Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Too Far from Real Vertical
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
My handle describes my stature in life, not my years of riding experience. Let's just say that I did not start riding until rather late in life and have been rinding for only three seasons now.
In that short period of time, I have had experienced a minimal cross section of boards, but here is my two cents worth. Take all of this knowing that I do not spend any time in the Park. I ride trails almost exclusively, but will wander off in search of "fresh" from time to time. I have never ridden a dedicated "Park" board, so I know nothing of the boards of that persuasion. I am 6 feet / 200 lbs.
My first board was a entry level Elan. Fully Cambered. Directional. I am happy that I learned on a fully cambered deck as it rewards good riding technique. You cannot be lazy on a fully cambered board, especially at lower speeds, as bad technique will hook an edge and put you down faster than you can blink. A cambered deck rewards you with a very consistent carve at speed, stability at speed, is usually good on icy stuff and can pop you from edge to edge when your technique gets to that point.
I too wanted to experience all the hype about the "fluff" and my second board is a Rossignol Onemagtek. This deck has lots of bells and whistles. Cambered between the feet, rockered out to the tip and tail and it has Magnatraction. The profile is completely different from fully cambered. It is a much more forgiving ride at lower speeds as the rockered tip and tail greatly reduce the chances of hooking an edge. I ride on the ice coast, so I decided to give the MT a try and there is no doubt, it works. On hard pack, early morning groomers and any other icy variation, it provides an noticeable degree of grip that you would otherwise not have. However, as mentioned in a number of threads, in good conditions and softer, the MT can grab and not always in a consistent fashion. In softer conditions, one has to almost be more dialled into the board as it can sometimes "dig" in more aggressively than you might have wanted.
The hybrid profile on this Rossi is a nice balance of delivering the "exactness" of a fully cambered board, but the rockered ends are much more forgiving if you allow your technique to get a little more "relaxed". The rocker will also handle the powder better than a fully cambered board.
My third board, a Burton Barracuda, is again a hybrid profile with the board rockered from the front foot forward and cambered on the back two thirds of the board. I acquired this board as my powder board and it excels in the fresh stuff. The rocker in the nose & the taper provide it with great float. One can ride it on groomers, it will handle them fairly well albeit with a "looser" feel to it. It in no way can deliver the same exactness as a fully cambered board can, but remember a fully cambered board cannot deliver "float" like a rockered board can.
I have the luxury of a budget that allows me to have a quiver of decks. Most do not have that luxury, but are often asking on this forum, "What is the best board for me?". The best thing you can do to answer this question is to find a way to ride and experience the different board profiles. Ask a buddy to swap decks for half a day, rent something different and hit a demo day if you can. Do what you can to check out as much of the "fluff" as you can before turning over your hard earned cash on a board. You need to find out what type of ride appeals to you most. Many on this forum can & will provide you with review type information, but before you can use it, you need to know:
Are you a hard charging, exacting type of rider? Do you demand solid technique of yourself and like to work your ride, so to speak, then a fully cambered board is likely for you.
Do you like to carve often, see a lot of hard packed conditions, but like to be able to relax and not worry so much about hooking edges as you flatline back to the lift: then a hybrid camber might be your calling. MT is not a necessity, but if you can get a ride on a deck with it, you will quickly see what it is all about.
If Powder is your calling, a rockered or hybrid rockered board is what you want to explore.
As you read the reviews, remember what kind of rider you are. Please remember that all of my comments are from someone who spends ZERO time in the park.
Just remember: FULL CAMBER = Exactness & Technique FULL ROCKER = Very Loose, but excellent on Powder. All the HYBRIDS fall somewhere in-between.