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Ippy's Snowboard Buying Guide

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ippy's Snowboard Buying Guide
    Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:40pm
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE



A king wanted to teach his advisors a lesson, so he had them blindfolded and brought before them an elephant. He placed them at different parts of the beast and asked them to tell him what it was. Feeling his tusk, one remarked "its a spear!" Feeling the ear, another remarked "Its a fan"... And so they quarreled endlessly, until the king in his kingly wisdom asked them to take their blindfolds off and declared! "You were all right, but you were all completely wrong because you didnt understand how it all works together". The king was a bit of a jerk though so everyone laughed at his stupid and obvious gag in case it angered him and he had their tongues cut out. The moral is this though: if someone with an army makes you look like an idiot, whoop and clap for joy at how witty they are. Anyway...

Introduction:
"Now look at their answers. Some will say that this is a fascinating and touching allegory of the presence of God. Others will say that it is showing people how stupid mankind can be. Some say it is anti-scholastic. Others that it is just a tale copied by Rumi from Sanai – and so on."

Bit pompous for a guide about snowboards eh? I'm not beyond it. I actually enjoy a bit of pretension. But here's what I want to convey about this guide:

If you read it all the way through you will understand how the whole works together. No part of this guide is stand-alone. The reason is very simple: flex for example can be taken as some kind of abstract statement objectively related to the board, and you can go on understanding it like this, resulting in a decent deck for your trouble, but it only tells part of the story. Throughout this guide I will continually drop this line. Not because it's an "out" so I can cover every possible eventuality, but because any one part of this guide impacts on every other part.

Understanding what a directional board is, or whether it has a progressive or radial sidecut, whether it's a camber or hybrid camber deck, or whether its base is extruded or sintered, or if its a stiff deck or a noodle, or whether it has a taper or not, or how you've personally sized it will all tell you a great deal about where this board is going to give you an easy and difficult time of things.

But then again, this 'only tells part of the story'. The quote at the start is thus a warning; even once you understand the metaphor of the blind men/advisors and the elephant, it's still just one perspective :)

The Unified theory of Everything: 90/10

What does 90/10 mean exactly? It means that when you are a beginner, you're going to suck just as much on a $1500 deck as you are on a 10 year old rental deck. It means that when you're very very good, you can just as easily take a tapered powder board in the park and hit some features as well as someone on a specific park board. But don't get hung up on the language. It's not a scientific formula, the numbers indicate only that one side of the equation is maybe a little more important than the other side. It's just a number pulled out of the air after all. Getting the right gear for the job is definitely something you want to be aiming for (and it is of course the very reason you're reading this), but although it helps, understand it doesn't guarantee anything. It just maybe gives you an easier time with the stuff you want to be doing, is all.

For example, riding a rail on a horrorscope is a doddle, but riding it on a fish isn't easy and requires a lot of skill, technique and power just to get on the damn thing... nevertheless it can be done. Riding a noodle on an icy steep will likely have most people washing, but if you're good, you'll have enough skill to pull it off. Sure, you won't be beating your mates down the hill on their freeride sticks, nor will you be winning any rail jams on your fish, but you'll be still pushing the board well beyond what people assume it is capable of (and looking good doing it). The right gear, for the right job helps of course, but it doesn't mean that it's a guaranteed solution to all your problems.

I've mentioned several times that it was through learning on a freeride board that I tightened up my riding. This is only partially true. It was actually learning on an FK board that improved my carving... (And if this is the second time reading this you'll be screaming at me right about now to make some bloody sense and not contradict literally EVERYTHING I've said about reverse camber). But let me explain:

My reverse camber washes. It washes a bit more than I'd like. My freeride doesn't. When I throw out a carve on my artec, it locks in beautifully and rides it all the way to the end with absolutely no problem. I honestly never worry about it sliding out even if the terrain is a mess and I'm being bounced all over the mountain (not that I would be, it just blasts through chop). On the other hand my sierrascope will wash when it's going reasonably quick and hits terrain it doesn't particularly like (it hates chop).

"So how could your sierrascope teach you about carving then?" i hear you sort of ask...

With my freeride, I can do almost ANYTHING and still get a carve from it; no matter what I do, that board is going to lock in on its edge and burn through it. My sierrascope on the other hand, is going to struggle. And it's precisely because it struggles that I stay much more focussed on my technique while I'm riding with a bit of speed. Since I know it will wash if I'm sloppy, I had to tighten my technique and learn new ways to overcome things which I maybe took for granted on my Artec.

Which brings me naturally to the term 'forgiving'...

A Note on thee Perils of Language



You will see this word crop up a lot, and you'll see it specifically within the context of raised contacts and not getting dropped on your face from edge catching. Of course this is important, no one likes to scorpion when they land a bit wrong, or when they get tired and lose concentration. When you drop a 360 and you don't quite hit it, theres no better feeling than knowing you just cheated a face full of mountain and can happily ride away.

But this is only one type of forgiveness. Its specifically the one new people want when they need to try new stuff that involves edge transfer. But, just like everything else, it's only a part of the picture.

Consider what I wrote above about carving. It may sound like I'm laboring the point here, but in fact the more forgiving ride when you are carving is obviously going to be the freeride board. Yet if you took a random poll and asked people to tell you which deck was more 'forgiving' - a soft reverse camber deck, or a freeride, I will take out a huge mortgage to put money on it that people would say the soft buttery reverse camber stick.

Pull back and reveal the "for what" clause (in this case carving and riding chop) and the people you just polled all look like idiots. Whenever you see any universal claim made by anyone understand that it comes with an implied context. 'Forgiving' is certainly useful, but yeah, it only tells part of the story.

Ultimately, every snowboard is forgiving at something. The freeride effortlessly locking into its carves is incredibly forgiving in this area. I don't have to concentrate or work on retaining that edge (though I do when I start to change egdes). It will lock in, I can bounce up and down on the damn thing and it will still lock straight back in. I can pretend to fly like superman on a 70 degree edge and so long as I'm not transitioning to the other edge, I'm going nowhere. It is effortless to get a carve out of it and because of that it is in effect, incredibly 'forgiving'. Try that on a reverse camber deck, and chances are you'll be picking mountain out of your teeth.

Consider then the counterpoint to forgiveness: Stability. Again this guide spends a lot of time suggesting that freeride decks are stable and rocker boards aren't. Understand it's talking about a specific thing even if it does not outright say it. You are going to be much less stable on a rail with razor sharp edges and no real flex than you are with a soft flexing deck with detuned edges. Hit a nick on the rail on a freeride and, technique or not, you're probably in for a painful catch. Again... "stable for what?"

Beware then, of the language and claims made in almost every guide(or person advising you. They are less concrete and universal than they often imply.

I say this not to have you utterly confused, or to make you feel like you're stuck in some kind of relativism loop, but because words like 'forgiving' are seductive, (just like "endless fields of powder" are seductive), and such a seduction may trick you into buying a board that doesn't suit the style of riding you want to do. Everyone wants a forgiving deck, but not everyone wants it be forgiving in the same way. The trouble is, forgiveness carries the implied idea that it is always forgiving compared to the other deck (regardless of what you want to do). Understand that people who build, talk about, review, and describe snowboards are unintentionally lazy and don't necessarily think about how the language can be accidentally misconstrued.

Like 'flex', 'forgiving' is an incredibly useful short-hand term to describe how a board will maybe feel when you ride it, but it is very context dependant. Confirm the context and you will have no problem in establishing if it is the board you really want for the type of ride you want. Indeed this is a great lesson to take with you about all of the language of snowboard marketing. Much of it is very precise and incredibly effective at describing how the board should feel so long as you understand the context. The aim of this guide then, is to give you that context and make sense of the language so you can get the very most out of those technical descriptions.

Conclusion:
- This guide can be read in many ways. You can dip in and out however you see fit. Indeed, there are many summaries (and summaries of summaries) allowing you to bypass a great deal of the detail. However, it is obviously best read through at least one time so you can understand how the whole picture works.
- The main intention then is to have you understand your snowboard to help you understand for yourself precisely what you want.
- Consider two further things though: Firstly, all boards have something they can do really well, and stuff they can't do so well. There is no such thing as a real genuine do it all board out there, nevertheless, prioritize what you want to do, and you'll find there is a board out there that will help you do it well.
- Second: Boards have their dark side. Things which feel effortless don't necessarily make YOU a better rider. Your limitations will become apparent if you sit on a deck that doesn't like that type of riding as much. Nothing improves your technique faster than pain, so boards that aren't forgiving will actually help your riding so long as you can persevere.
- So do beware playing solely to the boards strengths. It is very easy to take a rocker on small jumps and try and pull off some 180s because if you screw up the landing it's no big thing, the rocker will probably carry you through. But because it lets you get away with sloppy form, it can hinder you with learning the basics of your spin and how to land on point which can hamper your progression and leave you hitting a wall.
- Finally, beware of words like forgiving and stability. They apply to specific things. Sometimes the writer/reviewer will specifically state what they mean, other times they won't. Because no snowboard does everything well, always ask yourself this question "forgiving/stable for what?"


Ippy's Genuine Final Thoughts

I have broken this guide into 11 parts. The introduction and final thoughts are personal interpretations to try and make the information meaningful. This section for example focuses on the 'ninety' part of the equation (the diversity of your gear), whilst the final thoughts focuses a little more towards the 'ten' side of things (the right tool for the job). The rest of the sections are attempts to describe what boards are available and how everything works together to give you the exact ride you want. Finally, because the camber section is very very long, there is a short intermission so you can switch your brain off for a few seconds before dealing with it. I hope you find this guide useful and more importantly, I hope you realise above all else these 2 things:

First this guide should be used really as a SUPPLEMENT to trying stuff out for yourself. If you are lucky enough to have access to different boards, riding them for even 5 minutes is going to give you a far better idea of how they feel than the 4 million hours it takes reading through this guide.

Secondly, (and this may seem a little perverse for a guide that calls itself a buyers guide), but when all is said and done you don't have to buy new gear. Even if a deck gives you a hard time of it, that hard time is still going to be improving your technique. At the end of the day, it's not about the gear, but the time and snow-miles you put into riding. Get on the hill and have a blast and stop thinking too much about your gear. Remember, getting the right gear only accounts for the 'ten' side of the equation. Nothing is more important than strapping in and trying stuff out for yourself.

Guide Contents:

1. How to Use the Guide
2. Step 1: Types of Board
3. Step 2: Sizing your Deck
4. Step 3: The Miracle of Flex
5. Step 4: Board shapes
6. Step 5: The Sidecut
7. Step 6: The Base.
8. Step 6.5: Intermission.
9. Step 7: Camber profiles
10.Final Thoughts
11.Glossary and links.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:40pm
STEP 1: TYPES OF DECK

Introduction Summary:
The aim of this section is to provide you with an overview of all the different types of snowboards out there. It's also an introduction to some of the more common terms you'll come across. Don't worry if some of this feels a little overwhelming. Ideally you should just read the description and derive a general sense of what types of board you might be interested in. By reading the other sections of the guide, it should make clear almost everything you will read in this section and so when you return to this section after finishing, you'll have a really strong idea of what board will suit you. At this point you can look at some of the recommendations and find the type of deck you're looking for.

Also do try and not get hung up on the terminology. Most of it functions as a placeholder. The freestyle boards were separated really according to their flex and trends in their technology, but many of the boards that might fit category 2 can also easily overlap to category 3 and vice versa. They aren't hard and rigid distinctions. The same applies to the freeride/freestyle distinction. The real separation I used here is the board shape. With hybrid camber on the rise, the boundaries are blurring rapidly, so keep all of this in mind when you come to choose your deck. You have more leeway than you might think despite the marketing out there!

Part 1: A SMALL NOTE ON FREESTYLE DECKS

Don't be fooled, freestyle DOES NOT MEAN PARK. I have to make that clear because it's one of the most common misunderstandings of the term. Rather, these decks are forgiving, versatile, and easy to handle. They are IDEAL for a beginner or for someone who hasn't yet found their preference. Sure, they also love park, but the sheer diversity of freestyle decks should alert you to their possibilities. This section is broken up into 4 sub headings: jib; park; all resort; and all mountain. Really what separates them more than anything is flex, shape, and camber profiles. You will see they start off as twin shaped, reverse camber, very bendy, (and very forgiving) and move towards a directional/directional twin shape, camber/hybrid camber, and fairly stiff (and not so forgiving). Thats really about the sum of it.

The one thing that links all of these decks together is that they arent really freeride charging decks. Some can charge, some can smash through chop, and some will slice your finger open if youre stupid enough to slide it down the edge of the deck while waiting in the lift queue (done that!). But thats not what they're really built for. What they really want you to do, is throw them about a bit. They want you to fly, to spin, to press, to butter, to doink, to pretty much turn wherever it is you are into a park feature. Be that urban rials, climbing the walls in the resort, to jibbing off trees, bouncing off pillows, and all the way through to launching off back country kickers and cliff dropping. They want you to muck about a bit, and most importantly, give you the shape/profile to do it. Understand though, you'll still get to charge, bomb, and wreck anything in your way the more towards all mountain freestyle you go.

Freestyle 1: the Jib/rail/street/noodle deck

General specs:
Flex: 2-3.5
Base: Extruded
Shape: True Twin
Camber: Reverse
Sidecut: Radial
Best for: Jibs/rails/buttering/cruising
Rider: All except absolute beginners. Everyone needs a jib deck.


Jib means anything you can bounce off. Be it a rail, a tree, a pole, or a tree stump. Jib decks are often very soft, bendy, and easy to press.

These decks are all about ground tricks, riding rails, buttering boxes and just cruising around the resort (and showing off to your mates on their freeride sticks just how crap they are at park)! When you see someone lift their deck from flat to a full 90 degrees, you know youre either dealing with someone who's been snowboarding since they were a baby, or someone who picked up snowboarding 2 weeks ago and was lucky enough to get on a noodle!

But its not all fun and games. Noodles are great hangover 'mess around' decks. But they come with a massive restriction: You will likely be stuck in the park (or on the street). Anywhere with a decent incline and thus pushing you to go at a decent speed will stop the fun and games dead in its track.

Consider this board then if youre a park rat and dont really hit the groomers. Its not an all mountain and its pretty much going to keep you locked into the park at a resort. You will be able to cruise the groomers of course, but you wont be really pushing it for speed. This is a pure freestyle stick.

Overall this deck makes A great quiver board (this means a board that supplements your main ride), but unless rails and boxes are your meat and potatoes, this won't be your go-to deck.

Decks to consider: Capita Horrorscope; Signal Park rocker; K2 WWW; Rome Artifact rocker; Bataleon Airobic; Salomon Sanchez; Nitro Sub-pop; Ride Kink

Freestyle 2: The All-Round Park Deck

General Specs:
Flex: 3.5-5
Base: Varies
Shape: True Twin
Camber: Varies
Best for: Small-med kickers; cruising; all round park features
Rider: Beginners + Park Rats.



The park is not just jibs and boxes, its also jumps. Its also the pipe. When you jump, you want above all stable landings (you dont want to fly out from the tail) and you also want a bit of pop. If you hit a good sized kicker on a noodle, chances are youre going to slide out on the landing. The aim then of these boards is to give you something with a bit more bite and a bit more power from both the run up to the jump and also from the take off itself.

These are often also the decks that most people recommend absolute beginners ride. The reason for this is simple: they are soft and forgiving, but not so soft that they pen you in to the park. Unlike the jib deck, these decks will hold up well both inside AND outside the park. Since your first couple of years will be spent mastering the small features in the park alongside the beginner and intermediate runs at a resort, they make an obvious case for a first time board. They aren't going to hold up amazingly well at speed, but the nice thing about these decks is that you will learn to hold back a little and not push them beyond that speed limit. In effect this keeps you well within your comfort level and so it makes one more claim on you as a great deck for your first time snowboarding.

In a category that houses both the camber artifact, as well as the indoor FK, you have a lot of scope to prioritise what you want from your deck. There is a great deal of diversity in this section, with great jump decks (that hold an amazing edge) like the evil twin sitting alongside great all round go everywhere cruisers like the indoor FK.

Boards to consider: Capita stairmaster; Capita Indoor FK; Bataleon Evil Twin; Neversummer Evo-R; Burton blunt; Burton Hero; Rome Artifact; Gnu Park Pickle

Freestyle 3: The All RESORT Freestyle Stick


General Specs:
Flex: 4.5-6.5
Shape: True Twin/Directional Twin
Base: often sintered but varies
Camber: tending to reverse and hybrid.
Best for: having a pop at it all. Its versatility is its single best feature.



