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  • xmatt
    replied
    Originally posted by Dostie View Post
    Sigh.

    I can't explain why they couldn't have just offered a TX-Tour with a better cuff ROM six years ago.

    Speculation: They set a high bar that included reducing weight. Everything I've seen has improved ROM with less weight but the flex was flawed. They had some good ideas but those concepts compromised the tele turn. I think the problem is old fashioned pride. They are internally adamant to meet their goals, but those goals remain elusive. If they let go of the weight thing, like I said, they could've delivered a "better" tele boot years ago.

    I gave up waiting. Found an F1 and modified it. It's summer. The wind is nuking in the Gulf. I'm going kiteboarding.
    That doesn't make sense to me. The F3 and F1 are both significantly lighter than TX. It is possible to get that light weight, and the F3 skis about the same as TX. I'm happy with how they flex. And it seems like Dostie is happy with the flex of the F1. So, light weight, good flex.

    I think the reason is: they realized that you could get that light weight with decent flex if you didn't worry about it working in an NTN toe cage and made it tech-toe-only. But they don't want to sell a tech-toe-only boot, even though it makes sense for touring, because they have too much invested in NTN. Makes sense to me: working in a toe cage require a lot more plastic up front due to extra stresses on boot.

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  • Dostie
    replied
    Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
    Truth. The F3 really is just a T2X with tech fittings instead of a duckbill.

    Dostie, do you know why this is seemingly not even being considered?
    Sigh.

    I can't explain why they couldn't have just offered a TX-Tour with a better cuff ROM six years ago.

    Speculation: They set a high bar that included reducing weight. Everything I've seen has improved ROM with less weight but the flex was flawed. They had some good ideas but those concepts compromised the tele turn. I think the problem is old fashioned pride. They are internally adamant to meet their goals, but those goals remain elusive. If they let go of the weight thing, like I said, they could've delivered a "better" tele boot years ago.

    I gave up waiting. Found an F1 and modified it. It's summer. The wind is nuking in the Gulf. I'm going kiteboarding.

    Leave a comment:


  • jtb
    replied
    They could always use new colors, buckles, and liners with the old molds, and call it a new model. That's what they've been doing with the TXP for 15 years, and the T2 more or less for 25 years

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  • bobbytooslow
    replied
    Originally posted by jtb View Post
    If we literally got the F3 and F1 Race with no modifications and a bolt-on duckbutt, that would round out the NTN line really well. It would fill the T2 and T3/T4 role... I think if tele skiers had easy access to F3+Meidjo or F1 Race+Voile TTS, fewer would be clinging to 75mm gear or switching to Xplore or NNN BC rather than NTN/TTN/TTS. The F3 skis very similar to T2's, and the F1 Race skis similar to T3's.

    I know that's not what Scarpa is working on, just my 2 cents about what I think would be good for the sport.
    Truth. The F3 really is just a T2X with tech fittings instead of a duckbill.

    Dostie, do you know why this is seemingly not even being considered? Maybe these boots won't provide the durability that tele skiers have come to expect? Someone previously said something about how companies, as a principle, just don't go backwards like that; new tech/materials = buzz = sales. But yeah, even though it's not what they're doing, it does seem like the path of least resistance from A to B.

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  • xmatt
    replied
    Originally posted by jtb View Post
    I think if tele skiers had easy access to F3+Meidjo or F1 Race+Voile TTS, fewer would be clinging to 75mm gear or switching to Xplore or NNN BC rather than NTN/TTN/TTS. The F3 skis very similar to T2's, and the F1 Race skis similar to T3's.
    This would be great for the sport too. I've gotten a few questions about my gear from people I've met in the bc, including from people who tele in the resort but AT in the backcountry, and there is no easy way for someone to get a similar setup without looking for obscure new-old-stock or whatever. Would be way different to say "yeah, it's the new Scarpa F1X (or whatever you want to call it) boots, with the Voile TTS bindings, just go online, give em your credit card, and it will be yours."

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  • jtb
    replied
    I don't know much about AT, but with telemark I like the feel of lighter boots... F3's with mid or fat skis, and F1 Races with mid-width skis. It's like you're surfing the snow rather than powering through it with TXP's, if that makes any sense. I also like softer bindings, which pair better with F3's than TXP's, even at the resort.

    If we literally got the F3 and F1 Race with no modifications and a bolt-on duckbutt, that would round out the NTN line really well. It would fill the T2 and T3/T4 role. Of course I have no idea how easy or possible it is to revive old molds, and there's definitely room for improvement in the walk mode of both boots, but as a thought experiment that's really what people are asking for, except maybe at the fringe. I think if tele skiers had easy access to F3+Meidjo or F1 Race+Voile TTS, fewer would be clinging to 75mm gear or switching to Xplore or NNN BC rather than NTN/TTN/TTS. The F3 skis very similar to T2's, and the F1 Race skis similar to T3's.

