Barracuda correspondance with Burton
I`m in Japan. Want to buy a powder board as I`ve spend all my time the last 3 years riding backcountry and the leg burn is killing my enjoyment, even with my set set back to the max. Wanted a Malolo, but can`t find a 162 over here, which is the length Burton recommended for me when I enquired.
So I thought I`d go for a Barracuda. Once again, 161s are in short supply, but 157s are numerous.
I`m 184cm and 155lbs, mostly limbs, size 9.5 US. Regular board is 158.
I mailed Burton, wondering which length they`d recommend, having previously trolled all the forums trying to get an idea of what I needed. They recommended a 157. What follows is the discussion that ensued:
The barracuda has “Raduction” which will make a shorter board feel much more stable and ride like a board that is a few cm longer because it will have an effective edge that is similar to that of a longer board. Also, the board is wider and has more torsional rigidity which will contribute to the stability of the board. Based on your weight, I think 157 – 159 would be a pretty ideal board size. The 157 Barracuda will ride more like a 160, and should satisfy your personal preference of riding longer boards (even if it is only a 157). I recommend the 157 Barracuda for your size and riding style."
Just to check - a week ago when I was searching for a Malolo second-hand, I mailed burton and received this comment:
"If you can get your hands on a 162 you'd probably enjoy it more but we think the 158 will be ok because of the specific shape.
Would this be the same for the Barracuda, or do you still think the 157 is best?"
I was suggesting the 157 Barracuda based on the fact that it is supposed to be ridden a few cm shorter than what you would typically ride, but again it is up to you to determine your personal preference. Because you are tall but light weight with a relatively small boot size, I feel that the 157 would be stable enough for you and very maneuverable (especially in the trees). If you would like more high speed stability, you can go with the 161, but if you would like more maneuverability the 157 might be a little more fun."
"Sorry - with the s-rocker, wouldn`t the 161 feel and handle like a shorter board anyway in the trees, so feel maneuverable anyway?
I`ve read the noose can be be a bit loose on groomers (I only ride them transiting really). Which length would be more stable for that?"
"The S-rocker will make the Barracuda float better in deep snow and will allow you to initiate turns a little quicker. However, it is the “Raduction” that makes the board ride and feel like a longer board. This is achieved through making the board wider with more torsional rigidity and a longer effective edge. Personal preference definitely comes into play when choosing your board size, so ultimately it is up to you. It sounds like you are leaning toward the 161, and I don’t see a problem with that. It will feel and perform more like a 164, but you should be strong enough to manipulate it."
End of correspondence.
My questions are -
Do people agree with this?
I understand the tech spiel and I know the downsizing theory...but I`ve also read that one doesn`t have to. Sometimes I wonder whether they push the downsize thing strongly to back-up the tech claims, and that it might not be so necessary...
I would like the board to be nimble though, but also stable at speed. Would a longer board have a tendency to flap more at the nose on groomers (I only ride them getting off the mountain)? With my high centre of gravity, I`m concerned the 157 will not offer the stability, despite Burton assuring me that it will feel like a 161.
Experiences, thoughts, comments, recommendations anyone?
Thanks for reading.