I wrote in my initial review of the Atomic Backland Carbon that I was going to do some tinkering with the boot. Namely, I was interested to see if a different liner and the addition of a Booster strap would effectively bolster the forward flex and make it feel like the boot didn’t hit me so low on my leg.
With the help of the crew at Powder Hound, a Blister Recommended Shop in Girdwood, AK, I cooked the Backland’s shells, added Intuition Powerwrap LV liners, and threw on a Booster strap.
Since then, I’ve been skiing the boots in the Girdwood backcountry around Alyeska Resort and also around Turnagain Pass.
By cooking the shell and taking advantage of Atomic’s “Memory Fit” option, I was able to gain a few valuable millimeters in the lower shell. This allowed me to fit the bulkier (than the stock liners) Intuition Powerwrap LV liners, and took the pressure off a few small hotspots that I had noticed while using the stock liner in New Zealand.
Now that I’ve got the Intuition liner in place and have skied in them a few days, I plan to try another shell cook, this time with some strategic foam padding on my foot to even further fine tune the fit and gain a little more space in a few key areas.
Improved skiing performance is the whole reason I added the Intuition liner and Booster strap, and I’m pretty pleased with where I am now with these boots. They feel much taller and significantly more supportive—especially when I slide the Booster strap as far up onto the liner as I can before tightening it down. This gives the boot almost a “faux-progressive flex” from the elastic strap.
The tongue and cuff of the shell still hit my leg lower than I’d like, but the sensation is greatly reduced, and the boots are more comfortable and supportive when sinking into the front of the boot.
I should note that even with the Booster strap, the Backland is still a pretty harsh ride in hard bumpy snow, and the stiff, lightweight shell does not have much in the way of damping when things get rough. In soft or smooth snow, however, they continue to feel surprisingly powerful and stable for their weight, and are plenty of boot for most of the less aggressive powder skiing I’ve been doing lately.
I’ve used my Dynafit TLT6’s with skis as big as my DPS Spoons, and I plan to do so soon with the Backland Carbon. I don’t anticipate any issues driving the big pow boards as long as it’s relatively soft or smooth out there.
While the Booster straps may have added a small amount of weight to the boot due to the metal cam buckle, the boots still feel very light. The wrap liner does take away some of the forward and backward range of motion, but it’s a small difference, and there is still more than enough ROM for anything I do.
And because of the added comfort of the custom fit, I prefer the Intuition wrap liner set-up to the the stock liner even for uphill travel.
As some of our readers suggested, the tongues have become gradually easier to insert and remove. I’m still not sure why they need to be so secure, but the process is getting easier with time. I still wish there was an option for a taller tongue and might look into modifying something to that effect.
I’ll do a Deep Dive comparison soon between the Atomic Backland Carbon and the Dynafit TLT6, but, so far, I’m quite impressed with the power and precision of the modified Backland Carbon. So if you decide you’d like a performance bump over the stock boot, I can highly recommend these additions.