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Comparing the 2024 Boa Boots Offerings from Atomic, Fischer, K2 and Salomon

onenerdykid

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It's ready because of questions and concerns about something that is not exceedingly rare. Whereas broken buckles are exceedingly rare. So yes, having parts ready for if it happens with BOA is better than not. But it being so rare as to not really be a thing would be even better.
Breaking buckles is rare? That's not true at all. It may be true for you, but it's not true on a global scale. After grip pads, buckles are our most requested spare part. That the BOA system has a breakaway feature will without question reduce the number of broken BOA dials.

The force it takes to break the BOA dial will totally nuke a buckle and/or its baseplate. So if you aren't in the habit of breaking buckles, then you won't be breaking BOA dials.
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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Sometimes, psychology trumps physics when it comes to product design.

Take backpack g hooks. They may not unhook from a physics perspective but there are consumers who avoid them like the plague, even if they're tough aluminium ones, and prefer traditional plastic buckles because the open gap in a g hook is not very reassuring psychologically. The brain says the strap can slide. It's not psychologically reassuring when one has to carry a backpack all day with expensive or precious things in it or maybe ride a motorcycle with it.

The same psychological phenomena can be applied to fidlocks vs plastic buckles.

The Boa round thing popping off is not psychologically reassuring vs a buckle that is screwed or riveted in a hobby where equipment failure can lead to injury . It may be irrational to think so, but product designers must consider psychological aspect to these consumery things.
 
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jt10000

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So if you aren't in the habit of breaking buckles, then you won't be breaking BOA dials.
If this is true, and by "breaking" you mean any situation in which I need a spare part, then I'm fine with it.

I've only skied about 180 days total (over about seven years), never broke a buckle and don't expect to. Or maybe once or twice in my life at the rate I'm going. That's super rare. Never broke a brake, never had a "core shot" whatever that is. I've got enough problems getting on snow and want to minimize anything that cuts a day on snow.


Breaking buckles is rare? That's not true at all. It may be true for you, but it's not true on a global scale. After grip pads, buckles are our most requested spare part.
Something can be the most common failure, but not actually be common if failures of all types are rare.
 
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skipress

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Honestly, if someone came along in the liftline and said they could install the Boa system “while you wait”, I’d go for it. The micro adjustment would be nice, plus releasing it with just a push of the pole. I assume that’s possible?

First notch on my lower buckles is generally fine. Two is too much usually. Yeah I could sit there twirling four bales, but then you have to do it again going back. Just not going to happen.

Is it possible on that Boa knob to indicate how much tension you put on so you can quickly repeat it? That would save some fiddling and quickly repeating a setting would be nice. Maybe you just mark the cable going in?
looking at this

https://www.powder.com/gear-locker/breaking-down-new-boa

it looks as if it would at least be theoretically possible to retro fit the system [if you wanted to drill the three holes and perhaps plug some others] albeit not in the liftline.

@onenerdykid, is that theoretically the case - set to one side if it's a good idea, or does the system also assume some messing about with shell thickness for the cable foot wrapping to work correctly.

We are going to see more cable closures even without the dial. I was recently at a conference in Finland and saw these from Nordica; which seem on the face of things to offer the worst of all worlds...

IMG_20230327_164700.jpeg

Nordica also has 'form on cable closure with these:

nordica.jpeg
 

Scruffy

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Sometimes, psychology trumps physics when it comes to product design.

Take backpack g hooks. They may not unhook from a physics perspective but there are consumers who avoid them like the plague, even if they're tough aluminium ones, and prefer traditional plastic buckles because the open gap in a g hook is not very reassuring psychologically. The brain says the strap can slide. It's not psychologically reassuring when one has to carry a backpack all day with expensive or precious things in it or maybe ride a motorcycle with it.

The same psychological phenomena can be applied to fidlocks vs plastic buckles.

The Boa round thing popping off is not psychologically reassuring vs a buckle that is screwed or riveted in a hobby where equipment failure can lead to injury . It may be irrational to think so, but product designers must consider psychological aspect to these consumery things.

Isn't the BOA dial designed to pop off to avoid being broken on impact? And it takes a lot of force to knock it off the base from what I've seen. That should be psychologically reassuring to those with breakage concerns.
 
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Philpug

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Here is a refresher video of a BOA being knocked off and how it goes back on, it also shows the force needed to knock it off...

 

onenerdykid

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The Boa round thing popping off is not psychologically reassuring vs a buckle that is screwed or riveted in a hobby where equipment failure can lead to injury . It may be irrational to think so, but product designers must consider psychological aspect to these consumery things.
And I was one of those people at first. I was honestly not excited about BOA when I first sat through the meetings. I was almost as grumpy as Otto about it. I most certainly had these psychological hang ups and it honestly took using the actual product to become comfortable with it and eventually trust it. And this is what all of the brands, athletes, ambassadors, and testers went through. And we know it is what end users will go through too. We very much know that people will have hang ups with it and once people use it and have their own experience with it, those fears subside.
 

