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Discussion Starter #1
So, my old board bit it at the end of last season and I'm looking for a new setup and I was hoping to get some input.

Background: 6' tall, 170 lb rider from the Mid Atlantic. Size 11 boots, 15+/- stance.

Riding: Pretty much all freeride BUT I don't want to rule out some freestyle/park. I got into snowboarding at age 24 so I figured I was ancient when it came to venturing into the park. I may give it a go here and there this winter and would like a setup that could work a little bit there if need be.

Location: Even though I'm on the east coast I'd imagine a decent bit of my riding will be out west this year. Something that works well on ice and powder would be ideal.

Previous Setup: An '06 (I think) Arbor Formula 157 with some '08 Burton Missions. Served me well for a few years but I think I had grown out of it as a rider. I did like the board width (listed at 24.9 cm) though. Last year I demoed a Burton Joystick Wide (25.9 cm) and it felt way too wide and I hated it.

Possible Choices: At this point I've been looking at the Never Summer Raptor and the K2 Slayblade. Because of my location it probably wouldn't be easy for me to demo any of these boards before I go on my first trip (planned for early January) and I get the impression that Never Summer boards sell out fairly early. I know waist widths measurements can be all over the place but those two seemed inline with what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, I haven't really used a non-cambered board (aside from the Joystick demo) and I'm not sure how difficult the transition is or how different the ride is.

As for bindings, Rome Targas get a ton of rave reviews as solid, all mountain bindings. I am also considering the K2 Auto Evers or Formulas. Definitely interested in canted bindings.

Budget: Looking to spend about $600 on the board and $250ish on the bindings. I'm obviously leaning toward the Raptor/Targas but can definitely be convinced another setup would be better. Any ideas/thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Well, if you get the Raptor you're pretty much guaranteeing yourself that you're freeride only. If you think you may want to start doing some more freestyle stuff, I'd go with the Heritage or SL. The 2011 Heritage is getting tons of love.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks linville, I'm kind of liking the SL and it's getting a pretty good feedback here. Would it do okay on ice and powder? I haven't seen a full size chart but I'd assume a 158 would be a good size for me?
 

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Yeah, it should do about as well as a board can on ice with the variogrip and the rockered shape will help in pow. 158 should be about perfect for you.
 

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Hey Trent,

I got the NS Titan last year which is this years Raptor except it is the old style camber.

The board is amazing! It turns great and is awesome in powder and ice. Its not good for anything freestyle. I am looking at getting an evo this year as the Titan is just too stiff to do anything but freeride. If I was you I would look at an NS SL. Its a big mountain board with a touch of freestyle.
 

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Hey Trent,

I got the NS Titan last year which is this years Raptor except it is the old style camber.

The board is amazing! It turns great and is awesome in powder and ice. Its not good for anything freestyle. I am looking at getting an evo this year as the Titan is just too stiff to do anything but freeride. If I was you I would look at an NS SL. Its a big mountain board with a touch of freestyle.
I would actually say you are describing the Heritage when you say big mountain board with touch of freestyle. The Heritage is slightly stiffer and more damp than the SL which will give it a bit of an edge on from a freeride standpoint. I do agree that Raptor or F1-R are pretty much strictly freeride.
 

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I'm thinking about getting a Raptor with either Flow NXT-SE bindings or Flow NXT FRX bindings. Right now I have a 08-09 Legacy-R with K2 Formulas.

If I get the Raptor, I will have 1 board for strictly freeriding, and 1 board for doing park-type stuff. Kind of what I want.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info everyone. I actually found a local shop that's carrying both the SL and the Heritage so I'll check them out soon. As I'm reading more on the Heritage it seems like that might even be a better fit that the SL.
 

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For anyone else that is interested in a Raptor, you'd want a stiffer freeride binding. Something like Rome Arsenal, Ride CAD, K2 Auto Ever, Flux Super Diamond (forgot what it's called for 2011).
 
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