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Old 12-04-2010, 05:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Newby On Site Needs Help

So I have spent the last week or so looking all over the place. Different recommendations come from all over but I think it would be nice to get some information from someone on the hill all the time.
Been on a board about 4 times Mt Washington Vancouver Island. Rental boards all times. Kinda hard to decifer which boards im liking better then the others as Im so new and not sure what to totally expect. I know this year im gonna be up there a lot so I feel its time to stop renting. Ive looked around at a few. Flow, Rossignol, Forum, Burton, 24/7, LTD, K2, Ride. Should I avoid any of these companies. Basically looking for tips on better then others or what people think I should begin at. Im more the all mountain/freestyle rider, riding goofy. weigh in about 195, standing 5'8 and a bit, and wear a size 10 boot. Not fat as most would think but pretty stalky. Charts recommend between 160-170 but I feel thats a little long. I have been leaning around 157-158. Looking for size tips and maybe board ideas. Comments on the 2010 Flow Strike 158.?
Thanks in advance

Last edited by Deroy; 12-04-2010 at 05:30 AM. Reason: something else to add
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Deroy View Post
So I have spent the last week or so looking all over the place. Different recommendations come from all over but I think it would be nice to get some information from someone on the hill all the time.
Been on a board about 4 times Mt Washington Vancouver Island. Rental boards all times. Kinda hard to decifer which boards im liking better then the others as Im so new and not sure what to totally expect. I know this year im gonna be up there a lot so I feel its time to stop renting. Ive looked around at a few. Flow, Rossignol, Forum, Burton, 24/7, LTD, K2, Ride. Should I avoid any of these companies. Basically looking for tips on better then others or what people think I should begin at. Im more the all mountain/freestyle rider, riding goofy. weigh in about 195, standing 5'8 and a bit, and wear a size 10 boot. Not fat as most would think but pretty stalky. Charts recommend between 160-170 but I feel thats a little long. I have been leaning around 157-158. Looking for size tips and maybe board ideas. Comments on the 2010 Flow Strike 158.?
Thanks in advance
Hi Deroy,

Stoked that you are loving the boarding and are ready for your first setup. You are very smart to ignore the sizing calculators. They are the quickest way to easily find the wrong board

Could I ask you to do one thing before we suggest?

Please measure your foot using this method:

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).
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the fast reply Wired.
Ok, did that. Measure 10.25
So I get 26.03
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the fast reply Wired.
Ok, did that. Measure 10.25
So I get 26.03
Got it. Glad we checked. 26 cm is technically a size 8. That will have a big impact on the board you select. It will be very important that you do not not get a board speced for a rider with a size 10 foot as that would be almost a full inch wider.



As a mid priced all mountain board, the Flow Merc 153 will be a great choice. The Flow Infinite Pop Cam in 153 will be an exceptional upgrade.

Interestingly enough, there are no 160 or above boards that would be in your range that I am aware of.

Thanks!

Last edited by Wiredsport; 12-04-2010 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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my friend let me ride his flow merc (which happens to be a 153) and i happen to weigh 180 lbs. its a solid all mountain deck. dont believe the B/S about getting a 160 and up, because the 153 was just right for me. a 160 seems just obnoxiously long for a board that was stiff enough at a 153 to be a hard charger.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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FWIW, I had a burton custom back in 2003 when I weighed about 190-195 and I'm also 5'8. It was a great all mountain board. The only time it gave me a hard time was when I caught a storm in Utah with 8-12 inches of powder each day I was there. Manageable with a fresh wax though. I'd only go bigger if you were getting a powder board. I had a ride timeless that was a lot stiffer that was size 155. If it's a stiffer board you can go 155 and softer go 158.

I've never seen anyone use a foot size to choose how to get a board. I think weight and muscle density is more improtant IMO. I bet we can use the same size board I use and I weigh 225-235 and I have a size 10.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've never seen anyone use a foot size to choose how to get a board. I think weight and muscle density is more improtant IMO. I bet we can use the same size board I use and I weigh 225-235 and I have a size 10.
Hi Magnum,

I appreciate your comments. Weight and shoe size are the two basic factors in sizing a board. Height is not a factor. Boards are designed with a specific weight range in mind and being well ceneterred in that range is optimal. Typically the range is ~ 50 lbs. Foot size is very important as it (along with stance width an stance angle) will determine an appropraite width. Weight will effect the appropraite stiffness (for the riding style) running surface and effective edge. You are correct that shoe size alone is not enough to determine the correct board. Both weight and foot size are required.