This is the kissing cousin to the deck above. It'e pretty much a freestyle stick, BUT and heres the thing, it usually has a stiffer flex which gives you much more versatility all over the mountain.

When people ask for recommendations on a new deck, this is usually the one they have in mind. Its the do it all-the-resort-is-your-playground, cruiser, hangover, jack of all trades board. Its super fun, super playful, super forgiving, super versatile super super. The reason they want this deck is pretty simple: The want a quiver killer that let's them do pretty much everything without feeling restricted to one thing. People don't really know their preferences until they've given the whole mountain a decent shot, so this board let's them have a real stab at finding them out.

Now it obviously comes at a bit of a price. It's a jack of all trades (master of none), so you wont be buttering with quite the aplomb of someone on a horrorscope, nor will you be laying down pin like carves like your mate on the rome anthem, but you will be having a crack at it all and thats the point. This board lets you do everything. Not brilliantly, but not shoddily either. Its key feature is versatility.

Last year this was my go to deck (sierrascope, which is pretty much the indoor FK) and it was honestly fantastic fun and let me turn the whole resort into a gigantic park. Youll be bouncing off bumps, and shooting up walls, and buttering on the flats. Since mine was reverse camber, the pow was awesome! But ride it long enough and you'll find its not the quiver killer you might initially think it is. Then again, you're not me

Boards to consider: Capita Indoor/FK; Bataleon Riot; Never Summer SL-R; Ride DH-2; Rome Agent/rocker; Nitro Team Gullwing; Burton Custom/FlyingV; Libtech Skate Banana; Yes rocker twin; Gnu Pickle; Libtech TRS.

Freestyle 4: The ALL Mountain/Big Mountain Freestyle stick

General Specs:
Flex: 6-8
Base: Usually sintered
Shape: Directional Twin/Directional
Camber: Regular/Hybrid
Best for: Big Air, Big lines, Pipe, Cliff drops, anything really that requires an aggressive, bombproof ride.
Rider in mind: Experienced.



I added an extra line in the general summary because i do want to disuade you from picking this one up UNLESS you know it's what you want. The reason is pretty straightforward, these decks are both aggressive (and will ride you), and also very unforgiving for a freestyle stick. In terms of resort, they are nowhere near as versatile as the previous two categories and they will spank you around a bit.

That being said, you may one day find yourself looking for a slightly more stable, aggressive, but freestyle ride, and this is exactly where you want to be looking. Sure, they dont kill it on the rails, but that's not what you'll want it for. You want it for hitting a 40 footer and knowing you have the speed maneuverability, and stability to nail that landing. You want it because when you launch in switch it feels as good as regular, and you want it because when you hit that 20 foot cliff drop and you can't make out your landing until the last second, you know the deck isnt going to snap like a twig on you. (NB. i should remind you, none of this is MY experience, i can barely drop off a five footer without feeling utter fear).

This is what this deck is for. Its for a rider that thinks the park is nothing more than a hand holding, cotton wool wrapping, mollycoddling artificial training ground. Indeed, it's for the rider that thinks the resort as a whole is penned in, simplified, and artificial environment. Nature has all that stuff, and what's more, it'll kick your ass if you aren't on point. The sole point of this deck is to help you take nature down a peg or two. Well, that and killing it in the pipe.

These decks are for the most part the stiffest freestyle decks, they're usually sintered and they're almost always directional twin. There is one thing though to mention: There is a slight difference between pipe/kickers and back country freestyle in that the pipe/kicker decks tend to be cambered whilst the bc freestyle tend towards a hybrid camber.

Some decks to consider: Burton Custom X; Burton Sherlock; Capita FoodcourtGangsta/Quiver killer; Forum seeker (no 2011 i believe); Bataleon Jam; Gnu Danny Kass; Gnu Altered Genetics; Never Summer Heritage; Arbor Wasteland; K2 Zero; Ride Concept.

Part 2: A SMALL NOTE ON FREERIDE DECKS

I've broken this section into two main headings: Freeride and Pow. I did this for simplicities sake and also because although i own a freeride (an artec 2.3) I just don't really know enough about them as a whole to make a more technical distinction. I'm skipping over alpine carving decks as well because they are very much a niche deck and if you know you want an alpine carving deck, this guide is probably not for you anyway

Because it's only two categories, I won't really go into the details of what makes a freeride stick, since the next category will pretty mcuh cover that, but I will outline a general idea.

Freeride decks are for people who want big lines, big pow, and precise technical performance. They are almost always on the stiffer end of the range, almost always directional, setback, and has laser sharp edges. They aren't so great for beginners simply because they don't have the forgiveness or resort focus that many of the freestyle ranges have. This does not mean a beginner shouldn't buy one (but they shouldn't!), it just means they're probably going to have a much more trying time of it.

The beginner who should be on one of these is really restricted to the most foolhardy back country obsessed lunatic who thinks pain is a really good teacher. If all you can think about is riding huge lines on a pure white sea of untracked lines, and don't mind that you'll be spending about thirty percent of your ride time scorpioning or being hurtled screaming well beyond your natural safety and comfort zone (another reason why beginners shouldnt touch this deck), then this might be what youre after... even though it's not - what you're after is a nice medium flexed camber deck like the custom which will give you the fundamentals just the same.

Freeride Deck 1: The All Big Mountain Freeride Deck.

General Specs:
Flex: 6-8
Base: Usually sintered
Shape: Directional
Camber: Regular/Hybrid
Best for: Bombing, charging, and having total and utter control of your ride.
Terrible for: Beginners.
Rider in mind: Experienced.



I have a Love/Hate relationship with my artec. The deck is beautiful, sleek, built like a tank, and holds an edge like youre riding on a rail, but man, the thing HATES me. If it wasnt having me splat on my face when I accidentally distributed my weight a teensy tiny bit wrong, it was busy hurling me down a mountain while i clung on for dear life and not daring to move for fear it would scorpion me for a laugh. And it did scorpion me for a laugh on more than one occasion.

Freeride boards are pure evil, and they seem to hate inexperienced riders more than anything else in the world (well that and boxes). These decks will destroy you if you even so much as step on them. They are unforgiving, spiteful, angry, fussy maniacs. If you don't do things just so-so, expect to be dropped on your face... again. And yes, it's always the face...

Still here? Okay then, I'll let you in on a secret... they may enjoy smacking you around a bit, but like Mr. Miyagi, they do it to make you better. And nothing will make you a more technical rider than a freeride stick. And why is that? Pain is a fantastic teacher.

Nothing makes you stop doing something you shouldn't be doing, faster than smacking your face into the side of a mountain. Unlike your mates sliding in and out of carves on their custom-v, you will be moving gracefully from edge to edge and leaving pin like tracks in your wake. This board will teach you, if nothing else, how to use and control your edges; it's this which allows you to reach ever higher speeds, and progress into the back country. No other board will teach you edge control better than a freeride, since that is what they are pretty much all about. And once you have complete control over your edges, you can ride pretty much anything.

The freeride needs someone with great edge control because it wants to show you what its capable of. And what it is capable of is ploughing you through any steep, any terrain, any natural feature the world has to throw at you. This is your go-to "i am going to ride that ridiculous line" deck. If you like chutes, bowls, drops and massive wide open fields of untracked snow, this is the board you want. This is the board that will open up the mountain for you. Its solid, stable, blindingly fast, aggressive and has massive potential. You are the worst thing about this deck, since more than likely, its only you that's holding it back from showing you its true potential.

Some recommendations: Capita BSOD; Jones Flagship; NeverSummer Titan/Raptor; Bataleon Undisputed; Burton T6/T7; Arbor Aframe; Rome Design; Rome Anthem; Palmer Crown; Lib Tech TRiceC2.

Freeride Deck 2: Pow Decks.

General Specs:
Flex: 6-8
Base: Usually sintered
Shape: Directional and heavy Taper
Camber: S-Camber
Best for: HUGE EPIC LINES OF WHITE FLUFFY CLOUDS
Terrible for: East coast US, but aside that, no one at all. Its POW!!!
Rider in mind: Everyone who lives in japan and gets a dump.



Pow. What the hell can you say? If you don't love pow, you shouldnt have sized down your camber stick, shoulf you?! Ever just cruised on a sea of pow and felt at peace with the universe watching that gentle spray fly up at the side of your deck? How about if youve ever taken a face shot buzzing through the trees? What about if you discovered a line no one else has ridden and it's deep and fluffy and all it wants is for you to hit it.

Pow man! And when your 200lb frame is sat on your 151 and youre crying about leg burn and set back stances, this might be the answer to your prayers.

A little bit of warning though. They aren't suitable for all round resort riding. In fact, you'll maybe only get a few really solid days on one each season (unless you live in alaska or hokkaido). So don't be looking at this as anything more than quiver board. But man, when youre on one, and flying through the fluffy stuff and literally having to do nothing more strenuous than sit on it, you'll be ecstatic that you brought it that day.

Unlike a normal directional freeride, pow decks tend to have their own special shape precisely to allow for greater float and to get you sinking your weight into the back of the deck. They come in some mad shapes to help that out, but the general gist is: weight at back, float at front. This way not only will you never sink the nose, you'll also have total control of the deck. What's more, these decks aren't really as mean as your classic freeride stick; they pretty much have one function, and that's to get you swimming up to your eyeballs in soft fluffy powder and grinning your face off. What's not to love?

Really this category could also be split into two, but im not going to. But i'll mention it briefly here:
The first deck is the classic pow deck. This thing has one and only one function: to maximise your float and blast you through the pow. Every part of its construction is to get you surfing pow. I put a picture of the rome motch up there precisely because you know you're dealing with something a little more singularly focussed than the other styles of deck out there. It will have a huge nose, a swallow tail and more than likely have a very powder specific camber profile (with reverse camber at the front insert, and zero or regular camber between the bindings).

On the other hand, you also have your mellow pow deck which is very much a freeride stick with a heavy taper (kind of like the malolo or charlie slasher). These decks can be ridden somewhat comfortably on most terrain and offer a bit more versatility than your standard swallow tail. They look and function like a regular snowboard. It therefore makes them a great choice for people who want a pow deck, but a) cant afford $600 for a quiver board and b) don't really get to play in anything more exotic than resort powder.

And remember, that's really all it is at the end of the day. You buy this as your second, third or fourth deck. If you can only buy one snowboard, and if you're not surfing massive lines every day, you really shouldn't be buying this one.

Some Decks to consider: Capita Charlie Slasher (mine arrived yesterday :)); Rome Notch; Burton Fish; Burton Malolo; Arbor Abacus; Jones Hovercraft; Venture Storm; LibTech Banana Hammock; Nitro Slash.

Final Remarks on the Quiver:

When I decided I was going to do this, I needed an arbitrary map, and I could think of nothing better than the Capita line to model it on. So I picked 6 categories and tried to squeeze the boards into those shapes. Obviously, it should be the other way around, but as I say, we are going from the general to the particular. I hope you understand lots of these decks cross over and it isn't quite so clear cut where to put them all the time (particularly for an idiot like me).

Ultimately I tried to give you some recommendations and ideas, but they are in the end generalisations. Really, the aim was to help you understand a bit about the different type of decks, and their function.

There's also a great deal of info and jargon in this, and maybe not all of it is apparent right yet, but if you are having trouble, read the next few posts and you should start to understand a bit more what i'm saying.

Conclusion: TLDR:
Freestyle:

- Jib Boards are great for small park features (pressing, rails, small-med kickers, and all round cruising). They are pretty poor at standing up to speed or the larger features of park (kickers and pipe).
- Park boards are much more versatile. They allow you to hit almost anything in the park, and also give you a bit more control outside of it on the groomers. They also make super forgiving, easy to handle boards for a first time buyer.
- The all resort cruiser lets you go anywhere in the resort. They are the jack of all trades board that most people want. Good enough to take you well into your first carve and down your first double black, as well as popping in the trees for the first time, snagging a proper powder stash or just buttering around the park. These boards hold their own almost anywhere in the resort. They aren't the BEST boards for anything in particular, but they will give you the most versatility of any deck out there. That's why they are my absolute number one recommendation for most people.
- The big mountain Freestyle is for the more technical rider who wants complete control and performance. They are often too stiff and unwieldy for beginners and shouldn't really be used by them. They tend to find themselves at home in the pipe or on the bigger kickers inside the resort, but it's outside the resort they excel.

Freeride:

- The Freeride Charger deck is pretty much your bomber deck. You take this out to rip massive lines. You don't take this out to muck about in the resort sliding on boxes. These are the boards that you'll hear people talking about "riding you". They'll charge well beyond speeds your comfortable with, they'll smack you about, and even when you think you have them under control, they'll still find a way to throw you off. DON'T TOUCH THESE BOARDS UNLESS YOU'RE INSANE (or are actually competent enough to ride them). We all want fields of pow and 50-70 degree runs of endless pow, and that IS what they're built to destroy, but more than likely we're stuck in a resort flying down some red and green runs, so just don't.
- Powder decks on the other hand love everyone who is lucky enough to get to ride it. If you are, you probably want one of these at some point. DO NOT BUY IT AS YOUR PRIMARY BOARD (you'll feel somewhat restricted), but these should be in everyones quiver. THEY LOVE YOU, and YOU LOVE THEM!!! Friendly, fun, playful, slashy, chargy, twisty turny bundles of joy. Get a taper kids. (well, after you've learned how to carve a bit :)).

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:40pm
STEP 2: SIZING YOUR DECK

Introduction Summary:
I could tell you quickly what size board you want by pointing you to a size table, but that would of course be too easy. Instead, I want to explain how size works, and how you can tinker with it to get what you want from your ride. The aim of this section then, is to show you what kind of changes you can expect by shifting your size away from your default all mountain size, and how you can utilize this to get the exact ride of your dreams.

Size Matters

Arguably, what size board should I get? is one of the most commonly asked questions on this site... and with good reason. It's a complicated affair, and more often than not, you'll get more than one answer. This hasn't been helped by the impact of reverse camber and a lot of myths surfacing ('you can ride these shorter than a camber board' for example) going completely against common sense. It creates an unclear and confusing picture for the first time buyer, so not only will this section give you a nice handy size chart to work out your deck size, it will also explain the consequences of sizing up and down so you can understand what assumptions the person advising you is making.

There is also a strong trend to sizing down. If nothing else, I want to get you on your right size and give you reasons why this trend is based on only one side of the equation so YOU can decide for yourself if riding a 158 when your 175 is "too much board for you". (it's definitely not by the way :)).

One last thing: if anyone tells you that the right size board for you is one that comes up to your chin, then ignore everything else they say. Height is not the basis of finding the correct size board for you - it's impact is way off. Really, it is based almost entirely by your weight.

The SPENSER principle:
(i'm fairly sure he's going to hate the name :))

When I was trying to buy my new board, Spenser made this point about the indoor FK: He uses the 158 for his all mountain freestyle size (category 4), and was thinking of dropping the deck to a 152 or 154 (I believe) for a nice stable park deck (category 2). I however put the Indoor FK in category 3 (all resort decks). None of this is incorrect, and you may be thinking "well, which one is it? 2, 3 or 4? And you would be misunderstanding the point I'm making. It can be ALL THREE depending on the size you go for. This is why people size up and size down all the time. It's also why even something in category 5 (freeride) like the BSOD can just as easily be put in category 4 or hell even category 2 if you like a nice aggressive park ride. You can tailor boards in a hundred different ways to get the precise ride you desire, and even decks you wouldn't even think of, can be turned into a completely different type of deck purely based on the act of sizing up or down.

The important thing to realise then is that size can play a crucial difference in tailoring your ride to get the precise performance you want from your deck. EVERYTHING is just a starting point at the end of the day, and that's why buying a snowboard is a more complicated business than it might seem initially.

To be on the safe side though, pick the deck style you want (you want category 3 by the way :)), and find the size that puts you as near to smack bang in the middle of the weight limit on the following table. This way you'll likely get the type of ride suggested in the previous post without worrying that maybe you're making a mistake. So without further ado, here's the table.


What size board should you ride?

Well, Ive spent a great deal of time trying to find an image I could nick that would give you some idea of what size to ride. I HATE trying to line things up manually, so this is the best (and possibly only) one I've found. It also conveniently comes with an addendum on your foot size and its relationship to waist width answering the question on whether you want a wide board.

