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Old 02-02-2010, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Another size thread - East coast style...

Well, I've read every sizing chart and guide available online and they all generally state the same thing...

At 6'1" and 190#, I need a 160cm-163cm board to ride 'all-mountain' (some park but mostly groomers). But I ride a 156 and feel its as long as I want to go. Its the longest out of all my friends.

Here in Western PA, we have Seven Springs. It has relatively short slopes - (1,500"-3,000" long slopes) - that's less than a 1/2 mile long. The slopes are all well groomed with a lot of ice. WE RARELY / NEVER HAVE POWDER DAYS and there is no "backcountry".

The local ski shop only carries boards up to 156 - says that no one buys longer boards so they stopped carrying them.


Are boards for these kind of conditions shorter? Why does no one around here follow the sizing guidelines posted on 99% of the websites?
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just went from a 156 Ride Agenda to a 161 Ride Concept TMS. Don't know if it was the length or just the different side cut but the TMS bites a heck of a lot better on hardpack/ice. I usually ride Mountain Creek and it's usually got some to major amounts of ice. I'm loving the longer board, took about 2 runs to get used to it but don't think I'll go back unless riding park all day (which at this point is not what I spend any time doing).

I'm 5'8" and go between 185-190+ depending on what I am wearing/carrying.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm 6' 2", 210# and I just moved from PA. I spent the last winter at an even smaller mountain (Ski Roundtop) riding on a Concept TMS 164. I was very happy with how it performed on groomers, and it's good for jumps and boxes, but I wouldn't really bother with any rails on it.

Seven Springs has really focused on building their terrain parks and other features because, as you said, they don't have long slopes, gladed areas, or any sort of backcountry. Mountains that are much, much bigger than Seven Springs don't have two halfpipes like they do. I think that is probably the biggest reason why people there are riding shorter boards. Their focus is toward park and pipe riding.

The problem with riding a shorter board is that you also have a shorter effective edge, so your weight is being distributed over a smaller area. Less contact with the snow/ice = less grip. This is why you see things like "Magne-Traction" and "Pressure Distribution Edges" and "Vario Power Grip" on boards these days. The idea is to increase the amount of contact your board makes with the snow.

I would never consider riding a 156. I don't have any confidence that a board of that size could be stable under my weight at any speed. I was shocked when I read that they don't carry boards bigger than that. Apparently they don't care about anyone who doesn't want to ride fast or weighs more than 170lbs.

All that being said, you should see if you can demo a longer board to see how it feels. It will require slightly more effort to turn, but it should also hold on the ice a lot better. If you don't like it, then stick with something short and look into boards with non-traditional sidecuts like Magne-Traction and Vario Power Grip. Everyone seems totally gay for Magne-Traction right now, but I'm not sold on it until I ride it myself.

The bottom line is that you can look at charts all day and take advice from a thousand sources, and you may only end up being more confused than when you started. Try and ride as many different boards as you can, and go with what works best for you. That's all that really matters.
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