Snowboard types
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Clay
November 30, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Hey all,
I'm going to get a snowboard for my son for Christmas and while we're going to go to a place I trust (the Ski Center in DC) I wanted to do a bit of reseach about the types of boards that are out there so I know what would be the right type would be for him (I think there are different types, right? ). Right now, he probably splits his time half and half on the mountain and in the park, although he is not doing anything really advanced there yet, he would like to work more in the park. Any thoughts?

If it helps, right now he's using a hand-me-down that a buddy from work gave me. It's a "Morrow Slick 152" - hopefully that means something to some one . He's about 5'8 and around 100 lbs.

Thanks,
Clay
Tucker
November 30, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
There a couple general types of snowboards:alpine, big mountain, freeride, freestyle..etc...(names may also vary with companies)...different types of boards have different shapes, widths, stiffness, core construction etc. and perform differently and better on different types of terrain. Sounds like your son would benefit from a freestyle board.

All boards come in different lengths. A general rule of thumb is a little, plus or minus, shorter than chin height for length(unless your luckily enough to be riding in the deep pow alot). Some park riders like shorter boards...but a real short board is sometimes not the best choice in all types of terrain. I'm 6'2 and usually ride a 165 which is probably a little bit big for these smaller mid-a resorts, but I've gone with the longer length for chasing pow trips out west...This year I went with a jib/park set up for riding at T-line...a 161 never summer sl I believe it's a freestyle/freeride board and is definetily soft/flexible. The 161cm board is a solid 3 inches below my chin. (Don't worry I still have a 168 never summer awaiting lots of deep pow for this season).

Width may also be an option and varies from board companies and models. If you have really big feet a wide board might be the best option...in order to avoid toe/heel drag. Risers of lifter pads may also be an option.

But the board is only one part of the set-up. Just as important as the board is the boot and bindings. A good fitting boot goes a long way. Because after all you use your feet/ankles to control the board... Bindings also come in different sizes for different boot sizes. Responsive good fitting bindings are just as important as the board and boots.

If at all possible before buying a setup try the boots on in the bindings and on the board. A couple boards I was lucky enough to be able to even test ride and buy from reps at demo days. Demo days are a great way to test products, but I've also bought boards after jumping around on them in a ski shop...
kennedy
November 30, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Tucker pretty much hit everything but just to add a few things. When you pick up a board, regardless of length, brace one end on the floor and hold the nose while you bend it away from you using your other knee. Try it with a few different boards and you'll feel the flex difference. If your son rides aggressively he might appreciate a stiffer flex. Also if your son is at say a beginner/intermediate transition personally I'd recommend maybe going a little bigger on the board, say a 154 or 156 because while it might not feel right immediately it probably will after about a month of riding and it will have more scope for growth. I stepped up from a 156 to a 168 and it forced me to improve my technique. In the space of 2 weeks I was an immensely better rider because I couldn't bully the little board around anymore I had to learn how to carve and drive the edge. Now it's hard to step back down in size because smaller boards tend to wash out under the pressure.

Another thing. On the whole issue of bindings. Don't get side tracked by the team models or the super high end stuff. Get a solid middle ground binding by a good manufacturer. The difference between Team bindings and middle range is usually a few bells and whistles you probably won't notice. As with skiing of course don't scrimp on boots. Bring him along and have him fit stuff on. One thing to look for that I like personally are boots with an independent removeable liner. 1) when they are damp inside it's easy to take out the liner to let them breath and dry and 2) if they lace up independently of the boot it gives better support.

Just my 2 cents

BTW Tucker what Never Summer do you have? I'm thinking my next will be a Titan TX or equivalent
wvrocks
December 1, 2006
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
So would this be ok to start out on? CLICK HERE

Listen to these guys. They are giving you great info.
kennedy
December 1, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Man that thing looks like a canon. I've never tried alpine style boards but that looks bad#ss.

Actually someting else came to mind as regards shape. As Tucker said park riders prefer shorter boards which is true but the board also needs to be true twin tip rather than directional, provided that park is where your son is going to use the board most. Where this is important is when you ride reverse, switch, because directional boards are not so easy to ride this way. My board is technically all mountain but with a very directional bias. The tail of my board is a little more squared off than the nose which makes it tricky to ride switch. It's a great carver, awesome in pow and it floats airs like a dream. I'll even spin it in the pipe when I get a chance and it handles great for a big board. But if I spin it it better be a 360 or I better get my nose around fast when I land because otherwise good things are not in my future.
wvrocks
December 1, 2006
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Quote:

Man that thing looks like a canon. I've never tried alpine style boards but that looks bad#ss.





Yeah, its a Tinkler 203. Yours for only about $1500. Plus boots and bindings of course.

If you ever get a chance to try alpine give it a shot. Its really a lot of fun and shouldn't be hard for a good overall rider to pick up. There's a big group gathering at Roundtop in February called MAC Tracks. Its a great place to meet other carvers and try out different gear. BomberOnline is a great place to get info on the sport too.