As it says though, the height thing is just a general outline, really it's ALL about your weight.


(image borrowed from http://www.basenz.com)

But lets confuse matters a little.


(NB: 2 more sizes that were cropped:
210lb (95kg)     166cm     161cm
220lb (100kg)   167cm     162cm)

This chart gives you a more ballpark figure between your freestyle and freeride size. As you can see then you have a bit of scope to play about with. Ideally, your freestyle size is a little smaller than your all mountain size and your freeride size is a little bigger. So we can use the two charts in conjunction to get a general sense of where we should be.

Now take me for example: I am 160lbs (and 175cms).

The first chart puts me somewhere between a 155 and 158 for all mountain, and the second puts me somewhere between 156 and a 161. I reckon that gives me a size somewhere around the 158 mark. If I'm on a reverse camber deck, I'd probably add a couple of cms as well just to give me a bit more edge (more on this later).
From this I can add or subtract a few cms to give my freeride and freestyle sizes. I'd say it's around 154 for freestyle (again, i prefer stability over spinning and pressing), and about 160-162 for freeride. Pretty straightforward eh.

Just use the two charts in conjunction and you'll have a fair ballpark figure I think that you can work with for your all mountain size. Then its just a case of adding a few cms for more stability, or dropping a few for a park ride.

A Brief note on Reverse camber:

In truth, I genuinely believe that when you factor in reverse camber into all this, things start getting even more murky.

You're riding with less effective edge and this creates stability issues when you're charging. The strange thing is, I often see people talking about sizing down these decks, and to this day I don't understand why. As I say, if you're all about park, sure, size them down. But if you want to have a versatile jack of all trades deck, if anything you should be sizing these decks up a smidgen (just a centimetre or 2, nothing huge), or at least keep them at your exact size.

Sizing down means 1. Less area to weight which alters the flex pattern and hence stability; and 2. Less effective edge which alters stability. This is why reverse camber decks tend to wash. They aren't really built for grip in the first place, but when you factor in that people think they should size down on these decks, it naturally pushes you a little down that category list a bit :)

I think this myth comes direct from the days you'd size up for powder and freeride and down for park on your camber deck. What I think happened was that the advantage of powder riding with reverse camber led people to the conclusion that you no longer need to size up for your freeride stick. the trouble is that stability kind of fell by the wayside in teh equation. So people accidentally came to the conclusion that because you had a powder board that was also great for park, you no longer needed to size up. Throw in some of the tech on sidecuts (vario, magnatraction, frostbite), which allow the board to 'grip' by adding more contact points and things become more complex. If the board has a generally normal sidecut (progressive or radial) with no fun kinks to it, and your deck is reverse camber, my advice is you size up a cm or 2 for stability.

You know what they say about people with big feet? ... big shoes!

Here is an an invaluable piece of advice someone gave me, (i wont mention his name unless he doesn't mind) and I'm going to pass it on verbatim (not least because it means I can stop typing :)):

Men size 8 to 10. Waist width between 24.8 and 25.5
Men size 10-11.5 25.3 to 26cm
Men 12 and larger 25.9cm+

Reverse Camber Boards: I have found that waist width is not as important on these boards for a couple reasons: 1. They do not offer the same level of turning performance than a board like the custom x. Therefore riders are more prone to slide tuns instead of carve turns on extreme edge angles. 2. You see than most reverse camber boards are wider than their cambered counterparts. In summary, a rockered board with 25.5 waist works for many more shoe sizes, like 8 to 11.

If a guy has a low profile or small footprint boot, like a burton ion, you can assume it is 1 size smaller. Ex: size 11 ion= size 10 32 boot.

If you're below a size 10 US, chances are you're going to fit almost every board out there. But we don't all have pixie feet, some of us have proper feet, and this is a little outline of what kind of waist widths those people are looking at. That being said, understand this really is the vaguest of guidelines. If you have larger feet and can ask someone to measure the board at the INSERTS and including stance options to check for possible overhang.

Anyway, i think that's pretty much everything on the second part, so hopefully we can pop on to the other bits now. I possibly wrote a great deal more than I expected... not exactly a surprise when it's me though.

Final thoughts on Size: TL;DR

- finding your all mountain size opens up many possibilities for you.

- By adding or subtracting 2-5cms from your all mountain size you can find your 'freestyle' size and your 'freeride' size.

- BUT understand this is really just a guideline. Again, don't get hung up on the terminology. To know why you add and subtract, you need to understand how sizing up and down impacts the ride.

- Altering your board length has two consequences:
1. It alters the flex of the board by changing the weight/area ratio AND by changing the stance width and thus the turning force required (shorter boards usually have smaller maximum stance widths) to get the board pressing and on edge.
2. It shortens or lengthens the effective edge (the edge making contact with the snow in a turn), which impacts on the boards stability at speed.

- Size MATTERS. Grasp how it works and you can understand how to turn your category 3 board into a faster turning, pressier park rat deck or into a big mountain freestyle shredder.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:40pm
STEP 3: THE MIRACLE OF FLEX

Introduction Summary:
As we saw in the previous section on sizing, the flex of a board is (much like EVERYTHING ELSE :)) less informative than it might initially appear. You can change the way a board flexes simply through changing the size in relation to your weight. This should be borne in mind throughout since it is often the defining feature of flex. The aim of this section then is to round out the discussion a little more with a few more details on longitudinal flex. Finally, we'll briefly mention what torsional flex is and how it can impact certain aspects of your ride as well. This section is really, if anything, an extension of the previous section so it should be pretty straightforward to follow.



This doesn't need to be a long section you'll be relieved to hear. We have covered a great deal of it in the second part on size.

If you nip back to the previous section, you'll see I've given each board a flex rating. It's pretty arbitrary and is only meant as a GENERAL guide. But flex really plays an impact in the category I shunted each board into, so that's why it's there. The thing is though, if you paid attention to the section on size you'll have maybe learned how weight works to alter the flex on your deck. What could be a stiff board for someone at 140lbs and could feel like a 7 on the scale (and thus an all mountain freestyle), could, on a person weighing 170lbs, feel like a 4 or even 5 (and putting it in the realms of a park deck (cat 2) or an all resort frestyle deck (cat 3).

Flex is almost entirely impacted by you. The flex I experience on my deck will not necessarily correlate to the flex you experience with your deck. Even if its the same size and length deck. Our weight will modify the 'feel' of the flex of the deck, and like everything else, its rating (which sometimes feels like it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer), is only there as a starting point. Look at a flex rating as nothing more than a general guide on how the board is supposed to perform based on someone smack bang in the middle of the weight length for the deck... and even then assume it's not the full picture because it's still going to feel different to you.

Another thing which may alter the feel of the deck (as Rook just pointed out to me) is LEVERAGE. Stick your bindings in the nearest insert to the centre of the deck and it's going to feel pretty solid. Move them out further towards the nose and tail and you'll feel it's a little softer. Simple applied mechanics and all that :) Of course this is offset by how much power you can comfortably transfer to your legs, but if you're riding a short board and you're a big guy, or you're a short guy riding a long board, well yeah, it's definitely something else to consider.

Torsional Flex:

A subtitle, but I really wanted to mention this without getting too technical about it. What we've been focussing on is the flex from tip to tail (longitudinal flex), torsional flex is the flex between the edges across the waist of the board. What does it do? Well it lets you twist the board across the waist to get on your edges. The general rule of thumb is that stiffer boards have less torsional flex than softer boards. There! thats that sorted out. More flex torsionally means more twisting and means sharper turns/edge shifting. Less torsional flex means more stability and control in longer turns.

That's pretty straightforward eh. But that's not why I mention it. I mention it for one very important reason: Women's boards almost ALWAYS have a softer torsional flex than their male counterpart decks (as well as a narrower waist width). So if you're a girl and you're thinking about getting on a boy's deck keep this in mind. It will likely feel a little stiffer edge to edge than a board specifically made for women. Obviously the whole width thing is probably a bigger factor, but I'm assuming you've got biggish feet and that's why youre thinking about it, so I added this little addendum. :)

Final thoughts on flex and size:

I do want to emphasise though, that the general guideline is none the less USEFUL to help you understand what kind of board you're maybe getting if you relate it to the board length. If you're in the middle of the weight to size ratio, it's fairly likely that the flex will be reasonably close to the ratings given in the first section on board types (give or take .5 or so).

I Hope this is now starting to give you a much clearer picture on not only the starting point, but how to build around it to get EXACTLY the board you want even if it doesn't quite seem like the obvious choice. Naturally you can go into as much detail as you like to tailor your deck to the exact type of ride you want. But I appreciate this may confuse matters, so the absolute safest line is (assuming you can't test it) to look at the type of deck you want in section one and get on the size which puts you in (or as close to), the middle weight range for the size :) Do that, and you'll likely get the ride you want with the least hassle :)

Final thoughts on Flex: TL;DR
- There are two types of flex: longitudinal (from tip to tail), and torsional (across the width of the board).
- Longitudinal flex is the most commonly discussed flex and really tells you how the board is going to bend between your feet.
- Torsional flex tells you how the board is going to feel from edge to edge. A stiff torsional flex is preferred by people who need stability at speed and in poor terrain, a softer flex is preferred by people who want to twist the board quickly for recoveries and moving across edges. Mostly however, flex refers to Longitudinal flex unless specified.

- Consider official statements on board flex from the manufacturer as a general indication of the boards flex. Often these really help manufacturers distinguish their boards from each other rather than telling you exactly how the board works. They are useful, but they aren't the end of the story.
- Flex is significantly impacted by YOU and your weight in relation to the boards length. Thus you should understand how to also size your board correctly as a means to modifying your flex.
- Two people of different weights are going to have a radically different experience on the same board. This can turn a park board into an all resort, or even all mountain freestyle board.
- Also consider leverage due to your stance width as a further means to modifying your board's flex.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:41pm
STEP 4: BOARD SHAPES

Introduction Summary:
There are primarily four different shapes you'll find on most mainstream snowboards. In this section you will learn how the shape of the board works to provide a specific set of advantages and disadvantages. Shape is CRITICAL to your final ride and is a really strong contender for one of the most important decisions you can make. A true twin won't really ride like a directional board and hence it won't be your main go to if you're all about charging. Likewise, you'll rarely find a directional board in the park. The interesting thing is that the section 3 decks don't really have a dominant shape. You'll find all shapes covered and though this is true for the other sections, its really only here that no shape dominates. The all mountain freestyle decks (section 4) are more often than not directional twins, and the section 5 and 6 decks are often directional. Finally, the park boards (sections 1 and 2) are almost always true twins. This means that understanding your board's shape really is a great way to deliver the ride just how you want it.


Of all the sections this is possibly going to be the shortest and also the simplest to follow. Effectively there are 4 types of deck out there so it's not too big a deal to grasp. (I'm going to steal the images from the one place because nothing explains things better than a picture).

Type 1: True Twin/Twin



Imagine if you will, there is a line going north to south through the centre of the deck. If you measured from the far left tip to the centre it would be the same distance as the far right tip to the centre. It would also have the same flexibility in the tail as the nose, and the inserts would be equidistant from the middle. Basically each side is the mirror of the other. And that's pretty much the sum of it :) The big advantage of these decks is you can ride them in switch just as you would in regular. Obviously then these are the best boards for anything involving spins in the slower/smaller features in park - such as rails/boxes, and small jumps (category 1 and 2). It's also a really nice shape for cruising the resort and just mucking about on natural features. Thus, a great many of the decks in the ALL resort section (3) are also true twin.

Type 2: Directional



Cut one of these in half in the same way (smack bang between the inserts) and youll find a few things: first, the tip-to-centre is likely longer than the tail-to-centre. These decks usually have what's known as a 'set-back'. A set back means the front of the board has a bit more area than the back. This provides the board with a bit more float.

Second you'll find the tip is often softer than the tail and the angle at the side (the sidecut) is often more extreme at the tail than at the tip. These two things combined result in two things:

1. little resistance at the start of a turn. You can get on your edge easy to change your direction.

2. An AWESOME transfer of power at the end of a turn. Think about it this way: when you go into the start of a turn you want a soft resistance, but as you're moving through the turn your force is getting pushed into less and less area. The stiffer tail plus a *progressive* sidecut (the sidecut is designed for the progression in a turn) helps absorb that pressure allowing you to have a smooth perfect turn without things feeling bulky or washy.

This means that directional boards perform better riding in one direction rather than the other, hence they aren't really the best for tricks or park features and landings. These things are ultimately for big long turns, stability, and speed. You won't really find them so much in categories 1, 2, and 3. But you will in the others.

Type 3: Directional Twin



The central aim of the directional twin is to allow the versatility of the twin shape, with the power of the edge transfer from the directional board. They are usually twin shape and more than likely will have a soft variation (symmetrical) of a progressive sidecut, but for more freestyle focus, they will have a deep radial cut. Also likely the tail will be a little stiffer than the tip. Naturally they'll ride a little more effectively one way, but for the most part won't feel too different. If you want a deck then that handles speed, carves, take offs and landings on either foot, then likely this is what you want. These decks are for bigger feature freestyle action and for the most part sit in category 4 (though you can also find them in 2 and 3).

They are aggressive rides for people who want to get a bit more performance and speed in their run ups, or want a bit more power coming into a spin leaving the vert of a pipe.

Type 4: Directional POW:


(tiny image :))

Take a directional board, add a taper (more width at the nose than the tail), give it a bit of a setback, and make the sidecut gigantic (but progressive) and you have your tapered powder stick. Pretty much all the decks in category 6 are tapered powder boards. Their single reason for being is float in powder. You ride these things for the most part in one direction and you get buzzed off it. That's about all there is to say on them. They have one function and they are built almost entirely to deliver that function in spades.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

As you can see the movement pretty much goes from true twin through to directional Pow. Which one you should buy is pretty much restricted to what you want to do, but in summary. Hence if you want a simple easy forgiving ride that gives you easy switch riding and an easy time on the smaller park features (as well as cruising the resort), you probably want to go with a twin. On the other hand if you want to open up the mountain a bit more and fancy hitting up a few of the larger lines out there, and don't mind the deck feeling a little different in switch than regular, then grab a directional twin. Like twins these are pretty forgiving rides for the most part, but they can be a little spikier than their counterparts the true twin.
Finally, If you want to progress into carving and back country and don't care all that much about tricks or riding in switch, then obviously you're looking at a directional board.
Really, if this is your first deck, you can't go wrong with any of the shapes (other than pow of course), but if you want something a bit more technical and aggressive then verge towards a directional, and if you want something looser, more playful, and forgiving, head towards a twin.

Final thoughts on Shape: TL;DR
- There are 4 Primary shapes to your snowboard.
- They are: True Twin; Directional Twin; Directional; and Tapered.
- True Twin boards ride the same in either direction, regardless of which foot you lead with, thus they are great for all aspects of park riding as well as also cruising the resort.
- Directional boards often come with a more complex flex pattern (with a softer nose and stiffer tail), a setback, AND a progressive sidecut. These boards are great for stability and powering through your turns so make great charger decks when you want to blast through less than perfect conditions.
- Directional twins cover the midway point. There is a lot of variation, but they're often twin in shape, but have flex patterns and stance options of directional decks. Naturally they make great decks for when you want to hit some of the bigger features, like the great unknown, or even the more sedate 30 foot kickers and pipe.
- finally, if you want a powder board, you want a taper. It's the top of your considerations. If your pow board doesn't have a taper, you're doing it wrong.
   
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:41pm
STEP 5: THE SIDECUT

Introduction Summary:
We've all done it. We've all been bombing the mountain only for one of our contacts to slide out causing a bit of a tumble. And if we live on the East coast, or we have a reverse camber deck, it's probably more just a fact of everyday life.

Clearly reverse camber tech has stability issues. It has a shorter edge length and is also burdened with not having those two contacts. Instead you will be relying on the basic edge for the most part without a specific contact directing and driving that energy creating a solid grip. Yet because reverse camber is FANTASTIC for forgiveness and float, it's not something board manufacturers want to give up so easily. So how to square the circle of forgiveness and stability.

The majority of this chapter then, is an attempt to explain how sidecut technology is trying to find that balance, and why, right now, sidecuts are receiving just as much attention as camber profiles at the moment in the undustry.

