How To Extract Remove Ski Boot Cuff Rivet Pivot

By Lou Dawson | March 20, 2018  

In the boot fitting trade, it’s sometimes necessary to remove a ski boot cuff rivet fastener. For example, while working on canting issues or replacing rivets with better friction-free alternatives. Sometimes a boot maker is enlightened to the 7 paths of how to build a perfect ski boot, and the cuff fasteners are threaded. But most have not achieved the 7th level and still smush a permanent aluminum rivet as they’ve been doing for half a century. I’ve always hacked out the old-style cuff rives by using various tool abuse. This has not been pretty and I’ve ruined a few shells. But I mended my ways, and over past years I’ve learned various methods that work. (For DIY rivet replacement methods, see linkage at bottom of this post.)

When we’ve taken boot fitter certification classes from Masterfit, the method shown was to simply grind the fastener out from the inside using a large diameter burr on a flexible shaft. Tooling for that is not particularly challenging, the process is time consuming and friction heat is a problem — though it is indeed the simplest solution. I’ve thus been inspired to improve my approach to this. Lots of options, check it all out.

Method 1, large orb grinder and brute force:

Flex shaft with burr, standard method of removing cuff rivets.

Flex shaft with burr, standard method of removing cuff rivets. A larger burr and streamlined shaft handle and chuck make reaching inside the boot easier, I use this larger more klugy combo because it’s lower cost — though I did grind plastic off the chuck for better clearance. I rig up a smaller air-powered die grinder if I need to reach farther into the boot. Boot fitters who work on alpine boots, especially race “plug” boots, do quite a bit of shell plastic grinding, sometimes in the hard to reach toe area of the boot. Grinding ski touring boot plastic is generally avoided, making a compact grinder less important. Shopping links at bottom of post.

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Quit the Sumo Stomp with Salomon S Lab X-Alp Boots — Review

By Lisa Dawson | March 19, 2018  
Salomon women's X-Alp

Salomon women’s S Lab X-Alp.

One of the mistakes I see in backcountry skiing is people aggressively lifting up their skis when skinning. They stomp uphill like a sumo wrestler ceremoniously warming up for a match, rather than smoothly sliding their skis on the snow.

Glide friendly skins are part of the formula for an efficient stride. Another thing that helps is a boot with exceptional range of motion. Enter Salomon S Lab X-Alp ski touring boots (similar to Arcteryx Procline).

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Cripple Creek Backcountry — Spring Sale

By Lou Dawson | March 16, 2018  

Ok ski touring shoppers, get on it. Online or in person at brick & mortar stores, Colorado. Sale goes three days starting today.

We’ve had a special friendship with these guys since they opened their Carbondale, Colorado store a few short years ago. A model of retailing we love. Personal service, best coffee, beer on tap, in our hometown, within bicycle distance of WildSnow HQ, what more does one need. Perhaps some snow?

On the subject of the sale, we hear they’re blowing out a big pile of climbing skins for around $50 a pop. Git sum.

Aha, I’m looking out my office window and it is indeed snowing here in dry Colorado. There is hope.




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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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