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Old 03-27-2010, 04:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
snowbone
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Default better for novice to practice on, camber or rocker? freestyle or all-mNT?

First an intro about my level>
I am a pretty much beginner snowboarder, just started this season but I could say I am already in novice level since I can do linked turns on beginner level slopes even at considerable speeds (I still fall sometimes though) and I'm still trying to learn Turns on intermediate to very steep slopes, still falling a lot.

That said, I've been crazy on wanting to buy my own snowboard and I've done researching on my own and almost everyone says for beginners/novices, rocker boards and/or freestyle boards are best since they're forgiving, light, soft flex, blah blah so you wont fall a lot and easily execute turns. Basically the idea is you will appear like you are able to "board" at higher level than your actual level. Kinda like the board assisting you so you are less likely to suffer from your mistakes, less likely to fall. That's what I think anyway.

But the question is this, wouldn't using a beginner board slow down your learning curve in the sense that you put in less effort to be able to do stuff as compared to if you use an intermediate board. Isn't it much better to learn using a traditional board (camber and/or all-mountain) and/or intermediate board (maybe like a custom v rocker for instance rather than like a custom blunt or clash), kinda like learning the hard way, learning to turn using a less forgiving, board etc etc, learning the basics and proper techniques without assistance from your equipment. Then afterwards when you get better, everything else gets much easier no matter which board you use?

What do you guys think?

Last edited by snowbone; 03-27-2010 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My 2c worth.

Falling down a lot
a. hurts,
b. takes lots of energy,
c. chips away at your confidence.

I love fresh powder days purely because I find it physically easier to board on, I fall over less, when I do I don't hurt and subsequently I have more confidence to try different things.

I have had icy days where I can eaten it a few times and HURT badly. It threw my confidence off badly and I spent the day over analysing my technique and seeing problems that weren't there.

At the end of the day, do whatever you need to ensure you have fun and maximise your standing up time. It builds confidence to try newer things.

Bikes got trainer wheels, trapeze artists use safety nets, if you feel a more forgiving board will help ....then do it.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you plan on staying with it, get a semi nice board if your budget allows it. having a board with rocker will greatly help you out when learning and i think its just extremly more fun because it boosts your confidence a lot. plus, theres not really any downside on them in my opinion, im actually looking to buy one for myself after riding a lib tech box scratcher. id say go with a board that has rocker, you'll love it
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's what you make of the board. I'm sure you could put a pro on a beginner board and he/she will still rip it.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I honestly believed I progressed as quickly as I did because I bought a Banana board. Before, I had a stiff cambered board and it was much easier to accidentally catch an edge on it. I moved onto a GNU Rider's Choice BTX and I immediately felt the difference. Rockered boards were so forgiving and allows you to learn the fundamentals without falling as much. I switched back to a cambered board to see if I can ride it, and i did fine on it. In the end, the technique to snowboarding carries over from each type of snowboard. Riding a rockered board just means you are going to eat it a lot less when you are first starting out.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i hate it when people spew the bullshit you just did.

rocker boards wont make your better. riding a rocker is only slightly "easier" than a cambered board, and if you suck on camber you're still going to suck on a rocker.

learning on a cambered board wont make you a better rider because you "learned the hard way." goddamn what kind of bullshit logic is this? when you wanted to learn how to swim did your parents throw you in the fucking ocean at 10 miles out because learning the hard way will pay off?
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpez View Post
i hate it when people spew the bullshit you just did.

rocker boards wont make your better. riding a rocker is only slightly "easier" than a cambered board, and if you suck on camber you're still going to suck on a rocker.

learning on a cambered board wont make you a better rider because you "learned the hard way." goddamn what kind of bullshit logic is this? when you wanted to learn how to swim did your parents throw you in the fucking ocean at 10 miles out because learning the hard way will pay off?
I never said rocker boards will make you a better rider. It will however make it easier to learn. A lot of people are afraid of catching an edge when they first learn to board. A rockered board makes it harder to catch an edge which in turn means you get banged up less. The less time you are on your face hating your life from eating it, the more time you have to actually ride the snowboard which will allow you to learn. Simple as that.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't worry about this ''beginner phase'' part. It will only last a couple of trips.