In this section I will therefore try and explain what a simple radial sidecut is and how it works. The aim is to give you a clear grounding before complicating the matter by throwing in things like multiple radii, serrating the edge, reversing the sidecut arc, or throwing in kinks to create grip. Hopefully through understanding your edge, you can understand more of the choices available to you out there right now.


Sidecut Basics. (Math 101)

With a sidecut you're dealing with two central features: the radius and the depth.


Hold onto your hats old people (who stopped going to school years ago), theres maths to be done: (remember this though, its easy Two Pi R = circumference of a circle).

Imagine if you will, that the curve in the above picture loops around to complete a gigantic circle. Your sidecut is really a product of the radius of this circle. That's pretty much it. Where the board stops following that arc, is where you find the widest part of the baord. This will usually end up as the boards contact point. The difference between the widest part of the board and the narrowest part (in the center of the sidecut) is what we call the sidecut depth. Good, now you know pretty much everything. :)

So obviously if you have two boards the exact same length from the middle to the contact, but a different sidecut radius, they will naturally end up with a different depth. Now what does that mean for your riding? When is it better to have a deeper sidecut, and when would you want a shallow one?

Sidecut Depth:

There is a nice hard and fast rule on this you'll be glad to know:

If you want stability on long grand arcs, you want a very shallow side-cut. If you want faster sharper turns, you go for a deeper sidecut. There we go. Nice long stable turns is shallow, fast quick sharp turns you go deep. So if you're hitting the pipe or launching from a jump, or spinning, or just about doing anything that requires sudden fast changes of direction, you'll be looking at something with a nice deep arc so that you can make that quick burst to get you through it. If on the other hand you're looking for the turn to sweep majestically through its entire radius and not end up slowed down by the board digging in, you'll be looking for a shallow radius.

Now you know everything about your sidecut, right? The smaller the radius, the deeper the sidecut (and the deeper the sidecut, the smaller the radius). And small radius/deep sidecuts are betrter for sudden explosive movements, and large radius/shallow sidecuts are better for long stable movements.

If only it were that simple :)

What we have talked about is ONLY one type of sidecut. It is known as a Radial sidecut. This is a snowboard with a perfect uninterrupted arc between the two contact points. Still, keep in mind the way depth works because it will be crucial in understanding the next part :)

The Progressive Sidecut



Simply put, a progressive sidecut is a sidecut with more than one radius. It can be two, three, four, or 2 million if you really want, but the general idea behind it is to mirror the stages you go through in a turn for the best efficiency.
The idea is that when you turn you want a nice smooth initiation; you want a nice stable arc in the midst of the turn; and finally you want a nice aggressive movement at the end to exit your turn so you don't get caught.

It's called a progressive side-cut because the sidecut progresses along the different functions you require in your turn. In order to get that nice smooth initiation you'll start off with a huge radius (shallow cut) so it doesn't feel jolty or catchy, and finish with a deep sharp radius. Obviously you could just run with these two radii, but it might feel a bit clunky, so a third or even fourth radius is added in to balance the two and give the board a much more stable and much less catchy feel.

Now this all considers a perfect beautiful slope of powder where you can charge endlessly on a sea of clouds. Nice turn initiation, a gentle arc in the center and quick burst at the end for fast movement between your edges. A pretty good reason, if you ask me, why you'd want a progressive cut.    

But there's EVEN MORE.

In conjunction with a directional flex you end up packing a lot more explosive power into the tail. Because the tail is usually stiffer, adding a deeper cut at the tail gives you the opportunity to load it quickly, providing you with some serious pop.

finally, this same explosive power means you have a fantastic emergency brake. Because you can load that tail with so much energy, and because you can create rapid chages in direcion it means you can pull you up way faster (and way safer) than if you had a straight shallow radial cut (which may not distribute the weight as effectively and so result in a wash).

A directional board with a progressive sidecut has obviously a lot of benefits for the type of ride it wants to do, but it does come with a HUGE potentaial drawback :)

if you want to hit things up in switch, obviously it's going to feel utterly miserable and catchy because everything is ass backwards. If you want to be doing spins or anything involving switch, a progressive sidecut is going to feel awkward and uncomfortable. I mean, it can be compensated for by rider ability, and spending some time adjusting to the change in feel, (as well as the float on a rocker causing that initiation to not catch so hard), but it's never going to be as comfortable as a radial cut.

Increasing your Contact Points

Progressive radial sidecuts????



Your edge and your contact points go hand in hand with your sidecut. But as you can see from the picture above there are some issues. Loading so heavily on certain parts of the board (the contact) can cause some serious instability should you slide out or lose one of your contacts. This can of course happen on ice, but it also happens a great deal on rocker boards where the contacts simply don't exist. This is naturally a big issue for manufacturers who are all on a quest to find the one deck cashcow that genuinely does it all. Thus a great deal of attention has been turned to both the camber profile (see the section on camber), but also on the sidecut and the edge.

We saw what can happen with three different radii progressing in roughly the same direction, but what would happen if instead of a curve to offset the two distinct radii, you got rid of the gentle transition altogether? Well then you'd get kinks when you threw your weight on it, redistributing some of that pressure to other parts of the board, and this is the idea behind the solomon equalizer:



If I understand it correctly, it's also the idea behind Never Summers Vario power grip.



What happens is that when you are in the process of a turn, instead of just having the two contact points, those five different arcs result in five different contact points. These do not necessarily load with the same kind of pressure as you'd get with your standard two obviously, but they keep the board stable and in control without feeling like its biting too aggressively into the snow. What is creating this effect is the sidecut profile and the radical (relatively speaking) change between the various radii. What you have here is just really a play on a progressive sidecut only with a more symmetrical shape :)

Vario and equalizer are both attempts to distribute the weight along the entire edge to give you more control at several places rather than the current 2 of a standard snowboard. They create this effect through INDENTATION. This results in a redistribution of the weight to several parts of the board without cutting into the snow and creating drag or feeling catchy. But it is not the only solution to the issue.   

Bringing a butter knife to a steak fight

Another more aggressive change derives from reversing some of the sidecut to create bumps in the edge. Capita for example have a single contact point in the middle of their new black snowboard of death. The aim is obviously to have one more point where the snowboard is gripping the terrain when the board is on edge.

Arbor also have bulges in their design. Instead of at the center though, they placed them at the inserts. The reason is pretty much the same: to provide more contact points and keep the deck from sliding out under you when you're just trying to ride.



Apparently the burton version (frostbite) is much the same as this, though I can't find a picture for you and amazingly burton.com don't have it under frostbite or frost bite in a search of their site.

Anyway, these are all bit players. The real daddy of the steak knife has to be Mervin and Magne-traction.



Now we've covered the fundamentals here, so really we shouldn't have to say much, but magne-traction is really the idea that if you are faced with a wall of ice and 2 lousy contact points keeping you moving through that turn, chances are your weight is going to bork at some point causing the contact to slide out and you to end up washing. In order to combat this effect Mervin (gnu/libtech), in 2006 came up with magne-traction. You're probably looking at the picture above and wondering what it is. Well, its bumps in your edge. The idea is that not only will you have seven contact points on each edge and thus amazing stability regardless of the conditions, but that the magne-traction will also be slicing through the ice in much the same way as a serrated knife slices through a steak.

This slicing effect is really important to the design because adding bumps like this will cause the snowboard to feel like it's dragging. the serration effect MTX (magnetraction) provides, causes the board to charge right through this in much the same way a steak knife cuts through a steak.

It is however a tech that divides opinion. Many people love it, and just as many hate it. They hate it because it feels a little too grippy and a little too much like the board is locking in too hard, (whilst also skidding out at completion of the arc as the 'grip' suddenly vanishes). In response lib have also released a softer and less aggressive form of MTX on their C2 range.

A variant of MTX and the last edge tech out there I want to mention is Ultimate Grip tech from Nidecker. Really, it's a similar philosophy to the idea of mtx - serrate the edge and slice through the hard pack, but instead of throwing bumps throughout the entire length of the board, ultimate grip serrates the sidecut only between the inserts.



And this is what it looks like on your edge.


The purpose of this is to keep your edges nice and clean at the tip and tail, whilst offering you some serious stability and grip in the middle. Unlike with MTX it means you won't feel so catchy and grippy at the start of the turn whilst also giving you that feeling of complete and total control, however unlike mtx its apparently an absolute bitch to retune and people have suggested it causes drag by biting in a little hard in the middle.
Again, maybe a tech you need to check out for yourself before dropping cash on. But thought I should mention it.

Final thoughts on the Sidecut: TL;DR
- Your board's sidecut really just refers to the arc in the snowboard between the widest and narrowest part of the board (its hourglass shape and thus what is meant by the sidecut depth). if this arc is extended infinitely, it will complete a circle and the distance from the circles central point to its furthest point, is its radius. The radius and depth therefore are intertwined.

- There are two primary types of sidecut. The first one is a radial sidecut, and this means a sidecut that is one long arc from tip to tail.

- A deep radial sidecut (small radius), will create faster turns and more explosive changes of direction. These are great for freestyle boards obviously which require drastic switches in direction for spins, landings and all round getting into positions.
- A shallow radial sidecut (large radius), on the other hand will create stability over a longer turn arc. These are obviously nice for majestic sweeps and will slay almost any terrain whether its bobbly or chopped up.     

- The second type of sidecut is a Progressive cut. A progressive cut is one which has maybe two or three different radii all working together along one edge of your board.
- The aim of the progressive sidecut is to make turn initiation easy and fluid, (long radius), follow the line of the turn effectively (medium radius), and then end the turn quickly to not get caught by the torsional twist (short radius). It goes shallow---->deep to mirror the actions of your turn.

- But progressive sidecuts come in many shapes and sizes and aren't restricted to freeride. For example nitro does a sidecut called dual degressive, which starts and ends with a long arc, but has a short arc in the centre for fast movement. The aim is to make jumps and spins less catchy. B]Artec has a similar philosophy with the omega sidecut, which is almost flat around the contacts then kinks into the arc providing a bit more scope for straight riding off a squirly landing. the big flat part allows for the board to carry on straight instead of following the line of the arc on a heel or toe edge land. This means it's central aim is almost to counter quick and hooky turn initiation for a more forgiving landing (and all round ride). The possible mirror of this is the atomic twin prog sidecut, which has deep arcs at the tip and tail, but a long elongated middle for stability.

- And then there are the newer techs which utilise multiple radii and lines (instead of curves) to create contacts through kinks when the board is on edge. The two dominant lines of this tech are salomon's equalizer tech and Never summer's Vario.

- Against this, are the reverse sidecuts. Or rather bumps. Whereas the kinks in NS and Salomon come from the board moving in towards the center, these techs specifically reverse the cut at various key positions in order to create very defined grip points. The daddy of this is arguably mervin's magne-traction (MTX). But nidecker/Yes, and also arbor, burton and capita have variants of this solution.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:41pm
STEP 6: THE BASE

Introduction Summary:
The base is often one of the last considerations when you purchase a deck. But really it should be right up there at the top. The reason is simple, each base comes with a different level of maintenance and cost associated with it. Even if you don't really care about how it rides or how fast it bombs the snow, both price and maintenance are important considerations. If you're lazy you may find sintered bases, even if they end up costing the same, end up being more hassle than they're worth. Though you'll likely get a great ride regardless of the base you choose, the reason this section exists and isn't just a glossary note is because maintenance really is something that people might overlook when they run out searching for "the best!" tech. Stop for a moment and answer this question honestly: "can I really be bothered spending ten to twenty minutes scraping my wax off and buffing my board every second day i go riding?" Your answer will definitely tell you about your priorities and what base you want on your deck.

There are effectively two types of base, and although you don't need to know how they're made I'll tell ya!:

Extruded Base:


Capita Stairmaster

[Tech]Extruded bases are made via a rapid process of melting polyethelene and then squeezing it out a press creating a thin film which is attached to the base of your deck.[/Tech]

Because of the speed of the process the molecules don't fuse and bind so well, so although it is cheaper (and quicker) to make on a massive scale, the result is less impact resistance, less water resistance, and finally, extruded bases have very poor wax absorption properties. They are however relatively cheap and easy to repair.

Sintered Base:


Capita Stairmaster Extreme

[Tech]Sintered bases on the other hand are created by a much slower low pressure melting process which fuses the molecules creating a more rigid, durable material out the other end.[/Tech]

This technique results in small microscopic gaps which absorbs, holds, and then ultimately release the wax while you ride. This creates a super fast, semi-frictionless surface. It also creates a much harder surface able to withstand a greater diversity of impacts and gouges. It is however more expensive to repair.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU?

The reason I mention the base at all is because it is a significant decision for anyone thinking about buying their first deck. It's not just for the obvious reason of performance though, Sintered bases outperform extruded in every way. If it was a straight choice based on performance alone, sintered wins hands down: they're faster, they hold more wax, and they are less prone to core shots and taking serious damage. It's no contest. And don't be fooled by the conventional notion that park = extruded. It's not. Park, just like anywhere else on the mountain requires performance. No matter where you are on the mountain, sintered is better. So why is there even a debate here? It's pretty clear cut? :?

Well, naturally, no. It comes down to two other things: Cost and Maintenance.

Sintered bases are obviously more expensive to manufacture, and because the technology and performance is usually more desired by advanced riders, a deck with a sintered base IS going to run at a premium compared to its comparable extruded deck (such as the stairmaster and stairmaster extreme above). Also if you're new, you probably don't exactly require a sintered base to fly off your baby jumps or slide on those big flat boxes in the park. Obviously you'll find a year or two down the line you'll be glad you grabbed a sintered deck, but then again in a year or twos time your snowboard might be down in your basement behind two years worth of crap never to be seen from again (kinda like my freebord and mini-mal).

So that leaves the big one:

Maintenance:

I've already mentioned one crucial thing: extruded bases are easier to damage, but they're also incredibly easy to fix. You can do it yourself.

Although sintered bases can be repaired in the same way, it's often a temporary fix. To really fix a decent gouge on sintered deck, you'll likely need someone to do it professionally for you. So very simply: Extuded bases are easy to damage but very easy to repair; Sintered bases are tough to damage, and more difficult to repair.

The second thing to consider though is WAXING.

If you want to hit the slopes without any bother, buy an extruded deck. They are really low maintenance. Give them a spray wax every now and again and you're good to go.

Sintered bases on the other hand EAT wax (or rather they leak it). The pores store the wax, and with contact with the snow at around the right temperature, the wax slowly releases out from those pores giving you that speedy awesome performance. The difference between an unwaxed sintered base and a waxed one is staggering. You simply cannot ride a sintered deck when it needs a wax, you'll just get really frustrated. Thus, they require a wax around every two or three days you go out. And not just a quick wax, no no, that's just a stopgap. They want a good solid proper hot wax. And this means one thing: SCRAPING. At 8am before your coffee, every 3 days at least. A sintered base requires a LOT more TLC.

Final thoughts on the Base: TL;DR
- There are two types of base: Extruded and sintered. Sintered bases offer better performance, but require more effort to maintain, (as well as coming with a higher initial price tag and possible higher repair costs). Extruded bases require much less maintenance, and also are quick and easy to repair, but they often give a poorer level of performance. Decide what your priorities are and the question pretty much answers itself.
- If you're inherently lazy and want a low maintenance, easy to throw around and repair, and above all cheap deck, go with extruded.
- If on the other hand, you don't mind a bit of graft in the morning, don't mind spending a bit extra, and if you want the fastest, strongest performance from your base, go with a sintered base.
- If you want a REALLY high level of performance then go with a graphite infused base. But I'm not getting into that one!
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c--c-c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker!
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STEP 7: CAMBER PROFILES

Introduction Summary:
It's funny to think about camber. The reason why is this: If i wrote this guide a mere 3 or 4 years ago, this section would be about, ooooh... [--------------------------yay big----------------------]. I would have told you about how camber creates pop through loading, and maybe a bit about contact points, and that would have been pretty much it. Instead it's one of the longest sections of the guide. Is it justified? Well maybe not.

Camber is clearly in fashion right now. And yet, it's no more or less important than the shape, sidecut, or flex pattern of your deck. You could easily be forgiven for believing that once you decide your camber profile you will end up with the board of your dreams... It might of course be true - just as it might be true that if you measure the size of your board according to whether it comes up to your chin you'll be on the correct size - but you shouldn't count on it.

Thus the aim of this introduction is to offset the huge discussion of camber with a bit of common sense.