We wrote this back in 1993, and even with all of the tech changes that have occurred since then, it is still accurate:

Where your nose is, does not determine what size of snowboard you should ride!

...or your chin, ears, shoulders or any other body part for that matter. These are the silliest rules for sizing boards that could possibly be imagined, and yet they persist. We hear new ones everyday, "my friend told me that a board should come to in between my chin and my nose." Why, are you planning to nibble on it? These generalities are good ways to end up with a completely inappropriate board. Why do such rules exist, you ask? It is due to the fact that finding the right board takes a bit of research and knowledge. The easy way, however incorrect, is much quicker. A snowboard reacts to only two factors, how much pressure is being applied to it (weight), and where that pressure is coming from (shoe size). Boards are designed around riders of a certain weight. The total weight range for a given board will be around 50 pounds (although manufacturers tend to exaggerate this range to make their products sellable to a wider variety of customers). Two men who stand six feet tall and have their noses at identical heights, may be separated by 100 pounds of weight. This would change the boards they should ride by two entire categories of stiffness, and length. You will also want to make sure that the board is appropriate for your shoe size. One half to three quarters of an inch of overhang (yes, overhang) off the edge of your board is ideal (when wearing snowboard boots, and measured at the stance angle that you will ride). We will discuss this more below when we address width in detail.

There is no best level of stiffness for a board!

At least five times a day we hear,"the guy at mountain told me that I want a soft board." This is the part that we were discussing above that relates to weight. Snowboards react to pressure that is applied to that hourglass shape (sidecut) that they have. This shape, when flexed, creates an arc on the snow. You are planning on turning on that arc. If you can't flex the sidecut into the snow (because the board is too stiff for you) you simply can't turn well, or not at all. If the board is too soft for your weight, it will constantly be overflexing, and "twisting off" of the edge that you are relying on to carve. In this scenario you will have a terrible time on hardpack and ice, because the "effective edge" (amount of edge that should be in contact with the snow) will be twisted out of shape, and not doing it's job. Softer flexing boards tend to be better for lighter riders, while stiffer boards are needed for the big boys. Only for extreme freestyle, or extreme race applications, should this rule be broken (and in those instances, a second board will be needed for all mountain riding).

Buying by length is the hardest way to end up with the right board!

"My last board was a 156, and I liked it, so tell me about the 156's that you carry." The trick here, is that two boards of identical length, may be designed for completely different riders and types of riding. For example a 156 may be a "big mountain board" for a small woman, or a "park" board for a big guy, depending on the manufacturer's design plan. Those two boards, however, would never be appropriate for the same rider. Length is often discussed in terms of: longer equals faster, and more stable, while shorter equals more maneuverable. This can also be deceptive. The "running surface" of a board (the base area that contacts the snow) is a useful measurement, because this is the amount of board that you actually are riding upon. The overall length (the measurement usually considered) can be misleading, as it also contains the raised tip and tail, which do not contact the snow, and have only nuance differences in affecting your ride. Your best bet is research. Look into who the board was made for, and for what type of riding. Leave the rules of thumb to the rental guys, who are trying to get through the line of renters as quickly as possible, and get on the slopes (can't blame 'em for that).
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It will be very important that you do not not get a board speced for a rider with a size 10 foot as that would be almost a full inch wider.
Oh I don't disagree with your last post. But how does one get a board for a size 8 versus a board for a size 10? I'm only aware of boards that are sold as 'wide' which are usually for larger boots like an 11 or larger.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh I don't disagree with your last post. But how does one get a board for a size 8 versus a board for a size 10? I'm only aware of boards that are sold as 'wide' which are usually for larger boots like an 11 or larger.
Hi Magnum,

That is a great question. Terms like "wide" are very misleading, because there is no industry standard for what is considered a wide board. In fact, it varies by brand, model and even size within a model. Some brands do make boards that are labeled "slim" or "narrow" but the same thing applies, there is no standard.

Now for the good news. You can always figure out the width of a board (where it matters) and determine if it will be correct for your specs. Please read this if you have a moment:

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?

Letís 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 wonít 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!
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