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Old 11-22-2009, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
dreaday19
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Default advice on a new board please!!

Ok, so right now, I have this terribly old (5 years!) burton board that was the first board I ever bought. I'm over it, it's not fast enough for me anymore, plus, it's just plain old.

I'm 5'8, 140 lb. girl. My current board is a 151, I think I want a bit longer, maybe, def. not shorter, not even for bumps.

So here's how I ride -
- Mostly blacks, I love cruising (Vail blacks). Sometimes blues, blue/blacks if I'm being lazy.
- Love powder, but I do still love me some bumps from time to time, so I want quick maneuverability (does this translate into a decently flexible board?)
- I will never ever ever ride the park, not because I'm a wuss, but because I like my face and my teeth, and
steel rails + learning the park = not pretty.
- I ride trees from time to time, typically nothing super tight & steep, but I will do super tight OR steep.
- I'm not really a trick chick. This is a little wussy of me, I'll admit, and I will try small jumps from time to time, but that's about it.

Anyone have any advice?
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm almost exactly the same style as you. I have two boards that I bring. When there isn't a lot of powder, I have a Rome Anthem that I love for kickers and tabletops as well as having some fun on groomer jumps and the rare moguls (even though I loathe them, I still try them). When I'm cruising down Magic Mile, which is just wide open powder, I love my Rome Design.

My Anthem is pretty old and sinks like the Titanic in powder, but it's perfect for goofing around early/late season. The Design is the board I use most of the year. It can hold its own on small jumps, but mostly I use it for cutting through trees in the untouched powder where nobody else it dumb enough to go. I guess that's why I spent an hour hiking out of the woods at Tline last year...

I demo'd a bunch of boards a while back and these were the two I went with, but graphics also factored into my decision. Both are pretty plain boards.

I'm not sure if a pure powder board is what you're looking for, but you could probably have a great time on something between the two. Personally, I can't recommend the Design enough. When I got it, it was the lightest board available and it absolutely floats on powder. It's faster than I can handle a lot of the time as well.

That's just some info from my experiences since we sound like similar riders.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! I'll look into the design or something similar. I might try to demo a few on my ski vacay this year.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
My current board is a 151, I think I want a bit longer, maybe, def. not shorter, not even for bumps.
Hi,

Please let us know your shoe size so that we could make some good suggestions for you. Also, consider that trying to size a board based on overall (tip to tip) length makes it almost impossible to find the correct setup.

We just did a blog post on this at The Boarder's Blog - Snowboard Running Length, R.I.P. . Here is the recap:

Snowboard Running Length, R.I.P

Board sizing has always been a little tricky, but in the past, there have been a small group of readily available stats that have been very useful for comparison and selection by knowledgeable riders. One of those has been Running Length (AKA Contact Length).

As we have written many times, overall board length is a commonly considered, but almost useless measurement. Why? Because the shape and dimensions of a board's raised tip and tail can vary greatly and have next to no impact on the way the board will ride. These variations may change the overall board length by as much as 7 cm without having any significant effect on performance. I can feel some readers out there bristling to say, "but length effects spin weight and rotation". Sure, but in reality the difference in weight is negligible, and the difference you feel in spins is minor at best...and, most importantly for this article, tip to tip length will always be provided, so if it is important to you, it will always be available.

Most informed boarders have paid little to no attention to overall (tip to tip) length but have focused on Running Length as a major indicator of a board's true "size". This measurement was highly valued as it gauged the amount of board that would be in firm contact with the snow while riding. The running length was typically taken as a straight line measurement between the two contact points, which on traditional cambered boards pretty well corresponded with the board's wide points at both ends of it's effective edge. So, this really became a wide point to wide point measurement. Some manufacturers would measure this with the camber compressed (weighted) while others would take a non compressed measurement. In either case, the numbers were pretty close. Good retailers kept their own consistent internal measurements.

Enter Rocker. Rocker is an overused term that inaccurately groups about twenty different variations on Reverse Camber designs. One common element to all of the "Rocker" boards is that by design, the tip and tail, when weighted, are not in firm contact with the snow. Aside: For those readers who are about to comment that some designs are using additional cambered sections, etc, to re-achieve weighted wide point contact, please note that we do not consider these "true" Rockered designs. Although some of these do have a Rockered section (typically between the bindings) the end effect is a board with full contact at the tip and tail when weighted. End Aside.

