Damian Sanders / Me snowboarding in HARD BOOTS!

Food for thought with our Bindings. Soft / Hard boots
Please “like” if you like and comment if you want to see more interesting ideas like this explored in future vids!

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Damien Sanders 2 part VICE videos:


Cichlid Bro says:

Great idea with the comparison! Can’t wait for the follow-up!

I feel that because there’s no play or that it’s greatly reduced with hard boots, the necessity for being spot on with your edge control is primary. An experienced rider can appreciate the immediacy of that response; however, an inexperienced rider would be catchin’ more edge in those early stages of learnin’ to ride. I remember them well. (the bruises too) Personally I’d rather have a little give than none at all. Ankles were meant to bend & work with the knees, eh?

Daniel Gallagher says:

Hmm I can definitely see why stiffer boots would be good but I hate the idea of actual ski boots and bindings, coming unclipped just seems dangerous and everyone knows soft boots are a dream to walk in compared to hard ones. Glad you used a proper stance and board to ride them, older riders may disagree but unless it’s duck stance it just doesn’t seem like snowboarding.

Bas Kulderij says:

25yrs of snowboarding and only spend 1hr on soft boots many years ago (even on an indoor slope with real snow). Love my hardboots, but not for “freestyle”

Johan Oseroff says:

I started off riding in hardboots, so i learned the hard way. 🙂 Jokes aside, i totally see your point. I swithed to soft boots the next year and has ridden softboots ever since. I remember that old burton binding that had 3 straps, they should have looked more into that. It still had flex for tweaks and amazing toe side response leaning into the binding. Keep those thoughts coming ! 😀

LAZER1986 says:

How’s cushioning in that boots? Do you loose “extra joint” of feet on your toeside carve, turning only with your knees like on a heelside? Does it hurt to jump and land? Could you use canted disks on that bomber plates, for a more natural stance? Do that boots give you more or less heeltoe drag? Lots of questions:P looking forward seeing you ride them on your wide donek:D

Kevin Diaz says:

Have you tried the flow bindings?

marty maness says:

I rode hard boots back in the day. everything in the video is true. but I tell you this. crashing in hard boots can be way more harmful to the calves and ankles.

Drikker says:

Love your videos <3 please upload as much as you can !

taunus80 says:

great stuff as always! like your open mindedness! I went the opposite direction and got myselve my first soft setup after 20 years on hardboots! main reason were your videos, and some of the japanese guys that are ripping on their soft gear. i had a great season here in new zealand, and felt like a grommet again. as you said the difference is prob smaller than most would think, espessially as i had my hardboots very soft and used soft plastic bindings, my ride insanos are stiffer than my hardboots! the other reason was that i found a good offer for a used donek freerider that was too good to pass 🙂 great boards! saving up some coin to get my own custom made one day! please keep those videos coming!

gorrellykid says:

If I could pull off a nollie backside 360 even a quarter as good as you do it , then I ‘d be happy wearing flip flops , wellies , fluffy slippers , any damn thing

steliocontos82 says:

nice…often wondered the same. I’m a kid from early 80’s so I can relate, rode hard boots a few times but was to young to really no what was up…maybe I’ll have to step back in time

Jan Nevejans says:


Evan Lownds says:

Pretty sure Ryan could stand up on a toboggan and go down a mountain better than most people.. It’s really not the gear or how much you spend on it, it’s the rider, and he’s one of the best non-professionals out there. Interesting video though! Biggest drawback is that going up and down stairs with hard boots is awful!

Jack Savage says:

When I was a kid I raced skis. I bought a hard boot binding system that was compatible with my ski boots so I could goof around on a board after my morning training was done. I still ride skis and snowboards, and now am on soft boots of course, but I do miss those hard boot days a little. They dig trenches in groomers and really drive the board.
The board I learned on was a Rossignol Tin Man, to give you an idea of the era.

wrong email says:

I don’t get it? Maybe hard boots will come back?

Boots these days are supposed to be like bomber+huge jumps= harder boots and binding, while Freestyle+jibbing= softer boot and bindings. The softer your connection with the board you are supposed to be able to pull off more, like save a sketchy landing.

Do you think hitting big jumps on hard boots would be super sketchy? Like would the landing be too rigid and you might either pop out of the binding or just snap something like a twig.

Wishy washy to me means a surfy feel which is cool, but often my feet are worn out and I never really feel like my connection with the board is tight like a machine.

My riding style is very buttery, I ride a Libtech box scratcher a very flexy , surfy, buttery, jibbin board, with Union contact bindings (med flex) and insano Ride boots (pretty hard) but have the quick release ratchet gadget, so i can ride them loose. My feet fall asleep a lot , maybe i just need to ride more, and get tuffer, maybe i ride with too much tension work on my feet, idk ? I was thinking about getting softer boots to go with my setup. Though my boots now are pretty nice and new. I really like the ratchets.

O Ryan Master of butter, your thoughts?

GoPro Edit Room says:

How was it walking around in those hard boots?

Gerald Lee says:

Geat video Ryan! you need to make more of these types of videos. I love the story related to snowboarding history. I would also like more testing videos for quirky gear! nice job. I love the way you carve too. keep it up man!

Ryan Knapton says:

BONUS TRIVIA!!! Name as many people you can in the background of the first picture. 🙂

Don Ramsay says:

Hello Ryan how wide is your stance and what degrees did you set your front and back foot? Thanks

Jason Theo says:

Hey Ryan, I’m trying to do front-side tail rolls.. i can hold the tail buttering position but i just cant get it to rotate, do it smoothly and balanced.. i struggle a lot to do any rotations with the position.. any tips? i have watched your vidz but i thought you could help me and give me more detailed tips maybe. cool videos btw 😀

LAZER1986 says:

Hey Ryan, i finally got out to a proper mountain for the first time and i took my custom 28cm waist board with me:D check this out please:P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgODn7R104A
I think there is a revert carve, at least for half a second 😛 I kinda do some sort of a eurocarve into a slasher bomb into a switch, haha

Nick George says:

Awesome videos. You have great edge control, I’ve watched a lot of your videos and you talk about this a lot, what are some ways to work on edge control?

Kurt Rein says:

one of your more interesting videos!

Zaph Nova says:

gawd, i want snow… yesterday we had 13 fuckin °C here. feels like its end of march and not february… damnit (oh yeah, and i got a bursa inflammation on my elbow, got put into a cast for a week, arrrghhhhh). Nice vid and i also think that hard boots and a race board is the ultimate machine for carving – but i’ll stick to my freestyle stuff, its more versatile – especially if you ride a lot off piste like me

Irving five says:

I tried hard boots and an alpine board a few times and it rocked! Like you said, the board goes on edge instantly!

aznlemonboy says:

which boots/bindings do you most often use nowadays??

Brian Bacc says:

What kind of boot does Ryan Knapton wear? He said it in one of his videos but I can’t find it. I think it was a Burton Imperial? Can anyoen verify?


Bomber Alpine Snowboard Outfitters says:

Thanks for the kudos, Ryan, and kickass video!

James Cornwall says:

I rode hardboots for like 15 years, about 10 of those years on a Damian Dagger. He was the man, freakin nuts! I agree great edge control. I was heading to BC for some back country. I knew I could not show up with my set up. Got some softies, Oh my never going back. I respect it, just cant do it anymore.

I still wonder what ever happened to him, he seemed to fade away with the original avalanche. He has the X box thing and did the whole big party thing but does he still ride?

Vancouver Reviews says:

I’d like to see more videos of you riding hardboots on a freesytle board!!

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