the pow sleeve and end up pulling the sleeve inside out. Minor complaint- can always cut them off. The jacket zips up perfectly around the face and hasa high collar. The hood is very adjustable. Between the two, no snow is going down your neck. I am 6'2, 200lbs and have a 45" chest. The xl fits like a dream. I also have a big chin and can fit my face in fine behind the collar-just a perfect amount of space.

The jacket works well while wearing a backpack. All zippered pockets are accessible with a pack on. I also can fit one splitboard skin (G3) into each chest pocket. There is an interior fleece pocket for an ipod etc. which is a nice feature. Underarm pit zips are not meshlined, but open and close well with a smooth zipper.

Overall- great technical shell that can be worn 4 seasons. The material is a great choice and the fit allows for technical applications but also has style- not a tight tele-skiing Arc'teryx style!

(2)

 

ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 3, 2012

5 5

used these on the lib trice split, 164.5 cm. used size medium skins. Had to do minimal trimming.

Glue is great in mix of temperatures. Used the skins in everything from a 15 degree morning with fresh pow (8") to warming later in the day encountering soft warm snow, crust, and ice. Skins literally went up anything. Very tough too- went right over rocks, pine needles and twigs sticking up in the snow. No damage to skins. Even went through parking lot mash potatoes with sand and salt. No damage- nothing stuck to skins!

In the field, the skins separate easily from the board and themselves. You don't need to do shoulder exercises to pull them apart- very easy. They glide well on flat sections and there is no slippage on steep sections.

Tip and tail connection is top notch and what splitboarders have been waiting for! Better than the Voile skins and they have a tail clip too! Cheaper than buying Voile skins and an aftermarket tail connector from Sparks R&D. The G3 skins also come with "cheat sheets". Great value for a complete set up requiring no modifications.

Overall- everything you need, zero modification to mount to splitboards, and tours great in mixed conditions! Perfect!

(1)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 2, 2012

5 5

foot- 11.5, weight 205, height 6'2". I mounted up the 164.5 to a pair of Karakoram Split30 bindings with G3 skins. The board alone is noticeably lighter than the regular t.rice pro. The whole set up is similar in weight (judged by holding under my arm) to a normal board set up with my pair of burton co2 bindings. The board tours really well and only requires some attention when skinning straight up a steeper section. Given the rockered nose, all I had to do was sit back a little on steeper sections to utilize the grip of the skin better. The rockered nose really helps skinning in fresh powder. The rocker also is different to get used to going cross trail, especially on hardpack/crust/ice. Just took a little bit of time to find that sweet spot for gripping with the edges. It's a different beast than a full cambered splitboard, but it took me one trip (up and down hill) to figure out how to handle the lib tech in tour-mode.

For ride mode- it rides like a solid board. Period. The construction is top notch and transfers energy equally to each edge and is very responsive. There is no loss of power, no chatter at speed, etc. Ride quality is not affected by this being a split board. Rode well switch, popped off rollers, and handled in-bounds terrain like a normal board. I did a few lift-accessed runs and did not have one problem with enjoying my day. When the board came it was actually signed by the person who built it- giving authenticity to where this came from- the USA. Holes are all well installed and lined up perfect for the Karakoram bindings. Zero complaints! Worth every penny (if you got it on sale!).

(3)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on March 2, 2012

5 5

Boot- 11.5, weight 205, height 6'2". I ride hard, all mountain. Love glades, steep groomers, and pow days. Coming off a lib trs 167 and a t.rice 164.5, I was skeptical to go down to the Lando 160. I was not disappointed!

The phoneix is rated as a 6.5 flex with the TRS and T.Rice being a 7. Holding the board and flex testing it, I would agree. Riding the Lando however, I would rate it an 8. The bamboo risers must have something to do with it- they're wide and cover the whole stance area for each foot. This does not make this board flexible when riding, but makes it extremely aggressive for riding fast. The construction enables it to blast through chop, slop and chowder (moguled up pow). With the set back stance of about 1", it easily surfed through knee deep pow. First time I felt that I could enjoy pow days with shorter board. The set back stance also really helps with carving hard. The lando is very fast edge to edge and does not chatter or wash out. The only down side (if this is a downside) is that it's too easy to do really hard, deep heelside carves, and with the narrower waist than a T.Rice or TRS, I found that I was dragging heel cups/heel of boot often. It's only a few mm narrower than the 164.5 T.Rice but it's noticeable for size 11.5 boot. This doesn't detract from the board, just have to be aware when laying ruts.

There's also a lot of snap with the board- moreso than the T.Rice and TRS. The Lando really transfers foot energy to board energy and really ollies easily and high. Great on booters of medium-large size. The base is very durable- I have hit many a rock and tree stump without any scratches or dents. I find the TNT bases to be equally fast to the sintered bases- just requires a good wax with Bluebird! On flat cross cuts (my judge of base quality and wax)- the lando flew by everyone.

This board is fantastic for a hard charging advanced rider. I would not recommend to an entry level/intermediate rider.

(0)

 

ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote a review of on January 19, 2012

5 5

I am coming off a lib mc kink 157 and trs 167. The 164.5 matches the specs of my 167 trs. This year's T Rice model is a little softer than previous years and has some mellow magnetraction (not too grippy). The c2 is a great blend to float pow, butter, but maintain great solid pop and stability at speed. I found the 2012 model to be softer, more fun, and lighter than the 2009/10 model previously owned. It's a bit wider in waist width than most boards, which if you're an aggressive rider will add some stability and float. Board is incredibly quick edge to edge despite waist width. Very stable for east coast conditions which to date have been mostly blue ice, man made packed snow and pow. The board excelled in each condition type. Expensive board, but money well spend. Durability is great, art is fantastic. I'm 6'2", 210 lbs, and 11.5 feet. Zero complaints!

(0)

 

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ddegraaf

ddegraaf wrote an answer about on January 19, 2012

Generally no, but depends in how you ride. I'm 6-2, 210 lbs and ride boards 157 - 167. I have the 164.5 T Rice and it's perfect and the specs actually match my TRS 167 while shaving off a few cm in length and weight. I consider the 164.5 perfect with a centered stance and is great for all mountain, big jumps and the pow. Buttering and flat tricks are super easy given the flex patter on the board too. Can't comment on rails. If you are an experienced rider, you can adapt to length pretty quickly. The length will give you the necessary stability you need for mixed conditions, icy/harpack surfaces and plowing through crud and spring slush, and give you the running length for speed, if that's your thing.

(0)

 

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