Why Are Stiffer Cambered Boards for "Expert" - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Why Are Stiffer Cambered Boards for "Expert"

Every time I run into the label Advanced-Expert it's on a stiffer camber board, and I do not know why.

I've only been riding for 2 weeks and I just had the best riding experience of my life on a Harvest 158 Freeride that was around a 6-7 stiffness camber board, and I weigh 165lbs. It was so stable it gave me enough confidence to absolutely molest black runs with quick edge to edging. Not a single fall. Didn't even catch flat.

Then I try a 151 Burton v-rocker (Labeled beginner) and fall down more than I ever imagined humanely possible on greens and blues. Couldn't gain anything remotely resemblant of speed without washing out, no edge hold at all.

So what gives?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 01:33 AM
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A "6-7" stiffness isn't a stiff board.

You hop on a truly stiff cambered board without having a really good feel for edge control and you're gonna get your ass slammed. A stiff cambered board is very unforgiving. My favorite combo for bombing on groomers or for riding sketchy, variable conditions, but also unforgiving for beginners. However, if you do learn on a stiff cambered board, you'll learn to ride correctly.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
A "6-7" stiffness isn't a stiff board.

You hop on a truly stiff cambered board without having a really good feel for edge control and you're gonna get your ass slammed. A stiff cambered board is very unforgiving. My favorite combo for bombing on groomers or for riding sketchy, variable conditions, but also unforgiving for beginners. However, if you do learn on a stiff cambered board, you'll learn to ride correctly.
Pretty much this.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 03:14 AM
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Just picked up a JDUB. Thing is 60% camber 40% rocker...don't really see the rocker at the tips but its gunna get used this weekend. Stiffness of like an 8-9 and magna traction should be quite interesting. I'm getting back on a camber board after using the Salomon drift rocker stifness 3-4. Im expecting to feel pretty weird on the first few runs of the day.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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I race jetskis and I'm starting wakeboarding, otherwise not really. I hadn't been going that fast prior, however everything felt so good when I got on that board, that it was like I had an epiphany. My confidence effectively tripled and I decided I was going to just go balls out until I ate shit, and amazingly it worked out. The harder I went, the harder it gripped.

I do not think it was Burton. It was some small time custom piece. Harvest Freeride Snowboards is the brand, model is a Surf 158. Got a bird as it's logo. I can't find shit about it on Google. It's definitely directional with some setback, and a full camber.

The V rocker I believe was a Cruzer 151.

I'd keep the Harvest if he didn't want it back. So that leaves me needing to get my own ride. Knowing my preference now, I'm looking at the BSOD, Bataleon Enemy, Man's Board, and Burton Custom X all in 156 or 159.

Last edited by Crimzn; 01-22-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 08:57 PM
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The beginner/intermediate/advanced/expert board rating typically refers to how big/fast/hard the rider intends to go. A newbie on a stiff, cambered board may find more diffultly learning to turn and more likely to catch an edge than with a more noodley setup. On the flipside, an advanced rider trying to ride fast and hard on a soft beginner board will find it very chattery and prone to wash out. (Of course, when I started, everything was stiff and cambered. )

The stiffest board I've ridden, from 155 to 185cm, was a 178 Oxygen Proton with hardboots. The thing was a beast to try skid around and manhandle in tight, slow, crowded conditions. In those conditions or in choppy snow, it would wear you out quickly! But, once you were able to open it up and passed a certain "threshold speed" on steeper/less crowded runs, the thing suddenly came alive and was a ton of fun with lots of rebound and fantastic edge hold. Of course you needed plenty of strength and stamina to maintain balls to the walls hard carving, but the board worked with you then instead of against you. It's very frustrating to try to rail like that on a floppy board.

Board materials and geometry have fortunately taken a leap in recent years to close the versatility gap. My current ride is a 182 hardboot deck, cambered, but with slightly decambered tip and tail. When carving hard with a high edge angle, the nose provides a quicker, more solid initiaion, while the entire length is engaged, providing phenomenal edgehold, and the tail releases easily. If the need to skid arises, though, the flipped ends are off the snow, so the board turns like one much shorter than it's actual length. Titanal layering means more chatter absorption, and less stiffeness. Hard carving edgehold is much improved, too, though you really need to bring your A-game with every hard-charging run or it will vault you into the trees. Most of the sidecut is in the nose, which flares to near straight in the tail; meaning you have to be very aggressive starting high in the carve because you rocket from the exit. Triply-so in tight conditions where high edge angles and tight carves are a must. Wicked fast ride, but you need to be able to control it.

I've never seen a newbie "molest" a black run, but if you're confident on that board, by all means stick with it. Perhaps you have some other "boarding" related background that helps.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm sure how I'm gauging my performance is to a lesser grade than a more experience rider. I probably should've just said that I had a personal breakthrough or evolution, where I jumped a skill gap, felt highly comfortable doing dangerous things, and realized I loved cambered freeride style boards.

Also, I ended up ordering last years Bataleon Enemy 157 from evo.com because it seemed like a great deal, along with some Union SLs. Let you know how it holds up to the aforementioned riding when it gets here.

Last edited by Crimzn; 01-22-2012 at 10:57 PM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 10:28 AM
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2 weeks and molesting Black runs? Craig Kelly Reincarnation? I think so...


Please tell us the blacks you are riding aren't in West Virginia.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lstarrasl View Post
Please tell us the blacks you are riding aren't in West Virginia.
East-Coast blacks = West-Coast blues.

PowderHound and TreeNinja
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by HoboMaster View Post
East-Coast blacks = West-Coast blues.
I could imagine West Virginia blacks Diamonds = The Daisy Run @ every mountain on the west coast
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