I am in process of updating my setup and considering several NS decks. I was hoping to get some opinions and suggestions from other NS owners. Forgive me as I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to latest tech.
Some background on my current gear and riding style:
I've been riding for about 18 years. 10-20 days a year, some off years though too. I would consider myself on the intermediate end of things. I mostly ride groomers in Northern California, occasionally pop off the beaten path, but not much. I don't do park or jumps, though I do fantasize one day being able to hold my own in these ways. I also don't do switch riding. Would like to learn one of these days but not a priority for now. For now I'm perfectly happy to get great carves down the mountain. I typically ride blue runs, sometimes pop onto a black or two throughout the day to challenge myself. I typically ride at moderate-to-fast speeds with quick turn to turn. I'd like to think that my riding style in this regard has a little more finesse and technique than other dudes around here who like to bomb the mountain at very high speeds but hardly take any turns. Not much fun in that for me. More interested in being able to gracefully carve up the mountain and feel it as I dig in and pump hard. Ideally I'd like to get a setup that allows me to continue perfecting this, but still leaves the door cracked open in case I want to noodle around with some jumps / buttering / switch / jibs or whatever you crazy kids call these thangs.
My current setup is an old dog of a Heelside twin 151 (circa 2002?) with Ride RX aluminum bindings (circa 2008?) and Burton Freestyle boots (circa 2008? and on the softer side). I'm 5'11 and 155lbs. The board is pretty stiff (maybe 7-8 out of 10?) heavy camber with absolutely no rocker (to be expected with a board of that age I suppose). When placed flat, the middle of the board is about 3/4" off the ground. I'm set back one click back. I also don't ride duck stance. Not sure of exact angles, but I'm guessing rear somewhere at -5, front at about +35. I've gotten pretty used to this board and configuration, only one I've been riding for 10+ years, so I wouldn't know any better.
I've been researching the 2015 NS decks. I'm looking to possibly pair them with the super stiff Union FC fibercarbon bindings. I'll also be looking to invest in some new boots of course.
My take on the NS boards I've been looking at, based on research and what I've read around the forum:
- Ripsaw - stiffer deck, more of an all-mountain balls-to-the-wall type of board. "Not for the faint of heart"
- Cobra - medium stiff deck, all mountain directional. Seems like some absolutely love it ands some really hate it.
- Stormtrooper - same medium stiffness as Cobra, but slightly more camber. Also less directional.
- Funslinger - softer more playful board, more appropriate for park use, jumps, etc.
When I flexed all four boards in the shop, they were all more flexy than my current deck. The Ripsaw is pretty close though.
Questions I'm considering:
- Would Ripsaw be slightly out of my league based on my riding experience and preference? I see that it's marketed more as an "expert" board. I hear it really likes to go and is not so good at slower speeds. In terms of profile, it seems closer to my old camber board, which is one reason it appeals. And it's stiffer.
- Is the Funslinger too soft / playful to consider? Again, I don't do much park riding or tricks.
- Is there a major difference between the Stormtrooper and the Cobra in terms of riding experience? The Stormtrooper has a heavier camber which again appeals due to my current setup.
- In general will it be challenging in switching over to these hybrid profile boards, coming from an old camber board? How are these hybrid profiles in terms of really being able to dig in quickly turn to turn? Should I be considering a more traditional camber board instead? I do get a bit worried seeing some of these rocker boards see-sawing back and forth when placed flat. (Am I just being paranoid? )
- How about the FC Union bindings? Anyone have any experience with them? Haven't seen many reviews or feedback on them yet. Would it make sense to pair these super stiff bindings with a mid-flex board, or no? Should I be considering any other bindings?
- If I go with a stiffer binding (like the FC) should I be considering a stiff boot to pair or would a softer boot be ok?
- Board size - I'm thinking ~155. Does that seem reasonable, based on 5'11", 155lbs? Current deck is a 151 which of course is a bit short for me, but I have gotten used to being able to whip this thing turn to turn.
Sorry for the brain vomit of questions. I'm one of those over-researching, over-analyzing types.
Appreciate any feedback and suggestions you can offer!
Keep on ridin, lemmings and gerbils!