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Old 05-23-2012, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Great "Damp" Myth!

Okay so maybe I'm bored because the powder is melting like the wicked witch of the west. But I want to open up a controversial debate. I think that the term people like to use "Damp or Dampness" is a myth. This is like the seat of your pants dyno myth that made you "feel" the power added to your car by one of those tornado cyclone things you stuck in your intake that actually decreased power if anything. Here are my arguments:

1) There is no concrete definition of "damp". There are ratings on some snowboard companies websites. But the general consensus is that "it's that feeling when you blast through crud and you don't feel it in your legs". Yeah that's what a stiff board does. It would likely move the snow out of the way instead of riding over it, making it feel like a smoother ride.

2) Our boards don't have built in dampers/shocks. When comparing our boards to a cars suspension, they are like the leaf spring on old cars/trucks. You load them up, they spring back. If you take a board and put it on two stacks of textbooks, then drop a weight on the middle of it, the board will deflect down, then spring back up, and back down and back up a few times. If the boards were truly "damp" then you'd drop the weight, the board would go down and stay down.

When talking about products that offer some sort of dampening effect (Dampers...), generally you think of fluids, not wood/fibreglass/other composites.

Now I know what you're all going to say. I can hear the steam coming out of your ears right now. The types of wood used, weaves of glass, resins, etc. will all have SOME effect on how much of an ideal spring the snowboard is. But generally speaking these differences are going to be relatively minor compared to the major difference people claim when giving opinions on boards during formal or informal board reviews.

Here's my hypothesis: What people are actually feeling is the stiffness of the board. And yes I believe 100$ that various stiffness levels, and what parts of the board are thicker/stiffer can have an effect on the feeling of smoothing out the bumps.

But I think the term "damp" is a bit of a misnomer with regards to snowboards. The board is a spring, your legs are the shock absorbers...
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I demoed a Never Summer Lotus and Roxy Envi and GNU B Pro on three consecutive powder days in quickly tracked out resorts.

i read your whole post, and sorry. that Never Summer was damp as fuck compared to the rest. I suggest trying one if you already have not.

As 'damp' or whatever you want to call it was, I ended up buying the Roxy *because* it was less damp then the Lotus. Or rather to say the Roxy had more life to it. I'd love a Lotus sized up as a pow board tho.



What do you call that? Snap? Pop? meh, generic words used to describe a feeling, so it's all subjective.


edit: no i did not read the post above mine before posting. awesome

Last edited by mixie; 05-23-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How did I know you'd be first to respond!!!

Okay but would the theoretical piece of solid steel have the same stiffness as the theoretical piece of high density foam?

And if one material doesn't transfer the energy as well, where does the energy go? Transferred back to the snow in the form of deflection? Heat buildup in the board?

The trouble is unless you're riding the two boards over the same snow, with the same boots, same bindings, etc. it's pretty subjective to say one FEELS a certain way vs. the other.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixie View Post
I demoed a Never Summer Lotus and Roxy Envi and GNU B Pro on three consecutive powder days in quickly tracked out resorts.
But I guess that's what I'm getting at, maybe the stiffness was way different on the Roxy, hence the feeling it gave you vs. the others.

I'm not talking about stiffness you feel when flexing the board in the shop, I mean stiffness when your weight is applied to the board.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dampening is a real engineering concept, although I'll grant that it's defined in a more touchy-feely way in snowboarding. Dampening is a measure of how quickly an oscillation is suppressed. There's a reason why a wooden tuning fork would be a bad idea -- the nature of wood is such that an oscillation dies out pretty much immediately. By using different materials in the board with different levels of stiffness and flexibility, you can end up with something that strongly resists ringing. By moving some of the mass away from the tips, you can reduce the tendency of the board to ring even more. By playing with the mass and composition of the board so that the resonant frequency of the board is slower than the expected frequency of hits, you actually end up dampening it even more -- kind of like being on a swing and pumping your legs slower than the swing frequency.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's the definition from this site...

