A novice's review of attributes on three boards (Endeavor) and two sets of Unions..
Hey, I just finished my third snowboarding trip at La Plagne; and am reviewing the three boards I took away to cross-reference with you guys and glean extra wisdom/experience!
Endeavor Live 156cm Reg camber
Endeavor Color 158cm Rev camber
Endeavor Pavo Tikkanen 161cm Reg camber (looks smaller here!)
Union Force bindings
Union SL bindings
I am 5'9"/176cm and weigh 14 stone/90kg
Although fairly new to snowboarding, I absolutely love it. I'm also very interested in science/technology - and find the attributes of snowboard setups fascinating. I was surprised just how pronounced the differences in camber and stiffness were..
I took Eurostar on this occasion, so thought I'd take advantage of the unlimited weight allowance and take all three boards and both bindings, so I could get used to their differences and be able to pick a great setup for future trips.
First, I took out my Endeavor Live. This seems a good all-rounder. Pretty quick and reasonably stable at high speed, although not ridiculously capable at stopping. As others in forum warned me, this is likely to to a lower effective edge for my weight - a bigger version may perform more effectively in this specific regard.
Generally fairly manoeuvrable through moguls etc. as it has a 6/10 flex rating; and decent on powder too. Overall (and in contrast to other boards) it's a very solid, capable board in most attributes - without being outstanding at any one. Good fun and my 'go-to' board!
Next I tried my Endeavor Color. Straight to the point - I'm not a fan of reverse camber so far. It's ridiculously easy to bust spins out on without catching an edge; and floats nicely on powder, but its performance is shockingly poor on ice, bordering on dangerous.
I'd enjoy this board more on my own so I can play around with style, but as soon as you're with a group of lads and anyone pushes the speed, I was in trouble. Firstly, it's capacity to brake on ice was virtually non-existent; secondly, it stalled severely on flat ice sections - likely due to the higher surface area than camber.
I'm aware this is a park board, but you do have to get to and from a park! Overall, this is a board I'd pack as a second or third ride - no way could I rely on it for a week's riding; and I fell from the front, to the back of the pack on red runs.
ENDEAVOR PAVO TIKKANEN
Which leads me to my awesome surprise.. I picked up the Pavo Tikkanen on eBay for £50. It's big; it's stiff as fuck; and has such a radical camber - even at 14 stone I can feel it springing under my feet!
This thing is shockingly quick; incredibly stable at high speed; and has the most awesome braking power. An absolute joy to ride - no snowboard could come close when I was flat-lining! The only tradeoff is poor manoeuvrability over areas like moguls and icy paths; and hard work busting spins etc compared to a shorter board.
Although people talk about RC floating best on powder, this board floated magnificently - likely due to the large surface area?
UNION FORCE and SL bindings
Regarding bindings, I tried nearly every combination of board/binding and concluded that the SL feels more 'precise' in a way that counters the Color's sloppiness nicely to produce a board that does handle well in powder.
Conversely, I find the two cambered boards were more enjoyable with the Force bindings, as they gave more of a 'relaxed' feel, whilst still being perfectly stable enough for high speed.
Overall, my favourite setup is Force bindings with either of the two cambered boards. I'll likely take the Live 156cm for my next trip in two weeks, because it is so versatile - but will definitely pack the Pavo Tikkanen for future big days!
Regarding settings, I evolved to a wide stance with the rear on furthest or second-furthest back; and the front nearly as far forward. My angles were the Union recommendation of 21/12 or 21/15 - I'd appreciate any links to articles with theory on what adjustments would do here.
I'd be keen to hear your thoughts on my experiences and any thoughts on things I may have not considered; particularly if you guys prefer RC to reg camber!
As explained clearly, I am indeed a novice, but I am very keen and would appreciate the wisdom of more senior riders. I certainly find my riding's benefited from engaging in the technical aspects of my setup; and look forward to developing every aspect of my riding going forwards.
Enjoyable read. However I wouldn't write off reverse camber just yet. I was a skeptic until I grabbed an Arbor Westmark on closeout. It is on the small side for me but not once even in the 35-40 mph range have I worried about it washing out on me. I imagine a Coda or their all mountain/freeride decks would handle it even better.
Hey, yeah I am keen to hear other people's thoughts on RC. It's just that the lack of speed and stopping capability was so pronounced compared to the other two!
It's certainly great fun in powder and on some half-pipe-esque off-piste sections, where I could throw it around without even considering an edge catch, but I couldn't imagine anyone making this - or any similar board - their 'go-to'.
Yup, it was a full rocker. Hybrid camber is something I haven't experienced yet; although would definitely be keen to!
I think I've been fairly lucky to have taken these three boards away. In conjunction with having previously spent a reasonable amount of time researching the science of different board cambers; and how these would be expected to respond; before feeling it for myself, I feel I have a pretty solid and objective understanding of the basic principles now.
Trying a hybrid camber board is definitely something I should get onto.
Neversummer is one of a couple of other brands that caught my attention, so I'd certainly keep an eye out for them in the future. In addition, Bataleon's TBT looks interesting!
Cool, glad to be able to help!
A friend had a Skate Banana whilst we were there. It seemed faster than my Color (not sure why, maybe stiffness, or just a different profile?) but I had no issues overtaking on my cambered boards.
And yup, my style is mainly fast carving!
Not saying that the Westie is perfect for everyone, it's just perfect for me, and is worth checking out.
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