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David Giles 08-31-2014 05:28 PM

Looking for recommendations for board AND bindings
Howdy folks. Over the last two seasons I have about 10 days on a board. First trip was to Brian Head Utah in March 2013, where I took a group lesson on day one, with a private lesson later in the week. At the end of the week, I was absolutely HOOKED and bought a pair of Salomon Savage BOA Strait Jacket boots. This past January, I spent a couple of days in North Carolina and took another private lesson at Beech Mtn, followed by a day at Wolf Ridge. Then this past March we took the family back to Brian Head for spring break 2014. On both Utah trips, I rented the exact same kind of board (what the shop recommended) which was a 154cm Rossignol Trick Stick (not sure what the bindings were). I really enjoyed that board! I don't remember what board/bindings (or size) I rented at Beech, but they felt fine and reminded me of the Trick Stick. On the day at Wolf Ridge, I got a total P.O.S. board (they only had about a dozen boards available to rent!) and was miserable enough to cut my day short and go home early.

Anyway, our family trip for this coming spring break is Copper, and I hope to go back to Beech (or maybe even Snowshoe) for a couple of short 2-3 day trips in January/February. So hopefully I'll get another 10 days or so this season. But I'd like to go ahead and buy my own board and bindings for this season. I don't expect to spend any time in the park, although I enjoy getting an inch or two of air whenever I can. Mainly I just like carving groomers, and hitting powder whenever I find it. I never really figured out skiing in powder, but it feels natural on a board and I absolutely love that floating feeling!!

I'd like to buy a board that is appropriate for western spring conditions, and am not really worried about eastern ice (I will only drive to Beech or Snowshoe when I know there is fresh snow and little ice). As far as level, I believe I am a solid level 4 according to the videos here: Snowboard Lesson Levels & Descriptions I'm able to link turns easily and can ride switch, linking turns in that direction as well (but more slowly/tentatively). And the instructor at Beech told me I was definitely intermediate level and took me down blue runs.

Based on my research, one board I really like the sound of is the Rossignol Templar Magtek. But I'm not sure about the size. I weigh 185 lbs in my birthday suit and am 5'11" tall. My boots are size 9.5. So will a 158cm be long enough? Or do I need to get a longer board? Or will a longer board be too frustrating at my level? And based on my all-mountain/freeride preference, what other boards should I consider? I absolutely love the Salomon Savage boots, so I definitely want to buy a set of bindings that will work well with them long term.

And regarding bindings, I'm primarily considering the Union Force and Burton Cartels. My main concern with the Force is that my particular boots may be a tight squeeze for the M/L size (based on this thread: But it sounds like my boots would be right in the middle of the range for the medium Cartels. So any suggestions related to bindings would be appreciated (especially if anyone has specific experience mating Salomon Savage boots to the Force bindings). And I've read all about the toe-cap issue with the Force bindings, but it sounds like that problem has been pretty well resolved with the current model? Any quirks or issues I should be aware of with the Cartels? And what other bindings should I be considering?

Thanks guys!!

Simon Birch 08-31-2014 05:42 PM

The 158 is good for your weight and boot size, you could get a 160 if you can find one in stock. As you learn the shorter board will be better to progress on since it will have more "agility" and be more forgiving. Longer for more float in powder if that makes any sense. Rossi boards also have Magne-Traction so that will help with the east coast ice.

I can't comment on the bindings you mentioned since I'm a Rome fan boy, but the ones you mentioned are all in high regard by fellow forum members.

Ancient One 08-31-2014 06:27 PM

I am probably not the best guy to ask having drifted between skiing an snowboarding the past few years, but seems like you should look for an all mountain board between 158 an 160 cm with medium flex bindings. I wouldn't worry much about current year stuff as you can get much better deals on year old. But I am old and probably have my head where the sun doesn't shine. That's my $. 02 so.......... best of luck and enjoy!

David Giles 08-31-2014 06:35 PM

Thanks Simon and Ancient One! Yeah I thought the 158 would be a little easier and more forgiving. And the 154 I rented seemed to work just fine for my weight. But most sizing guides/charts I've come across make it seem like I NEED at least a 160cm OR larger. So I just didn't want to make a long term investment in a board that is really too short for my weight (because I'll probably use this board for several seasons).

Are the Force and Cartel bindings close enough to medium flex for my experience?

David Giles 08-31-2014 07:47 PM

And by the way, Salomon gives my boots a flex rating of 5, if that matters. And I have a feeling that I would LIKE fairly stiff bindings, but I don't know from experience. Do you all think the Cartels would be too stiff?

David Giles 09-02-2014 02:42 PM

Well after a ton of reading and video watching this past weekend, I ordered a 2014 Rossignol Templar Magtek, which I found for a much lower price than the latest 2015 model, with no difference as far as I can tell (other than graphics).

I also ordered a set of 2015 Burton Cartels. Could have paid significantly less for a set of 2014 Cartels, but the 2015 Cartels have that cool new "Flex Slider" that lets the ankle strap flop over completely out of the way while you're stepping into the binding (as see here). Over the long term, I figure the extra bucks will definitely be worth not having to fight that strap every frickin time I strap in.

Now we just need some snow!! :crazy5:

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