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2 5

For many years, I've used Nike running shoes and they have run both true to size and width. Not so with these skate shoes: they are much narrower than standard. Vans are a better bet in terms of fit and value.


5 5

I purchased these at the end of the season to replace a pair of 5 year old Mission bindings. I originally used the Missions on a Custom board and moved them over to a Vapor a year ago. Because I changed boots, the Missions no longer fit properly, thus the motivation for the Cartel purchase.

Comfort: These bindings are much more comfortable than the older Missions. They have padded straps and need not be clinched as tight as the older bindings to secure the boot. Note that either because newer Burton boots are bulkier (Burton denies this, but my comparison between 4 year old Sabbath and current Serow's suggests it is the case), I bought a large Cartel binding to replace the medium sized Mission I previously used. For this reason, a prospective buyer should try boots/bindings before purchase.
Wear: I've only had a chance to ride these on about 20 runs at Mt Baker. That is too few to assess their durability.
Performance: I was hesitant to purchase newer and more expensive bindings, since I really couldn't believe that they would make any difference in performance. However, I was wrong. Surprisingly, performance was dramatically improved compared to the older style bindings. Response and control were much better. Lighter materials transmit more "feel". I mostly used them for freeriding, for which they are top rate performers.
Conclusion: An excellent binding for the sale price. Watch the highbacks when you get on the lift. They are thin and appear fragile, making them liable to break if they catch on the chair.


4 5

I bought this boot around 2 weeks ago and have only been able to use it twice, so these are my preliminary impressions:
1). Fit: these boots fit true to size in length, but are wider than standard. Because of that, I developed heel lift after about 10 runs and installed the (enclosed) foam heel restraints. Those helped, but a narrower boot would be better for my feet (and I usually wear a standard width).
2). Comfort: the boots are comfortable.
Impact cushioning is better than my 4 year old Sabbath boots.
3). Control: delivers promised performance in this area.
4). Price: I bought these here on-sale and noticed the price has dropped, again! For the current sale-price, they are well worth the money.
5). Lacing systems: there is an inner boot and an outer one, as is standard. The inner (liner) boot lacing system is seriously flawed, as the lace restraint doesn't tend to hold tension. It is a simple pressure chock inside a hollow slider and isn't on par with the rest of the boot. The outer rapid lacing system seems to perform as advertised and is superior to a standard lace.
6). Durability: I have already noticed abrasions on the boot under my binding straps, suggesting this boot is not especially durable. My old Sabbath boots did not abrade for over two years.
7). Conclusion: a good, though perhaps not great boot which is in need of additional work.


5 5

I purchased this board last year (on sale, here) to replace a 5 year old Burton Custom. I was quite hesitant about the purchase, given the astronomical list price. Worse, the Burton catalog and website, provided an abundance of vaporous (pun intended) hype, but little useful information for the potential purchaser. I finally made the purchase based on the substantial mid-season price reduction. Having used this board for the equivalent of a full season, I am very happy with the purchase. First, the board is quite light. Largely due to that fact (I assume) it is also very responsive. Doubtless, the technical "marvels" Burton extols contribute substantially to performance, but I suspect weight is a major factor, as well. Second, the board has worn well: there is hardly any evidence of use, though I almost exclusively freeride with it. Third, construction quality is first rate, at least compared with the older Custom, which began to disintegrate after about 3 seasons use. Forth, it rides well on most conditions, but becomes unstable on icy terrain. Finally, it has a good "feel", by which I mean that the terrain can be sensed through the board, allowing appropriate rider adjustments in real time. In summary, this is a nice board, but suffers from very high pricing.