Obviously you want the right camber for your deck, and I want to help you get it by explaining what your options are and how to choose amongst them, but you shouldn't be sacrificing everything else for a specific camber profile.

Every camber profile will bring advantages to your ride, but they'll also bring problems you'll need to overcome. There is no one camber that does it all, they all have drawbacks... even bataleons TBT might possibly suck at something (though I'm honestly not sure what :)).
I guess the point is this: do keep a healthy does of scepticism. Sure, your camber profile will often provide a totally different feel to your ride, but so will every other decision you make in buying a snowboard at the end of the day. Camber isn't everything despite how much the hype machine might suggest it is. (PS. Paid up member of the hype machine!)
   
Camber and You

Of all the sections of the guide, this is going to be filled with the most accidental errors. Even suggesting that reverse camber is loose or 'skatier' in its feel will result in a few people bashing me on the head to say it feels perfectly fine thanks. The trouble here is that when I come to explain the pros and cons I'm dealing with not entirely objective facts, but rather a difference in 'feel' for the ride. This is why this section can not be answered by reading this thread alone. As the two time Olympic Halfpipe silver medalist, Soren Kiekegaard remarked 'you just have to try it out and see if you like it'.

Actually this applies to really everything in this guide, but nowhere is the debate as furious and polarizing as it is about reverse camber so I throw in the qualifier now. If you want to really know if camber (or reverse camber) is better for you, you strap in, ride it and see how you like it.

That being said, this won't stop me trying to stoke you on switching to reverse, (nor will it stop me from reminding you why camber is awesome). This is a guide, and the point is to give you as much information as I can, even when the subject matter is furiously debated. Take heart though, I am nothing if not as undecided about it all as you probably are :)

Regular Camber


(images borrowed from transworldsnowboarding).

What is camber and how does it work? Well, it's rather simple: the board arches up in the middle at rest, then when you stack your weight on, the pressure is pushed towards the point where the arc pivots at the tip and tail of the board. These are your boards contact points, and the shape of camber is designed so that the pressure goes directly onto these contact points. This results in your boards grip when riding on edge or turning. Most boards have 2 contact points on each edge caused by the curve which keep you locked in on a turn.

A second feature is something called 'loading the camber'. If you push all that weight onto your back foot, the contact stores all that force in that one spot (the pivot point - the contact). Thus, when you release this pressure (for example in a jump), the board springs back to its original shape. How powerful that spring is, often determines a boards' 'pop'.

That's pretty much it. Camber boards have two big things going for them: stability and pop.

Reverse Camber



Rocker boards come in many variations, indeed my sierrascope (capita indoor FK), is zero camber (flat between the inserts) but then kicks up raising the contact points off the snow. In a sense then its a reverse camber board, but it looks only a little like that picture; though functionally its reasonably similar.

Some key things to note is that when you step on one of these, your weight is spread from the central pivot across the board, but unlike with camber, there is no real resistance at the tip and tail creating your contact point. It wants to snap back to the pivot in the center of the board. This means 2 crucial things: you do not have the same grip you have on a camber board because pressure is not forced into your contacts and secondly, you cant load it. When you jump then, a lot of the force comes from YOU and the power of your own two legs.

But that's not why you want one of these. Imagine if you will 2 decks. They have the same shape, same flex, same everything, but one is camber and one is reverse camber.

What you will find is that because the reverse camber has raised contacts, it doesn't feel as 'catchy', so its a lot more forgiving. If you are a little off on your landing, or your weight isn't quite where it needs to be in a turn, (or you're just happy bombing the mountain on the flat part of your base), the lifted contacts mean you'll likely get away with it. This means one very important thing: no more edge catching and no more scorpions (well, not exactly true, but let's just say the threshold for them is much less than on a camber board).
For a person new to snowboarding a more forgiving ride means a less vicious learning curve, less broken wrists (why aren't you wearing wrist guards!!!!), and quicker earlier progression. All of this spells one thing: F.U.N.

The second thing is that the board is in a pre-press position. This has three effects. The first and most obvious one is that you don't have to work so hard at presses making them great for rails and boxes. The second effect (mentioned briefly above) is that instead of riding your edges ALL THE TIME, you can just cruise on the base of the deck without fear of a catastrophic edge catch. You just don't have to be on point so much (which is why a lot of these boards have the subtitle "hangover friendly").

The third effect is the impact it has on flex. Even though these two imaginary boards are the same in every detail, including their 'flex'. The reverse is just going to *feel* a lot more flexible. EVEN THOUGH IT ISN'T!!!
This is really important for one reason. Reverse camber boards have stability issues (you can probably see that already just from reading the part on effective edge, flex, and it's design), stiffer boards naturally offset that. But reverse camber offsets the lack of forgiveness with a stiff board by being in that pre-press position. It's almost having your cake and eating it.

But it isnt. :)

Camber Versus Reverse Camber?

Well now you can probably see for yourself the advantages and disadvantages of both. Camber offers more stability, it feels more locked in on turns and ESPECIALLY turns at speed, it also can be loaded so you can use the board to get spring (something you can't really do so well on reverse camber). This means if you LOVE jumps and the pipe for example, you might want to hit up a camber deck.

But if you aren't on point, you're likely screwed. SO if you love jumps, you probably want to be on a reverse camber because these boards are forgiving, offer quick fixes to progression issues, and they give you buckets of confidence to try new things. And did i mention?... Throw in the raised nose and you have a POW machine as well. These are the noob friendly all resort killers! You get an easier time of it EVERYWHERE. Its fun on a stick. Sure they have stability issues, and sure they can't charge as well, or leave beautiful pin like tracks behind them (for most people), but well, that's not what they're about. They are about you having a stab at everything and not feeling bored or hemmed in.

But let me tell you a story.

All last year I was on my sierrascope. I LOVE that deck, sure it washed, and yeah, it hates chop, and sure it does get thrown around a lot from the terrain, but oh, the fun we had!

On my last day of the season, as a nice present to my mate riding his lame ass head true deck (151 i think) with his crappy bindings, I wanted to let him get a feel of what a fun board was like, so we swapped out. Naturally he loved it. But the surprise was, so did I.

I'd spent a year on reverse camber, so I expected coming back to camber was going to involve twitchy edge catching, and an all round lame ride. I was completely wrong. I got this sudden (and rather novel) feeling that I was completely locked in on my edges. So as an experiment I started opening it up expecting a disaster (remember, this board is WAY too small for me). It was honestly incredible to have camber under my feet again. Turns felt springy and fun, and my edges felt completely locked in. I was seriously bombing.

The biggest thing was this though:

I never realised I was holding back on my scope. A few too many washes meant that I'd (without realising it), decided where the boards limitations were, and rode it up to that point and no further. Well naturally the first thing I did when I got back on my scope was to open it up... And so, I spent the afternoon washing.

I tried sitting lower, I tried being less feisty, but it kept bringing me back to that same conclusion. It was the design. Sure, an extra few cms would have made all the difference and I'm sure that would have given me much more stability, but I didn't have that. I was on a 156 and even this 151 budget camber deck with AWFUL no name brindings just rode way cleaner. Don't get me wrong, the scope outperformed it on almost everything else, but this one thing stuck with me. So the next day, I went out and bought the Quiver Killer because I knew what I really wanted was a much more aggressive ride at the end of the day.

I tell this story to not only illustrate the differences between the two styles of ride, but so you can understand this: If you never get on a camber deck in your life, you will never feel what you're missing and vice versa. There is no right and wrong answer at the end of the day. Each board comes with its own plus points, and its own minus points. There is no quiver killer out there... well, except the quiver killer. :)

Every board you buy will trade off some things for other things. When you take your scorpions like a man, you learn from the sheer memory of screwing up not to screw up again. This in turn makes your riding tighter and the confidence from this allows you to ride that edge more aggressively. Your turns will be longer, your control will be sharper, and you'll feel more on point. Finally you will smash through almost all terrain. You are not nature's bitch. Hence these decks encourage you to go into steeper, gnarlier terrain because you are completely in control of your edge and thus the ride.

On a reverse camber deck, you'll get bounced around a bit more, and you'll get thrown about a bit, and you'll wash, and you'll ride with a looser edge and shorter radius turns. At speed you'll likely sit lower down than a camber deck just because you'll have to and you'll likely reign it in a little bit more because you likely have to. But when you find that sweet spot of what the board can do, and how you can control the board, again, you can ride anything you like. Amazing isn't it :) Fancy charging that ridiculous line up there? Likely you're not beating your mate on his freeride down, but you'll look more stylish doing it :)

Understand though, its not necessarily because reverse camber automatically makes you stylish. But because while your mate was putting his snow miles in to doing what his board does best (charging big lines and launching off kickers), you were also likely putting your snow miles into what your board does best - namely a bit of everything with a freestyle lean. You'll have been hitting boxes and trying your ground tricks long before your mate will have, and you'll have been encouraged by your successes (way more than your mate will have), to do it again and again. It's just the way it works.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Neither is better at the end of the day. Both offer good points and both have weaknesses that you, the rider, will learn to compensate for. Indeed, it was learning to charge on a washy board that taught me invaluable techniques for getting even more out of my camber ride. It is in fact the weaknesses of the deck that teaches you how to overcome them and get the absolute most of it. No matter what the drawbacks are, you will overcome them and be able to ride anything you like no matter what you learn on. You'll learn to carve faster and control your edges on a camber board, but you'll get a faster initial learning curve on almost anything you try outside of that on reverse camber.

So if we pop back to the schemata on the first post we have an idea of where this stuff sits. Camber boards, because they are for longer lines, more aggressive feisty springy edge movements, and all round unknown terrain dominator's, tend towards freeride (categories 4 and 5). You will however find them EVERYWHERE in the line because it is tried and tested for performance all over the mountain - the stairmaster being a great example of camber still flying the flag in the park.

On the other hand reverse camber tends to die out after category three. They are awesome soft jibby boards, they also make incredible 'do it all' boards which is why you'll find many of the decks in category three (all resort freestyle), are reverse camber. They offer a forgiving, gentle, varied, and above all fun ride, which is why they are fantastic choices for people who don't really know what they want to do. They complement the jack of all trades boards fantastically.

But why do they die out at section 3: There is a reason for that though and we haven't touched on it yet.

Hybrid Camber

Much like a directional twin, sometimes you want to have your cake and eat it too. Sometimes you want a nice deck you can load, but thats still capable of gliding across some nice fresh pow. Well, this might be what you're after. I, however have no real life experience of this, so if I mention anything about the 'feel' of this, know I'm purely making a conjecture.

Actually, let's not make a conjecture. Let's add the direct opinion of everyones favourite tech-guy, spenser on the matter:

youve got two basic kinds of rocker/camber combos.


Mervin:C2 Banana Power; NeverSummer:R+C; Burton:Flying V; Nitro: Gullwing

   

The first is what you described with neversummer, flying v, and c2. rocker between the feet, and it goes back to camber around each binding, but overall the tips are still lifted when the board is unweighted. riding-wise, i personally like this style more for a true performance hybrid. They still feel playful like rocker in the middle, but you also get full edge contact with the cambered areas because they press into the snow when you stand on the board. Finally, you also get pop from camber on each tip like normal. it nails all the aspects, in my opinion.


Nidecker, Yes, and Jones: CamRock and Capita:Freeride FK



The other main hybrid is the exact opposite: camber in the middle with rocker after the bindings. I have ridden this as well, and while I do like it, I don't feel it offers as much as the other design. You get camber in the middle for carving, but without full edge contact, also the camber does nothing for pop. Overall i feel like c2/NS/flying v/etc offers more than the other design.

[In summary], if you just want a loose playful board that floats well and you just want to mess around on, the camber-middle/rocker-tips hybrid [camrock] might be for you... but if you want a performance-oriented hybrid with the power, pop, and edge hold of camber, AND the float and playfulness of rocker, then rocker-middle/camber-tips [C2/R+C] is probably for you.


This is a very neat comparison on how those two feel which I honestly couldn't give you from my own personal experience. It should not only help illustrate the performance you can expect, but also how successfully the two styles achieve their goals. It should be noted, their goals aren't necessarily the same. The C2/R+C design seems built for more aggressive riding across deeper and more complex terrain and in a sense overcome the limitations of both camber (float and forgiveness) and rocker (stability and pop). The camrock design on the other hand, seems to be more akin to a slightly aggressive rocker design. Rather than trying to give you a board that solves the cmaber/rocker problem like the R+C design, camrock attempts to give you a standard raised contact surfy feel rocker design, but with a bit of camber to complement it. In a sense then, they aren't trying to deliver the same thing, so it would be unfair to judge them based entirely on their capacity to create a true hybrid design.

With that in mind, hybrid camber decks extend across the entire flex range and shape range, so it would be nothing short of bizarre for me to say that a twin with a 4 for flex and C2 is going to ride more aggressively than a 7 on the scale directional Camrock deck. The camber profile isn't the final word on how the board rides after all. As with everything else, it's only a part of the picture.

If you are looking at a hybrid though, naturally they are going to work pretty well in category 3 and 4. But also a lot of decks in freeride are moving towards hybrid camber precisely because they do give that perfect combination of float, stability, pop, forgiveness... and well, fun. Sure, it's not at a point that it can beat a camber deck for solid control (I assume, of course), but we are still in the first couple of years of all this, and the tech has gone crazy in that time. Sit tight and you might find hybrid moved out of the high end charging type decks, and into beginner decks. It's radical times and if the price (and flex) starts falling, expect hybrid to be at the forefront of the game in the next few years with rocker and camber consigned to the niches. (Hehe, why not say something controversial after 6 pages?)

Powder Rocker



I love explaining powder boards, and the reason for that is they are so EASY. Everything in a powder board is built to maximise float and make you glide over the top of 10 foot stashes. Just look at it. Did you? Now you know everything there is to know about it. :) Mad float at the front, and a tail at the back for your weight to get a grip of the snow. There you go: powder rocker. Camber at the back. Rocker at the front, f*** yeah bro!

Zero Camber



Last but not least (because rook reminded me I didn't mention it), is zero camber. Again, I haven't ridden one of these (Flatkick raises the contacts so although its a flat base I assume it's nothing like it) so it's hard to give a genuine account, but from research the idea is that when you load a deck in camber you're creating a heavy downward force on the contacts which both grips and slows the board down. This puts a great deal of pressure on your legs to compensate and drive those turns through. Zero camber counters this by distributing your weight neutrally throughout the board (the edge is also good and long meaning it won't suffer the same problems of washing as reverse camber). With a reinforced tail and nose you can still kind of load the board for a bit of a pop when you want it (though truth be told this is the part of the design I'm struggling to understand).

The result is a kind of mellow camber: you lose a bit of pop, you also lose a bit of grip, but in turns, your edges still hold up far better than on a reverse camber, you don't entirely sacrifice pop, and more importantly your edges won't catch so much and feel quite so twitchy and dug in as they do with camber. Finally and possibly above all, because you're not constantly having to be on point with loading/unloading, things are a little more loose and playful. What this amounts to then is a great half way house that retains many of the benefits of camber, whilst gaining some of the loose playful feel of rocker.

The revenge of Camber: Triple Base Technology



Camber isn't finished. Not by a long shot. In 1997 some crazy Norwegians looked at snowboards and thought "hang about, why are they flat? Shouldnt they have three parts? A bit to ride flat in the middle, and the edges raised slightly at either side so they are released when you don't want them, but can be locked in when you do?" And so they invented Triple Base Technology.

How does it work?



If you look at the picture you see the middle is nice and cambered, but as you move to what would be the contact point on a camber deck, the edge starts lifting much like in a Flat kick deck lets say. Only Its still camber rolling through the middle of the deck. So what you potentially have is a deck that has the pop of camber and the forgiveness of a reverse camber deck. The edges stay out of the picture until you actually need them and because they are raised, getting on your edge is a piece of cake. I haven't ridden one, but if there's one positive i hear over and over again, is that edge to edge is LIGHTNING fast.
Anyway, because it's such a radical tech and you really really need to see what it does to understand it, (and because these guys have an awesome sense of humor), I'm going to give you something to watch for a change:



So is this it? The reverse camber/camber/hybrid camber killer?

Unfortunately no. It's one of those tech's that absolutely divides opinion, and unfortunately the decks aren't cheap so it's hard for someone who hasn't already ridden one to justify dropping that much cash on it. Really, aside the float, I can't see a single flaw in it. But then again, I've never ridden one, so my opinion means jack.

