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Discussion Starter #1
So I was browsing through posts today, looking for board reviews, and ran across a few posts about foot size and waist width. I have never really thought much about it, since I have small feet and never really needed to worry about overhang.

According to what I read at wiredsport.com, your foot size should be equal to or slightly larger than the width of your board at the binding contact points. Now, I have a tiny foot and this has piqued my curiosity, so I measured my bare foot against my board's width. My foot is 21.5 centimeters (Mondopoint measurement. Shoe size measures at a 3.5 wms) and there is a good 1.5-2 inches of space between my toes (when my heel is against my heel edge) and the toe edge of my Gnu B-street. :eek:

I have ridden a few boards over the last two seasons. Two boards felt good and two felt difficult to turn. I always blamed the turning problems on the torsional stiffness of the board, but now I'm wondering if the problems could have more to do with waist width than stiffness. Perhaps the torsional stiffness of a board is compounded by the additional width, making turning harder??? The boards I've turned easily: Ride Rapture and Gnu B-street. Boards I've found I've really had to "push" hard to get toeside: Never Summer Infinity-r and Arbor Eden.

Board specs:
2010 Gnu B-street 141: 273 tip/tail, 237 waist
2010 NS Infinity-r 145: 275 tip/tail, 234 waist
2009 Ride Rapture 143: 273.9 tip/tail, 237 waist
2009 Arbor Eden 144: 275 tip/tail, 234 waist

I provided tip/tail measurements as well as waist measurements because I know that the width of the binding contact point matters more than the wishy-washy "waist" width.

Sooo...is waist width making turning more difficult than it should be? What women's boards have the thinnest widths at the bindings? At this point, I am comfortable on my B-street, but am a bit of a equipment whore. I'd like to consider board width as I'm searching for the next addition to my quiver. :D
 

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Maybe you can look at kids boards.

Thinner waists = easier turning ... seems to be a factor in performance boards as well.

In alpine racing boards, they are really thin.

In this board I had called the Lib Tech Dark Series, it says that the narrow waist allows it to do quick edge to edge transitions for "critical lines for launches and landings on mega booters" or some crap like that.

But I also heard that narrow boards aren't good for people who are learning. Because with quick edge changeability comes the necessity for more precise control.
 

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When you mount the binding, did you try to move it closer to the toe side? I move it up a little bit and it works better for me.
 

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I don't have any input as to the smallest waist womens board because I've never had to research it. But if you have negative heel/toe overhang, it will make generating the necessary leverage over your edge difficult. If you are still 3/4 inch away from the edges at 0 angle, you'll have to exert alot more effort to dig in hard. Imagine trying to tip a trapezoid with its four points being your heel, toe and two edges. I'm going up tomorrow so if I come across anyone with small feet, i'll see what they're riding

I always wondered how little lilfoots foot was :D
 

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Here are some pictures. One of my foot straight on at the true waist, one of my foot at an angle at the binding insert. I'm screwed.
Aww, what cute lil feet! ;)

Actually, that's not THAT bad. I stepped on my Dark Series (narrow board) with my heel to one side and there's like 1/2 inch between the edge and my toe. And this board is the stiffest board in the brand and it's supposed to be made for edge to edge transition. I guess it depends on your turning. Maybe this board was meant to turn by leaning at high speeds vs. "twisting" or whatever it is that you are doing in your turns.

I used to ride a wider board (I don't have it with me to see because I left it with a friend) and it was fine.

Just make sure your boot is pretty much centered.

BTW, that's not 2 inches. If that was 2 inches (about the length of your toe), that's not a lil foot, imo. lol
 

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I don't know what you weight but you probably could get away with a kids board...

I'm pretty sure a few companies are making mean kid sticks these days
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know what you weight but you probably could get away with a kids board...

I'm pretty sure a few companies are making mean kid sticks these days
Uggghhh...I don't know. The kids' boots I've tried have been very very soft and poorly made. I weigh just over 100 pounds, so I'm not as light as a child. I would also not want to get a board that's too short. The Burton Feelgood Smalls 141 is only a millimeter or two off of my current board's measurements. I'd have to drop down to a 120cm board to get a waist width that even comes close to matching my shoe size. :rolleyes:
 

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Ya I dunno...

I know the Space Metal Fantasy in a size 143 has a 22.9 waist.

Not sure what any other female boards are... May have to do some research and check out all the companies chicks boards
 

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The Wiredsport article you read is BS. If you're feet were that big you would have have massive overhang and would wash out in any hard turn or skid. Unless you are always like riding 30/15 or more in some form or bombing race...much like how hardbooters stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So if the article is BS, is there some sort of standard width measurement that people go by? For example, a person with X foot length should buy a board with a width between y and z, depending on binding angles?

I guess I need to know if my current board is just fine or if I need to pay closer attention to width the next time I buy.

I am considering the Capita SMF because I just can't help being intrigued by it and it has a smaller waist. I can get a slightly used one for $145. Not sure if I should pull the trigger since my B-street is so similar.
 

