Thanks, rusty! Very helpful. In an ideal world, I'd have a Never Summer Premier board with Salomon Malamute boots and SPX bindings (I loved
the Malamutes when I tried them on last year--perhaps b/c as a skier I like stiffer boots). But that's not in the budget right now.
The rental setup I'm looking at is all Rossi (Strato board with the step-in bindings and boots). It would be mostly for knocking around in with the kids, I suppose. For the time being, I can imagine myself on intermediate slopes with it, but probably not a lot beyond that yet. (I love the idea of skiing in the morning and riding in the afternoon.) The whole setup (board, boots, bindings) would only cost me $50, so I guess I wondering if it's worth it at such a low price (as former rental gear, it's definitely well used).
When I looked at the SIS bindings, they were pretty much flat pieces of metal--I don't think there is any highback on them. I'll ask about it though. I didn't see the boots up close. What, specifically, should I look for wrt to the highback? (I'll ask if they have any traditional bindings and boots, but I don't think they do.)
Thanks again for the help. I've got three kids on snowboards now, and my wife is getting ready to take her first boarding lesson, so I'd better get with the program!
Originally Posted by therusty
If anything above intermediate performance is a concern, pass on this opportunity unless you can get the non-rental boots and add a highback to the rental set up.
I've got Rossi SIS on my back up board (now that our rental fleet has converted to Burton). The knock from the pro strap boys was that the "only two points of contact" allowed the boot to "rock" from side to side during turns. While there might be a small amount of this in the rental bindings, I did not experience this at all with my set up (see if you can get the highback parts for the rental binding). I did tweak the highback so that it was a little crooked relative to the base plate. This gave the binding a tighter fit. I passed my level 2 AASI certification exam on SIS bindings and rode steeps out west just fine. The only problem I had on steeps with these bindings was getting in standing up on hard snow in steep terrain (e.g. backcountry hiking). It was harder than sitting down and putting straps on. The bindings do tend to collect snow. I carry a scraper when I ride so it was no big deal. A ball point pen or a tool works well to clean out caked snow too. The rental boots had the highback built into the boots. That's convenient for the rental department, but a lot less comfortable for walking around and less performance than a real highback.
Alas, the Rossignol/Original Sin/Emery Step In System is no longer being made. Although the bindings are relatively indestructable, future parts availability is a concern. I beat my SIS boots up pretty good.