    I know that's not what Scarpa is working on, just my 2 cents about what I think would be good for the sport.

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  • bobbytooslow
    replied
    Originally posted by JackO View Post
    My unified theory on this is that 75mm boots are all about the turn, whereas newer boots on newer norms add more features, but I would say don't feel as great to ski.
    This is a really good and important point. It's a valid concern, because it has happened before! When telemark was 75mm, people said they wanted step-in and release. Well they got it, with NTN. But it also came with a ton of extra weight, complication, and cost. A lot of people -- myself included -- saw the Freeride & Freedom and thought "Yeah that's not really what I wanted." So you're definitely right that any new boot would have to do a better job of meeting the core needs, chief among them being a flex that doesn't hinder the "sweet tele sensation."

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  • xmatt
    replied
    Great walk mode and 1450g in size 27.0. That's easy. The old F1 basically does it. It's lighter than that, even. Adding a duckbutt (which I think maybe should be bolt-on?) and bellows protector makes it a bit heavier, but still under that weight. The walk mode could be improved, but it does have a big RoM.

    So, parity means better performance than that old F1. And here is a question. In AT, there has been an evolution from boots of that weight being lightweight touring boots, to boots of that weight having stiff progressive flex and being more suitable for high speed, drops, etc... So, telemark probably cannot get the same kind of stiff, progressive flex, but the flex goals are totally different. Some parts of the boot should be softer, bellows of course but also ankle, etc... So, rather I think the goal should be "skis at least as well as the old TX" at that weight and RoM. Do that, and they nailed it.

    btw, while thinking about boot flex, I realized something interesting. I have noticed that more technically skilled AT skiers often like a heavier boot (1500g or more) but pair it with a skinnier, lighter ski, while less technically skilled skiers tend to go with a fatter ski paired with a lighter boot. Definitely not always true, and I've seen exceptions at both ends, but I think the more powerful boot rewards good technique, while the fatter ski can obviate some technique. Which is kind of funny, because on tele I was often thinking the reverse: that better technique is needed with a lighter boot. Hmm....

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  • bobbytooslow
    replied
    Even I -- Mr. Skimo Telemark, ha -- don't think that is anything a boot manufacturer should prioritize at the moment. I'd like to see a heavy resort skiing platform (TXP & TXC) and a lighter touring platform (Maestrale equivalent, plus the ability to make a lighter version later).

    The ability to go lighter than Maestrale is important, because it's not just about skimo; it's about XCD/Meadow Skipping too. It was discussed in this thread, but one well-designed lightweight boot could help bring a lot of folks into the pin-toe tele fold.

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  • JackO
    replied
    Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
    I have no idea how Scarpa actually views all of this, but hoping for an updated version of what they've already been doing seems more realistic than comparing anything to their vast range of alpine/AT offerings.
    I agree here, and that's what I'd like, just an improvement on what we have - but I think there are segments of telemark that want boots that are as light leading AT boots. I've heard people say here they want an Alien or new age F1 equivalent. I think there are skimo racers who want to telemark on the way down (and have really light gear to be competitive on the much more important climbs) who wish the gear was basically the same as AT. I think a slightly larger segment wants uber light touring gear for earning turns. And (like Madsen says) that may be a small portion of all of telemark, but they know what they want and they are loud about it.

    --

    Parity as hoping to achieve performance equivalence is problematic the farther along things go. With that kind of thinking the gear is bound to become more and more like alpine gear. While I don't agree with all of Han's Ludwigs article "Telemark Skiing is Dead" (he says the gear hasn't had any big leaps forward, wrote it in 2017, and didn't even mention NTN), he has one really interesting point: "My favorite theory is that by trying to become equivalent in performance to alpine gear, telemarking rationalized itself out of existence."

    My feeling (and attempt at being provocative): the closer telemark gear gets to alpine (and we're starting to get really close at this point) the worse it probably makes a telemark turn, and - if the concern of users (and manufacturers) is to have broad parity with alpine gear - at that point, why wouldn't you just alpine?
    Last edited by JackO; 21 July 2022, 10:23 AM.

