The Alpina Alaska XP Boot / Rottefella XPLORE Binding Experience Review

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Sun May 09, 2021 11:53 am

lowangle al wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 6:36 am
How are the boots for hiking?
Hiking is an integral part of the Alaska XP DNA. Of course with 75mm boots its a real pain, but I never had any problems hiking with any NNN-BC boots, feeling a huge improvement over 75mm. But yes, the Alaska XP is much better! It's a superlight, super-comfy high-end hiking boot that can also ski. The flex for walking is much more natural than any other ski boot I have ever tried. I can feel that it was very well tuned for that purpose...

I took a walk in the woods with the Baby Alaska in one foot and the Alaska BC in the other. Big difference. Hiking is much more comfortable on the new XP. And so is climbing on rocks and steeper trails. They are even fun for trail running! (Seriously!) You won't find a more natural integrated walk-mode in any other ski boot on the planet...

ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 12:41 pm
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?
Nope, they cannot be locked in retracted position. But I already thought about that. I thought about a simple kind of C-clamp that I could put under the boots to keep the pins inside while hiking. Or at least something to protect them. Just a simple piece of metal that could be bent to fit between the pins... I will work on this during the summer... Or that could be @Bri7 next project... But I am pretty sure either Rottefella or some third parties will come up with something like that in the future... Depending on the return rate for bent springpins... 8-)

riel wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 8:48 pm
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?
Actually, I kept it quite simple saying that the flex point was simply moved a bit backwards. But the truth is that it's much more complex than that. The whole forward flex is quite impressive, I can see that it's the fruit of a lot of experimentation. The more I wear the boots, the more I get accustomed to that new flex. And the more I get used to it, the more I think it's truly beautiful... I really can't wait for snow to complete this very exciting experiment!

What you say is important. Because we have been used to a certain flex with duckbills for several decades. And the same is true with NNN-BC soles. That flex is in our genes. It's engraved in our brains. It's hidden deep inside our muscle memory. And we can't change that in only a few turns. It's totally normal that the first time you will try XPlore boots, you might feel a bit confused about the new flex. Hence the reason I emphasized this point in my review...

So I don't think it would be a good thing at all to change the flex of NNN-BC or Vibram 1015 Ferret soles that we've been accustomed to for oh so many years... Let's first see that you guys think the the XPlore first... 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:09 am

/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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BrianE
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by BrianE » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:43 pm

Known US retailers for both the Xplore bindings as well as compatible boots?



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UtahBrian
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by UtahBrian » Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:09 am

BrianE wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:43 pm
Known US retailers for both the Xplore bindings as well as compatible boots?
I'd like to know the same thing, but I think there is no Xplore equipment for sale at retail anywhere in the world as of mid-October. Maybe Xplore will end up being more of a 2022 system introduction than 2021.



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telerat
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by telerat » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:57 am

Here in Norway Xplore is listed in at least one online shop with arrival on 30th of November. Alfa lists the boots shipping as soon as possible after 1st of November. It'll be interesting to see when and how much will be available.



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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:24 am

telerat wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:30 am
I'm waiting for an Xplore review in Fri Flyt on 11th of November (a Norwegian skiing magazine - part of the conglomerate that also has utemagasinet.no). Hopefully more/new info will come out then and not just a rehash of the earlier review. I'll report back as soon as I know more.
brwilkinson wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:56 pm
Yes, I think we are all looking forward to any reviews that come about. So far Tom has the only reviews or preview that I have seen :) Tom, I guess you had to send that Alpina Alaska that you demo'd back to the supplier then?
Woodserson wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:37 am
I dunno. I was hot on this last spring but now after a summer to simmer and a good dose of healthy capitalism skepticism I better be blown away by people's reactions-- from people I trust.

FWIW, I'm still totally in love with the Alaska XPs. I spent the summer starring at them. They are just mind-blowing. NO, they are not sturdy, extreme-class downhill boots. But the superlite Alaska XP boot + XP binding combination offers just the finest experience ever for Nordic skiing. Really. This is a unique feeling I never experienced with any other piece of gear.

In fact, although I have a whole fleet of boots lying all around, I have the feeling that I will probably use the Baby XPees exclusively every single day this season... Can't wait to try them in pure winter conditions... And figure out how to handle them on the downhill side... 8-)


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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by brwilkinson » Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:51 am

Johnny wrote:
Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:24 am
FWIW, I'm still totally in love with the Alaska XPs. I spent the summer starring at them. They are just mind-blowing.

Can't wait to try them in pure winter conditions... And figure out how to handle them on the downhill side... 8-)
This just gets me super excited... I'm so glad I found this forum and these threads on new gear.