Think more long term about what you want to do in the following seasons. Park? Freeride? Powder riding? etc.


Here's my experience if it can help you:

A few months ago - having never snowboarded in my life, I bought a huge ass freeride board because I didn't see myself in the park and doing tricks. Now 3 months later I do tricks and I ride park. I now wish I had bought a smaller, more freestyle oriented board.

In ''theory'' a freestyle rockered board is easier to learn on, but from my experience that's a bunch of crap because I learned to ride on a huge cambered board just fine.

So yeah, don't think ''now'' because that will only last 3-4 trips, pick a board that will suit you 4 seasons from now.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
I never said rocker boards will make you a better rider. It will however make it easier to learn. A lot of people are afraid of catching an edge when they first learn to board. A rockered board makes it harder to catch an edge which in turn means you get banged up less. The less time you are on your face hating your life from eating it, the more time you have to actually ride the snowboard which will allow you to learn. Simple as that.
i should have made it clear that i was talking to the OP lol. i agree with what you said, because i learned on a stiff cambered board and had a lot more fun once i switched over to a flexible rocker.

it just annoys me so much when people spout things that are just hearsay, like "rockers are so much easier to ride because they're beginner boards," or "camber teaches fundamentals." your technique and skill level will be decided about 90% by your dedication and willingness to learn, not what shape the piece of wood between your feet is.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can learn on anything. Dont sweat it so much. The board impacts in a way only because youll have a certain skill set from it based almost entirely on the forgiveness of the board.

Let me explain.

A soft board will let you get away with lots of things, its not for nothing its the default recommended beginners board of choice after all. Youll get a lot of satisfaction form it, and youll also get a lot of confidence from not face planting on your first box. As you progress though and start riding it more aggressively youll realise its washing a bit more, and youll have to reign it in a bit. This means you wont charge so much because the board just sint very forgiving in those conditions. Indirectly youll find the board being pulled towards what its made for because it IS forgiving in those conditions - namely park. Now nothing in the universe says you HAVE to ride anywhere else so you could ride it forever and ever with no problems... and anyway its not that you CANT ride it outside park, its just that it wont be as fun (and by fun i mean FORGIVING) as your medium flexer resort cruiser board.

Your medium flex resort cruising board is your jack of all trades. For the most part the trend has gone to reverse camber or at least hybrid on these (sl-r, indoor, custom for examples), possibly to gain the effect of having the soft playful buttery board that also charges. But the normal camber profile still exists, so again you have a different type of ride and forgiveness. Ill stick with the reverse though because thats my experience with these decks. They tend to nail almost everything you want to play with. They will turn your resort into a gigantic playground as youll find yourself flying up walls, bonking off everything you see, and bouncing off every bobble you find. Theyre all about FUN.

But fun comes at a price. The time youre busy spent bouncing and dicking around is of course time you could be getting some more serious (but boring) technical skills. Again, this isnt universal, you could just be practicing your carving on these decks as much as any stiffer deck - in fact if you have the normal camber profile, you probably will be. But again, the board will kind of pull you inadvertently to where its most fun (and thus MOST FORGIVING) for you. This will be in freestyle resort cruising. The nice thing about these decks though is that the pull isnt quite as strong as say a noodle may pull you into the park. Though the boards at the peak of its fun doing tricks all around the resort, its still capable of bombing the mountain or going deep in the powder (at least, my sierrascope is).
The single best feature about these boards is that they give you a taste of everything and dont force you to commit to a style of riding before you even know what you want. For me, i cant think of a better beginner board. Maybe the one draw back is they tend to be slightly more pricey, they also tend to come with sintered bases, which require a bit more care and maintenance than extruded bases. Though that of course isnt a universal either. Also, if you do go reverse camber on them, they may be fun and all but they can and do wash. Its all about tikering though, so either throwing down a camber model or in fact sizing up will probably give you more stability and stop the board from washing and rough riding over chop (the scopes two big weaknesses).

