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Old 05-22-2014, 11:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Board Design - Explain SetBack in detail

Hi all!

I'm a Norwegian snowboarder/splitboarder who has become more and more design interested the past few years.

I would really appreciate if someone, in detail please, could explain to me how the setback on a snowboard is calculated. When I'm measuring the boards that I own it just seems to me that I didn't have this figured out

If you read the specs on a board and is says that it has zero set back, what does that really mean? Zero setback with respect to what?
-The waist of the board?
-The contact length?
-The full length?
-The weight distribution?

Let's say that the setback is calculated with respect to the waist of the board. My Lib-Tech Birdman 180, apparently, comes with 4" setback.
What does this really mean?
Let's say that 24" stance width is the middle inserts on each side:
Then the inserts (the center ones) would be placed 12" to each side of the waist if the Birdman came with zero setback.
If you then are going to give this board 4" setback, do you just move the inserts (both sets) 4" further back on the board?

That's what I thought companies meant when they listed a board to come with X" setback. But this doesn't seem to be correct when I consider my fleet of boards.
Is the term setback just a loose expression?

I'm hoping someone can explain this to me, as in-depth as possible please,
it would really be appreciated. I can explain, perhaps in a different thread, why I need to figure this out.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Full length of the board. The stance is centered when it comes to waist width. The insert pack is set in 4" back of center on your board. Z set back means that the pack is set to the middle of the board so as long as you keep your bindings in holes relative to either tip you will have a centered stance.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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(----::::----|----::::----) twin
(--::::------|--::::------) setback

you measure the tip of the tail to the last insert

you measure the tip of the nose to the first insert

The difference would be the amount of setback

Your measurements might be wrong because you might be measuring wrong you have to take into account the shape (camber, rockered tip + tail)

For instance my 161 brigade measures 158 in height with a straight edge, but the board is 161 before pressing it to shape.

Last edited by ItchEtrigR; 05-22-2014 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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True setback is not measured on the full lenght of the board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
I would really appreciate if someone, in detail please, could explain to me how the setback on a snowboard is calculated.
It usually is based on the effective edge of the board, which is measured from the widest point up front to the widest point in the back, when the board is on its edge. You then find the mid-point between both insert packs. If the middle of the effective edge coincides with that mid-point, you have zero setback. If that mid-point is shifted towards the rear, that distance is your reference setback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
When I'm measuring the boards that I own it just seems to me that I didn't have this figured out
Some companies twist the measurements to fit their marketing or to make it simpler to understand by the majority of riders who are not interested by the true specs of the boards. I have measured boards listed as 158cm who actually measured 162cm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
If you read the specs on a board and is says that it has zero set back, what does that really mean? Zero setback with respect to what?
-The waist of the board?
-The contact length?
-The full length?
-The weight distribution?
With respect to the effective edge. At least, that's what it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
Let's say that the setback is calculated with respect to the waist of the board. My Lib-Tech Birdman 180, apparently, comes with 4" setback.
What does this really mean?
Don't know how Lib measures setback, but I have held a Birdman and there's no way it has 4" of setback when measured the "traditional" way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
Is the term setback just a loose expression?
I think most companies are affraid to list the real specs. They are probably affraid to confuse the basic rider or to loose some "cool factor" by sounding too tech. Too much tech does not translate into "cool" marketing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Norwegian View Post
I'm hoping someone can explain this to me, as in-depth as possible please,
it would really be appreciated. I can explain, perhaps in a different thread, why I need to figure this out.
I hope I helped you. I love talking specs! I know just by the numbers if I will like a board or not.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Mig Fullbag, that was the kind of answer I was looking for!
I will do measurements tomorrow and post back the findings.
I also believe that the term 'effective edge' is measured from the widest point of the nose to the widest point of the tail. Hence, tomorrow I will tilt my board on the side and measure it the best I can.
Online spec states that the Birdman 180 has a contact length of 122cm. I must admit that I'm not 100% sure on how this is calculated either, but I believe that if you take the full length and subtract the length of the nose and the tail (if they are stated in spec) then you get the contact length (no matter how much rocker/camber stuff you have going on...).

If I now seem to have this SetBack-thingy figured out, I have one more question:
Does the waist always follow the inserts?
Meaning, if you "decide" to give your design 4" setback then the waist follows so that the waist is always centered between the inserts?
This would make sense and the Birdman (which is a 'very' directional board) seems to follow this guideline.

I believe that a board where you place the inserts a lot off from the waist would ride really strange...
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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^^^What he said.
When you design a shape you have nose length, effective edge length and tail length. Setback should always be in relation to the effective edge only, I actually ride all my own pow boards with zero setback. A properly designrd board just does not need setback to float.
And yes I would say my 180 birdman has zero setback in relation to the effective edge.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As soon as you start measuring from tip to inserts etc you are assuming the nose length us equal to the tail length which is not always the case, especially on pow boards.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All too confusing for the consumer if you ask me. It seems there is marketing setback and builders/designers setback, from my experience with boards all I have owned have the reference stance centered in relation to the effective edge and moving the sidecut bias around the length of the board determined the marketing setback even though to a builder it would mean zero setback.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As soon as you start to look at a board in 3 parts it all becomes perfectly clear.
Nose-effective edge-tail.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETM View Post
As soon as you start to look at a board in 3 parts it all becomes perfectly clear.
Nose-effective edge-tail.
I'm not sure if I follow you. 'Nose Lengt' + 'Effective Edge' + 'Tail Length' does not equal 'Total Length' of the board....in my head it is really a lot more complicated than that.
The effective edge can stretch into both the nose and the tail, a good example being the Jones Hovercraft.
Another question then becomes, when holding a board in hand, how do you really measure the 'nose length' and 'tail length' ?
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