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Board Choice suggestions -out of scene for years
Iím riding a 15 year old board, and havenít paid any attention to board tech (because I havenít been riding) over the last 9 years since I moved back to Michigan from Oregon. Now Iím looking for a good all-mountain ride.
Iím 39 years old, 6í tall, weigh 160lbs, size 10.5 boot
Ride +15deg. rear, +20 deg front
Never go in park or pipe
Never intentionally ride switch
I like steeps, open bowls, high speed groomers, powder.
Current riding is likely to be: 40% Michigan scraped icy groomers, 40% groomed, 20% powder/deep crud/backcountry
Past rides - 1985 Burton Backhill, 1990 Kemper Freestyle 155, 1992 Burton Air 6.1 (161)
Current Ride - 1999 Burton Floater 167
I started riding in 1987 with a Burton Backhill - hiking the local sledding hills because no local resorts allowed snowboarding. I rode Michigan all through high school and college with the occasional trip to Colorado, mostly on a Burton Air 6.1. After moving to Oregon in 1998 I demoíed a mess of boards and decided on a Burton Floater 167.
I bought the Floater 167 because:
Good edge hold on high speed groomers, no chatter, no toe drag, solid feel, good float in powder/Cascade concrete. Most normal width boards at the time had toe drag and didnít float out well in powder, and most shorter boards I rode werenít stable and had lots of tip/tail chatter at high speeds.
Now Iím back in Michigan and the Floater is 15 years old, beat up, and not the most appropriate board for the majority of my riding.
Based on looking at a number of recommendations, Iím probably considering the following -
Family Tree Juice Wagon (157)
Barracuda (157, 161)
Sherlock (157, 160)
Turbo Dream (159, 160W)
Highlife UL (158, 161, 159W)
Iíd love to just demo a bunch of boards like I did last time, but that just isnít a realistic option here in Michigan. Any advice, thoughts, suggestions, or feeling are appreciated.
If you're mostly riding Michigan I'd go camber, from burton you could go either burton custom or burton process depending on your budget.
Juice wagon is an alternative but other than this freaky winter you'll not get the right snow for it very often.
I have a Sherlock, I'm from ontario. It's part of a quiver, and I mostly ride it on trips out west.
Will you be traveling or just riding locally?
I'd say over the 5-10 years it'll probably be before I replace it -
45% Southeast Michigan
35% Northern Michigan
20% out West
I want something that will perform better than my Floater in Michigan conditions, but will also perform well on those trips out west. I don't necessarily need the "best" board for Michigan conditions if that involves a tradeoff meaning it doesn't perform well out west.
Out of the boards you mention, I'd go with the highlife or turbodream. What about the slayblade? I'd also like to pick up a highlife or turbodream myself, but I'm thinking about a slayblade since I just found a 13' for $300 shipped. I can't find those other boards anywhere near that price lately.
You might be able to get a slayblade and a dedicated powder board for just a little more than the highlife alone. Quiver killers are cool if that's what you're into, but I'd get board if I could not switch it up occasionally.
Here is what my basic target is:
On Michigan groomed ice - significantly better than my Floater
On fast groomers and steep crud - equal to my Floater
On powder - capable of handling 12" without killing me, but I can rent a dedicated powder board for the rare occasions I run into a deep day.
Also strongly consider custom x if you can afford it. Maybe custom or process as mentioned above.
For that type of riding, I would not bother with the burton decks you mentioned unless part of a quiver. At 160 pounds, you probably want a 158 or smaller on most of those boards. 160 is a little big. And you do not need a wide board.
I know when I bought my Floater, I had toe drag problems with every standard width board I tried. Heck, I've even occasionally had issues dragging a toe with my Floater when it's steep enough.
I started riding around 1990 and I have only had a couple wide boards with size 12s, but I used to ride primarily freestyle/park boards up until about 10 years ago which I guess were a little wider because I never had that much of a problem dragging.
24.9-25.2 should be wide enough for size 10.5 especially if you get new boots with reduced footprints and bindings with canted footbeds. The wide boards in that size range are probably around 26.0 and up, which is a little wide even for my size 12s on a high performance freeride board. My size 12s Burtons are about the overall size of size 11s in some other boots, especially older ones. Two of my boards are 25.4 and my park board is 26.1.
Custom x 158 or probably 160 (normal width), should be an awesome ride for you. I highly recommend the est bindings also. I ride the 168 and it is my favorite board of all time for hardpack, icyness, steeps. Not the best thing for powder, but far from horrible in 2' or less (just set the binding back a bit, which is incredibly quick and easy with the channel system).
From your original list, scratch the Barracuda. Burton pitches it as an "all terrain" deck, but if you want to see a tip dance, put a cuda up to speed on a hard packed groomer and watch that tip dance like a bass breaking water. Now I'm not totally trashing the deck; I own one and love it. Love it for powder, but not for Michigan.
For Michigan, if you want to stay with Burton, Custom X. If you want to branch out consider Rossi Krypto or XV. Lib Tech Lando. Just a couple of hard chargers that I think would suit your style and location.
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