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I don't think you're screwed necessarily. Its just something that will determine how you throw your weight around. I rode a friends wide DH one time and it was noticibly different and just like you I felt like toeside took some extra effort. It may not be the easiest way to progress, but you'll still progress.
 

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So if the article is BS, is there some sort of standard width measurement that people go by? For example, a person with X foot length should buy a board with a width between y and z, depending on binding angles?

I guess I need to know if my current board is just fine or if I need to pay closer attention to width the next time I buy.

I am considering the Capita SMF because I just can't help being intrigued by it and it has a smaller waist. I can get a slightly used one for $145. Not sure if I should pull the trigger since my B-street is so similar.
If you want to go by performance factors, this is what I can think of.

narrow =
faster edge to edge transition
lighter of course

too narrow =
overhang (depending on stance and boot, etc. which varies)

wide =
more forgiving
more float in power
more stability and dampening in landing

And the waist isn’t always something you can trust as a universal measuring parameter.
If the board has a deep sidecut like a small radius, then it will get wider quicker as you move from the waist out. Some have like progressive / parabolic / harmonic / etc. Those are mathematical equazion classes...with "radial" being like a true circle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And the waist isn’t always something you can trust as a universal measuring parameter.
Exactly. The two boards I mentioned that were hard to turn actually have narrower true waists with wider noses than my current board. This means they have more aggressive sidecuts. I am willing to bet that those same boards are actually much wider under my bindings that my current board. Although a slightly wider board may be more forgiving, there has to be a point at which the board is TOO WIDE and thus less forgiving because it is so hard to turn.

My first board was the Arbor Eden, a board that is not supposed to be particularly advanced or stiff. However, even after about 5+ days on snow I still could not learn to turn toeside on it. The day I traded it in for a Ride Rapture is the day I linked turns with confidence and ease. If the problem is linked to board width, I will need to be very very careful about boards I choose in the future, right? :dunno:
 

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Exactly. The two boards I mentioned that were hard to turn actually have narrower true waists with wider noses than my current board. This means they have more aggressive sidecuts. I am willing to bet that those same boards are actually much wider under my bindings that my current board. Although a slightly wider board may be more forgiving, there has to be a point at which the board is TOO WIDE and thus less forgiving because it is so hard to turn.

My first board was the Arbor Eden, a board that is not supposed to be particularly advanced or stiff. However, even after about 5+ days on snow I still could not learn to turn toeside on it. The day I traded it in for a Ride Rapture is the day I linked turns with confidence and ease. If the problem is linked to board width, I will need to be very very careful about boards I choose in the future, right? :dunno:
Well, being “theoretical” here without having seen you ride or whatever, perhaps the boards that want to make sharper turns are harder for you because you are more comfortable making more gradual slow long drawn out turns. In general, I would say that making sharp turns requires more abrupt movements from edge to edge vs. more gentle cruising turns.

But it also could be in your case that the “wide nose” makes you have to lean more as well so that it takes more balance than one with a narrower nose. You have to strike a balance somewhere in between. But depending on the sidecut shape, your "toe space" COULD be exactly the same between those boards. Just visualize it or draw it on a piece of paper. Those two board's waist-to-nose-arcs intersect somewhere in between.

Sidecut - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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Damn yea..thats a lot of space between your toes and your toe edge. I assume you have your bindings a bit more centered than that though? They shouldnt be shifted that far back if they are ...

With some bindings with adjustable toe ramps that you can pull out you should be able to make it a bit easier...

I assume you have done this already though, just throwing it out there :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My bindings are well centered, but I haven't played with my toe ramp. I'll try that tonight - should help quite a bit.

There simply aren't boards out there that are made to fit my foot perfectly, so I just can't/won't worry about it. It seems like playing with my bindings (stance angles, highback, and toe ramp) and avoiding stiff, directional boards is the ticket to mitigating any negative affects from a wider board. Luckily, the extra width of any board I ride will compensate for stability lost when riding a softer, shorter board. Right???? :rolleyes:
 

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My bindings are well centered, but I haven't played with my toe ramp. I'll try that tonight - should help quite a bit.

There simply aren't boards out there that are made to fit my foot perfectly, so I just can't/won't worry about it. It seems like playing with my bindings (stance angles, highback, and toe ramp) and avoiding stiff, directional boards is the ticket to mitigating any negative affects from a wider board. Luckily, the extra width of any board I ride will compensate for stability lost when riding a softer, shorter board. Right???? :rolleyes:
The stability lost when riding a softer, shorter board applies to going fast in all mountain riding and carving. In these situations, you want a stiffer, longer board. If you are a park rat (mainly jibbing) then stability at high speeds don't mean as much. If you are a double diamond / backcountry whore or a 60 foot aerial junkie, yes you will loose stability with a softer, shorter board.

Most of the time softer, wider, shorter boards are also better for learning. And too wide is no good just as too short is no good. Too soft? Maybe if you are heavy. Some of these pro's are like Arnold and can bend any stiff board by just standing off centered on it. I looked at the banana specs and they offer the smaller sizes in N "narrow". And the specs make them look pretty narrow overall. They also don't have that agressive of a radius. Maybe the 2011 will come out with a 135N or something if you want to wait and see.
 
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