I've been getting quoted dates in January for Xplore binding availability in the US, so far. Which is a little depressing, however I'll just be considering ordering from Europe. We'll see.

Glad the Alaska or the Free models are both likely great boots.



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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:33 pm

After a few more days in a row on the XPLORE system, I think I can finally proclaim my verdict! Overall, my opinion is pretty much the same. I don't know about the Alpina gear yet, but the Alfa boots and the Rottefella bindings are simply *freaking* expensive. That is a fact. I guess it doesn't matter much because it's going to sell anyway. It's up to you to decide if it's worth it or not. But so far, if I forget the price tag, I personally think the XP is just the best cross-country and Nordic/touring binding ever. And with just a few simple tweaks, it could also be the best XCD binding ever too. Sorry if I repeat myself, this is just an extension (≈repetition) of my original review... Try to see it more like a reiteration instead... 8-)

To be fair and totally unbiased in my review, I compared Alaskas with Alaskas:
- Alpina Alaska XP (Soft flexors)
- Alpina Alaska BC (Soft flexors)
- Alpina Alaska 75 (No cables)

CROSS-COUNTRY:
Despite what has been said elsewhere, for me there is no way 75mm could come even close to the XPLORE! Never before my skis tracked so straight. Like, absolutely straight. I never had such control of my skis before. The width between the pins really makes a huge difference for everything XC. Especially for the trailing ski. Again, I was only expecting the XP to add more control downhill, I was never expecting such a new, amazing XC experience. What a wonderful, amazing surprise!

Add to this the SUPER-light weight of the new Alaska XP boots and their PERFECT lacing system, allowing a perfect, super tight fit. And the only words that come to my mind are once again "mind blowing". Really. It blows everything away. The new Alaska XP gives a sense of complete freedom like I never experienced before. Much better than NNN-BC too, for the same reasons. The Alaska XP instantly makes cross-country skiing WAY more fun than before!!! (And faster too!)


DOWNHILL:
Pretty much the same applies here. It has nothing to do with 75mm (NC). The century-old floppy obsolete duckbills are finally replaced by lateral metal pins. At freaking last! MUCH better control than 75mm, no matter if we're talking about turning, edging, lateral control or steering. Of course, skiers addicted to cables or plastic boots will not be able to fully appreciate the improvement here. But for those who enjoy their TotallyFree-heel skiing at full blast (cables = not free), you will really appreciate the difference and the power here over the old Nordic Norm. Yes, you WILL need to get used to the new XP sole at first. It definitely does not flex like the BC or 75 soles.

For most of the time, the new XP system is almost as good as NNN-BC for downhill. I am not saying better, because while the Baby Alaskas are A LOT better than the previous Alaskas, the boots are a little bit softer than the taller Alaska BC. Which is not a bad thing at all. But the potential for a more powerful downhill experience is there. I am sure Alpina will come up with a dedicated downhill leather boot at some point if there is a demand. But right now the new XPs are just perfect for all my XCD needs, even without the hard flexor!

I also have to admit that over the years, I got quite addicted to the NNN-BC rails, without even realizing it. Until I switched to XPLORE. I have to say that I find myself looking for them on the XP system, even after 5-6 days. But perhaps it's just because it's embedded in the ski department of my brain. Every single time I turn, I find myself saying to myself: "Oh yeah it's true, there's no rail on the XP!" I sure will need to have my memory get used to this! I will probably still use the BC version for downhill on 35+ degree slopes. But for everything else, the new Alaska XP is simply my new all-time favorite boot. (As you can see on my profile... 8-) )

Seriously, better control, more performance and reduced weight can only translate to more fun.

Thank you SO MUCH Alpina for coming up with such a mind-blowing new product!
Thank you so much for such a new experience!
And thank you so much for turning everyday skiing into everyday awesomeness!


IMG_01742.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by TeleMarcin » Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:36 pm

Thanks for Great review Johnny. I am wondering how AlaskasXP will compare against Alfa Free. At least on paper Alfa Free looks more powerfull and innovative with its boa adjustment system.



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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska XP XPlore Boot review

Post by Johnny » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:48 am

TeleMarcin wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:36 pm
Thanks for Great review Johnny. I am wondering how AlaskasXP will compare against Alfa Free. At least on paper Alfa Free looks more powerfull and innovative with its boa adjustment system.
Yeah I'm very curious to see the FREE APS too... With an ankle support rating of 5/5 (!!!) there are some very high expectations here. The thing is, it doesn't look quite like it from all the videos we have seen so far... And the first reviews sound quite disappointing... I hope the final product will be as GREAT as the Alaska XP...

According to Norway, the Alfa boots should hit the streets by mid-December. (Every time I asked about the release date, they kept pushing it, so I stopped asking... 8-) )
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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