Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

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Woodserson
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Woodserson » Fri May 07, 2021 3:59 am

Johnny wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 3:50 am

Actually, there was a #5 and a #6 in my original review. But I deleted them afterwards, thinking my review was already overloaded and too long for the average reader. But hey, maybe you would like me to undelete them just for the fun of discussion? ;)
Well, obviously. C'mon man

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telerat
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by telerat » Fri May 07, 2021 5:21 am

Alpina Alaska XP looks like an excellent boot for long distance XC touring with great comfort, but not the best for more hilly tours with steeper and/or icy descents. I personally first want an Xplore version of the Alaska with high cuff, good ankle support and much power to drive wider skis, including at least three closely placed hooks on the cuff and a robust lacing system like the heat edition without the straps of the regular version:
https://www.alpinasports.com/en/nordic/ ... heat-51711 (though not as high as that).

I'm very interested in testing this boot though, as I think a "springy" flex point could increase XC kick and skiing efficiency and the changed/different flex on this boot might do that, but the flex looks too stiff for that currently. A proper flex together with the comfort and light weight of the boot and binding may give us an amazing setup for longer XC tours with a light ski like the Åsnes Ousland or similar.

The sole on the Alaska XP you've got Johnny looks too short for the boot; I hope this is because of preproduction and will be changed before launch. It will add a few grams.

This Alaska XP is one of the boots types I wanted made for the Xplore system. Alfa Vista will hopefully be a good alternative, even though the weight is spec'ed higher than expected when comparing to Alfa Guard Advance and the Alpina. Then we need boots with higher cuff, proper rubber guard and regular lacing fulfilling the goal of a high and supportive boot to drive wider skis. Alfa Skaget looks nice, but I'm skeptical if there is enough lateral stiffness and cuff support in that boot until tested. Add one or more Xplore improved version(s) of Crispi Svartisen with amazing power, and I think a lot of both the performance and market potential in the Xplore system for skiing has been reached.

I also think a greatly enlarged flexor (may necessitate a binding redesign) is need for the highest downhill performance, but we'll see when the stiffer flexor is released. A cable option could also increase performance, but will increase complexity and reduce ease of use. Lastly I believe the Alfa Free should either be remade as an extremely lightweight boot for fast XC, or get a rubber guard, improved lateral stiffness and added straps to make it a proper high performance/stiff support boot. Now it looks to be neither.





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Woodserson
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Woodserson » Fri May 07, 2021 4:00 pm

telerat wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:21 am
Alpina Alaska XP looks like an excellent boot for long distance XC touring with great comfort, but not the best for more hilly tours with steeper and/or icy descents. I personally first want an Xplore version of the Alaska with high cuff, good ankle support and much power to drive wider skis, including at least three closely placed hooks on the cuff and a robust lacing system
Oh good eye! I did not notice the lower cuff and the 2 hooks instead of 3... hmmmm. Interesting choices there, Alpina!

More worrisome across the line regardless of boots: I did not realize until @Tom M 's video that the metal tabs on the boots are actually spring loaded! Like they move and stuff. What the actual Eff! I mean, this is being adverted as a boot to hike in for those long approaches... that means ROCKS and WATER and FREEZING THINGS and MUD. If people are worried about banging up an NNNBC bar, imagine banging one of these, one little dent and it ain't gonna push in. In Maine and Norway and Sweden XC skiing also means skiing along salt water. What happens when some salt water gets into the spring mechanism? Christ. I thought those things were solid tabs and the spring load was in the wings of the binding itself.

(And this tech if for skates, snowshoes, etc etc... not just skiing, they are asking for extensive foot travel with all the different gear they want to mate this binding too)

I hope they thought this through. Those things need to be tougher than nails or else you're going to find yourself scrambling over some rocks on day and you won't be able to click back into the binding.

Definitely a worry for dependability. Moving things placed on high-impact areas are asking for trouble.





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Stephen
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Stephen » Fri May 07, 2021 5:21 pm

@Woodserson , Dude, no disrespect, but you are about two months late to this discussion (spring loaded pins)!
:P





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Woodserson
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Woodserson » Sat May 08, 2021 2:41 am

Stephen wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:21 pm
@Woodserson , Dude, no disrespect, but you are about two months late to this discussion (spring loaded pins)!
:P
Asleep at the switch, I guess.

But first mention in this thread!