"Last but not least, vibration dampness is important in a snowboard because it reduces vibrations during a ride. Vibration dampness is the amount of material in your board that reduces vibrations. The more vibration dampness you have, the better your board is. Also if you have a lot of vibration dampness your board's durability increases making it stronger and can handle more terrain. The vibration dampness really helps in chopped up snow."

So assuming that's correct, what material is considered a vibration reducer and what is a vibration transmitter? Does wood absorb vibrations? Remember that according to the laws of conservation of energy you can't eliminate the vibration energy, only convert it into another form of energy. So does wood transfer the vibrations into heat? Is metal (aluminium honeycomb core like my board) a vibration transmitter?

Again we can all say one board FEELS differently, but that's not scientific data.

Just trying to either bust or confirm this mythical dampness at the bottom of my feet!
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
I'm not talking about stiffness you feel when flexing the board in the shop, I mean stiffness when your weight is applied to the board.

are you calling me fat?

but seriously Ive been riding bikes a lot longer then Ive been snowboarding. The difference in a carbon fiber bike versus a steel or aluminum is huge. Of course what kind of wood used makes a difference

The roxy was more stiff then the lotus, but less damp. Lotus was softer and damper. In fact it's softness was what I disliked. so what if 'damp' can only be described in touchy feely terms. It's real.


or...just demo a never summer and you will know. After reading about it then riding that thing I thought. Ok now i get it, THIS is damp.

Last edited by mixie; 05-23-2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Look at it like a conductor of electricity. The energy potential is there and a conductor allows the electrons to flow very freely through the material. An insulator resists the flow of electrons through the material. The electrons don`t have to be deflected or changed into another form of energy because they do not flow through the material.
But in this analogy, an electrical insulator prevents the electrons from flowing into the substance at all. In a snowboard that would mean that the board wasn't receiving the bumps as much as a less "damp" board...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Another way to look at this is take an ax handle. There is a reason ax handles are not made of steel but wood. The energy of impacting the log you are splitting would travel unrestricted down the metal axle handle into your arms. The wood handle is actually just resistant to bending as the steel handle, but it`s molecular structure makes it an insulator of kinetic energy,
You've never hit a ball with a wooden baseball bat and muffed the hit and had the vibes come down to your wrist? Feels like hell!!! Granted an aluminium bat does seem to transfer those vibes more. And to the axe analogy, I've got a FG handles axe that is the most comfortable thing I've ever swung. It's hollow but has an oval cross section, maybe the design eliminates some of the vibrations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donutz View Post
By moving some of the mass away from the tips, you can reduce the tendency of the board to ring even more. By playing with the mass and composition of the board so that the resonant frequency of the board is slower than the expected frequency of hits, you actually end up dampening it even more -- kind of like being on a swing and pumping your legs slower than the swing frequency.
Now resonant frequencies I can understand!!! With the board tuned to the just the right frequency the thing would vibrate so bad the front would almost break off! (just like the tacoma narrows bridge), so I can see designing it for a resonant frequency way off from what you'd ever typically hit on a run.

Here's my underlying thoughts on all this: If wood is a better vibration insulator (I'm going to stop using the word damp) then why do race boards and BX boards use layers of aluminium alloy mixed in with the wood/FG/resin? And how is my board not a vibration whore being an aluminium honeycomb?

I think I can safely put THIS pic on the thread now. But I still want to debate the how and why and figure out what makes a board less/more vibration resistant relative to it's stiffness.

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
a vibration whore being an aluminium honeycomb?

I think I can safely put THIS pic on the thread now. But I still want to debate the how and why and figure out what makes a board less/more vibration resistant relative to it's stiffness.


lol

I'm really glad my resort is still open
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixie View Post
lol

I'm really glad my resort is still open
Yeah I watched a little snowboarding teaser the other day and started having powder cravings! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I want to go somewhere this summer to board other than some hike boarding around Calgary. Was thinking Alaska but that would involve heli/cat boarding methinks which is well out of my price range.
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