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  • JackO
    replied
    Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
    re: the death of 75mm... The world does not need more 75mm boots sitting on shelves. The used gear marketplace has more almost-new ones than we'll ever need. These photos are from a used gear shop in Flagstaff, AZ this spring -- the inventory in real ski towns has to be far greater. Facebook Marketplace has literally hundreds as well. When only cockroaches are roaming the earth, they'll be stepping over black & silver T1's.
    Bobby - definitely can't disagree here, or with the fact that 75mm is becoming economically extinct. I think it's worth mentioning that we may not even get new boots from Scarpa any time soon. So ditching 75mm doesn't necessarily mean we get something replacing it.

    My unified theory on this is that 75mm boots are all about the turn, whereas newer boots on newer norms add more features, but I would say don't feel as great to ski. So I don't think it's wrong for a 75mm supporter to see the trajectory of telemark boots getting more features but less sweet flex to be potentially problematic moving farther forward. And thus worry what comes next if Scrapa et al. is striving for weight and feature parity first and telemark flex second. Scarpa probably hears a lot of users say "we want weight at X and features at X," Scrapa may even feel a boot with those X's could hypothetically be somewhat competitive in the market but that market includes AT and alpine boots. So there's worry the next crop of boots will be built toward a market that is as much or more concerned about non-telemark aspects and that will make for a boot that doesn't ski awesome. That's my "75mm supporters as thoughtful users, not Luddites" theory. I feel it's worth mentioning because 75mm users are getting a bit of a bad wrap lately (like with their reactions to the recent boot discos) of being complainers who are out of the loop, and I think there's more to it and their opinions deserve some credence. But I'm beginning to beat a really dead horse here.

    So I digress.
    Last edited by JackO; 21 July 2022, 10:22 AM.

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  • Dostie
    replied
    Originally posted by cesare View Post
    Performance parity with what exactly, Craig?
    ...
    A few tweaks will bring us to very near parity with the Maestrale class of boots. I just wish we could get that as an incremental improvement on the long road to the new paradigm.
    Generic parity. Agree, all we need is a better walk mode and we'll have parity with Maestrale, mostly. Maestrale still wins the weight comparison, but we don't tele because it's lighter, we tele because the turn is brighter.

    And I'm personally not interested in skimo parity. Those boots suck on the downhill. I'm willing to earn my turns for telemark satisfaction. Not so much for parallel, although I do throw those in occasionally as conditions merit it (firm and fast or my quads are outa gas).

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  • cesare
    replied
    Performance parity with what exactly, Craig? With boots that AT racers use to run up groomed runs? Or AT boots that are actually used by recreational backcountry skiers/ski mountaineers? I would argue that the former is a quixotic endeavor and unnecessary. Performance equivalence with an Alien class boot? Then I would agree, not in our lifetimes. But performance equivalence with a Maestrale class boot really doesn't need to be that far off. I do agree that we will never quite get there with regard to weight for the same reason you give; we can't get the same weight while maintaining acceptable telemark performance. But we can get within 10-15% pretty easily. A lot of us have done it in our garages. I'm still not there with regard to ROM, but what I have achieved is noticeably better than the OEM TX Pro. And I've saved 260 g per foot by sizing down and eliminating footbeds in favor of a small arch support mounted inside the shell.

    Also, as many who ski with great skiers on AT gear will attest, most of those partners are not skiing on the lightest AT gear. Of course we also know telemark skiers who tour quite adequately in TX Comps, though I would not ague that those are close to uphill performance parity. TX Pros are not very close either but as soon as we shave a little weight and improve our ROM, I would argue we are not far behind the majority of our AT sisters and brothers. Maybe I'm wrong and my sample is biased toward dirtbag AT skiers who are as cheap as telemarkers. ;-)

    I think Scarpa can do this with ease. I don't know what you and others privy have skied and sworn secrecy to. But I wonder if the "new paradigm" is nearly as quixotic as full parity with skimo boots. The boots we have now perform amazingly on the down. A few tweaks will bring us to very near parity with the Maestrale class of boots. I just wish we could get that as an incremental improvement on the long road to the new paradigm.

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  • Todd Eastman
    replied
    “… but not in my lifetime. Perhaps in my children's children's generation.”

    Maybe Dostie can find a teleporter…

    Leave a comment:


  • Dostie
    replied
    Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
    What does "parity with alpine/AT" mean?
    Equivalent performance.

    PTBs were developed so that telemarkers could keep up with their alpine brothers on the downhill side of the BC equation. Then AT skiers began outperforming Tele skiers on the uphill thanks to 1) free pivot bindings with no rotational friction and 2) uber light Dynafit compatible boots. At my insistence we leveled the playing field in the free pivot department but I do not believe we can do the same in the realm of light weight boots because of the flex requirement of telemark boots. When the chemists master the nuances of unobtainium blended with Pebax we might achieve uphill performance parity, but not in my lifetime. Perhaps in my children's children's generation.

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