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Stephen
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Stephen » Sat May 08, 2021 3:58 am

Coulda been me -- wake me up when we get there...
:lol:





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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Sat May 08, 2021 5:43 am

telerat wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:21 am
Alpina Alaska XP looks like an excellent boot for long distance XC touring with great comfort, but not the best for more hilly tours with steeper and/or icy descents. I personally first want an Xplore version of the Alaska with high cuff, good ankle support and much power to drive wider skis, including at least three closely placed hooks on the cuff and a robust lacing system like the heat edition without the straps of the regular version:
I totally agree. I am *totally* in love with these little wonders. So far, I am simply blown away by the "Baby Alaskas"... They are the future. Just like the Alfa Guards, they are my favorite kind of boots. But I too would also love to see a full-blown, sturdy, beefed-up military grade Alaska for the XPlore system. Hey, it might be in the works... 8-)


Alpina Baby Alaska XP.jpg

The sole on the Alaska XP you've got Johnny looks too short for the boot; I hope this is because of preproduction and will be changed before launch. It will add a few grams.
Too short? Nah, it's perfect... 8-)

Unlike what Crister pretends, this pair of Alaska XP I received last month from Alpina will not go through any other change. This is the boot that we will see on the shelves next fall...

This Alaska XP is one of the boots types I wanted made for the Xplore system. Alfa Vista will hopefully be a good alternative, even though the weight is spec'ed higher than expected when comparing to Alfa Guard Advance and the Alpina. Then we need boots with higher cuff, proper rubber guard and regular lacing fulfilling the goal of a high and supportive boot to drive wider skis. Alfa Skaget looks nice, but I'm skeptical if there is enough lateral stiffness and cuff support in that boot until tested. Add one or more Xplore improved version(s) of Crispi Svartisen with amazing power, and I think a lot of both the performance and market potential in the Xplore system for skiing has been reached.
ALFA boots are usually pretty soft. I really doubt any of their new XP boots will be stiffer than the Alaska. And I really doubt Crispi will bother to enter the XPlore game, this requires a big investment and I don't believe they can afford that. The secret Rossignol XP boots might not even exist, considering the high-cuffed version of the Alaska we see in that same picture. And even if Rossi comes out with something, it sure will be on the soft side.

I think it *might* be all we will see next season, the XPlore system being mainly a collaborative effort between Rotte and Alfa. But hey, the market has to start somewhere. Hopefully we'll see some offerings by Fischer too. But it seems like Rossignol and Fischer are not in super-good terms with Rottefella... 8-)

Woodserson wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 4:00 pm
What happens when some salt water gets into the spring mechanism? Christ. I thought those things were solid tabs and the spring load was in the wings of the binding itself.
Yep, it was briefly mentioned here. Nothing is perfect, there's GOT to be a link between the boot and the binding right...? (NTN-BC was actually near-perfect, but not going to happen...)

Let's say your boots hit something. With solid tabs, they sure would bend or dent. Now being spring-loaded, and with their ends well rounded, there is a small chance than instead of bending, they will simply be pushed inside like a turtle head. 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
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lowangle al
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by lowangle al » Sat May 08, 2021 6:36 am

How are the boots for hiking? I have an interest in using light gear for consistent predictable spring/ summer conditions. I would be more inclined to get out when hiking to get to the snow is involved if I had a good boot for it. It seems like they would be better than boots with a duck bill or NNN boots as far as feeling like a normal hiking boot and durability.

It seems this would be a good selling point weather you are skiing, snowshoeing or skating. where hiking is involved.





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ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Sat May 08, 2021 12:41 pm

lowangle al wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 6:36 am
How are the boots for hiking? I have an interest in using light gear for consistent predictable spring/ summer conditions. I would be more inclined to get out when hiking to get to the snow is involved if I had a good boot for it. It seems like they would be better than boots with a duck bill or NNN boots as far as feeling like a normal hiking boot and durability.

It seems this would be a good selling point weather you are skiing, snowshoeing or skating. where hiking is involved.
Hopefully the sole is durable. My BC boots show a surprising amount of wear considering I only walked a couple miles (mostly on snow) with them. The XP boots sure look good and I think the pins won't cause too much trouble, too bad they can't be locked in the retracted position, or can they?





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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by riel » Sat May 08, 2021 8:48 pm

Johnny wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 3:50 am
riel wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 11:08 pm
The XPlore flex point is where the joints in the foot are in a somewhat straighter line. That might make it easier to keep the skis straight during kick and glide, which is what Tom reported.
Yep, that's my feeling too... That's why I love the XPlore so much for XC skiing...!
And that is also why the more I think about it, the more I think the XPlore system was designed mostly for touring, despite the incredible potential for downhill with proper boots.
Given that the XPlore binding is too wide for use in the tracks (as far as I know, I may be wrong), I wonder if it would make sense for the boot manufacturers to make that kind of flex point change in their NNN-BC boots, too?

Also makes me wonder where NNN combi boots have their flex points...





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