So, how is running length being measured for Rockered boards? Well, that's interesting. For the mostpart, it's no longer being measured at all. Manufacturers that have been providing this measurement for years and in some cases decades, are now excluding the measurement from their literature and websites. Others have simply continued to measure wide point to widepoint, even while this is no longer a true representation of contact length.

Our suggestion: Two separate measurements. The fist being true weighted contact length and the second being the wide spot to wide spot measurement. This will allow the knowledgeable board seeker to get an idea of real running length, plus "available" running length (available by selective pressuring, even if not all at once) and wide spot distance to better gauge where the potential catch spots are in relation to rider stance.

But at least for now, Running Length, R.I.P.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you looked into trying a womens specific board ? I started out on a Burton Custom 155 board waaaaay back in the day ... Looking back, probably not the best beginner board by any means, but I grew into it (slowly) and eventually loved my board. After years of riding that, I decided to try something different and went with an Option Trinity. I rode that board for a season or two and realized it wasn't for me.(someone in Oregon is now enjoying it) As far as riding goes, I enjoy nice, long groomers, trees, and deep powder.. Currently, I ride a Salomon Ivy 151 (I am a shorty at 5'2 - so imagine me trying to maneuver that Burton) I've had this board for about 3 seasons now and I love it!

Best of luck in your search
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Somehow I completely missed the parts of your post where you said you were a chick.

You can try checking out women-specific boards first. My wife had a heck of a time since companies seems to make about 1/3 as much stuff for ladies.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Have you considered the GNU B-Pro? It is usually a very highly regarded womens board. I got a 155 BTX for my wife last year and she loves it. The only thing is that she wishes that I had got her the 152 instead because the 155 rides a little long. She has a similar riding style to you and she's about an inch or 2 taller than you and approx the same weight.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wired, I totally agree with you, it's the effective length of the board that matters (whatever's carving the snow, that is) but they don't measure boards like that. Anyway, my shoe size is a 7.5 womens.

Ldlish- Thanks, I've been considering the Ivy, it looks like a pretty good board. What's the flex like on it?

SMS - I have to be honest, I've never checked out the GNU brand, I'm assuming it's a really good brand? I'll check that out.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaday19 View Post
Wired, I totally agree with you, it's the effective length of the board that matters (whatever's carving the snow, that is) but they don't measure boards like that. Anyway, my shoe size is a 7.5 womens.
Got it. You have to be very careful with your selection, especially as you move towards longer boards because you have very small feet (size 6 men's equivalent) for your size (5'8, 140). Your shoe size is equal to 24 centimeters. So for example, if you took the advice above to get the Gnu B Pro Barrett 155 (no offense intended to the suggestor, we all have different opinions on this stuff), that board has a waist of 24.8 cm, and by our internal specs is 25.6 sm at the center insert. Even the 152in that model is 24.4 cm at the waist and 25.4 at he center insert. That means that your foot would be almost 1 cm inside the edges (both toe and heel) even at a zero degree stance, and even worse if you ride with angle, and you likely do. IMO, that is WAY off and will make it very difficult for you to get any leverage or control.

Here are some details on width from a recent blog post we did on this subject:

The Boarder's Blog - Snowboard Width - Huh?

How wide of a snowboard do I need? Where is the width of a snowboard measured? What does width mean in terms of my boot size?

Let’s start by talking about measurements, because this is where a lot of the confusion arises. The most common width measurement that is provided by manufacturers is "waist". The waist is measured at the narrowest point near the middle of the board (usually). But like with all things in snowboarding, different brands measure different things. Some measure the midpoint between the tip and tail and call that "waist". Others simply provide a measurement they call, "width", but do not really specify what width they are referring to.

If that has you a bit confused, don't worry, because regardless of where these "waist" measurements are taken, they are not very useful for what they are typically used for. Most people think that this measurement is a good indicator of what foot size a board will handle. It is not, and for a simple reason: you do not stand at the waist, you stand at the inserts. A board's waist measurement is always less than the measurement at the inserts and often the difference is significant. Additionally, two boards with the same waist dimension, may have very different measurements at the inserts, depending on each board's sidecut. Measurement at the center insert is a much better way to compare boards for shoe size compatibility, but for some odd reason, manufacturers do not publish this info.

