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Old 03-28-2011, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A New Riders Take on Cambered vs. Reverse Camber

Hi Guys,

So I'm relatively new to snowboarding, and I've been reading these forums nonstop in hopes of learning all that I can about my favorite new sport. I consider myself to be a very capable all mountain rider (aside from moguls I handle any terrain, including black steeps, ice, etc.)who is slowly transitioning to park riding. Because of this, I went and picked up a Gnu Danny Kass 155 BTX (with banana rocker construction and magnetraction to supplement my other board, a Burton Primo 156.
I'm 5'8, 165, size 9.5 bootm fyi.

Anyway, I see alot of new riders looking for peoples opinions on which style of camber to learn on, which is easier to ride, etc. and so I thought I'd post this so that newer riders can learn from my experience and maybe make better decisions when buy their boards.

So I spent a few weeks riding the Burton, and while I loved how well i could carve and the control I felt with the board, I felt like it lacked serious pop and wasnt very playful..it was super solid and steady for charging down the mountain and held an edge beautifully while turning, but over the last few weeks my friend and I have been experimenting with smaller jumps and stuff and I was really interested in getting onto an r/c board that was a little lighter and more playful.

Fast forward to this week.. the Gnu definitely took some adjusting. The tip and tail were super playful, almost to the point of sloppy. The first few runs were all about adjusting to the board, which felt entirely different. The first, most obvious thing about the board was that the tail and tip werent touching the snow at all, and the loss of those contact points made the board alot more playful and fun, but also took alot of adjusting. It was hard to find a good middle ground between trying to overcontrol the board and also trying to let it have its own identity. I ate shit hard on my first run because I didnt feel like the board held a super hard edge, especially in the icy conditions we had on saturday, and while I'm used to compensating for my board when I feel like the tail is going to slide, the magnetraction kicked in and tried to help me reestablish my edge for lack of a better way to explain it - what this turned into was my overcompensating, and ending up catching my heel edge on a toeside turn and eating it hard.. really hard. From there I lost a little confidence in the board, and took a few runs on the burton just to feel good again.

Towards the end of the day, we spent most of the afternoon just taking runs down the terrain park, catchng little airs here and there, and this is where the r/c and the board really excelled.. where I was struggling to find that pop and feel a good solid stomp on the landing, this board absolutely flies and feels like its meant to be airborn.

Alot of this seems like nonsense to alot of you, and I apologize for not using more technicaly terms, but Im hoping to help newer riders at least understand the way the boards feel so differently.

In my conclusion, learning on a cambered board was considerably easier, and overall I feel like it makes for a much better all mountain ride. When it came time for park, the different was unmistakeable - the gnu was a beast here, but on regular trail riding, particularly on steeps and when charging, it felt really sloppy and I spent more time worrying about the ends of my board having mind of their own than I was able to spend really carving hard.

I hope this helps some of you to determine which board you're better off with to learn on. Its an entirely different feel, to say the least.


note: I had Ride LX bindings on the gnu and Ride EX bindings on the burton. I am thinking I'd like to get some SPI's or Forces for the Gnu since the LX's just didnt seem to give me the control I wanted.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East告de View Post
Hi Guys,

So I'm relatively new to snowboarding, and I've been reading these forums nonstop in hopes of learning all that I can about my favorite new sport. I consider myself to be a very capable all mountain rider (aside from moguls I handle any terrain, including black steeps, ice, etc.)who is slowly transitioning to park riding. Because of this, I went and picked up a Gnu Danny Kass 155 BTX (with banana rocker construction and magnetraction to supplement my other board, a Burton Primo 156.
I'm 5'8, 165, size 9.5 bootm fyi.

Anyway, I see alot of new riders looking for peoples opinions on which style of camber to learn on, which is easier to ride, etc. and so I thought I'd post this so that newer riders can learn from my experience and maybe make better decisions when buy their boards.

So I spent a few weeks riding the Burton, and while I loved how well i could carve and the control I felt with the board, I felt like it lacked serious pop and wasnt very playful..it was super solid and steady for charging down the mountain and held an edge beautifully while turning, but over the last few weeks my friend and I have been experimenting with smaller jumps and stuff and I was really interested in getting onto an r/c board that was a little lighter and more playful.

Fast forward to this week.. the Gnu definitely took some adjusting. The tip and tail were super playful, almost to the point of sloppy. The first few runs were all about adjusting to the board, which felt entirely different. The first, most obvious thing about the board was that the tail and tip werent touching the snow at all, and the loss of those contact points made the board alot more playful and fun, but also took alot of adjusting. It was hard to find a good middle ground between trying to overcontrol the board and also trying to let it have its own identity. I ate shit hard on my first run because I didnt feel like the board held a super hard edge, especially in the icy conditions we had on saturday, and while I'm used to compensating for my board when I feel like the tail is going to slide, the magnetraction kicked in and tried to help me reestablish my edge for lack of a better way to explain it - what this turned into was my overcompensating, and ending up catching my heel edge on a toeside turn and eating it hard.. really hard. From there I lost a little confidence in the board, and took a few runs on the burton just to feel good again.

Towards the end of the day, we spent most of the afternoon just taking runs down the terrain park, catchng little airs here and there, and this is where the r/c and the board really excelled.. where I was struggling to find that pop and feel a good solid stomp on the landing, this board absolutely flies and feels like its meant to be airborn.

