My favorite style of riding is through powder and specifically tree runs. I currently have a 162 camber board but was hoping to get a hybrid board now. Is it wise to get a shorter board to be more agile in the trees? Or will I lose a lot of float? I was looking at a 158cm board. Pros/Cons?
I also love the trees and powder, but I have gone up in size with every board I've bought (albeit only by 1 cm for the last board).
You have to ask yourself this, are you talking about spending a lot of time in really dense trees? If so then short is good. But if you're talking about maintaining decent speed and carving turns in the trees, then I'd stick to a board length suitable for freeriding at your weight.
generally, you will lose float with a 158...but I don't know your stats, how deep the powder you're talking about or how steep your mtn is.
I ride a 163 around my relatively flat mtn when it dumps like 2+ feet and it floats great...plenty agile, too (keeping in mind west coast trees are among the largest and most spaced out on earth). The 163 also hangs in there when we get those occasional waist to stomach dumps.
Thanks I'm 6 1" and 185 lbs. I mix it up I crash a lot in the dense trees lol but I am progressing.
It depends on the terrain.
Steeper terrain or light pow and float is less of an issue, flatter terrain or heavier pow and you may want to stay at 161 or 162.
I personally ride a 157/158 (I weigh 175) for that kind of stuff, but something with some rocker as opposed to full posi camber. I am on an NS proto right now and its superb for this kind of riding IMO. I used to ride a 161 Volkl with posi camber in (Nagano Japan) and the camber rocker profile gives me way more float even at the shorter length.
Having said that I am pretty experienced at this kind of riding so I know how to stay afloat with less effort and almost never hit trees.
The more you ride the less you need to put on the brakes and keeping your momentum is key to stay afloat.
158 or 161 is not a big difference, the shorter length will be more agile and the longer will have slightly better float and stability at speed.
From what you said so far I would say jump on a hybrid 161. It will be easier to flip from edge to edge than your current deck so more nimble and will give much better float.
The type of camber has way less effect on the performance of the board than the shape and camber profile of the nose. Something with a short stubby nose like a neversummer will never be as good as something with a longer smoother nose lift like a prior. I do a lot of tight tree riding at speed and i do it on a 180. If you can handle the board else where on the mountain you can handle it in the trees IMO.