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Old 01-30-2012, 09:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which of these boards would you recommend?

Hi all,

Iíve just recently begun snowboarding, and Iíve taken a few weekend trips each of the past two years. Iíve got the basics down okay, but Iím obviously still learning every time I go out.

And now, instead of renting, Iíd like to buy a snowboard thatís 1) manageable for me while Iím learning and 2) advanced enough that I wonít necessarily need to get a new board a year from now.

To sum up my search:
Budget: $200-$250 (tight, yes)
Style: Freeride (almost exclusively)

Iíve poked around a bunch (including this forum), and it seems that the following boards from (mostly) reputable brands could fit my budget:

1) Flow Infinite (great deal for $199 at evo right now)
2) Entry level K2 board (i.e. K2 Brigade, K2 Viper, etc.)
3) Entry level Burton board (i.e. Restricted Ration, Process, etc.)
4) Salomon Ace, Pulse or the like
5) Rossignol Sultan, Imperial, Contrast, etc.

Which do you think is best value provided my needs? Any others I should check out? Right now I'm partial to the Flow Infinite because it seems like a legitimately great deal.

Iíd also love to hear your thoughts regarding board length. Here are my specs:

Height: 5í9Ē
Weight: 150-155
Boot: 9.5

Since beginning to snowboard Iíve figured my ideal freeride length is 157-159, but definitely let me know if you think otherwise.

I appreciate the help!
Alex
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I recently went through the same process so I'll put in my $.02. I did a ton of research on boards before I went and bought one and ended up choosing the K2 Raygun. I don't have a lot of experience but I can tell you that for me the board has worked out great. The difference between the rental boards I used and the Raygun are night and day. I'm not experienced enough to tell you if it's the binding/board combo that has helped or just the board itself but my riding has gotten better and my progression has sped up since getting the board.

The reason I chose the Raygun was purely based off of reviews. It seems to be a good board to not only be good for a relative beginner but also would help me progress and I wouldn't "grow out of it" immediately. It's a little out of your stated price range but I can tell you it's been a great board so far for me if you wanted to go up to around $325-$350.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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id probably get the infinite too
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I got the K2 Brigade. I'm still technically a n0oB but I've been progressing pretty fast on it. I have stuck to groomers and light powder and haven't tried it in the park yet but from what I hear it does just fine there as well.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Infinite hands down. It's a great board.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahorowitz1271 View Post
I’ve figured my ideal freeride length is 157-159, but definitely let me know if you think otherwise.
Considering your weight and height I would recommend sticking from 152-155. This will be easier for you to maneuver and would be much better if you think about hitting some park when your skills progress.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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go for the infinite. like someone else said, get the k2 raygun if you can. last year's model should be selling for your price range.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of your thoughts. Very, very helpful.

I ended up finding a great deal on the K2 Raygun ($249 for the 2012 model) and going with that. Based on various comments and everything I've read on the interweb, it seems a bit more novice-friendly compared to the Infinite. I also like the fact that the Raygun is only slightly directional, since I need to do major work at riding switch.

As far as length goes, I went with the 156cm. Death, that's slightly out of the range you recommended, but I think it will serve me well as I notch more speed on groomers. (Probably a ways away from the park.) Plus, that's the size that was on super sale!

Anyway, feel free to let me know I've made a horrid mistake.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i'm 5'9", 150lb (plus or minus 5 pounds depending on if i'm in my fat phase or working-too-hard-to-eat phase) so i'm pretty much a carbon copy of you haha. i've ridden the gamut from 150 (though only on a rental) to 161. my main board is 156 and i just picked up a new deck that's 151.5. the only major difference i've noticed sizing up to 161 (coincidentally it was my friend's 2011 raygun) was that turns were a bit harder to initiate but after a few transitions i got used to it. taking it off the trails and around moguls was more challenging as those extra 5cm made me chop into things more easily. so if you're 1cm off your "ideal" length it won't make a huge difference. i've sized down to 154 a few times and the ease of swinging the board around wasn't much of a difference at all.

an interesting question i thought about which maybe someone with more credentials can answer: with so many companies blunting their tips or introducing different sidecuts, is using the length itself even accurate anymore? i've been told that effective edge is a more important indicator.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefutui2e View Post
an interesting question i thought about which maybe someone with more credentials can answer: with so many companies blunting their tips or introducing different sidecuts, is using the length itself even accurate anymore? i've been told that effective edge is a more important indicator.
Yep, effective edge is more important. But i'm baffled that you couldn't notice a difference from a 150 to a 160.
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