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Old 09-04-2011, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Contact length vs. effective edge

I'm looking at a snowboard which I think may be too small for me.
I weigh 172lbs/77kg and I'm looking at a 151cm snowboard.

Someone told me to check the effective edge of the snowboard but I can only find the contact length statistic of the board so I was wondering if these are the same or different?

The snowboard has a contact length of 112mm (although I think this is a typo in the statistics of the board, and having looked at some other snowboards, looks like this should be 112 CENTIMETRES).

Do I need to know the effective edge to be able to tell if this board will be suitable for me or not?


Can anyone please explain the difference between the two to me?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They're the same. It has nothing to do with what size you should be on. A 151 for you is a park jib size.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cheers Nivek!
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsy852 View Post
Someone told me to check the effective edge of the snowboard but I can only find the contact length statistic of the board so I was wondering if these are the same or different?
Hi,

Efective edge and Contact Length are very different measurements. If correctly measured, effective edge will always be longer than contact length.

I just posted this elsewhere today so I hope a little copy/paste is OK

The confusion that the OP had posted is entirely common and understandable. Here is an old blog post we did on this. It has only become worse since this was written.

Board sizing has always been a little tricky, but in the past, there have been a small group of readily available stats that have been very useful for comparison and selection by knowledgeable riders. One of those has been Running Length (AKA Contact Length). As we have written many times, overall board length is a commonly considered, but almost useless measurement. Why? Because the shape and dimensions of a board's raised tip and tail can vary greatly and have next to no impact on the way the board will ride. These variations may change the overall board length by as much as 7 cm without having any significant effect on performance. I can feel some readers out there bristling to say, "but length effects spin weight and rotation". Sure, but in reality the difference in weight is negligible, and the difference you feel in spins is minor at best...and, most importantly for this article, tip to tip length will always be provided, so if it is important to you, it will always be available. Most informed boarders have paid little to no attention to overall (tip to tip) length but have focused on Running Length as a major indicator of a board's true "size". This measurement was highly valued as it gauged the amount of board that would be in firm contact with the snow while riding. The running length was typically taken as a straight line measurement between the two contact points, which on traditional cambered boards pretty well corresponded with the board's wide points at both ends of it's effective edge. So, this really became a wide point to wide point measurement. Some manufacturers would measure this with the camber compressed (weighted) while others would take a non compressed measurement. In either case, the numbers were pretty close. Good retailers kept their own consistent internal measurements.
Enter Rocker. Rocker is an often incorrectly used term that inaccurately groups about twenty different variations on Reverse Camber designs. One confusing factor that stems from the addition of "Rocker" boards is that due to the design of many of theseshapes, the tip and tail, when weighted, are not in contact with the snow. So, how is running length being measured for Rockered boards? Well, that's interesting. For the mostpart, it's no longer being measured at all. Manufacturers that have been providing this measurement for years and in some cases decades, are now excluding the measurement from their literature and websites. Others have simply continued to measure wide point to widepoint, even while this is no longer a true representation of contact length. Our suggestion: Two separate measurements. The fist being true weighted contact length and the second being the wide spot to wide spot measurement. This will allow the knowledgeable board seeker to get an idea of real running length, plus "available" running length (available by selective pressuring, even if not all at once) and wide spot distance to better gauge where the potential catch spots are in relation to rider stance.
But at least for now, Running Length, R.I.P.

Last edited by Wiredsport; 09-04-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah Wireds right, I wasn't thinking. In short, contact length is the line you can draw down the center of the board from the contact points. So if you flatten everything but the tip kicks this is what would be touching the table or ground or whatever. Effective edge is the length of metal between contact points.

The average buyer and even the seasoned rider is going to care very little about either of these measurements as they are almost always overshadowed by other characteristics of a board. Shape, sidecut radius, how many radii are used, edge tech, carbon layup... they are all going to effect the way something rides more than contact or ef.edge will. Ef.Edge is a helpful number when you're explaining shapes like the Nug and WWW to someone, otherwise its not something to get hung up over.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Kindly allow me to throw into the mix an alternate opinion.

We think that running length and effective edge are two very important things to consider when researching a new deck. If it were up to us, the tip to tip length (ie 151, 163, etc) would not be the number printed on the deck, but rather, we wish standard was the contact length (running length). I know, I know, it will never happen, get used to disapointment Unlike tip to tip length, running length actually does offer a real insigt into how a board will perform (Nivek is correct in saying that this is not the whole story and that other elements certainly count as well). Running length has an effect on stability, speed maintainance, and maneuverability. Effective edge has a related but different importance. It gives an idea of how much edging potential will be available to a rider not only for carving turns (as is sometimes thought) but also as slip resistance and on demand control.

The more you look at boards and consider them, the more you realize that each design is a give and take (a series of compromises) and that each of the critical factors plays its role in making a board do what it is meant to for its intended rider group.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ok, thanks for the lesson though both of you! I really like the look of this small board that's all, and most of my time is spent in indoor slopes and starting freestyle so a smaller board will be good for that I think, I just want to know that it will be able to cope on a mountain slope for the couple of weeks of holidays I take to Europe every year....will a small board be able to cope on a quick blast down a piste?
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsy852 View Post
ok, thanks for the lesson though both of you! I really like the look of this small board that's all, and most of my time is spent in indoor slopes and starting freestyle so a smaller board will be good for that I think, I just want to know that it will be able to cope on a mountain slope for the couple of weeks of holidays I take to Europe every year....will a small board be able to cope on a quick blast down a piste?
Happy to help with that but let's get a few more specifics.

What deck are you considering (make, model year)?

What is your foot size?

Last edited by Wiredsport; 09-04-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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2012 DC Ply 151, I'm a US size 10 boot.
Being inside most of the year and learning freestyle at the moment (been doing some ground tricks for about a month, but will be looking to start some boxes and rails soon) basically means I'm a park rat most of the year, but I will be going away a couple (may be 3 weeks at most) a year onto some mountains and I'm worried that a small board will just give way on me when I go for a bit of speed on a piste (although it'll be no extreme carving or anything)
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wired you have a point. With all the different tip profiles running length would be a little bit more of a useful printed size to overall length. But thats a paradigm shift and probably wont happen. But hey, if you go to a shop where they employ knowledgable sales staff, the staff knows how to sift through all the different numbers in relation to the board shape.

I would steer away from downsizing on the Ply. I blame riding a jib size on it not having the pop I wanted. I rode the 151, am lighter than you, and just found the pop lacking. This does lead me to speculate though that in the 153 it will still be average or just below in that department. I got plenty of snap out of the 150 Westmark. Speaking of, maybe look at one of those in a 153? Or maybe a Signal Park Flat in a 152...
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