The camber version means youll lose a bit of the buttery playfulness, and youll maybe be catching a few more edges, but again the flip side of this is that pain is a great educator. Youre riding will probably end up a little tighter than if you went reverse camber for the one simple fact it needs to be. Which brings me to stiffer boards.

Freeride decks are demons for beginners. I know, thats what i learned on. Admittedly i didnt pick it up until around day 9 or so which im very very thankful for. I cant imagine starting from scratch on one of these. Id have probably quit after the second or third day of scorpioning.

As i say, they are demons for one simple reason. They are decks that are meant to be riden hard and aggressively. You just wont have the skill to dominate this type of deck for a while, and it will spank you for it. BUT as with the camber freestyle deck above, after a while on one of these decks, your riding is going to be TIGHT. I mean seriously tight! and the reason for that is simple: if you ride this board loose, youre going to get a smack, so you stop riding it loose. So while your mates are busy doing presses and dicking around you will be BOMBING the mountain. They may try and keep up, but its not going to happen.

After a year on a deck like this, youll find inadvertently youve become a bit more of an aggressive rider because that thats where the board kind of performs its best (and most forgiving). Youll find yourself way more comfortable with speed, steeps, and all round charging and youll barely ever wash (it does happen though, i wouldnt suggest otherwise - everyone washes just like everyone catches an edge). Youll probably start digging some serious trenches as well and will laugh at your mates terrible fat slidey tracks while you gloat about your beautiful pin like trail. Still, your mates are going to wet themselves when you try to ride boxes and faceplant on every one of them. Youll probably grow to hate the jibby area of park and stay well clear of it Also, there will come days when you look on in envy at people buttering the mountain and wonder what it must feel like to look steezy :'(

The point i guess is that at the end of the day, every board comes with something its really really forgiving at and something its not so forgiving at. You wont wash on a freeride, you wont catch an edge on a reverse camber, you wont get pigeonholed on an all mountain freestyle, but they all come at a bit of a cost somewhere. I mean, you CAN ride any board anywhere, and if you do, you wont ever feel that cost in truth (because youll learn how far you can get away with stuff before you reign it in): You can charge on a noodle, you can hit the jib park on a freeride, and you can specialise on an all mountain, its just that you may one day end up riding something like a scope after riding your freeride stick and realise that a lot of the stuff you wanted to do (but found pretty taxing on your face and tenacity levels) is suddenly WAY easier on your new deck. In fact, it almost feels like cheating. So instead of taking out your stiff freeride board, you have a blast just messing around on the mountain on your new resort cruiser.

But then a year later and you start pining for a bit more aggressive ride again... so you buy a new deck so you can start wrecking stuff outside the resort without the problems of washing and chop I love my scope, but i think ive been influenced despite myself that a softer playful board is nice for doinking around on, but ive become an aggressive rider... and a lot of that is because of the type of ride i learned on.

And if im honest, I wouldnt trade in that year i spent on my artec for freestyle skills even if it cost me my fair share in edge catches and scorpions. Its fun riding a bit looser, but i seriously miss riding aggressively and it took just 1 morning board trade with my mate to realise that. Stick me on a stiffer cambered deck and its like coming home.

As i say, you can learn on anything. I wouldnt touch a freeride though until you at least have the basics down though because youll cry But after the basics are down the whole world opens up and you can learn (like the serious part of learning, not just learning to link a turn), on anything. Spend your first 5 or 6 times on a rental deck (but try and stick with the same deck or type of deck if you can) then have a little experiment with sizes. Once you feel comfortable then idf think about buying your deck. And for your first couple of years id SERIOUSLY consider just buying an all mountain freestyle board because it wont really push you into any particular style and will give you a taste of everything the mountain has to offer. Plus itll be a while before you find the point where you progress beyond the boards limitations (if in fact you ever do). The other two outliers will make their restrictions apparent very quick. And though you can overcome them with a bit of tenacity, itll still be a bit of a pain in the ass. Plus of course, the board is serious FUN which is what its all about at the end of the day.

Last edited by ippy; 03-28-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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