ive done a search and couldnt find the answer to my question but when looking at a non-powder board, can you look at effective edge instead of overall length?
while there are boards of similar length their effective edges may differ alot, or boards of different lengths can have very similar effective edges.
im wondering when ignoring the float from the overall size of the board, can one look to the effective edge to choose a board? how would a board with a smaller overall size but larger effective edge compare to a larger board with a smaller effective edge or similar effective edges but differing lengths? any insight would be appreciated.
Yes, if you are riding outside of the park (where overall swing weight is more of a factor)... effective edge is more important than overall length as that is going to be the dominant factor in how the board "feels" when you are actually riding on the snow - it's like how wide your tires would be on a racetrack.
Boards with blunted tips like (like my Proto CT 154) often have effective edges that make them ride like board 2-3 cm longer (in an extreme case my old Jipan 150 had the same effective edge of a 155 board). The drawback to having blunted nose is that board isn't as good riding up and over cruddy snow and also staying a float in powder (although reverse camber helps riding in powder and is often compensates for this)
Now I add the caveat that manufacturers vary a little in how they report effective edge.