From personal experience though I want one. I really really want one, and the day I see a 2009 evil twin (the greatest board graphic in history btw) in a second hand store for about $150, it's mine. But for you, the person thinking about buying a snowboard, or just trying to get your head around them, just understand it's definitely a tech to check out if you ever get the chance.

The nice thing is that these decks actually run the entire gamut, from jib right through to big mountain. So no matter what your preference, there's a TBT out there that might suit you. Definitely get on one of these if you can and try them out, but don't hand over your cash until you know its definitely for you.

And I guess that's sound advice on every single tech this section has talked about. Camber isn't for everyone, reverse camber isn't for everyone, hybrid camber isn't for everyone, and TBT isn't for everyone. Before you lay down your cash, see if you can hit up a demo because no matter what I write here, it's still just an outline. You have to see for yourself if you like the deck and if it suits your style.

Final Thoughts on Camber: TL;DR!
- Camber decks dominate the entire range from jib all the way through to powder, but they are increasingly being pushed into section 4 and 5 (the big mountain sections) with the hype on reverse camber. You will also find them in section 2 because they offer great performance jump decks. Primarily though, they suit riders who want perfect edge control and a really aggressive fiesty ride. They're also for guys who LOVE loading up and launching.

- Reverse Camber boards are really fun forgiving, and playful decks. You will find them primarily in the first three sections though because they start to lag behind a bit in aggression and stability once you get to big mountain stuff. You can find them in 4 and 5 but it's not really their strongest suit. Really they're for people who want to play on teh smaller park features, or who want to hit a bit of everything but haven't quite decided where they're going. They also make excellent cruiser boards which makes them really suited for the entire resort.

- Hybrid camber decks are closing in on all the ranges. They offer stability, performance, forgiveness and control in a single package. They also make exceptional all mountain decks. The trouble at the moment is that the tech is pricey, (but I expect it to come down in the next few years). When it does it will likely challenge camber as the dominant style of deck with most people. As I say, the price and tech means you don't have too much choice and diversity at the moment, so they tend to be in categories 4 and 5 restricted to a companies higher end line. But this is likely to change.

- Powder Rocker decks are very specific for powder boards. If you're buying 1 deck for all mountain/resort, avoid this! it's a quiver deck for a very niche type of riding. This is not the rocker profile you want because it's very singular in its function.

- If you find camber too catchy and a bit like hard work, but also think rocker is a bit too loose and lacking in bite, then Zero Camber might be a good alternative to the straight hybrid cambers out there. It's a bit inaccurate to call it a "mellowed down, loose and playful camber" but screw it, that conveys what it's trying to do more than any other phrase I could use :)

- Finally, TBT is worth keeping on your radar. You may find it horrible, or you may love it. It seems to be the whole package but opinions vary on the matter. Indeed, if it was the whole package, Bataleon, and not Burton, would be the number one name in snowboarding. They're not, so advertising budget notwithstanding, it probably isn't. Still, take it on a demo and find out for yourself if you can. But know that it is a significant tech out there and well worth checking out. What's more, it crosses all the ranges so there is already a board out there for you regardless of what you like.
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STEP 8. FINAL THOUGHTS

Introduction Summary:
You've read the guide, you've learned the lingo, and you've found yourself unhealthily fascinated by camber profiles and base technology. But you still aren't sure why you shouldn't be riding a freeride board. Hell, you probably also spend a bit of your free time on youtube watching people slay these ridiculous open faces and you want a piece of that too! I feel you! We all feel you! But this is my last attempt to shake it out of you and stop you making a daft noobie mistake... at least for the time being. We all buy things that we want to grow into. But if you're a guy, chances are you wildly overestimate just how much growing you're going to do over the next couple of years. I dare-say there will come a time when you are ready for this deck, (indeed it might be right now, who the hell am I to tell you what you want?!) but I just want to make sure you're deciding for the right reasons by throwing a few last little obstacles in your way. The first and most obvious is your GENUINE ability level and whether or not you have, and will likely acquire, the skill and perseverance to ride this beast (before deciding (like so many before you), that next year you probably do want something a bit more forgiving and fun after all!)

A second obstacle might however be summarised by this one deceptively simple question:

"where are you ACTUALLY going to be riding in the next two years?"

I want to be riding serious deep lines, I want to be smashing through fields of pow. But I ride on my own, and unless I have lost every last bit of common sense and desire to live, I would be a fool to be riding anywhere but on the groomers. Consider the reality of your situation as well as what you think you should be doing. Sometimes they just don't come together.

The aim then is singular: I have an idea what type of deck everyone should be riding in their first few years and I'm going to spend this last chapter making the case why. Of course, you are free to disagree with EVERYTHING I say, and so long as you understand why you are disagreeing with the points I make then you are equally one step closer to finding the board you actually want. Thus, this chapter is where I make my last stand. It's where I put out my best arguments against why you should be on anything but an all resort freestyle board, but it's also the chapter where you either agree with me or where you tell me where to go. Either way, you'll be on the way to the finding the exact board for you.

"What do you want in a board?"

Arguably one of the least helpful questions a new or first time buyer can face. Do you even know what a sintered base is? Can you confidently explain what a taper is, how it works, or why boards even have them? Do you even know the benefits of a directional shape are? Likely you don't.

"good question! I want a hybrid (flying-v), setback directional twin with about a 7 for flex, and a sintered base, good for cliff drops and a bit of back country freestyle" probably won't be the words coming out of your mouth any time soon. But read this guide and you might be able to at least wing it a bit.

How this guide works then: You read the section on board types. You see a stack of tech jargon. You think 'what the hell is that though? You read the rest of the guide. You then read these final thoughts and the introduction. Then finally you complete the circle by reading the board descriptions again (only now much more informed). Pretty easy

However, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And this introduction/conclusion is my attempt to have one last crack at trying to dissuade you from buying anything other than an all resort freestyle deck (well, maybe one of the park decks too if you want a bit more of a park focus for your all round deck).

In the first stepn you will see I have broken all the decks into 2 main categories (freestyle/freeride), AND 6 sub categories (jib/park/all resort/all mountain/freeride/powder).

My intention is to convince you that categories 1, 4, 5, and 6 are a little more technical than you might want... but understand that if I haven't convinced you after all my effort, then this is a good thing since it likely means you know what you're after. It is after all a resource to help YOU decide what deck YOU want, not to help me decide what board I think you want based on no information at all about you.

With all that in mind, let's start with the two outliers:

The Quiver Deck - Jib (1) and Powder (6) Boards

A quiver deck is a board that is somewhat restricted to a very particular activity. Powder decks, for example, are built for powder. They're almost single minded in their entire design to get you riding nose up in powder. They can of course be ridden all over the mountain, but they aren't suited to it and you'd be honestly having a much more enjoyable time of it on something else. They have one thing they truly excel at (and a lot of things they're mediocre to useless at) simply because the board is designed almost entirely to do that one thing.

This also goes to the opposite extreme with the noodle. They are designed for buttering, pressing, hitting rails, and doinking off things. Keep them in the park or in the streets and they excel. Take them outside the park where they have to deal with steeps or a bit of speed, and you're better on something else. Really these two boards are not built with versatility in mind. This of course doesn't necessarily matter. If all you want to do is ride pow and more importantly CAN ride it every day of the year, then why not? If all you want to do is make goofy videos of you and your mates cracking your face on the steps outside the bank, then buy one of these.

The point is, you find out what you want, what you really want to ride, and whether you CAN ride it and you find the deck that suits you. If you don't give a crap about carving or speed, or back country, then why the hell would you need a deck that can handle those things. And anyway, if you're good enough, you'll take a fish in the park just as easily as you'll launch your horrorscope off a back country kicker :)

90/10 and all that (90% rider ability/10% suitable gear).

That being said, for the MOST part these decks are quiver decks. If you are looking for a board to help you develop a wide array of skills, these probably aren't your best choice. They're awesome to supplement your main ride, but likely not your primary go-to deck.

[A disclaimer: EVERY board is a quiver deck. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it's not until you start actually buying your quiver that you realise this. Until then, your freeride is your all mountain freestyle, jib deck just as much as it's your powder stick. By necessity it's your quiver killer deck!
Only when you start supplementing do you begin to think "hmmm, the weather looks kinda lame, reckon I'll just be mucking around in the park today, I think I'll grab my evil twin instead of the titan!" And therein lies the birth of the quiver.
]

The Big Mountain Sticks: All Mountain Freestyle (4) and Freeride (5)

These are tempting. If you're on your second pass of the guide I know what you're thinking. But I urge you to reconsider. These decks are not for you. At least not yet. (Unless of course they are in which case carry on). But assuming they're not, and assuming I've accidentally gone and overhyped these decks (as I likely have), and assuming you've thought to yourself "I could buy the deck that's good for me right now, OR I could buy the deck I'll PROGRESS INTO and save myself a lot of cash in three years" I'd like to try and dissuade you.

As I say, it's tempting to be seduced by these decks. They speak to your most base instincts of freedom and of taming the great outdoors. They are decks that are built almost entirely to deal with every possible obstacle you come across in the wilds and meet it unflinching and unyielding. If you've ever seen a movie with someone ripping it down a wall of white stuff, and think "that!" then these decks are like a sirens call to you. I know! i know! I feel the same as you. Only I went out and bought one at the start of my second year...

So I'm here to tell you, THAT! is not for you. At least, not yet.

These decks are unforgiving, evil, malicious, finnikity, spoiled, assholes.

Sure, they'll teach you how to ride on point through sheer pain, but don't think for a second that means anything to them. When I think of my little artec, there's one moment I'm drawn to that sums up how much of a jerk it really is:

I gave it to my mate last year while i rode my sierrascope. We were bombing on the skyline in Nozawa, he had finally gotten a handle on the deck and was almost keeping up. I was really happy for him because he was hitting another level in his riding and it was the deck which was helping bring it out. I turned around (safely) waiting for him to pass, and we both had a little moment where we knew he'd really achieved something. I was stoked, he was stoked, he went to acknowledge that with a little hello as he was about to fly past me, when BLAM!!! the deck dropped him on his face... He relaxed for one tiny second and the damn board took him out. It bloody hurt too :)

Of course, I took my own share of those falls so I know just how it happened (and how to never do it again) and sure, it probably taught him the same lesson, but the point is this: the stuff you can learn on a freeride is phenomenal for sure, but it will make you pay for it. The annoying thing is, get on a nice solid deck in category three and you can learn the same crap, just with a bit less of the board riding you. Sit on a custom and you'll get a similar ride, only with a bit more forgiveness and variety.

You don't NEED to be on a freeride stick. There are more appropriate choices for you out there which will give you a taste of speed and edge control, and sure, they will spank you around a bit if you aren't on top of them, but they will also occasionally let you get away with stuff, (or let you just cruise around a bit and enjoy everything the resort has to offer). As I say, the call is seductive, you'll be looking at a freeride thinking "that's it! that's what I want!" But it'll be the rocks and damnation for you unless you know how to outsmart the thing :)

The big mountain boards are really for a specific rider that knows the kind of ride they want for the terrain they want to ride in. That terrain really isn't your greens, blues, reds, blacks, and double blacks. It's also not for your rails and boxes and jibs in the park, and just cruising around the resort. It's for the big park features where stability and precision is everything, and it's for the stuff you don't necessarily know is coming when you're dropping off a ledge and realise you've maybe got a bit more than you bargained for. It's for an experienced rider that knows precisely what they want to ride and will hike for a morning to get to it.

I understand of course; we all want to ride vast untracked lines of soft fluffy pow as far as the eye can see, but ask yourself this: is this honestly likely? Do you not mind getting up at 6am to hike through oceans of snow at a snails pace to get to those lines? And if you don't, have you got the safety knowledge that will stop you triggering an avalanche? Finally, do you have a bunch of mates you can trust to bring THEIR shovels and transceivers? Just because you WANT to do something, doesn't necessarily mean you'll get to do it, so also consider where you will spend most of your time ACTUALLY riding (this obviously applies to EVERY deck you consider).

Still, if I haven't dissuaded you, and that sounds right up your street, then look no further, these decks are made for you.

If on the other hand you're hitting the resort and bombing red runs at your local, then it's really not quite the deck that's going to give you the best bang for your buck. It might sound like it could be, but it's likely not. To this day I feel I got about 30% performance out of my Artec. It was a fantastic deck, but I know it was capable of way more than i coaxed from it. Maybe if I'd have gotten on it this coming season (year 4) or more likely next (year 5), I'd have really got to see it's potential. But as it stood, I ended up giving it to my mate and getting on a softer more playful deck. I also ended up having a freaking blast and wondering why I wasn't on this type of deck in my second year :)

That type of deck: All Resort freestyle (3) and Park freestyle (2)

'That' type of deck is category 3 - the all resort freestyle (and to a lesser more park orientated fous, category 2). It's easy in your first year to make a decision on what you want to ride. You get success in certain areas and you tend to want a board that keeps delivering that, but I'm going to spend this last part making a case for failure.

From my personal experience, I often end up having to ride on my own because I don't live close to a resort and none of my mates give a crap about snowboarding. I, however, will go out of my way to ride... even when it's boring as hell (and on your own it sometimes is).

Now this means that I spend a lot of time cruising the resort. Park is almost out of bounds (simply because no one likes falling on their ass trying new stuff when there's none of your mates around to laugh with you about it). And this sets-in a sense of what you end up liking. I had great success early on with charging just because that's pretty much what I was doing, and had very poor experiences the one or two times I found the confidence to nip into park (on very empty days) and get on a box. These successes and failures crystalised into my 'preferences'. And it was from these preferences I ended up buying a board I shouldn't have probably looked at for a good 2 or 3 years.

Naturally this board further reinforced those preferences: I improved in my edge control and charging, but every time I hit the park... a stiff deck plus lack of confidence, plus MINUTE incorrect weight adjustments on that twitchy bloody deck resulted in me landing on my ass. This board taught me to HATE park and LOVE freeriding.

It was only the jealousy of seeing people pulling off huge tail slides (where I had to use every muscle in my thighs to raise that nose an inch) that caused me to think about a park deck to SUPPLEMENT my artec.

So my research led me to the decks in category 3 (the sl-r's, indoor fk's, carbon credits, and custom-v's of the world). I eventually bought the sierrascope and was AMAZED to realise that this board actually made me excited to ride parts of the mountain I was really reluctant to get on. I was CRUISING even flat powder, jibbing off everything I saw, flying up walls, bouncing off every bobble, hitting the boxes in the park (rails still give me the fear), and taking off on my first serious air. Naturally I was keen to also do the stuff I wanted to do on my artec, and was ASTONISHED to find I was blazing through the trees and bombing these gorgeous open lines. Of course it had some stability issues which my artec didn't have, but for the sheer versatility and opening up of my horizons it was a price worth paying.

The artec taught me a lot about my edges, but my scope taught me a lot about the sheer wealth of stuff you can play with on a resort that you might not even realise is there. These decks are ASTONISHING good fun, and even without other people to ride with, they make everything a blast. They aren't some kind of poor version of their stiffer counterparts by any means: they're a trade off.

You trade off precision (to an extent: 90/10) for forgiveness (to an extent: 90/10). You trade off technical focus (to an extent) for diversity (to an extent). These decks are made for you to hit everything and hit it well. Off course you'll get a better jib performance by sizing down or dropping a category or two, and you'll get more control by sizing up or popping up 1 ore 2 categories, but you won't get that sheer massive opening up of styles and above all perspective (with the 90/10 proviso of course) you'll get with one of these decks. They are not only forgiving, which makes them IDEAL for a beginner wanting to get hyped about the sport, but they are awesome learning decks as well. They can carve, they can bomb, they can jib, they can butter, they can fly, they can float, they can pretty much do it all. They aren't the best at ANY of those things, but no other board matches them for sheer diversity, and that's why you want to be on them.

I believe strongly (because I'm a solipsist), that if you are in your first couple of years, you likely don't realise what you like. Just because you had a few bad experiences in park, or a few bad falls from catching an edge trying to ride switch means JACK in your first few years. Don't cut off any part of the mountain until you really know for sure it's not for you. And if it's not for you, then yeah, you need to be looking at a different category. But for everyone else, I hope I've convinced you that this is the area for you. These are the decks that will have you progressing all over the mountain and in a myriad of different directions to deal with everything it's going to throw at you for those first few years.

