Changed up my gear with a few closeout deals, had the chance recently to get out and try the new setup.
First, I'm a beginner boarder, sticking to the groomed trails, greens to warm up, then the blue groomers. Been boarding for about 6-7 years now, just a few days a year. Currently on a Ride Control 156 which, at 5'-11", 195lbs is just a touch short for me, but still works well for my level. Switched from the Ride Deuce boot with Flow 5 bindings to the Ride Lasso boot with K2 Cinch CTS bindings. Left the set up (18/-15) the same and tried to keep the stance width as close as possible.
First, the boots. Loved the new Lasso’s. As with my Deuce’s, had to go up a ½ size to get the proper fit. The Lasso’s seem to be a bit softer than my Deuce’s, but it’s a bit hard to compare. The dual Boa lace system makes for a snugger fit over all the boot, and I really like the snugger fit around my heel. The snugger fit of the Lasso makes the boot feel a bit stronger, but the shell of the Deuce feels a bit firmer. Overall, I’d call it a wash. In the end, I just like the way the Lasso fits better than the Deuce and I’d attribute that to the Boa lace system.
As an older boarder, I really like the ‘step-in’ feel to the both the Flow and Cinch systems. Has always felt a bit quicker to get into the binding and get going down the hill than using a regular binding and I like not having to take a seat on the snow every time I lock my back foot down. I had tried the K2 Cinch binding when it first came out and it felt a bit heavy to me in comparison to the Flow. I like the Flow system a lot, but it has always come with two disadvantages. First, it takes a lot of time to get the binding tension adjusted properly. Second, the design of the boot strap, being one piece, can sometimes put pressure across the top of the foot, which, for me, caused times when my toes would go to sleep. So, when I looked at the CTS, it seemed to be lighter than I remembered for the earlier version of this binding. I was also intrigued to try out a more traditional binding and to see what how it felt to use a toe strap across the front of the toe vs. the flap design of the Flow system.
I found I really liked the overall feel of the K2. I liked having two distinct straps. At first, I missed the tight fit over my whole foot that I had with my Flow’s, but as I got used to the K2’s and how they felt in terms of their grip, and got them adjusted in terms of tension, I liked the more open feeling across the top of my foot without any feeling that I was sacrificing any control of my board. To me, the biggest drawback to the K2’s is it took a bit more force and effort to get the highback snapped into place than it did on my Flow binding.
Bottom line: I like the both the new boots, and will be sticking with the new K2 bindings. The K2’s offer all the ease of access of my old Flow’s with less of a clamped feel across the top of my foot, and more versatility to wear them in multiple configurations.