Worth it to move 'up' to superstiff gear? - Page 4 - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
It is a property of the extra response from stiff gear. Things can get really interesting if you have stiff boots and stiff bindings mounted on a soft board. The over steering from that configuration can be startling....LOL

Now, keep in mind also that it is not just board stiffness that is important here with regard to the stability and edge hold you are experiencing. Dampness is an equally important factor here. Dampness is what reduces chatter and edge blow out far more than the board's overall stiffness. Boots and bindings also have varying degrees of dampness as well.

This is why modern boards typically outperform older ones. The new 2014 Raptor is not nearly as stiff as my old Forum Destroyer or Atomic Radon, yet it is far superior to them when it comes to stability at speed and edge hold. The internal carbon and Carbonium top sheet also make the board infinitely more responsive than the older decks.

Stiff is fine and dandy, but when looking for that ideal match for your personal riding style, also look at dampness as well as the flex pattern of the board. So far, my two favorite boards currently are this MS Raptor and the Gnu Billy Goat; both stiff, aggressive decks. Both also are very damp yet are responsive torsionally. Matched with stiff Rome bindings (Arsenal and Targa), I can get away with a little softer, all mountain boot which I prefer for both comfort overall as well as light freestyle riding and jibbing when I switch over to the Atomic Hatchet or NS Proto HD. The thing that I can unequivocally state from experience is that a newer, high quality, top end all mountain medium flex RC board of today, easily outperforms the stiff old tech that is about as damp as cast iron. Those older Atomics I ride would rattle your teeth out at high speed over rough hard pack freezing rain crusts and my knees would be on fire at the end of the day. On the Billy Goat and Raptor, I can ride the same crap faster and in better control without knee pain due to the increased dampening.

Always look at the whole picture when choosing your gear and again, don't make the mistake of thinking stiffer is automatically higher quality or higher performance. Plenty of price point garbage like LTD is stiff as a railroad tie but has the dampness of plate steel and no carbon for energy transfer and the thing will beat you to death and buck you. Always look at all the ratings and the actual tech.

Same goes for boot construction. Not all stiff boots are going to perform aggressively or offer the support and protection that TT talks about. Conversely, not all mid flex boots will be unsupportive or unable to perform aggressively. You have to research their design and see where they are soft at and where they are stiff. Plenty of absolute garbage boots out there for under $100 that are ungodly stiff and there are also high quality, $300 noodle boots. Obviously the same goes for bindings. You have to look at the whole picture and price/quality never coincide with flex rating.
Definitely! I had suspected it may be due to the response of the boots. Again, I was riding in pure ice with lots of chunky bits and the bumps in the snow were just brutal, like tarmac speed bumps, so that could have been affecting my experience more than anything. My ride machete is supposed to be pretty damp, but I wasn't feeling it yesterday haha. Another thing I noticed was I had a bit more confidence in my straight airs (really the only thing I can do in the air ). Just sat low, pop, stomp, speedcheck, done. Or I'm just getting better

Can't wait to ride again!

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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:39 PM
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I had to ditch my 2007 Burton Dominant after the board washed out from underneath me on a high speed toe edge turn resulting in me falling backwards slamming my lumbar spine into hard pack and most likely a cracked rib in the process.

Now I ride a 2013 Gnu Billy Goat 162 thats rated 7.5/10 on GNU's flex meter and omg did that make a world of difference. This is my first time riding a reverse camber deck and man I dont think I'll ever ride a traditional camber board. Edge to edge response is so quick, great edge hold in any condition especially ice, turn initiation on a dime, catch free floaty ride that is not punishing, stable at high speeds. I did also upgrade to a stiff boot the 32 Prime (stiffest boot they offer) they have and this also made a world of difference for me. Board feel, excellent heel hold, extra leverage of weight in turns. Binding wise I'm still using my 2007 cartels which is a med flex binding, they've treated me good so far and I like the response I get from them.

So to answer the OP's question, Yes for me it was worth it to upgrade to stiffer gear. The new stiffer equipment inspires confidence allowing me to advance my riding to the next level, whereas the softer setup limited my ability to ride and have fun.
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