OK, so now we have told you why we think the commonly provided measurements are pretty silly, but what good does that do you? You still need to know how to figure out the correct width for your new board. Well, here comes. There are two easy steps to getting it right every time.

First, measure your bare foot. It is important that you do not try to use a boot size. It is also important that you measure in centimeters, because the board measurements that you will be comparing to will be in cm. Here is the method that we suggest:

Kick your heel (barefoot please, no socks) back against a wall. Mark the floor exactly at the tip of your toe (the one that sticks out furthest - which toe this is will vary by rider). Measure from the mark on the floor to the wall. That is your foot length and is the only measurement that you will want to use. Measure in centimeters if possible, but if not, take inches and multiply by 2.54 (example: an 11.25 inch foot x 2.54 = 28.57 centimeters).

Second, measure the board you are considering. This measurement is easy. It should be taken at the inserts. Try to measure at the inserts that you will be using to achieve your stance position. If you are unsure about this, simply measure at the center of the insert cluster (that will still be very close). Be sure to measure using the base of the board, not the deck. This is important because the sidewalls on many boards are angled in, and will therefore give you a smaller measurement on the deck than on the base. For our example's sake, let's say the measurement is 27.54 at the center insert.

Still with us? You are almost done. You now have a way to compare foot size to board width where it matters, but how do you interpret this info to get the correct width? Well that depends a little on stance angle. If you ride a 0 degree stance, you will want your foot size to be the same as the width of the board at the inserts or up to 1 cm greater. If you ride at an angled stance, you will want to measure the board across at the angles that you will be riding. Again, you will want your foot to at least match this measurement or exceed it by up to 1 cm. So using our example above, this guy has a foot 28.57 cm that exceeds the board with at the inserts 27.54 cm by 1.03 cm at a zero degree angle. But, when he angles his feet to the 15 degree angles that he rides, voila, he has .10 cm of overhang for a perfect fit.

But wait a second. Are we saying that you should have overhang, even with bare feet? Yes. You will need overhang to be able to apply leverage to your edges and to get the most out of your board. 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of boot overhang for both toe and heel is ideal, and will not create problematic toe or heel drag. Remember that boots typically add 1/2 at both the toe and heel to your foot measurement from above, due to padding, insulation and the outer boot materials. We do not suggest using the boot length to size boards though, as the extra padding etc, cannot be used well to create leverage, that has to come from your foot itself. We highly recommend that riders do not choose boards where their feet do not come to or exceed the real board width.

OK, that's all well and good, but where can you get the information on board width at the inserts if the manufacturers don't provide it? That's easy. Email the store that carries the board(s) that you are considering. Give them your foot length in cm (and your stance width and angles if you know them). They will be able to provide you with the width at the inserts that you will be using and can factor in your stance angle as well to get you the exact overhang that you will have with bare feet.

PS:

Once mounted, the best way to test is to put your (tightly laced) boots into your bindings and strap them in tightly. It is important that you have the heel pulled all the way back into the bindings heel cup or the test won’t help. On a carpeted floor place your board flat on its base. Kneel behind the heelside edge and lift that edge so that it rests on your knees and so that the toeside edge is angled down into the carpet. Now press down with both hands using firm pressure, one hand on each of the boots. This will compress the board's sidecut and simulate a turn on hard snow. You can change the angle of the board on your knees to become progressively steeper and you will be able to see at what angle you will start getting toe drag. You will want to repeat the test for your heelside as well. If you are not getting drag at normal turn and landing angles, then you are good to go.

PPS:

Also a note about boots: Boot design plays a big role in toe drag as does binding ramping and binding base height. Boots that have a solid bevel at the toe/heel drag less. Many freestyle boots push for more surface contact and reduce bevel. This helps with contact, but if you have a lot of overhang with those boots it hurts in terms of toe drag.

Now go ride!

Last edited by Wiredsport; 11-24-2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
dreaday19
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Thanks to everyone for all this really good information! To be honest, I really don't know much about snowboarding or snowboards, I just go a lot.

One other question, right now my board is directional. From what I've been reading and based on my riding style, this is a good way to go. Last year, I started riding switch a little bit, a few times when we were with a more greens/blues crowd. I did it for no reason other than to teach myself, and I thought it would be fun.

Should I stick with the directional? How much different is it to ride your normal stance on a twin board? From what you'll read above, I won't be touching the park, and probably riding 80% groomers/powder, 20% bumps.

Thanks again, everyone!
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