But of course, they have limitations, and you may eventually outgrow them for your primary ride because your interests have gone away from a bit of everything to something more narrow, but never fear, they'll just become your warm comfy security blanket cruiser board when you just want to chill out doinking the resort. They will always have a place in your quiver.

Final Thoughts AKA Too Long; Didn't Read

- When buying your board consider the following things: What do you want to do? What do you like to do? And where are you LIKELY to be riding? We all want to ride massive wide open lines, but for many of us, that's not entirely practical. Don't go buying a freeride if all your doing is cruising a shallow resort all day and spending most of your time in the park because the groomers are boring as hell.

- Consider also that all boards are built with a specific idea in mind on where they want to excel. It's pretty unlikely you're going to find a true twin freeride stick for the simple reason that you want to blast out of those turns and will likely need a specific sidecut, flex profile (the tip being softer than the tail), and a possible setback to do all that. Likewise when you're all about buttering, you want a nice twin shape with a smaller sidecut radius so you get sharper turns and a ride that feels the same no matter what leg you're leading with. This means they all have specific limitations and restrictions.

- But also remember 90/10. A good rider can account for the lack of stability in a jib deck at speed, just as a good freestyle rider will adjust for the stiffness of a freeride stick in the park (and probably use it to their advantage). You can ride anything, and in time you'll learn to overcome its apparent limitations.

- But consider if you should spend your time falling off boxes, just so you can do half the stuff the person on the jib deck is doing with seemingly half the effort. Boards come with in built design restrictions, and just because you can overcome those, it doesn't mean you're on the best board for the job. That's why many people end up with a quiver after all. We know that we can do it all on any one of our decks, but we'd just rather do something or other with a little less bother and a bit more ease.

- If you know what you want after having read everything here, then congrats. Go get that board, but if you don't, DO NOT WORRY. Much of this is because you haven't been on a board that let's you play on everything and give it a fair crack of the whip. If this is your first real board, get on an all resort and chances are you'll learn which parts of the mountain, and what style of riding appeals to you.

- If on the other hand you have been on one of those decks and still don't know, well maybe you are yet to outgrow your deck. Once you start pressing the limitations of your custom (or whatever it is), you'll start to see what type of ride you enjoy and can find the right board for you. Maybe its too stiff? Maybe it's a bit chargy? Maybe you're lucky and live in a land where the pow flows freely, but it keeps nosediving? And maybe you are continually finding the pow awesome but frustrating because of it? Well, have a look... hybrid camber freeride/freestyle looks right up your street! When you find what you love doing and understand why your all resort deck is hindering you from doing it, then you'll know why you need that next board.

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STEP 9. LINKS + GLOSSARY

Jargon Watch: Section by Section

the aim of this section is to give you a breakdown (and reminder) of some of the key terms used in this guide. the key terms are things which relate DIRECTLY to the central material of each section. The key terms are then organised according to sections rather than alphabetically.

The secondary terms, are the terms which round out most of the discussions, although they aren't essential to it. They are nice to know, maybe crop up several times in different parts of the guide, and offer a handy quick reference if some of the language is tripping you up a little.

Key Terms:
Section 1:
- Freestyle board:Freestyle does NOT mean park. It means boards that are often twin shaped and are thus, capable of being ridden switch and regular with little change in feel. They cover ALL the flex ranges, so although some are great for jibs, many of them aren't. Freestyle boards are the best boards for beginners and intermediate riders.
- Freeride board:Often directional shaped, these boards are very stiff, very unforgiving, and provide very twitchy response. They are usable in the resort, but their best use is outside the resort in gnarlier more complicated terrain.
- All resort board: A board that feels comfortable in all the areas of a standard resort: groomers; park; and side-country.
- Big mountain board: A board that feels especially comfortable outside the resort. Although capable of dealing with the more complex features within the resort bounds, these boards are best for riding through difficult and unexpected terrain. Within the resort they may feel a little dull and uninspiring.
- Park Board: Park includes small features like rails, boxes, and small jumps, but ALSO includes big features like kickers, huge jib features, and of course the halfpipe. Boards advertised for park riding tend to emphasise the SMALLER features. The boards for larger features tend to be sold as all mountain/big mountain freestyle boards.

Section 2:
- All Mountain Size:Your most basic standard size. This is your optimal size for hitting everything the mountain has to offer without sacrificing too much.
- Freeride Size:This is a few cm's longer than you're all mountain size. It offers more stability and more float than your regular size, but also makes the board feel a little stiffer and bulky.
- Freestyle size:A few cm's lower than your all mountain size. It allows a softer more forgiving flex, as well as faster turns and spins. It sacrifices stability and float to achieve this.
- Waist Width The width, edge to edge, at the narrowest part of the board.

Section 3:
- Longitudinal Flex:The board's capacity to bend from the tip to the tail. A high number indicates a stiff board. A low number indicates a very soft board.
- Torsional Flex:The board's capacity to bend from edge to edge.
- Flex:The actual way your weight impacts upon the boards length to cause it to bend. Sizing up or down, obviously changes the weight to length pressure and so causes the flex to change.

Section 4:
- Twin Shape:A board that is shaped exactly the same from the centre to the tip as it is from the tail to the tip. It has the same flex pattern, same shape, same everything. Thus it can be ridden in either direction exactly the same. Great for freestyle.
- Directional: A board that is built specifically to ride in one direction. It will usually have a progressive sidecut, a set back, and a different flex at the tip and the tail. These boards are BUILT to create the strongest ride possible so long as you go in one direction. turn the board around though and it will feel very catchy and uncomfortable.
- Directional Twin:A combination of one or all of the features of a directional board (flex pattern, sidecut, and setback), but with a twin shape.
- Taper:A change in the width at the widest part of the nose compared to the tail. A 30mm taper means a board that is 30mm wider at the nose than at the tail. Its sole purpose is to create float in powder.
- Set back:On some boards the inserts are not put smack bang in the center of the board. Sometimes they are placed offset from the center towards the tail. Centering your bindings will naturally result in you riding with a longer nose than a tail.

Section 5:
- Sidecut:An arc cut into the side of the board from contact to contact resulting in the hourglass shape of your snowboard.
- Sidecut Radius:The radius of the total circle established when the curve from contact to contact is extended to infinity.
- Sidecut Depth: The difference in size from the widest point of the snowboard to the narrowest point.
- Radial Sidecut: A sidecut with a single consistent arc from contact point to contact point.
- Progressive Sidecut: A sidecut with multiple radii. Often it simply means a sidecut that moves from a shallow radius at the nose to a deep radius at the tail. This makes turn initiation comfortable, whilst making the exit of the turn swift and powerful. More generally though it refers to all multiple radii sidecuts.

Section 6:
- Extruded Base:Polyethelene rapidly heated and pressed out in a thin film. It creates a semi-decent frictionless surface so your snowboard can shoot down a mountain. They are cheap and easy to make, but don't offer great performance.
- Sintered Base:Polyethelene slowly heated until the molecules fuse. it is then pressed together to create the base shape. Inside the material structure are small gaps which hold and absorb wax. It is also far more durable than an extruded base. These are much higher performance than extruded bases.

Section 7:
- Camber: If you lay a cambered board on its base flat on the floor, you will see it raise up in the middle. This is its camber. It's great for stability, grip, pop, and loading.
- Reverse Camber: Instead of raising up in the middle of the board, it inverts the camber with a pivot at the center like a see-saw causing the tip and tail to raise up. Reverse camber is great for forgiveness, float, pressing, spinning, and cruising.
- Zero Camber: A flat camber profile that does not raise up in the middle. Nor does the middle pivot the board. Instead it lies completely flat. This is a great middle option for people who want a bit more forgiveness, but aren't convinced that reverse camber can deliver the performance of regular camber.
- Hybrid Camber: A board designed with features containing both camber and reverse camber. Obviously a strong contender for the do it all quiver killer.
-Powder Rocker: A hybrid camber profile that places a lot of weight at the tail for control with turns, but also lifts the contact points at the nose for extra float. Ridden in one direction and specifically for powder.
- Camrock: Camber between the inserts but then kicks up slightly at the contacts.
- R + C: Reverse camber at the center, then curves back around the inserts to create a potentially strong camber point when engaged. If you press forward to initiate your turn, you lock in the camber. But when you don't need it, you gain the non catchy floaty feel of reverse camber.
- TBT (Triple Base Technology): A base design that works torsionally to raise the edges and thus the contacts for when you don't need them. However when you do require them, they lock in just like regular camber... for good reason: TBT IS REGULAR CAMBER. It is called triple base technology because the base design is in three parts: a central regular part for movement and transferring to the edge, and 2 gradually raised edges keeping the contacts from catching when you don't need them.


Secondary terms:
- Backcountry Off piste terrain. Areas that are not covered by resort safety patrols.
- Base Gouge: A deep and noticeable scar in the base of your snowboard. Usually easily repaired with a spot of ptex on an extruded base, but can be more complicated to repair on a sintered base since the ptex may not bond.
- Bumps: Bumps in the edge that act to grip into the snow, but also slice through it like a serrated knife slices through a tough piece of steak.
- Buttering: A combination of various presses and spins on the ground in a fluid series of movements.
- Catching an edge: When running the board flat or moving between edges, a rogue edge makes contact with the snow pulling you suddenly off balance resulting in a tumble down the mountain.
- Catchy: When the board contacts lock into the snow usually when you don't want them to, or when it feels a little too aggressive.
- Charging: Point the board down that hill and BOMB it.
- Chop: Snow that has been broken up through people riding it, quite often hardening through the day to create a very uncomfortable and bobbly ride.
- Contacts: The part of the board (usually the widest part of the board) that locks in to the snow. To find a boards contact, just lay it flat and slide paper under it. Where it stop will be your contact.
- Core shot:A very deep scar that cuts through yoru base exposing the core. If you get one of these stop riding and get it repaired immediately. If left exposed the core will end up wet, which will rot the wood and destroy your deck. These will need to be repaired professionally unless you really know what you're doing.
- Deep Sidecut: A strong indent in the side of the board. This is good for short sharp turns and explosive movements
- Drag:When the board grips the snow a little hard causing the deck to slow down.
- Edge: The metal strip at the side of your board.
- Effective Edge: The part of your edge that ACTUALLY makes contact with the snow during a turn.
- Flex:The actual way your weight impacts upon the boards length to cause it to bend. Sizing up or down, obviously changes the weight to length pressure and so causes the flex to change.
- Goofy:Naturally leading with your right foot (I'm goofy for example).
- Hooky: When a board enters the turn a little more aggressively than expected or desired.
- Inserts: The holes where your bindings screw in.
- Jibbing: Hitting various features like flag poles, trees, branches etc, with the snowboard. You don't ride it, you just smack it.
- Kickers: Big Jumps with a large take-off and a landing slope. They usually have a gap of some description and it's very important you carry enough speed to clear it.
- Kinks: "Indents, you really got me gripping. You got me gripping so i can ride all night. Ah yeah! you really got me... <cough>" Caused by not smoothing out the changes in two radii, but dramatically switching from ne radius to another. When weight is applied on the edge, it creates kinks which lock into the snow more effectively than a smooth curve would.
- Leverage:Turning force caused by the distance from the central pivot of the board to the inserts. The further from the center, the easier to pull the board away from the snow.
- Loading: Directing your weight and energy into the contacts of your board. You use loading to create the boards pop. More resistance from the board creates a higher loading capacity and thus more pop.
- Longitudinal Flex:The board's capacity to bend from the tip to the tail. A high number indicates a stiff board. A low number indicates a very soft board.
- MTX: Magne-Traction: A system of 7 bumps designed by Mervin manufacturing to lock in to the ice offering multiple contact points instead of the standard 2.
- Noodle: A very soft, super bendy and flexible board.
- Pop: The board wants to get back into its natural shape. When you load the tail you are pulling it in a way it doesn't want to go. When you release that force, the board springs back into its natural shape. And this throws you into the sky :) This is its pop.
- Pre-press: When you lean back on a camber board and pull on it you raise the tip. This gets you into a press. Reverse camber boards are said to be in pre-press position because you don't need to pull that board to lift up creating the effect. Instead you simply lean forward or back and the pivot causes the board to press.
- Pressing: Lifting the tip of the tail from the snow and riding on one part of the board.
- P-Tex:A specific brand of polyethelene. Although there are other companies producing polyethelene pellets, the industry uses the shorthand p-tex in much the same way as you might use the word tylenol.
- Quiver board:A snowboard that is particularly effective as a second or third board, but not really as a primary board.
- Quiver Killer: A snowboard that does EVERYTHING POSSIBLE ON A SNOWBOARD. You'll find it next to the leprechauns and unicorns. You'll maybe also find it at capita as well.
- Regular:Regular has 2 meanings: Firstly it means your most confortable riding style. If you prefer leading with your right foot, this is your regular riding style. BUT it also means a specific style of riding when contrasted to goofy: in this case it means leading with your left foot.
- Scorpioning: When you catch an edge and land on yoru face sometimes its so violent and sudden that your board kicks up up behind you like a scorpion tail. They HURT.
- Shallow Sidecut: A very shallow indent. This is best for long stable carving and gentle turn initiations.
- Stance Width:The width between your bindings. This impacts on leverage.
- Switch:Leading with the opposite foot you are most comfortable with. In my case that would be leading with my left foot. When I ride with my left foot at the front, I'm riding in switch.
- Torsional Flex:The board's capacity to bend from edge to edge.
- Urban Rails: Features outside the main resort, like banisters or rails around the shops at the resort, or even in teh center of the town. The stuff skaters LOVE riding.
- Washing: Caused by your boards contact losing grip with the snow resulting in the board sliding out under you. It involves you usually falling up the mountain so it's not so bad.


Helpful Links:

These are the sites I strongly recommend you check out for their clear and no-nonsense explanations. I've personally found them really invaluable in one way or another.

Angry Snowboarder - A great site for reviews and the latest industry going ons. Helped me quite a lot in certain parts of the guide (particularly on sidecuts). Also does fantastic reviews, (though I can never find the damn things myself unless I type the specific deck and angry into google). :)

Shay Boarder - Super friendly advice, great unbiased reviews and totally attitude free. Shay does answer your daft questions (believe me, I've asked her and got nice helpful replies). She seems to really enjoy everything about snowboarding and always sends out great positive vibes.

Shay's incredible list of camber and sidecut tech out there.

Snowboard-review.com - This site is slowly building into a fantastic reference source. Even a year ago it was paltry compared to what it is now. I'm genuinely liking their innovations, and the board selecta tool although not extensive and sometimes offering up a few bizarre selections is for the most part pretty effective to give you some ideas. Obviously we'd like to see more reviews rather than product descriptions, but over time that ratio is going to change.

Goodride.com Before starting this guide I had never heard of this site. I was genuinely impressed with how much detailed and sound info they have. Right now it seems a little borked, but when it's working it has an astonishing level of detail on most of the decks out there as well as offering sound basic info. Genuinely a site worth checking out.

Snowboarding forums.com - A great site (if a bit slow) for getting very good straightforward answers to your questions.

Easy Loungin - The best place to find out the latest industry information and chat about it. The people there aren't as dickish as you might have been led to believe, but nonetheless its probably a good idea to shut up, listen and learn unless you actually know what you're talking about or have something to contribute, (or have a very thick skin). A little more acerbic than many of the other sites out there.

Rei.com Some great pictures and explanations.

Boardworld.com.au I used a lot of their images, so i reckon they should have a bit of credit. The site seems to have a few useful spots of advice, and certainly covers many things I don't.

Snow Japan - If you are ever thinking about a holiday in Japan, this is your first stop. I don't think there's a more detailed and comprehensive snowboarding site on planet earth. This place has reviews on every single resort you could think of hitting; mad accurate weather reports; accommodation options; back country advice; lift ticket giveaways; and finally a forum with people who will answer any of your daft questions about japan and how to get around without even a hint of fatigue or attitude.