Alot of this seems like nonsense to alot of you, and I apologize for not using more technicaly terms, but Im hoping to help newer riders at least understand the way the boards feel so differently.

In my conclusion, learning on a cambered board was considerably easier, and overall I feel like it makes for a much better all mountain ride. When it came time for park, the different was unmistakeable - the gnu was a beast here, but on regular trail riding, particularly on steeps and when charging, it felt really sloppy and I spent more time worrying about the ends of my board having mind of their own than I was able to spend really carving hard.

I hope this helps some of you to determine which board you're better off with to learn on. Its an entirely different feel, to say the least.


note: I had Ride LX bindings on the gnu and Ride EX bindings on the burton. I am thinking I'd like to get some SPI's or Forces for the Gnu since the LX's just didnt seem to give me the control I wanted.

Hope this helps.
What year DK are you riding?
Are you saying you felt less pop from the camber burton?
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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its a 2009 DK

and yes, i definitely felt less pop and spring from the cambered Burton. It also isnt as playful and is WAY heavier. At the same time, I actually found the Burton much much easier to ride.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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nice little review. i just switched over to a reverse camber board recently (SB) and i love it. i loved the skate feeling and loved the MTX. i wouldn't mind picking up a regular cambered board but not for a while.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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im still definitely adjusting to the reverse camber. im excited to use it again this weekend with a wider stance.. i feel like the board is AWESOME for airs and has tons of pops and is playful, but when you want to just charge the mountain and bomb the trails hard, it really lacks the edge hold and ability to carve hard and tight, and at speed i was always nervous i was going to lose my tail
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hey op, i pretty much went through the exact same transition as you!hahah i went from a burton tadashi to a gnu park pickle! the reverse camber did take some getting used to. that sudden sense of getting some pop from the smallest bump in the mountain is pretty overwhelming. my best advise to you in getting used the your board is to stop fighting it. be lighter over your board, and give it more freedom to do what it wants. just point it in the right direction hahaha. sounds kind of like not advise at all, but i found that this made me a better boarding in general, just being lighter over my snowboard.

another thing is the magne-traction. i'm not sure about the dk, but the pickle had the deeper cut heel, so i really didn't need to turn so hard anymore, my brain didn't accept that at first and i over-turned a lot my first day out. i think this next weekend you'll be better adjusted to it since your brain has had a chance to process the new information..a little cognitive psychology lesson for y'all :P

good write up, glad you're enjoying your new board!
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Kayin!

I just felt like I was constantly seeing newer riders asking questions about the difference in feel between camber and reverse camber, and while it helps to have more experienced people talk about the differences, I thought maybe it'd make it easier to understand if someone on their same riding level was to talk about how different they feel.

Before I got on the Gnu, I couldn't fully grasp how different the boards could possibly feel - every board I'd ridden previously was more or less the same..some a little stiffer or softer, but generally they had the same feel to them. This is entirely different. This board almost feels as if its floating 1/2" above the snow, and I can see how after a solid season of riding this, I could seriously advance my skills - but at the same time, I can see it being very difficult to adjust to for a new rider, and I can't possibly see it being easier to learn on. Sure, it may reduce the risk of catching edges (although I only caught one edge all day, it was by far the gnarliest spill ive taken from an edge so far), but the control and stability with the board wasn't there, especially at speed and around tight turns.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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agreed with most of what was said. however, camber boards usually have better pop due to the geometric shape
c2 will definitely improve your carving as well as added pop. pickle heel side hold works but now that i'm on c2, i've gained a lot more confidence at high speeds over a normal btx board. however, going back to camber still hold its edge the most. it all depends on what type of riding you want to do for the day
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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yea, i suppose the problem is that i have serious riding ADD - sometimes ill get off the lift and want to just bomb a run as hard as i possibly can... and sometimes ill want to take it easy and just play around and hit some features. I feel like with a cambered board, I'm better equipped for either option. With the reverse camber, I felt pretty limited on bombing runs and was more concerned with not eating shit at speed.

Maybe it's just that my burton board is so heavy, but I definitely felt like I got more air with the gnu, and it felt like it was way more comfortable on terrain features. Id really like to get a C2 or a vrocker..try something with the reverse camber but still with contact points at the ends of the board.. I think the regular banana is just too sloppy for me.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by East告de View Post
yea, i suppose the problem is that i have serious riding ADD - sometimes ill get off the lift and want to just bomb a run as hard as i possibly can... and sometimes ill want to take it easy and just play around and hit some features. I feel like with a cambered board, I'm better equipped for either option. With the reverse camber, I felt pretty limited on bombing runs and was more concerned with not eating shit at speed.

Maybe it's just that my burton board is so heavy, but I definitely felt like I got more air with the gnu, and it felt like it was way more comfortable on terrain features. Id really like to get a C2 or a vrocker..try something with the reverse camber but still with contact points at the ends of the board.. I think the regular banana is just too sloppy for me.
yah, as mentioned over PM just hit me up when you are ready to trade in the DK for a C2 board. I think a lot changed between 09 DK and my '11 DK. my DK was more of a pipe board which was stiff but still playful due to the BTX between the feet and carved well w/ the C2 on the outside. i too think regular btx is a bit sloppy. i'd only ride it to mess around on a small hill or float it on deep powder but use C2 for just about everything else
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