A New Riders Take on Cambered vs. Reverse Camber
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.
Never Summer Evo 153/Restricted ReFlex Cartel
Gnu Danny Kass 156 BTX