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Old 03-14-2014, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I see lots of size debate - big guy, small board personal experience here.

Sup guys,

been an inactive troll for a while, but I figured I'd offer so personal experience on the whole small board debate. I'm an east coast guy, but i put my work in and also made my way out west 4 times in 4 years. 4 years ago when I started I was sold a 156w and size 11 boots, I'm 5'11 225 (then maybe 210). Long story short boots were wrong size, never needed a wide blah blah. Always had problems with this setup because of boot size being a size to big.

My two friends who are 15+ years experienced always preach super small boards, both are about 5'8 ones about 175lbs, the other 195lbs and they ride 149.5-150 boards, and I have to give them credit...they're nasty. I rode my 156 in park city utah, on my second year (with correct fitting boots) and did much better on it. The next year we hit jackson hole, thats when everything changed. My first day there I decided the hell with it, and rode my friends 149.5 arbor draft which is super soft and flexy, and I'm WAYYYYY out of reference range for this board....and I absolutely tore ass with this thing. Groomers, back country, pow, jumps, high speeds...my friends were shocked my riding was instantly 100% better then it ever was, on my first day in unfamiliar territory, on an unfamiliar board. Next day I went out and bought one. Realizing 150 was a little TOO small for me, i passed it off to my friend, and now found my sweet spot.

Now at 5'11 225 lbs (no im not fat, im a gym meathead) my main deck is a Libtech 154 TRS xc2 btx which I destroy all terrain on. Rode that board twice out west this year, snowbird utah, and keystone colorado...snowbird is some tuff none groomed terrain and I have no stability issues AT ALL. I also ride a 150 Burton NUG restricted camber, which technically I'm in ref range on that board so it doesnt count...and I only have that board because I got it for $100 bucks and it was never ridden.

We shot over to Blue Mountain, PA today, and it was the usual east coast hard packed groomers, bumpy, icy, and beat up terrain...and we were legit rocket shipping. At one point I did have some chatter, but my whole crew noticed it because the ground was covered in what seemed like pebbles of ice...but no washing out, no edge hold issues etc. I was also hitting some jumps, rails, wall rides, etc...nothing too crazy I'm 30 and I started late, but I was doing what I had to do and the board size NEVER WAS ONCE AN ISSUE.

To sum it up, I'm not an expert by any means...but based off experience, I feel like a huge part of it comes down to preference. I won't lie though, I am light years beyond riding wise what I was when I rode my 156W, and now that I'm a way better rider, I would be interested in seeing how I fair on a bigger board at speeds just for comparison....but personally I can't ever see myself going back. Almost every board shop we walk into, were all told were crazy riding these small decks, and it makes no sense...but it works just fine for us.

I'm welcoming responses, critiques, reasons etc as to why this is a good/bad thing...want to hear peoples opinions and experiences!
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not, there is logic there, it sounds like you don't need the float and that ur on smallish hills and like more of a skate style. Thus ur what you ride...meaning the hill determines the rider's style. And if out in the rockies and its packed and groomer riding or dry fluffy where there is not requirement for float. However your reasoning would not work in any conditions where you need float...meaning anything beyond 6" of fresh here in the pnw....that small board will be fine on cascade concrete but not otherwise. Or on bigger hills where u perhaps want more stability when cruise bombing...sure you can bomb a groomer/packed on anything....but if ur going a distance and perhaps going faster it will be more stable with more edge.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll say it right now, you just don't have the ability to ride. You think you're good but you're not and a smaller board makes it easier to manage but develops bad habits.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
Why not, there is logic there, it sounds like you don't need the float and that ur on smallish hills and like more of a skate style. Thus ur what you ride...meaning the hill determines the rider's style. And if out in the rockies and its packed and groomer riding or dry fluffy where there is not requirement for float. However your reasoning would not work in any conditions where you need float...meaning anything beyond 6" of fresh here in the pnw....that small board will be fine on cascade concrete but not otherwise. Or on bigger hills where u perhaps want more stability when cruise bombing...sure you can bomb a groomer/packed on anything....but if ur going a distance and perhaps going faster it will be more stable with more edge.
Yea were not unreasonable...we know if we lived out west with heavy powder, it wouldn't be an ideal setup. 6 inches of fresh pow we've done and faired fine, but when you start taking feet...we probably we need to do more than set our bindings back lol.

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I'll say it right now, you just don't have the ability to ride. You think you're good but you're not and a smaller board makes it easier to manage but develops bad habits.
Uh huh...we've all been told this before, usually turns into a bet/race for drinks to the bottom...we haven't bought any yet.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea were not unreasonable...we know if we lived out west with heavy powder, it wouldn't be an ideal setup. 6 inches of fresh pow we've done and faired fine, but when you start taking feet...we probably we need to do more than set our bindings back lol.

Uh huh...we've all been told this before, usually turns into a bet/race for drinks to the bottom...we haven't bought any yet.
Not to debate...and skills over equip...but the right/good tool for the conditions make it just much funner. I will wager that your heft on a 155 is going to suck ass in more than 6-8" pnw poo and that blasting on a longer cambered stick is going to be more stable and faster.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not to debate...and skills over equip...but the right/good tool for the conditions make it just much funner. I will wager that your heft on a 155 is going to suck ass in more than 6-8" pnw poo and that blasting on a longer cambered stick is going to be more stable and faster.
Def bro, I'm not debating that at all...besides the fact that I'm so addicted to this sport I wanna lean out to about 200lbs and stop trying to bench press the world lol, I'm gonna hold on to my 156w gnu carbon credit...like I said, now that can actually do my thing I'm curious how I'll feel on that bigger board.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If your way of proving you can ride is to race to the bottom, then you do suck. Going fast is one trick as far as I am concerned. Let's race down switch stance.

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Old 03-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If your way of proving you can ride is to race to the bottom, then you do suck. Going fast is one trick as far as I am concerned.
I can't agree...speed is actually what I just most, flying and hard carving turns. Jumps are fun too, table tops etc...not so much into rails and boxes. What's you're definition of good? What "makes" someone good?

I personally just like speed in everything I do, cars (I race track), motorcycles (I race track)...it's what I ENJOY, not what I can do.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it is great you are happy doing what you are doing. That is cool.

But for me getting comfortable at high speeds is only one accomplishment. Riding switch another. Hitting ride on boxes another, hitting ride on rails another. Ollie onto boxes, another. Ollie onto rails another. Big, bigger, biggest jumps, 180s 360.

There is a progression of continual challenges. I am just not impressed with people that just make turns and go fast. That is only one accomplishment.

As far as board size. Based on what you do it does not matter. But if you are going to do other stuff then get shortest board that you can to do what you want to do.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would be interested to see a 225lb guy doing mach 1 carves on a 154cm board. I would have to re-evaluate some of my perceptions if this is the case. Even ignoring any issues with float, that seems like it would be pretty sketchy.
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