Wasatchman

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And I was one of those people at first. I was honestly not excited about BOA when I first sat through the meetings. I was almost as grumpy as Otto about it. I most certainly had these psychological hang ups and it honestly took using the actual product to become comfortable with it and eventually trust it. And this is what all of the brands, athletes, ambassadors, and testers went through. And we know it is what end users will go through too. We very much know that people will have hang ups with it and once people use it and have their own experience with it, those fears subside.
As someone who doesn't have a dog in this fight, I'm watching with interest. To Phil's chagrin, I am going to watch how quickly neutral athletes and very experienced skiers adopt or do not adopt the BOA technology. Why am I watching the athletes and other very experienced skiers? i figure they already have their boots dialed in exactly how they like them, and to the extent they bother with going to a new boot technology pretty quickly and the associated inconvenience, then I'll start to think hmmm maybe there is something to it. To the extent that the adoption rate among this crowd is low, then I figure it's probably nothing transformational.

Do you think this boot technology translates to a certain style of skiing more than another? Otherwise it begs the question to me why aren't the racing crowd adopting this first? That crowd is looking for the most minute kind of edge they can get, so I would think a better fitting boot would be right up there of interest to them.
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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Here is a refresher video of a BOA being knocked off and how it goes back on, it also shows the force needed to knock it off...

Lol I would say that didn't take much force.

For comparison, he should try to knock off a metal buckle with the same amount of force he did with the Boa to the chair.

He would have to be slamming a metal buckle many, many times and really be hammering it. Even then, I doubt he would be able to dislodge a metal buckle.
 
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Philpug

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I am going to watch how quickly neutral athletes and very experienced skiers adopt or do not adopt the BOA technology. Why am I watching the athletes and other very experienced skiers?
Some might not have an option. If brands are jumping into BOA with bot boots, the only option might be to go BOA.
 
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Philpug

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Lol I would say that didn't take much force.

For comparison, he should try to knock off a metal buckle with the same amount of force he did with the Boa to the chair.

He would have to be slamming a metal buckle many, many times and really be hammering it. Even though, I doubt he would be able to dislodge a metal buckle.
You do that to a metal buckle and there is a very good chance it will not be usable and will have to be replaced.
 

onenerdykid

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Something can be the most common failure, but not actually be common if failures of all types are rare.
True, but what is rare for you is not necessarily rare in general. Some people, like yourself, will never break a buckle. Others, like our athlete Nick McNutt, will break 10 a year. All things considered, repairing/replacing buckles is a common occurrence in ski shops.
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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You do that to a metal buckle and there is a very good chance it will not be usable and will have to be replaced.

There's redundancy with two buckles. If one ever gets dislodged or bent or whatever, a skier can still probably ski the rest of the day with just either the toe or instep buckle.

For repair, wouldn't he find a shop in town with spare buckles? They're also cheap right?

So with this Boa thing, they have to send it back to where they bought the boots from? Let's imagine a future where Boa boots gain popularity. Will shops keep spare Boa dials and cables and other parts to repair on the spot? I think I read somewhere in the forum that boots manufacturers are hands off with the warranty aspect and leaving it to Boa to repair a broken Boa. If I remember correctly.
 

onenerdykid

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Lol I would say that didn't take much force.

For comparison, he should try to knock off a metal buckle with the same amount of force he did with the Boa to the chair.

He would have to be slamming a metal buckle many, many times and really be hammering it. Even then, I doubt he would be able to dislodge a metal buckle.
Again, it's not broken. The point is that it pops off to AVOID being broken. The force required to pop off the dial is less than it would take to break a buckle. But that is the exact point of a breakaway system - it breaks away before it reaches the point of being damaged.

Buckles simply don't have that failsafe in place, so yeah a buckle won't pop off with the same force. But, the force it takes to break the BOA dial will break a buckle. And since 90-95% of skiers' buckles are riveted onto the shell, replacing that buckle is going to be more headache than replacing the BOA.
 

k2rider

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You're fully entitled to your own opinion and no one doubts your experience. And while you definitely bring up some valid points/concerns, I will absolutely call BS on the claim that other brands turned BOA down for 23/24. That is 100% false. BOA only offered the new system to brands that were existing BOA partners- Atomic, Salomon, Fischer, K2. That means Nordica, Tecnica, Lange, Head, Dalbello, etc. weren't even invited to the party, let alone given the opportunity to refuse a dance. So if any of them are saying they stood up to evil BOA and nobly rejected it to preserve their independence in year one, they are lying to you. They're just bitter and I know for a fact that a certain Italian is, who I am sure spoke with you at the boot test.

