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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new here and I'm also in the market for a new board. So like most newbies i will ask your thoughts on boards as I live in one of the flattest places on earth (Saskatchewan) and can't demo anything. I grew up riding cambered boards and am currently riding an 08 forum lander 157 that has seen better days. I am the opposite of a park rat, I love to charge down the groomers as fast as my board will let me and cruise through the powder when available, which is almost never because I have to hope the days I make it out have good snow (which they usually don't). So I need a board that will rip on the hard pack, be fairly rideable in pow, and be stable at speed. My lander is stable at speed but it's pretty heavy and a bit sluggish. I'd like a board with a bit of personality as well but only if it doesn't take away from my previous qualifications. I'm an advanced rider and usually one of the fastest on the hill, especially on the ice :D . I'm used to a pretty unforgiving stiff board what I'm worried about is hybrid camber profiles on most boards and the stability at speed. I've been looking at boards like the ns raptor and the volkl coal. Any suggestions and experiences would be much obliged as Im not going to be able to demo any.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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I liked the Coal a lot, very stable at speed and very nice to carve. But not the best dampening. It's a "morning groommer" board. If you don't have to handle rutty runs, it's great. Haven't been in fresh with it so can't comment on that.

How about a Burton Custom X?

Have you tried a hybrid rocker? The Raptor has a pretty different shape than the Coal... One very nice aspect of the Raptor is the good dampening. You'll ride in moguls and afternoon crud as well as in the well prepared runs. Not the case with the Coal.
Husband likes his Raptor and charges as fast as physics allow, has no issue with stability, but admits that the Cusom X was a bit better for charging. I didn't like the sloppy feeling of the rocker while straight lining. It"s not my shape. It is surprisingly good at carving though... It'll also be good in pow, not excelling, but e.g. better than the Custon X. It's a trade off :). All in all a great all mountain board - IF you like rocker between the feet.

Other rather stiff camber hybrids with a very stable ride are the Ride Highlife and the Jones Flagship (my favorite, though it also lacks dampness). Others will hopefully recommend more, but these were the ones I've tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have only ever ridden traditional camber but I'm open to something new, it just bugs me that I can't get out to a hill and demo any seeing as I'm about 8 hours from any mountains of any kind. If the coal can't take an all day beating then it's probably out of the equation. I'm willing to get used to a new camber as long as I still have stability.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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Actually the Raptor is not a camber hybrid but a rocker hybrid. It has a rocker between the feet and thats a love - hate thing. I grew up with trad. camber and had no problem at all to get used to camber hybrids (the ones with camber between the feet and early rocked nose for better float), but failed with rocker boards. For me, they just don't offer the same stability. Others will not care (as hubby) and ride both profiles with ease. Will be very hard to find out in which category you fall without trying.... Can't you wait with the purchase till you've been to a mtn where you could rent one?
 

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Will you be making any mountain trips, or hangin at Table "Mountain" all winter? (yup, im a transplanted flatlander!)

Ive been to Table a ton growing up and learning, and what us who ride the big mountains refer to as "powder" and what Table gets in terms of "powder" are REALLY different.

I would try something of the hybrid camber with magnetraction...

RCR:
Rossignol Templar/One,
YES Asym

CRC:
Lib Tech T. Rice, Banana Magic or GNU Riders Choice, Carbon Credit
NS (someone help me here i know sh*t about NS)

A good place to sift through board specs/info/sprt by profile of a bunch of different companies is The Good Ride | A Snowboard Gear Buying GuideThe Good Ride I know there are people who hate that place but its a good start.

EDIT: my suggestions are only a few and by no means a good comprehensive list...just a place to start!
 

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Reformed Creep-o-saurus
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The Coal would be a bomber, also the good old Burton Custom X would be a good bomber...

For saskatoon ice I'd stick to camber, how much powder would you get on an average "powder" day?

edit: Another option would be a Prior Freeride if you wanted to get fancy. Good construction and a lifted nose to help with the powder days.
 

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The Never Summer Premier F1 will blow you away!

But basically you want a board with alot of damper!!!! it won't be as flexible for going to the park but you will have total control at top speed giving you ultimate confidence!
 

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Ride Highlife, Salomon Burner, the new K2 Slayblade, Flow Maverick, or a Bataleon Enemy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't do much riding locally besides some urban jibbing which I have an old beater board for. So if the raptor has rocker hybrid does it feel loose at high speeds or can you lock into a rail?
 