Finally, a couple of sizing guides:

Frostyrider Sizing Guide
Burton Snowboard Sizing Guide

It should go without saying by now, but use carefully and try and get confirmation. Machine sizing is decently accurate and should give you a decent ballpark in conjunction with other tables out there. Also remember, rider preference and all that :)

Snowboard Reviews on Sierra:

ARTEC
Artec 2.3 06 - Ippollite

BATALEON
Bataleon Jam 09 - Shakazulu12
Bataleon Airobic 09 Kaptn Krunch
Bataleon Riot 09 - Kaptn Krunch
Bataleon Jam '11? - exastronaut
Bataleon Airobic 10 - ippy
Bataleon Riot '11 - ippy
Bataleon Funkink '10 - MikeD13559

BURTON
General Custom X advice to newbies thread :)
Burton Custom VRocker 10 - )(nfinit)(
Burton Method 10 - Dice
Sierra Crew 10 - Shakazulu12
Burton Hero 09 - Goride
Burton T6 09 - Dice
Joystick '10 - BFBF
Custom V '10 - 808Grown
Fish LTD. '09 - BFBF
Fish LTD. '10 - giftedhands
Burton Supermodel '09 - Snakehockey2 (mini review)

CAPITA
Capita IndoorFK 10 - Spenser
Capita Green Machine FK '10 - )(nfinit)(
Capita Sierrascope '10 - Komrade Myke
Capita Sierrascope '10 - Krazylegz1485
Capita Sierrascope '10 - ipps
Capita Midlife Lost 09 - akmx824
Capita Charlie Slasher '10 - jeri534

GNU/LiB TECH
Gnu Park Pickle 10 - Eyedolon
LiB Tech Sk8 Banana 09 - BFBF
Lib Tech - T.Rice HP/Pro '12 - JBburton 18

JEREMY JONES
Jones Flagship '11 - BFBF
Jones Flagshjp '11 - Not BFBF but posted by him
Jones Hovercraft '11 - BFBF

NEVERSUMMER
NS Evo-R '10 - BFBF
NS - SL-R '09 - NeoPlasm, Alistair, and Verdin31
NS SL-R 09 - amadeus303
NS Evo-R 09 - Scorer099
Neversummer 2011 p-review - Scorer099
NS Titan TX 09(?) - Dice

NITRO
Pantera LX 2010 - goride
Subzero '10 - )(nfinit)(
Nitro Haze '10 - Dice
Nitro Misfit '10 - BFBF

O-MATIC
O-matic Awesome 09 - Kimchijajonshim

RIDE
Ride Machete '10 - Dice + update further down thread
Ride Concept 09 - Mogulman
Ride Berzerker '12 - ippy

ROME
Rome Mod 09 - fata1err0r
Rome Agent 09 - Hoon
Rome Artifact 1985 '10 - benjiradio
Rome Anthem '11 - Magicweed3 (mini review)
Rome Reverb Rocker '12 - )(nfinit)(

SIGNAL
Signal OG 09 - Hoon
Signal Park 09? - Dice
Signal Park Rocker 09 - gsrrr
Signal Matt Hammer 09 - gsrrr

VARIOUS
various '11 boards - scorer099
Various '11 women's boards - ShredbettyZoe
m00m
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  Quote fostpaint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:46pm
I just realized I can't delete that post. I thought I could go back afterwards... Sorry Ippy. :(
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:48pm
haha. its no problem.I might just build the guide around it for a larf, or hell, you can write up a half time analysis :)
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  Quote fostpaint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 4:53pm
HAHAHAHAHAHA. There totally needs to be a halftime show in that post. This could be fun!!
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  Quote Aoiree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/30/2010 at 5:45pm
<<< Holder slot for Post Post-Breakdown!

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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 10:25am
found it...bump
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 1:12pm
ippy, you really have to change the title so people can find it, otherwise whats the point, it's not perfect, but it is pretty damn good, and just what some people tuning in need, so title it so they can find it.
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  Quote greenmnmsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 1:25pm
sweet write-up man!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 5:24pm
hehe, i dont want people to find it until ive finished its second pass :)
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  Quote MickRich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 6:24pm
Too late - I found it but what an excellent find - I wish I'd had something like this to read when I started out. After a low-end, Burton board, I fell into one of the traps you mentioned and bought a Sapient PNB1, which I reckon is one of your category (4), all-mountain freestyle sticks. It's a great board but is super stiff and responsive and therefore better-suited to the advanced rider, which I wasn't! Like your Artec, it's been fun getting to grips with the Sapient and it's progressed my riding but it's limits were and still are well beyond mine! At the end of last season I therefore picked up a Ride Machete and am really looking forward to riding it this winter. Nice one!
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  Quote pibimbap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/01/2010 at 11:02pm
Dude, this is such a great guide... I've been snowboarding for a few years, doing only intensive research this past year, and this is still crucially useful. All relevant information in one giant guide. Props bro, seriously.

Do you think you can add another subsection on boots/bindings? Those are something I had issues finding out about in the past :) Just a suggestion.
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/02/2010 at 5:12am
too bad, the number of stupid questions this eliminates...bump
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/02/2010 at 9:11pm
its all good, ill just wait till the other thread kinda dies, and then i'll switch it out to this one.
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/03/2010 at 11:16pm
bump, needs to be at the top of the forum page at all times...
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  Quote gsrrr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:00am
Originally posted by eldolocal68

bump, needs to be at the top of the forum page at all times...


agreed + stickied.

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:10am
haha, kk, but when i edit that first post (as i will, its going to be the TLDR summary of everything), the sticky will fall off.    

Still, if its up there, i guess i should really be getting on with it :) Cheers guys.
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  Quote koji3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:44am
Originally posted by fostpaint

c--c-c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker!
Buzzkill. 
Originally posted by fostpaint

I just realized I can't delete that post. I thought I could go back afterwards... Sorry Ippy. :(
If its your own post im pretty sure you can delete it. I have done this many times... 
Options> delete post.
But you will lose 1point!! :0 haha

Thanks heaps Ipp! I had the basic ideas of stuff except the Shapes. 
A binders guide would be great Wink I have no idea on whats the difference in those...
If only Queensland had snow...
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  Quote fostpaint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 4:51am
Originally posted by koji3

Originally posted by fostpaint

c--c-c-c-c-c-c-combo breaker!
Buzzkill. 
Originally posted by fostpaint

I just realized I can't delete that post. I thought I could go back afterwards... Sorry Ippy. :(
If its your own post im pretty sure you can delete it. I have done this many times... 
Options> delete post.
But you will lose 1point!! :0 haha

Thanks heaps Ipp! I had the basic ideas of stuff except the Shapes. 
A binders guide would be great Wink I have no idea on whats the difference in those...

Nope, I looked there first. It's all good though. I felt bad for Ippy when I first did it, but now I enjoy the humor in it.
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  Quote pibimbap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 4:54am
You could always edit it, and make it something more useful. Or ask Ippy what would be best? haha
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 5:02am
haha, he can play with it how he wants. If it was a bother, i would have just redone the thread :) And because i planned around it, it means that the last two GIGANTIC sections have just enough of a mental break because of it, that you'll have a chance to zone back in before ploughing through them. :) It works out great for me :)
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  Quote pibimbap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 5:05am
Lol. Aite then. Sounds peachy. :P
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:40am
preachy? it's ippy...at least its accurate and informative but needs to be finished and stickied...bump
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 2:08am
haha! hear what you wanna hear eh eldo :p He said "peachy".
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  Quote Attrox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 2:09am
Oh My God!!!!
I know his post can be long and informative. But this trumps it all LOL!!! Nice one, very informative and definitely a good guide to point everyone wanting to buy their first board to.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 2:18am
thanks man, incidentally are those intro and conclusions allowing you to skip the waffle? That's their intention. I almost finished them last night but pulled out my net cable just as i submitted the post for camber. Couldnt be assed to write it out again. Might finish it today.

After that i need:

1. Sidecuts.
2. The nice big intro summary of all the summaries :)
3. Some links.
4. A glossary.

Jesus, i thought i was nearly finished the second pass until i just wrote that.    Ah well... guess i still got a bit to do then

(oh, and then its the third pass where i trim out some of the fat and rewrite some of the parts. Oh, and if anyone fancies throwing up some more recommendations for some boards i've blatantly missed, please do.)
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 6:14am
ah fostpaint, you know what you could do if you want to be an absolute dear?

One of the things thats bugging me about this whole guide is its not woman boarder friendly. theres one token mention of a woman related effect in torsional flex, and outside that theres NADA. If you could maybe throw in a section on some of the stuff i may have overlooked or completely ignored thats utterly different for women i would LOVE THAT!!!

Even if its just some recommendations on decks for each of the sections, that would be peachy :)

And if anyone wants to help him and me out with advice on that, (hi zoe and hana! /wavewave), (especially on the tech parts of things) that would be just grand! :)
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  Quote rook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/06/2010 at 12:19pm
It looks good, you need to change the title now. 
started by flossers making floss for flossers
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  Quote MadSLOOPYyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/07/2010 at 5:55am
Big smilesweet post, Glad your talking about BATALEON...YEAH FOR IT!
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sarpedonice View Drop Down
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  Quote sarpedonice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/07/2010 at 12:54pm
Everytime I read this post I find myself too drunk to ride a proper comment. So I've been giving up again and again. :) Lemme try once more...

This is a great reference for anybody especially a beginner who wishes to learn more about snowboard mechanics. Learning all of this will not make you a great rider but it'll put you one step closer to become a complete snowboarder.

You can ride all of your lifetime without knowing any of this. And probably it won't hurt. But if you learn all of this and combine with your natural talent of riding, then it might give you a much better insight of snowboarding. Who knows?

So thanks for your effort ippolite. I might know all of this but it's mostly disorganized, and full of occasional holes here and there, probably like most of the other members who frequent here.

So please keep on writing, and you can be be sure it's being read more than you might know.
Well I'm drunk again and I'm not sure if it was what I wanted to write here, but it's better than not writing at all. Cheers mate!.. Thumbs Up

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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/07/2010 at 7:38pm
no worries man. Im glad you liked it. And yeah dude, bataleon number 1 (until i ride it and decide i cant stand it - still want a twin or a riot though, so if youre in korea and sitting on a 2009-2011 riot and want to sell me, hit me up :)).

Oh and added sidecuts. After four hours of reading, writing and tinkering i kinda got sick of it so am holding off finishing it, but can someone who ACTUALLY knows what theyre talking about (ie, not ME), check it and make sure im not cocking it up.

The problem is maybe two-fold i reckons. 1. The emphasis on progressive over radial. Since most people likely ride radial i wanted to make the case for progressive but the more i think about it the more niche it feels. And 2. Vario. Vario bugs the crap out of me because having never ridden it, i cant seem to put my finger exactly how it creates those contacts. I can understand that its kinda the kinks in the smoothness of the arc that play a part, but it doesnt feel like thats explaining anything. Can someone who rides never summer and gets vario just give me something to add in there that i have a feeling ive missed.

Oh and then theres the longitudinally symmetrical sidecuts that start off deep radisu at the tip and tail but balance into a shallower radius near the center. What decks use this? And do i have ANY RIGHT at all calling them progressive.

And then theres mtx. I want to describe it as lots of shallow radii overlapping creating a form of contact so it seems like it follows on from the starting points, but then again, wavy bumps in the effective edge is just way easier to understand and less prone to error.

I knew there was a reason i avoided sidecuts :) Can of fekkin worms if you ask me. :)   
m00m
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/08/2010 at 12:14am
bump, really, sidecuts? thought this was for beginners, but we need to get the name changed now....then, is there some way we can keep ppl from leaving post?
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/08/2010 at 12:25am
Thats why i left it out initially. But the more i was writing the more sidecut kept popping up so i realised i probably needed something a little more detailed about it. And well, possibly people are curious about stuff like vario, mtx, and i also wanted to hype up the nidecker/yes ultimate grip a bit which maybe people dont know so much about. Really i wanted to talk about those techs (but theyre bloody hard because even the manufacturers say almost nothing about them) because like camber its some of the bigger changes going on with snowboards. But to do all that effectively i needed to start at the basics with sidecut radius.

I did actually contemplate also linking in edge stuff like slimewalls as well, and the whole should i, shouldnt i detuning question. But figured what with of course the fact i have never detuned one of my decks, that maybe it was getting a bit fekkin much :)

I guess the big question is, does it sound both understandable and also (and probably more important), legit?

oh, and i cant change the name yet, because editing that first post takes away the sticky. Naturally being an egomaniac i want it staying stuck. But more important i dont want to have to bother someone to get it restuck up.
m00m
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  Quote myungsup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/08/2010 at 12:50am
i think i gave this guide a read about 3 weeks into joining this forum. i've gone snowboarding for a day pass and a half day pass.  i obviously learned what camber and rocker meant (although intially i thought it was always called vrocker) through just kind of getting the feel of the lingo people were using. i also decided on purchasing a board before this guide was up (signal og).  however. damn. this guide opened my eyes a lot. i never would have thought getting a capita board would be able to teach me to carve as a beginner. i thought , "oh i'll get a horrorscope or stairmaster when i want a jibstick" but i guess the forgiveness of flex never really hit me. 
i've never heard of TBT. and i kind of wish i heard about bataleon before i made my purchase. they seem to have some sick ass boards. i want to try the evil twin personally one day. 
if you can rant for 4 posts on how to pick a snowboard, it sounds legit. trust me. lol
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/08/2010 at 4:29am
sidecuts all done and finished. If there is anything wrong please please tell me. Obviously i havent ridden pretty much everything im talking about here, and frankly the product descriptions are vague and pretty useless in themselves (for instance the nitro degressive info was pretty much the same two line product description in every page and i couldnt even find a single description of the burton frostbite tech outside of the angry article on sidecuts (which i tried to gather as much info as possible from because it was one of the only places even mentioning these techs)). So i often had to rely on common sense and applying it to how i think it should act. But then i honestly couldnt be sure. Basically donny depth out of etc. :)   

oh and thanks myungsup, though im sure the OG is a pretty decent board mind! Hope its treating you well :)

ETA: tidied up the sidecut section. Felt it was a bit disorganised last night when i tried reading it after a bit of a break. Hopefully its a little more directed at its target :)
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  Quote Gf_intelligence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/10/2010 at 12:50am
Hey ippolite, thanks for the time and effort to put up such a dope post. I got quite a bit out of it and especially enjoyed ur views on board length. maybe this thread can be locked to try and keep it the way it is without people like me posting at the end of it?
Anyway great job and I appreciate what you've put up!
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/10/2010 at 12:59am
i <3 people posting in it. It makes me feel like its worth finishing.

Saying that though, it is almost finished (at least for the second pass). Just completed the Jargon watch section :) Also, because it was a continually under-appreciated vanity project, I added in links to EVERY SINGLE SNOWBOARD REVIEW found on this site dating back to January 2009.

Just got to add in some helpful sites like shay, angry, et al (which i honestly cant be assed hunting through right now) and I might also change the glossary to be alphabetic now that i have all the terms collated and it doesn't seem so BLAAARGGHHHH!!!!

But after that's done, its time to create that introduction. Not sure how im going to play it. i feel like ive made SO MANY summaries that if i do just one more it might feel like im over over repeating myself. So not 100% sure how to hit it.

Either way once that's done, its just a case of a third and hopefully final pass: going over it and fleshing out some of the details or cutting back on some of the yapping and it's likely done.

ETA: Alphebatised the secondary terms and combined all the key terms into one big section. Also added a few useful links. Obviously looking for more, but don't want to throw just any old link that mentions what a directional shaped deck does.
Either way, extra links notwithstanding, i guess thats the glossary section done. :)
m00m
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  Quote Marumm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/11/2010 at 12:53pm
Ippolite is killing it.  I wish this would have been around when I was first looking for a board.
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  Quote MadSLOOPYyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2010 at 3:29am
CryBEAUTIFUL POST...i really like the FLEX part...i was having such  ahard time looking for a board i can press...i recently was riding the BATALEON FUN.KINK and that is their softest board from their COMPANY...i guess if i wanted it to be SOFTER i should have gotten the next size down...i still love my board. its great when i hit bigger features....but i just recently bought the ARTIFACT ROCKER in a 150 from SIERRA OF COURSE....CANT WAIT TO RIDE IT....i pressed it on my carpet and it was great i was pleased...i was able to tail block it with no problem...so as far as flex wise i m please....JUST HOPE IT SATISFIES my other needs when i ride the whole mountain as my OWN PARK.
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  Quote ippollite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2010 at 4:03pm
thanks dude, im also appreciating your own particulr style in posting :) And thanks marumm, i hope it helps folks not make my daft mistakes as well :)
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  Quote eldolocal68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/14/2010 at 6:09am
bump, ah what happen to the sticky...
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