EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › Need some help with choosing AT skis/bindings/boots
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Need some help with choosing AT skis/bindings/boots

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Lately I have been looking at AT / randonnée / backcountry equipment - I have been snowboarding for 6-7 seasons, but have grown tired, and have thus been doing some alpine skiing the latter year. In other words, no experienced skier, but I like to think I'm doing all right on the piste, and would like to try out backcountry skiing. I am 6' tall, and weigh in about 165 pounds, give or take.

Versatility is the keyword for what I'm looking for, both versatility in the sense of the ways of descending, and for versatility in the sense of being good to ascend and descend. I don't want to be too exhausted when I get to the top, so to speak.......

I have my mind set on the Atomic Snoop Daddys, they seem very nice for the price and my needs. I was looking at the Völkl Snowwolf, but I'm afraid they aren't that fun (and good) to ride down the mountains, although its ascending abilities are a bit better..

For the bindings, I'm torn between Dynafit's TLT Comforts, Fritschi Freerides and Naxo NX-21. Actually, I think I'd let the boots decide what bindings I get (I'm slightly hoping for the Dynafits eventually, though..).

For boots, I would appreciate a boot that is good to use horizontally (don't know a proper English word here, sorry), and for ascending, for hours at a time. But it should not be too soft in the descents. I will not be an extreme performance skier - I want to be able to achieve speed enough to park the Telemark skiers behind me (), to do some small drops, 'jump swings', and such, but in no extreme sense.
I have been looking at the Dynafit TLT 4 Evo, and they seem okey. Also the Lowa Struktura Light seems good. What about Scarpas and Garmont, provided the info I have written above......? Input here is greatly appreciated: I'm really unsure about the boots!

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 15
torhaa, I strongly agree with your conclusion that Snoop Daddy will be lightweight and versatile, and the TLT comfort binding will give you a solid attachment and light weight. Your biggest criteria for a boot is going to be you need Dynafit fittings, and it seems like you want to bias towards downhill performance. Kind of hard to advise on the boots. I'm sure you will know when you have the best combination of fit and stiffness.

I think the word you were looking for was "traverse" - going across the fall line.

Will you be touring mainly in spring, or throughout the winter?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for giving the Snoop ski and the Dynafits a vote of confidence! I should perhaps expressed myself a little clearer about what I want from the boot. The downhill performance should be the highlight of the tour, nothing to worry about, so to say; yet, I want a boot that doesn't scare me from touring a few hours at a time, both uphill and for traversing (yes, that was the word, thanks!).

I will probably use the skis throughout the winter including the spring (I plan on a tour in the midst of June, actually). From what I've read the Snoop skis should handle that fair enough. The optimal would be a set of skis, but that must for later if I should ever find touring to be of my top priorities...

I was at the local shops meanwhile to see a few rando boots to trying out, but last week they had removed this from the shelves for now.... Is it a high probability for ordering the wrong size if I measure up my foot and order accordingly?
post #4 of 15
Hold out for the Marker Duke!!!

I rode a pair of Icelantics @ Loveland last weekend that were set up with Dukes and those bindings feel really burly, even though they're super light. It's the first AT binding I've demoed that felt as sturdy as an Alpine binding. They'll be available for next season coming up soon.

On the ski front, try the King Salmon from AK. You can get 'em for a song right now as they are discontinuing them. They have roughly the same dimensions as a Mantra, but are hella lighter. I'm riding a pair as my mid-fat and am thinking about getting another to mount with Dukes for my first AT set-up.
post #5 of 15
Get the boots that fit your foot!

My scarpa denali's are "high volume" Several extra paddings in the ankle are required to better fit my very average foot. I appreciate the width, but the boots are too short for ANY downhill walking. They ski great though!

Some of the other boots may have the "best match to your feet", so try them out.

At time, advice is no help at all ;-)

CalG
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Hold out for the Marker Duke!!!

I rode a pair of Icelantics @ Loveland last weekend that were set up with Dukes and those bindings feel really burly, even though they're super light. It's the first AT binding I've demoed that felt as sturdy as an Alpine binding. They'll be available for next season coming up soon.

