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Board length vs Effective edge length
I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain on this topic as you seem very knowledgeable and I am in the market for a new board.
I'm a 36 year old female, 5'2", 120-125 lbs, goofy foot, wide stance (21" from center to center binding, +9/-9), 4th season snowboarding.
4 years ago I started out on a Burton Secret 145 cm, camber. I could carve and link turns but never felt completely comfortable on it. Shorty after, my husband bought me the Rome Lo-fi rocker 146cm. It was so easy to ride and definitely boosted my confidence. Last year I began going off small ledges and small jumps off natural terrain. I figured I would buy a new board with more stability at higher speeds and help me progress. Last year I bought the GNU Ladies Choice in a 148.5. I rode it the entire season and at the end of the season tried to sell it. Something is just off with that board...and it's probably me! It feels so big, stiff, heavy, and not easily maneuverable. I can barely do presses and this is coming from someone who runs 20 miles a week and lifts weights and is very coordinated. It would be find if I just wanted to carve but I am looking for a board that will do everything. I mostly ride all mountain but like to go through the park a few times during a day...maybe all mountain freestyle? This year I've been going off the smaller jumps in the park and boxes.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I am wondering medium flex boards are more like stiffer boards for lighter riders like myself.
So finally, my question. I am looking at the Never Summer Onyx in a 143cm (camber/rocker/camber just like my GNU but with a flex of 3 instead of a 5 as the GNU has). It has the same effective edge as my 148.5cm GNU Ladies Choice. Will the Never summer feel too big as well? I'm not sure what size board to get but know that my Ladies Choice is too big and heavy.
I appreciate any suggestions and/or feedback!
P.S. I have played around with my stance and prefer what I have going now, so I don't think that is the issue.
Thanks for your time
This probably won't help you, but the one time I rode a Gnu (Hypercarve) many years ago it was like a tank. That board felt awful in all ways. I have no idea if all Gnus are that way. Good luck.
It could be that the boots and bindings you have on the GNU are too soft for it.
Edit: that said, i think your Lofi rocker is exactly the board you're describing/looking for. A friend of mine has it (size 152cm) and she loves it. My wife has ridden it a few times too and really likes it as well. They have both improved a lot on that board. Very versatile... as far as quality goes hmmm i'd say so-so, it dings easily. But it has a really good price.
Stoked for the question. A few things to get started. First off, please post up your foot size.
Next, please let me talk you out of any reliance at all on flex ratings. Here is some info on that (snipped for our help section):
Trying to get an accurate idea of how a specific board will flex in comparison to others? Watch out! There is more marketing misinformation and straight out nonsense published about flexibility than about most other elements of snowboard fit. Finding the correct flex (stiffness and feel) is crucial, but it won't be found in a single number printed on a fit chart.
Let's clear one thing up straight off. There is no industry standard for flex. That is to say, what one company considers a "4" has no direct relation to another company's "4" or "Medium Soft", or "Less Harsh". That's correct, boards that carry the same number may (and usually do) have an entirely different feel.
OK, so that makes it tricky to compare one brand to another, but what about within a brand? Even here, big problems exist. Most brands are still putting a single flex rating on an entire model. That is to say, this year's Travis White pro model gets a flex rating of "2", but what? It's rated a 2 in both 149 cm and in 163 cm? Hey now, the chart says that those two sizes are rated for riders separated by 70 lbs, how can the flex rating be the same? Wait, you say, they are rating the overall flex of the model so it could be compared to other models of the same brand of a similar size. The problem there is that board designer’s change the flex of each model at different size breaks to achieve the feel that they are after for that specific model. In other words, the difference in flex between a 149 and a 154 in one model may be far greater than the flex difference between those same sizes in another model. Additionally, many times a rider will be deciding between two sizes of the same model. Does the 157 really have the same flex as the 159? If so, why are the weight ratings for those sizes so different?
The biggest confusing factor, however, comes from the improvements in flex control technologies that have evolved over the past decade. A board that is designed to have a buttery soft tip and tail with a firm mid section flexes far differently than a constant flex board designed for a similar rider size. It is not that it is necessarily more or less flexible, but that the flex characteristics are entirely different. To get around this issue, certain companies have switched from a flex rating to a feel rating. This is a step from bad to worse. There is simply no way to compare these complex relationships in a single number or term. It would be equal to comparing a tangerine to a pineapple using a fruitiness scale, rated 1 to 10.
What is the answer? The only way to figure out the flex component is to dig deeper. Getting the info on the core weight range that a model and size were developed for and understanding the flex characteristic of that model is the only way to get the correct flex for your needs.
I'm a size 7 boot.
Thanks for the information!
OK, got it.
Your history is a great reference for what will likely work best for you.
To review, your Secret 145 was cambered but had an effective edge or 111.5 cm. The cambered profile tells us that all of the running surface of the board was in contact with the snow, so 111.5 is a real measurement. Then you went to the LO FI in 146 which has an effective edge of 111. That board was rockered so that effective edge actually suggests more contact length than you actually would have had. The reason for this is that with fully rockered (and also with flat rock) boards a portion of the "running surface" will not contact the snow, even when full weighted. The Ladies Choice 148.5 has an effective of 114.5 (even the running length is 113). With the EC2 profile that is almost all in contact with the snow.
That was a long way of saying, your Ladies Choice was by far the longest board you have ridden (about 6-7 cm longer than the Lo Fi in terms of real length). It is also no cupcake in terms of stiffness (it has some power to it) but I do not think that that was what was getting you.
The Onyx in 143 has an Effective edge of 113 which is down a bit from your Ladies Choice, but still longer than your trusty Lo Fi. If that is the board that you are set on you may want to demo the 140 as well which has an effective of 110. Please keep in mind that tip to tip length (i.e. 140. 146, etc) is is useless measurement. I hope that is helpful.
where's poutine, he loves these effective edge, blunt nose discussions....
Wow! Thank you so much. Hopefully I will be able to put all this great info to use.
Don't get me wrong. When conditions are great my Ladies Choice is stable and great to cruise on. I just find myself wanting to "play around" more than I really can on this board.
I just realized the difference in boards is only about 2 inches. Why does it feel that much different? Could it be more of the profile: camber rocker vs flat rocker (lo-fi)?
Two inches is 5 cm which in itself is actually significant in terms of effective edge or running length...but...that is exaggerated even more by the profile. To clarify this a bit by example put each of the boards on a level surface (garage floor, etc.) and weight the board by having someone press down firmly at the bindings. Then measure the amount of board that is in full contact with the garage floor. Compare the two. I think you will be surprised by how much difference profile makes here. That is the most important length measurement on a snowboard.
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