I guess nothing brings a point home quicker than actually experiencing it yourself. I hit Boyne this weekend for the close of their season and learned a valuable lesson about "The right board" for conditions.
It was very warm, soft, deep, corned slush conditions and pushed into huge mounds and wildly irregular moguls. I arrived around 12:00 Sat. I was riding my 157cm NS Proto. It was really fun,.. but it was also really hard
work! I was constantly getting bounced and launched off my edge when turning. I did alright and managed to stay up n on it thru a few really sketchy, "almost" fails, but I found it was definitely limiting my willingness to point it into the fall line and just go!!
This trip, I also brought my 163W Arbor. I thought the wide board might be fun to ride n the deeper slush. Maybe it wouldn't be such hard work keeping it up on an edge in the soft stuff. (...since I never actually needed a wide board, and having since acquired two reg. width twin decks. I have been riding the Arbor less and less.)
I was right about it being less of a workout to turn and edge that board in the deep corn, but what I didn't expect was how HUGE
the difference that longer, stiffer board made in smoothing out and punching thru all that chop and pushed up stuff!!! Wow!! It totally changed the way I approached riding on Sunday.
I didn't have to focus so much on keeping to short, tight turns. Going slow and deliberate to keep from getting launched out of a turn whenever I picked up some speed on the steep sections. I was able to go faster on much steeper runs and still maintain enough control to confidently pick my line thru the chop without fear of being bounced on my face or behind.
It even did wonders for conserving my legs throught the day. On the 157 Proto, I needed to stay so
low and loose, working my legs hard to absorb all those bumps, my thighs got fried pretty damned quick. But on the longer, stiffer board, even tho I still needed to stay loose and low. It felt like the board did a lot of the work my legs had been doing on the shorter softer deck.
The TL;DR version of this is,.. I was seriously thinking about selling the Arbor since I don't need a wide board, but now I believe I'll hang on to it for those days when it's soft and riding the chop is wearing me out!