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5 5

I got these from Whiskey Militia when they were on sale. Don't be fooled, it says Brown Camo, but what they really mean is Tortoiseshell. Because that's what these are.

So, if you are good sporting tortoiseshell frames, these are a good bet. I like 'em, and they have classic Oakley style and quality.

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4 5

Okay. this board kills.

It took me half a day to get used to the BTX, and now I can't see riding anything else. I ride Crystal Mountain and Alpental near Seattle, and this thing handles the crappy PNW non-powder like a champ. First day was a little squirrely when flying down the groomers, but once I got the feel it was super-responsive and FAST.

Up top, it rode the chunk, powder and ice with good control, and I landed my drops without fear of snapping it. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because I'd still be sketchy hard-charging some chunky doubles, but I guess it can't be awesome at everything.

If you're big (I'm 6'-4", 230, size 13) and like riding all over the mountain, and only want one board to do it with -- get this one.

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3 5

...but it just didn't work out between us.

I would definitely suggest trying them on before purchasing. The stiffness is completely awesome, responsive and bully.

The fit is good -- tight on the heel, solid around the ankle. But the toes are where I ran into trouble.

Maybe it's Burton's Shrinkage Tech or whatever, but I got these in a 13 -- which I normally wear -- and after a full day on the mountain, my toes felt like they were being squeezed in a vice. It was excruciating. I couldn't walk once I got to the lodge. I would have traded for a size up, but I got them on clearance and they were out of 14s.

So, great boot if you get the right size, I guess. Just beware.

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Unanswered Question

I heard this board was your "quiver killer," making it decent for the backcountry to the groomers to the park. Every time I see a description, though, it is described as a "freestyle" board. I don't plan on doing many rails or jibs, but I expect to be able to land a 10-foot drop with this. Or am I asking for a broken board/leg/skull and maybe should stick to my DC HKD?

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4 5

I've been riding these for 3 seasons now, and they have never failed me.

I originally went in for a set of cheapies, because I was just making the transition into intermediate riding, but since I am 6'-4" and 225 lbs., the guy at the store recommended I go with something with an aluminum base instead of the poly.

That being said, they're great for tearing down the mountain at neck-breaking speed, quick adjustments and rapid input transfer -- but definitely stiff for rails and landing 20-footers, although I would feel confident that they wouldn't bust on me if I did.

If you're a hoss like me, then get 'em. If you're smaller and/or park rat, go for something softer.

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3 5

I bought this off a guy on CL, and it's definitely a stiff board. I'm 6'-4", 230 and ride a 160. It's my first advanced-intermediate ride and it took a bit to get used to the stiffness.

The other thing that I have trouble with is the base. I don't know if this is standard with the sintered 7500, but it seems that I cannot hold a wax for more than a day. When the wax eventually rubs off, the base sticks something awful and makes a sound like nylon being rubbed together. I've tumbled a couple times just from the base sticking to the snow. Not cool.

All told, it is a very fast board, and floats like a dream in pow. After getting used to how much to boss it to turn, it's a great ride. Get a wider one if you've got gigantic feet like me. I wear a 13, and my toes hang over.

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5 5

I bought these goggles hoping that they would be compatible with my Smith Triads I got a couple years ago (strap broke). Unfortunately, they are not, but Smith still makes the best goggles out there. The Gold Sensor lens is fantastic in almost all light conditions. I took them to Alpental at night and had awesome visibility, field of vision and no fog at all in some very poor conditions. The following weekend, I used them at Crystal Mountain under bluebird skies and despite some initial squinting from the amount of light they let in, they again worked amazingly. I've got a pretty big face, and they do not pinch my nose or ride high like my Oakley Wisdoms. They also work great with my helmet unlike the Wisdoms. (Giro Encore) The frames seemed a little cheaper than the Triads, but they are flexible and resilient. The added contrast in the Gold Lens is a godsend.

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