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Old 10-01-2010, 01:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
KzooSpade31's Avatar
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Default Intermediate / Freeride - Hook a brotha up!

New here. Made a post a week or so ago and got some solid advice. Thx! Now I've decided it's time to start fresh this season with a setup to help me hopefully take a HUGE jump in year 2!

My 30-second story is - started on skis at 4, committed until 16 then stopped to play basketball. Picked up boarding last year (now I'm 32), it's been... consuming me to say the least! I'd say I became an intermediate snowboarder in one year. Teaching myself. Grabbed a 158 Stepchild park board on sale last year because I got tired of renting. I wear a size 12 (US) boot and have Burton Infidel bindings. I live in Michigan so the runs I see on average are VERY short and not very challenging. Icy and hard pack conditions. I plan on spending a solid 2 weeks out west this year. I need a board that can handle my hometown conditions but that will allow me to progress and push myself when I hit the real thing in Colorado/Utah.

I've done my research! I’ve put together a decent list the past 2 weeks (which actually has 22 different decks!) but I don’t accurately understand the differences between each yet. I tried to cut that list in half here (I'll actually attach my crazy list just in case anyone actually wants to see it).

What do I want: I'm 6'2" - 210lbs. I ONLY want to ride blue and black groomers, some trees and eventually graduate to some deep pow. You will never will see me in the park. I’m a little sketchy on what width I need. My 58 now is a 251 width. I ride with a slight forward stance but don't know the angle. It's very modest. I've never had any issue with toe drag but I'm not hard carving enough yet to put myself at risk. However, I'd like this purchase to be a board I can grow into and master over a 2-3 year window. I don't mind taking a few lumps today to become a better boarder tomorrow. Ok, I’m considering at this point the following (I’ll give you the length and width too):

Amplid Creamer 162 x 251
Bataleon Omni 163 x 256
Capita Black Death 162 x 259
Jones Flagship or Mountain Twin – Size TBD
K2 Turbo Dream – Size TBD
Never Summer SL / Raptor / F1 - Size TBD
Nitro Pantera 163 x 258
Rossignol OneMagTek 163 x 258

Sorry, that’s like 10 decks plus my crazy list! So hard to narrow it down when you really don't know what it is you need! Just want to really push myself this year and want to make sure I’m outfitted to maximize my potential!


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Old 10-01-2010, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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K2 Slayblade 163w, Ride Highlife 163w, NS RaptorX 161, NS Premier F1 163
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Kzoo! I'm in Michigan too. We have a Michigan thread here on the forums in the Regional chat section. Drop by. Some of the riders have already did some meets. I plan on meeting most of them this coming season. Would be cool to get you in on the action too.

With that said, I work for a Michigan sports retailer. Summit Sports. We have shops all over Michigan (lower pen). We also own Don Thomas Sport Haus in downtown Birmingham. So I'm going to be absolutely shameless and say support a Michigan company if we carry the board you want! Don't worry about pricing, we guarantee our prices... on the Internet!

With that said, I just picked up the 2011 K2 Turbo Dream myself. I picked it up for almost the same reason as you. I already have a stick that can kill any hill here. I really wanted a rockered board so it can handle powder when I make trips out west, but still handle the hills here well. The TD did that.

K2 Turbo Dream Mens Snowboard 2011

The other boards that I was considering were:

Ride Machete: This is a more playful deck. It's a mid flex board so it was pretty versatile. I honestly didn't have a problem with stability with it. The only time I can see stability being an issue is one really steep and icey runs. This board is also going to be fun on powder. When I demoed it, we got a little bit of fresh. I hit a mellow run on the backside of Boyne (no one was riding this trail for some reason, maybe because it was too mellow) and it rode what little powder we had very nicely.

Ride Machete Snowboard 2011

Ride DH2: I would actually recommend this board over the Machete for you. It's a stiffer than the Machete and won't have any problems with stability. The reason I still included the Machete in my suggestion is in case you want a more playful board. The DH2 has a ton of pop and is going to be fun when you start hitting any type of jumps. It is also going to handle powder well. Actually, every board I'm going to recommend is going to excel in powder because of the rocker shapes.

Ride DH2 Mens Snowboard 2011

These next two boards are going to be the stiffest rides out of my recommendations. If you in fact are an intermediate level, you should be able to handle it. Because of their stiffness, they are going to be fast. The type of bases these have (sintered) also make it that much faster.

Lib Tech T-Rice: I almost got this board over the Turbo Dream. The only reason that I didn't is because this board would have replaced my current ride completely. I was looking for an addition rather than a replacement. This board absolutely rips. The magnetraction just utterly destroys any ice patch so it's really good for Michigan conditions. The C2 rocker shape is also one of my favorite hybrid rocker/camber designs. Rocker between the feet and camber through tip and tail. The graphics aren't exactly kid friendly though, but it is one of my favorite designs.

Lib Tech T. Rice Pro Model C2 BTX Snowboard 2011

This one was already on your list. Rossignol One Magtek. Rossi gets a bad rep in my opinion. Actually, it's pretty deserved. However, this particular board has gotten a complete makeover this year. This is my other favorite rocker/camber hybrid. It's actually reverse of the Lib Tech C2. Camber in between and rocker tip and tail. It also has Magnetraction so same story on ice. All I can say is that I had a lot of fun on this board.

