STEVE: Hello and welcome to another podcast for skis.com and snowboards.com. I'm Steve. I'm the host and across from me today we have Geoff Bonebrake, he's a representative from Full Tilt. And Full Tilt is a Ski Boot maker that have roots going back to the 70s and have been on the feet of many Olympic gold medalists. So, Geoff, how are you doing today?
GEOFF: Good, how are you, Steve? Thanks for having me!
STEVE: Oh sure, I'm doing great. Thanks for spending a little time with us here. Let's get right into it. Comfort is obviously very important when skiing and what do Full Tilt Boots have to help keep feet comfortable and warm?
GEOFF: Well, a couple of the main things are, well, Full Tilt is really known for having an easy-on and easy-off feature. The way that the tongue, the 3-Piece Shell Tongue, works is it folds all the way and it makes it simple to slip your foot in. No grunting and groaning, that's probably the easiest part about it. It can be sitting in the back of your trunk all the way up to Boyne or local ski area, frozen solid, and still super easy to get into and there's a lot of boots – regular overlap boots - that you can't do that, so the 3-Piece Shell makes that much easier so getting in-and-out of them is really easy. They're super lightweight so moving around is much better, walking in them is much easier, the lightweight properties but the biggest thing for comfort is the Intuition Liner. It's a Closed Cell Foam that's used primarily for warmth and comfort and it's body heat activated so it molds to your foot, molds to the shape of the boot and your foot, while skiing or you can instantly mold it at a shop by having them put it on a heat stack and, in a few minutes, it's completely molded to your foot making it a custom fit much more comfortable.
STEVE: And so, if somebody were to buy one of the boots and then pass them down to their brother or sister when they're done with it, just take it back to the shop and they can take care of it?
GEOFF: Great idea, yeah. It's completely…you can mold it over-and-over-and-over. Like I said, it's heat activated, body heat activated so it could conceivably be molded just by putting them on but it will be much more comfortable right off the bat if it's re-molded to the new person – the hand-me-down person.
S: Okay, great. Now, how do your boots differ to accommodate different skiing types like backcountry skiing, freesking or even women's boots.
G: Well, women's is probably the easiest because it's a different last so the shell itself is designed to fit a woman's ankle, a woman's calf, it has a little lower back cuff on it, again, to accommodate a woman's calf. But for the different types of skiing whether it's race, whether it's freestyle, whether it's backcountry, a couple of the different things: we change up liners. The freestyle liner is a little bit lighter, the freeride liner has more stiffening. J-Bars, power wraps to keep everything in position when you're jumping huge cliffs and things. One of the biggest things that Full Tilt can do is you can change out the tongues. In just seconds you can change the tongue from a 10 flex to a 4 flex and generally speaking our freestyle boots are a softer flex our freeride boots are a stiffer flex. We also change the boot boards on the sole, or inside the boot, so that our freeride boots are rubber, more impact-resistant and our freeride boots have a stiff boot board in it that's more precise – better for racing, better for edge control, things like that.
S: Tell me about some of the Pro Model Boots that you have.
G: Pro Model-wise we actually got some key ones. Seth Morrison, a lot of people know him, he's been around forever, he's one of the key big mountain skiers in the world and his is our top-of-the-line pro model, sublimated graphics, it's got our new buckles on it, the beefiest and stiffest liner as well as power straps. It's got removable rubber soles because he does a lot of hiking. Again, new this year is sublimated graphics so it looks a lot cooler as well.
S: How often do Pro Model boots tend to change because I know Seth Morrison has been designing boots and a lot of different ski stuff for a while?
G: Well, the funny thing is with boots is Seth is one of the reasons Full Tilt exists. He skied our predecessor boot company, which is Raichle, forever and he says he can't ski anything but this shell, this mold. So we created Full Tilt using those molds and the boot that he's on now, his pro model is actually the new Full Tilt Sole Shell – a little bit wider toe box, it does have, like I said, the removable rubber soles for hiking and biggest thing, the Intuition Liner. He's one of the big reasons that the company exists, to keep him happy.
S: For this upcoming winter season, what is some of the technology that we can expect from Full Tilt?
G: One of the big things that we've done this year is revamp buckles on most of our top end boots with this new wide-track buckle. It's substantially stronger, it's easier to use, it's a metal buckle, it slides better and when you're hucking a forty-foot cliff it's going to hold up when somebody like Seth lands.
S: What about some of the other Pro Models that you have besides Seth Morrison?
G: Sure. One of our best known ones is the Tom Wallisch Pro Model and Tom is the reigning X-Game champ. Everybody knows him. He's actually going to be in the Olympics. He's picked by NBC as one of the lead candidates for all their advertising and his model is very similar to Seth's although he uses a little softer tongue because on freestyle he wants a little softer tongue than what Seth uses on his so he can perform his tricks a little bit easier. But it still has the wide-track buckles, the sublimated graphics and the FTS Shell.
S: Looks like you're going to another there…
G: Actually, our newest one which is the B&E Pro Model and these are two guys: Phil Casabon who is “B-Dog” and Henrik Harlaut “E-Dollo”, it's the B&E Pro Model and it uses the standard Full Tilt original shell, the FTO Shell, and a little Wu-Tang graphics on it. Kids are loving it. These guys tour around quite a bit also very well represented on X-Game podiums. They have terrific Webisodes that they do and everybody knows them and this is a new pro model for us with a little lighter weight boot; again more freestyle oriented.
S: Great. Well, Geoff thank you for your time today and check out skis.com for more information and more products for Full Tilt and thank you everybody for listening to the latest skis.com and snowboards.com podcast.