Imagine touring up a hard packed skin track, your legs are on fire as you spit and fight with every ounce of strength and focus just to keep your edges griped to the slope. You’re trying to keep your cool so your buddy on AT gear, who’s effortlessly dancing up the path, doesn’t notice your struggle. Your downhill leg is contorted and awkwardly twisted inward as you desperately try to keep your edges from rolling down hill and breaking free from the firm snow. You even resort to the karate chop technique to set your downhill foot. When you do make it to the top, you realize that you’re physically worked because of the incredible effort you just exerted. This was the story of a soft boot splitboarder until now.
Earlier this summer we sent out an instagram video releasing our patent-pending Flex-Lock, available November 2015, with a very strong statement: Ride Like a Soft Booter. Tour Like a Hard Booter. We know this is a strong statement, and based on our 3 seasons of experience using versions of the Flex-Lock we know it’s true. Qualitative experience is good, but we wanted to know more; we wanted hard evidence to show how much better the Flex-Lock is compared to an elastomer ski strap or velcro power strap around the top of your boot and highback and we wanted to know how it stacked up against the gold standard for touring performance, the AT boot. We thought you would too. So we set up an experiment to measure the relative edging performance of these boot/binding combinations. The greater the percentage increase the better the edging performance. Here are the results:
As shown in the chart above, the ski strap and power strap give a small 15% increase in edging performance over a binding without lateral support. The Flex-Lock gives a splitboarder a 101% increase in edging performance compared to a binding without lateral support, which is on par with an AT boot at 104% increase. These results are pretty definitive. By adding the Flex-Lock to your Karakoram Splitboard Bindings you will experience the edge gripping power that AT skiers have enjoyed for years. It’s your turn to dance up the hill and still have the freedom to ride with the flip of a lever- Ride like a soft booter. Tour like a hard booter.
For more details on the edge force transfer test experiment and how the Flex-Lock is able to out-perform “third straps” including the full biomechanics behind the Flex-Lock check out our full blog post here.
Founded in 2008 by Tyler and Bryce Kloster through a desire to combine their careers and follow their passion for the mountains, Karakoram is now a global leader through splitboard and backcountry product innovation. The brand is sold at leading retailers and is distributed to over 20 countries throughout the world. Karakoram is nestled in the Cascade Mountains, one of the best proving grounds for developing and testing products in the world, and Karakoram is proud to be US made, with most components and parts being made within 50 miles of its Headquarters in Washington. Innovate. Ride. Explore.