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Old 11-09-2011, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a board

Well the title says it all, I went snowboarding last year, I took 8 indoor lessons (not on snow but on some sort of rolling sandpaper :P). I went to an indoor skidome twice and then hit the mountains for a week. I loved it, except for 2 things.

Renting a board costs way too much money and rental store guys in a hurry couldn't care less what they give you (or so it seems). That and I can never tell whether they give me good boards or cheap second hand bargains. The times I ate snow and ice are countless, so this year I decided to start reading up on snowboards and what is good for a beginner or not. I must say I ended up with loads of contradicting stuff, so that's what my post is about.

Weight: 77 kilo (172?)
Length: 1,86 meter
Boot size: 44,5 (11?)
Riding style: Learn smoother turning and just going down a slope, nothing spectaculair to start with
Age: 27 and not gaining weight.. I practically sport non-stop
Budget: not more than € 500,- (including bindings), preferably less by buying a less marketed still good brand, I hate paying for expensive marketing campaigns and sponsorships
Your location of riding: Alpes in Europe (France, Austria)

First main question is about the rocker (banana) technology. Some people say it's awesome for beginners because you're less likely to fall in turns. Others say that in order to really get the hang of snowboarding you should start by staying away from rocker and learn on camber, because that perfects your feeling and handling. I lean towards a rocker board because I have no intention to become a very good snowboarder and just want to have some fun, ice last year didn't make falling alot of fun and it was also hard to improve being scared shitless near the end after almost getting myself killed a couple of times :P

Second question is about flex, harder flex is more difficult turning, more stability at higher speeds? Softer flex is easier turning, less stability at higher speeds? What's good for a beginner like me, something inbetween I guess? I've been browsing some webshops and picked a board I like, but it doesn't really say anything about the flex directly.

This is the board I currently have in mind. It's a german website, but below the German text is an English translation. Terrible English by the way, but understandable I guess.

So next to the two more general questions posted above I was wondering if anyone could give me:

1. General advice on whether a board like this would suit my somewhat low ambitions mentioned above.
2. Experience with the brand (Trans). This seems to be their official website (boards section).
3. I read on this site that board length should not be determined by your own length, which is merely an easy tool for rental store staff. Weight is what you should look at, would a 155 board be a wise choice for me?
4. Any other usefull tips or stuff I missed that could help me make a decision. As I said have been reading on the internet and that's all, I have zero experience with boards except for the boards I rented, and I don't even know what type of boards those were.

If I didn't make my questions explicit enough or if you want more informatie do mention, I will clarify myself. Looking forward to some answers!

Last edited by Juiced; 11-09-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a question for you first..... as a Nederlander, are you going to wear wooden snowboard boots?
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Stay away from freeride boards, they are always more stiff and since you are just starting you want something more flexible. Aim for a freestyle or all mountain board. Even if you don't want to do any park riding, a freestyle board will be more flexible and forgiving (less catching of edges). Rocker tech has the same effect, the tip and tail edges of the board do not dig into the snow as much, so there is less opportunity to catch an edge. The "U" shape of the board helps you float in powder... so if where you will be riding has more powder, then you would benefit from a rocker board. However, this means less grip, so if you are making hard fast turns or riding on hard packed snow or ice, rocker might not be for you. Since you are a beginner, and likely will not be going very fast, a flexible rocker board will be fine and you will have more fun while riding it. Stability issues caused by speed will not be an issue for you for many years.

Also if you ride a lot of ice, take a look at Lib Tech or Gnu snowboards... they are both made by the same company and have special wavy edges called "magnetraction" that offer a bit more traction on ice/hardpack. You could probably pick up one of their lower end models (still good boards) and bindings within your price range. I've been riding one of their boards for a year and the difference in traction is quite noticeable. They also have a hybrid rocker/camber tech that is sorta the best of both worlds, rocker for powder, and camber for edge hold along with the magnetraction.

I have never heard of the board you are looking at. Look for reviews online. That will help.

For your weight, I would ride something in the upper 150s to low 160s, like 157 to 162. Shorter boards are easier to turn, but have less edge hold and will sink more in the deep snow due to less surface area. Longer boards are a bit more stable and hold an edge better (more edge in contact with snow) and more surface area = more float in powder. Rocker boards float more but have less edge hold, camber boards float less but have more edge hold and are more stable (both things that a beginner doesn't really need to worry about).

Your boot size is an 11, so you want at least a "mid-wide" or wide board over 26.0 cm waist width... this isn't a deal breaker though, but as you get better at turning and tipping your board more onto its edge, you may have issues with your toes dragging in the snow while using a board that is not wide enough.

Here is a board from GNU:
GNU Snowboards Carbon Credit Series

Lib Tech boards are a bit more expensive and will probably take you out of your price range.

Also, if you are going to buy from the web anyway, and I know the whole international thing may be a problem, but Dogfunk.com has an amazing return policy... no matter what, if you want to return anything you buy from them for any reason... they will take it back and refund your money...
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarzanman View Post
I have a question for you first..... as a Nederlander, are you going to wear wooden snowboard boots?
Isn't that one of the 3 amigos?

BigmountainVMD is spot on. You can learn on a stiff free ride board. I learned on one. Because I didn't know any better. Look into flow boards, great design at good prices from what I've read. I'm itching to jump on my buddie's Flow Era once the snow starts falling.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarzanman View Post
I have a question for you first..... as a Nederlander, are you going to wear wooden snowboard boots?
Obviously I will! That's why I didn't include any boots stuff in my post

Thanks Bigmountain, sounds like some good tips you wrote down there, I'll see if others have something to add.
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