I switched over to riding alpine almost exclusively last season. I learned that I don't jump or land so well but I can carve
kennedy
December 1, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
1500 big ones, ouch. What kind of conditions do you need for riding. I assume smooth fresh groomers are optimal but how does it feel to ride one when it's heavy and chopped up?
wvrocks
December 1, 2006
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Yeah you won't find one of those in my quiver. Thats the high end of the high end.

I patrol on mine so I rode in just about everything. Fresh groomed cord is nice but a little chop isn't a problem. I'm riding a Donek Axis 177. Its sort of an all mountain carver. Wider overall with a rounded tail but still much stiffer than an average freeride board. It can be ridden switch if absolutely necessary. It floats well in powder and plows through crud pretty good too. Its a bit of a handful in tight trees and bumps though. I think thats mostly because of the length and/or pilot error. I really like the board though, its forgiving enough for everyday use but will still rip a trench when you feel like it.

This style of board seems to be pretty popular with the alpine riders at Timberline. I see a Coiler All Mountain there and one of the instuctors rides a Prior 4WD/4x4. Both of those are very similar to the Donek Axis/Axxess. There are a couple of Burton Factory Primes/Ultra Primes and some other Donek/Prior/Coiler race and freecarve shapes there pretty often too.

I'd like to pick up a slalom or freecarve shaped board for this year for the days when its nicely groomed or very crowded. Narrow waists and overall widths with tight side cuts (9-10 meter). Defintely not everyday all conditions rides.
Tucker
December 1, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
I don't think a twin tip is necessarily a must for a park board or for riding switch. There are lots of freestyle boards that aren't twin tip..but having said that there probably aren't alot of freestyle boards that are super directional...for example no one is going to sell a swallow tale as a park board or one of those hard boot nascar boards like wvrocks is rippin'(what's your number rocks). I've always ridin...rode...whatever...a mild directional board and have had no problem riding switch...when training and coaching I try to get riders to ride switch the first couple times out as the season starts...for the last three seasons I have ridding switch every run for the first couple dozen days...for practice...last year my goal was to ride switch the entire season and probably rode switch about 80% of the time...on a directional board...I could feel the difference in my turn entry and exit, rebound, etc...but after a while didn't really have to think about it...it's all good as long as your smilin'....if you buy a board based on anything more than graphics your ahead of 90% of most...
wvrocks
December 1, 2006
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Quote:

one of those hard boot nascar boards like wvrocks is rippin'




Hey easy with the nascrap talk. It will make right turns too


Quote:

buy a board based on anything more than graphics you're ahead of 90% of most...




so true. its ok if your board doesn't match your jacket. One nice thing though. If you decide on a basic type of board almost every major manufacturer will have a version that is of similar construction, shape and quality. So you can get a board that fits your riding style and is still something you like the looks of. Don't just buy it because Joe Pro was riding it on the cover of Transworld.
Clay
December 2, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Thanks for all of the input folks. We're heading up to the Ski Center - I let you know what we decide.

Clay
Tucker
December 2, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Hey wvrocks, that canon of a board that dude is riding is obviously a little taller than his chin. OF course there is a lot of personal preference involved but do you know of any rules of thumb for height of boards on plate setups. This year we are going to hold 2 SNowboard GS races and hope to see a lot of plateboards as well as softboot riders. The races are scheduled for January 6 and Sunday MOrning of SNowy Luau. There will be different age categories, mens and womens...for some reason the snowy Luau one was the only one to make the calender of events on the T-line website so for the January 6th race I guess spread the word or open your front door and scream out to your neighborhood...or something...
RodSmith
December 2, 2006
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Tucker, let 'em know about the race at BomberOnline if you haven't already.
Clay
December 2, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Well we're back board in hand

First, I want to give a shout out to the Ski Center folks - Jimmy in particular. He took all the time he needed and made us feel like we were the only people in the shop - even though it was packed.

It was kind of funny, we were approached by a youngish looking salesman and we told him what we were looking for (I know my son is a tough fit being so tall with no weight), and he said "um, er, I don't know, let me go get the snowboard buyer" and Jimmy came over and we were off to the races.

He found us three options. While there were others that might have worked, his concern was that once my son starts filling out that he would out grow some of the others.

What we ended up with is a Rome Crail 150 and Burton Mission bindings. My son specifically said he wanted something a wee bit smaller (my words, not his) so even though the 153 comes up to his chin we went with the 150.

We'll see how he likes it when we get to some snow, but I can't say enough about the Ski Center staff. I would go there for everything if they just weren't so dang far away.

Clay
wvrocks
December 2, 2006
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Tucker, check out these links at Bomber's Welcome Center CLICKY For GS most people would probably you size would probably be looking in the mid to upper 170's maybe even low 180's. I'd be kind of leary about going very far into the 180's in our area though. I think its just too much board for our crowds and narrow runs. I may feel different after riding the new White Lightning but I doubt it. I'm on a 177 now for an all mtn carver. For my size and weight I'd probably go with something a tad longer 183ish for a GS course that was wide and fast. I think most manufacturer's size charts and reccomendations are a good place to start. Then apply your ability and your local riding conditions to go longer or shorter.

I sent you a PM.
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