There are indeed gimmicks within our industry, but I do think you're off the mark here calling this system a gimmick, especially one that brings "no essential benefit" to the sport of skiing. I don't think the product is perfect or beyond improvement. I think their message (or K2's at least) of getting two lasts out of one is incredibly disappointing and ultimately detrimental to people's understanding of how a ski boot should fit. But the system works, fits better, and is far from being a gimmick or a flash in the pan.

I mentioned this in another thread, BOA is here and not going anywhere. Once the naysayers get past their disbelief and or bias, you'll see it across the industry. When BOA first came out, I was worried about it breaking easily but once I tried it with my snowboard boots, there was no going back. I'm now on my 3rd boot with BOA (and will be getting a new pair later this year) andI've never had a singe issue of any kind. No breakage, no stretching of the cables, no nothing. There's a reason nearly every manufacturer has BOA models. The system just plain works.
 

onenerdykid

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There's redundancy with two buckles. If one ever gets dislodged or bent or whatever, a skier can still probably ski the rest of the day with just either the toe or instep buckle.

For repair, wouldn't he find a shop in town with spare buckles? They're also cheap right?

So with this Boa thing, they have to send it back to where they bought the boots from? Let's imagine a future where Boa boots gain popularity. Will shops keep spare Boa dials and cables and other parts to repair on the spot? I think I read somewhere in the forum that boots manufacturers are hands off with the warranty aspect and leaving it to Boa to repair a broken Boa. If I remember correctly.
Not every buckle matches every shell nor every toothplate. There are different bending radii and different toothplate widths that need to match the buckle catcher. Finding the exact fit isn't exactly quick.

Skiers that have a broken BOA system can either contact BOA, the boot manufacturer, or a shop that has the parts. Warranty parts are always free of charge. I don't know of any brand giving out free buckles.

Repairing a BOA does not require being sent back to any manufacturer. Shops that have the parts can easily do it and every BOA dealer will have the parts to do it. And all of the parts are interchangeable between brands, unlike buckles.
 
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Philpug

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For repair, wouldn't he find a shop in town with spare buckles? They're also cheap right?

So with this Boa thing, they have to send it back to where they bought the boots from? Let's imagine a future where Boa boots gain popularity. Will shops keep spare Boa dials and cables and other parts to repair on the spot? I think I read somewhere in the forum that boots manufacturers are hands off with the warranty aspect and leaving it to Boa to repair a broken Boa. If I remember correctly.
You are not remembering correctly. Authorized BOA dealers will have a stock of replacement BOA's, note all brands are using the same design, so they are interchangeable from brand to brand (other than color).
 

James

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I’ve never broken a buckle. I just ripped one off completely once skiing. That’s what can happen when a screw falls out, the spring doesn’t hold the bale in the notch, and you ski with it unbuckled. That’s a lotta things.

I would imagine most break them on stairs if we exclude racers and park.

Years ago I had a Lange where those little spring wire springs with very sharp ends would either break or just stick out in the wrong place. So you go to buckle your boot at the top of the mountain with bare hands and now you’re bleeding from a cut. That means you can’t put the glove back on. It’s just a fun way to start the day.

I mean there’s more things to break on a boot than a hammer, which would be two. Possibly 4 if you count the claw as two and the striking head as one. If you follow the simplest counting, for the shell there’s buckles, pivots, soles, power strap, shell. Oh, boot board, I’ve broken those. I see Head is now putting a screw in to hold it. What a concept.
If you break the shell, not just a tiny crack, it’s catastrophic failure and the boot is done. So can you really count that part?

Boa may be “here to stay” but so were rear entry boots. Some of those even had tensioning knobs before Boa existed.

It is interesting that the industry has allowed one company to basically take over the clog. Maybe at some point Boa will just come out with their own boot.
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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And all of the parts are interchangeable between brands, unlike buckles.

note all brands are using the same design, so they are interchangeable from brand to brand (other than color).

That's certainly one good aspect of this and I concede that's an advantage over buckles.
 

HardDaysNight

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That the BOA systems are durable should go without saying. If they fail with any degree of regularity, thereby stranding their users and ruining their ski day, the whole concept is a non-starter. So I completely accept the assurances that BOA is robust. The real question is whether BOA provides any meaningful benefits. Benefits that justify the incremental costs and extravagant marketing hype. From what I’ve read and seen and felt that doesn’t appear to be the case. Of course the whole schemozzle may still achieve its objective of persuading skiers that getting BOA boots will improve their skiing and inducing them to buy the new shiny goodies!
 

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