Rossignol One Magtek Snowboard 2011

By the way, you're going to want a wide model board. With the T-Rice, the 161 is basically their version of the wide (it doesn't actually denote wide). You want a board waist width of at least 26cm (260mm). It will be around 2-3cm wider at the inserts where your feet are so keep that in mind.

I peg you around a 156-165cm length-wise all at wide. The most ideal in that range would be a 159 or 162 for a more versatile ride. If none of the recommendations float your boat, make sure you get something that is at least a medium flex. For your style, ideally you want something that is mid-stiff to stiff. Keep in mind that each brand is going to have their own flex rating. So Ride's 6 flex rating might be Lib Tech's 7. However, you will at the very least have a general idea of the flex. Also you want to make sure that you fall within the board's recommended weight range. Always use the manufacturer's weight scale. I've seen retailers list their own weight recommendations. I don't know about you, but I trust the source more than I do the middle man. Center of the weight range is best, but don't sweat it too much if you are on the lower end or higher end of the spectrum. Even if you are a few pounds outside of the scale, it's not the biggest deal. Generally speaking, under weight will mean the board will ride stiffer than it's intended flex. Over weight means the board will ride softer than it's intended flex.

There are going to be a shit ton of NeverSummer recommendations here. I've never ridden one, but people on these forums have me itching to try one very badly . We don't carry it, but if you go with that I'm sure you'll love it.

Another shameless plug:

Buy any 2011 snowboard from Burton Snowboards, Burton Snowboard Boots, Burton Snowboard Bindings (owned by Summit Sports) and you'll get free Skullcandy headphones. All of the boards I listed are over $400 so you'll get the LowRider over ear headphones. If you go with something under $400, you'll get in-ear buds. Internet only so make sure you order online instead of in-store for that deal. Free shipping too.

I look forward to shredding with you! Don't forget to visit the Michigan thread.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My votes for Jones Flagship! Never rode it before, but all their boards are made for freeriding, and owned by a freeride legend!! Though not many reviews on it though... so if you do get it please post a review
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I 2nd the TRice. Great board, a little stiffer/heavier so it's TEAR UP those black groomers. Great shape too, so it'll float nicely through powder even with a fairly centered stance.

The 2010 has rad graphics (they were doing the birds of prey gimmick) - find one of those, and don't worry about kid-friendly.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Red face

Originally Posted by Nivek View Post
K2 Slayblade 163w, Ride Highlife 163w
I agree
Ride Highlife 168 2011 | K2 CTX 2010
Hammer Broadline 163W 2008 | SP Fastec Trooper 2010
Hammer PCM C+ 161 2011 | SP Fastec Brotherhood 2011
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Appreciate everyone's great advice! I've really done some work to narrow this thing down. I was in Chicago over the weekend and went a friend of a friends shop and really got a good feel for 60% of the boards I was considering. Using the advice received at the shop, what I've read on the web and what everyone's shared with me, I'm down to 4 Boards. In order first choice to last they are:

1. K2 Turbo Dream - 160 x 263
2. Never Summer Heritage - 163 x 268
3. Rossignol One Mag Tek - 161 x 264
4. Capita Black Death - 162 x 259

I'm leaning towards the Turbo Dream because it always seems to be recommended for this kind of riding and I have yet to read one bad review. The ony immediate drawback is that from what I read I felt I should be on something a bit longer, more like a 162. I'm also trying to zero in on the best width for me. The boot I'm considering is a 13 and I am planning on riding with a modest forward stance, just a few degrees above zero. I want to make sure I'm not on TOO wide of a board.

Lastly, Leo, I checked out the website. I'm game to purchase through a MI company. I'm a small business Owner myself so I can appreciate keeping the dollars in state. HOWEVER, the shop I checked out just outside of Chicago, apparently my guy knows the Owner personally. So... he may be able to make me a deal I can't pass up. If it's a matter of a few dollars I'd rather work through you. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the thorough advice!

Any final feedback on any of the above boards would be appreciated!

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Old 10-04-2010, 11:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for considering! If you can get a sick deal through your friend, no doubt worth swooping it up. I would too

Maybe you could even tell him that we're giving free LowRider Skullcandy's so he can sweeten the deal for you. It's all about bargaining

As for your selection, I'm highly biased towards the K2 Turbo Dream. I rode it, and recently bought it myself. The 160w is definitely a good size for you in my opinion. You are well within the weight range.

Curious about what you're saying about your stance though. By forward, do you mean that you are rocking positive angles on both your feet? A forward stance would mean that both of your feet are pointed in the same general direction. A ducked stance would be where your feet are pointed in opposite directions. A ducked stance would be a positive angle on your leading foot and a negative angle on your rear foot.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm all about bargaining... I'm in sales!

As for my stance, I have both feet at a positive stance now. But not by much. My back foot is awfully close to 0 degrees, thus why I was considered about the 13 (US) boot size.

From everything I've read, many freeriders use the positve degree stance on both feet. It sounded as if a ducked stance is more for park riding. Only drawback I see with the stance is that I'd like to learn switch but I care more at the moment about improving my speed and hard carving ability.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you have a slight forward stance, then drag won't be an issue with the 160wide. The board will be too wide for you if you have an alpine stance (this is extreme positive angles where your whole body is pointing forward).

Also, you are correct about the forward stance being more suitable for pure freeriders. The thing is, forward stances do not allow you to bend down naturally. That's something to consider if your knees aren't as strong (I'm headed towards 29 and my knees aren't the same anymore). I find ducked stances to be more comfortable and natural for my knees.
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