On the ski front, try the King Salmon from AK. You can get 'em for a song right now as they are discontinuing them. They have roughly the same dimensions as a Mantra, but are hella lighter. I'm riding a pair as my mid-fat and am thinking about getting another to mount with Dukes for my first AT set-up.
I've heard of those Markers.. They are supposed to be bit more expensive, I think I'll go with the Dynafits for now and perhaps upgrade to the Markers if I see the need for it later.
King Salmon? I've never heard of them, are they an American exclusive brand? Haven't seen a mention of them in Norwegian or the European stores. They sound very promising though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
Get the boots that fit your foot!
I would love to try out some boots; I was going to do so today actually, but they have cleaned out their shelves for rando gear just a week ago! Therefore, if it is pretty safe ordering according to my feet length, I'll do so. What do you guys think about that?
Norwegian prices of rando boots make it a no loss project (I believe) to order rando boots from Central-Europe, and sell them if they don't fit. But I want to score on the first try, you know!
post #7 of 15

Dukes and "super light"????

While the Marker Dukes look very impressive and are no doubt a terrific binding, there is no way on earth that they can be described as light. They are, while perhaps the most heavy duty AT binding available, also by far the heaviest. One set weighs as much as 2 or 3 pairs of Dynafits! It is really geared towards the very agressive skier who is primarily descent, not ascent, oriented. Here's a good article on the Dukes:
http://www.couloirmag.com/mfgs/dynam...?articleID=267

By the way, the couloir site is your best source of information about randonnee skiing. Highly recommended.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link dp!


I have measured my foot on a paper now,





As you can see from the scetch, the longest part of my foot is 27 cm (10.6''), and at the broadest, it is 11.5-12 cm (~4.6''). My instep is a little higher than normal...


Tips to what boot model (presumably Scarpas or Garmont, perhaps the Dynafit TLT Evo and the Lowa Struktura) and especially sizes that could fit my foot are greatly appreciated!
post #9 of 15
Fairly wide with high instep. Take a look at the Garmont Mega-Ride. It has the Dynafit fitting and is biased to downhill performance with a 4-buckle closure and fairly stiff materials. I have the Garmont Adrenalin which is one of the burlier boots out there, and have taken tours over to 10 miles/day skinning and bootpacking, without any discomfort. The walk mode is loose enough to be easy and they are rigid enough to control a big ski on descent. I think the Mega Ride is a bit lighter, but is still biased to downhill performance. With the lightweight skis and bindings, you should be fine.

As mentioned before, you want a fairly tight fit that will anticipate some packing out on the liners, but you don't want a race fit. The idea is to be fairly comfortable in these all day. It would be better to try before you buy, but I got mine online on a closeout and paid for some fitting assistance (heating the liners and insole) at the backcountry store in Tahoe.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips! I'll look into the Mega-rides. I completely agree, the best thing is to try out some boots, but I don't have that opportunity now, and I will probably need the equipment for a tour in June... So I figure I should rather buy on the net. If they don't fit, they'll be out for sale and I don't think I would lose too much doing so... (I hope)
post #11 of 15
Mega rides are great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by torhaa View Post
I think I'll go with the Dynafits for now and perhaps upgrade to the Markers if I see the need for it later.
I don't think they call it an 'upgrade' if you go from dynafits to markers

You ride a snowboard, have you thought of a splitty?
I know you are bored and want to do something new, but maybe
snow stability and skinning would be new enough.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. I've actually not heard about split snowboards, I'll look into it. But I've pretty much set my mind on a randonnée setup..
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Last question to bother you.... I am 183 cm tall, weigh in about 75 kg (165 lbs). Should I go for the Snoop Daddys in 174 cm version or the 185 ?
post #14 of 15
Torhaa- it depends alot on what you are going to be skiing. The shorter length will be better going uphill (less weight, easier kick turns) and may be better downhill if you are skiing tight steep couloirs. For big gs type turns in steep terrain some people might prefer the extra length. Personally I prefer a mid fat ski about 5-10cm shorter than my height (I'm 175cm and ski an R:ex in 168), but I am not a speed demon and am very light in weight. In your first post you mention that you have less experience on skis than on a board, so for that reason I also think that you might like the 174 better. (by the way, I use the Lowa Struturas for AT, and they might be too low volume for you, based on the description of your foot- be sure to try them on. I put aftermarket Intuition liners in them, so the fit is probably different with the stock liner, but they are among the lowest volume of the AT boots.).
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okey, I think I'll go with the 174 then. Thanks a lot!
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