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I don't do much riding locally besides some urban jibbing which I have an old beater board for. So if the raptor has rocker hybrid does it feel loose at high speeds or can you lock into a rail?
The Rocker Camber design is amazing! The rocker between your feet lets it ride straight and smooth without catching while riding flat and the camber outside the bindings gives the board strength and power when digging in turns at high speeds. The raptor will feel super charged yet free at the same time, if that makes any sense. If you get the raptor I bet money it will be the best board you have ever riden!
 

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In my experience Stability at speed depends on camber profile, length and dampening (rider input aside). I'd rate the profiles from most to least stable thusly:

Camber
Camrock R C R
C2/hybrid C R C
Reverse camber

Lots of rad new camber decks coming out this year. If you're going to a hybrid shape you will most likely sacrifice some stability at speed. You can make up for that with dampening and length or effective edge.

I ride a gnu riders choice in 158 which I can send as fast as I want through variable cruddy terrain or bumps because its on the lengthier side of my spectrum at 165lb and has enough dampening to absorb rutted out terrain without losing much character or pop. I also ride a 155 riders choice and find it twitchy and less stable at high speeds, but more freestyle friendly.

Warning, some people find magnatraction twitchyin general.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm leaning towards grabbing a raptor if I can find one for a good price, sounds like you can get good speed while keeping some character and personality at lower speeds (relative to the plank I'm riding now)
 

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I don't do much riding locally besides some urban jibbing which I have an old beater board for. So if the raptor has rocker hybrid does it feel loose at high speeds or can you lock into a rail?
Honestly it's my opinion that few, very few, center rocker boards are good for freeriding. I just think for that style of riding you're moving your weight around on the board more than that rocker profile allows. If you really get into the back seat pushing through a deep carve with a center reverse board your nose won't be contacting the snow. That's lost stability and edgehold. NeverSummer should never have moved the Premier to RC. They should have kept it camber. And the Raptor is not as stiff as everyone thinks it is. Is it a freeride deck? Yeah it's built to be, but its on the softer side of the spectrum. That coupled with RC means someone that is really driving it with the back leg is going to be loosing it in a layed over turn.

I really feel for your style of riding you need either camber between your feet, or flat between and camber under your feet.
 

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A good place to sift through board specs/info/sprt by profile of a bunch of different companies is The Good Ride | A Snowboard Gear Buying GuideThe Good Ride I know there are people who hate that place but its a good start.

EDIT: my suggestions are only a few and by no means a good comprehensive list...just a place to start!
Also I should point out the Good Ride will give a good enough review to anything from a brand that gives them free boards. I've seen a fair amount of their reviews, they don't know jack shit about how boards should ride and in the past I've seen them get tech in a board completely wrong in their descriptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Honestly it's my opinion that few, very few, center rocker boards are good for freeriding. I just think for that style of riding you're moving your weight around on the board more than that rocker profile allows. If you really get into the back seat pushing through a deep carve with a center reverse board your nose won't be contacting the snow. That's lost stability and edgehold. NeverSummer should never have moved the Premier to RC. They should have kept it camber. And the Raptor is not as stiff as everyone thinks it is. Is it a freeride deck? Yeah it's built to be, but its on the softer side of the spectrum. That coupled with RC means someone that is really driving it with the back leg is going to be loosing it in a layed over turn.

I really feel for your style of riding you need either camber between your feet, or flat between and camber under your feet.
thats interesting because every review ive seen says its such a fast and good board, keep in mind i still like to play around at slower speeds just not as often as I'm charging.
 

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Sure, but how many other boards have the reviewers ridden. And the overall value of what they write. Is it stable for RC? Yeah. But compare it to a like YES PYL and its a little loose. I'd definitely pick that for instance over a Raptor if stability is your main issue. The rockered tips will keep the board plenty playful for your needs at slower speeds.
 

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thats interesting because every review ive seen says its such a fast and good board, keep in mind i still like to play around at slower speeds just not as often as I'm charging.
You have to consider 2 things: 1. Who these reviews are coming from and 2. an honest assessment of your riding style and ability.

On reviews: Lots of 'user' reviews are one-offs posted by people who have no little idea, because they have only ridden a small number of boards (and might not even be doing more than couple of weeks riding/year) and do not know about all the shapes, tech, etc. out there. In addition, there is always a reluctance to acknowledge a buying mistake, etc.
In contrast, most of the sources with many reviews (Goodwood, etc.) are biased because of commercial relationships (often not disclosed) or free access to gear, so might not give you honest reviews.
Incidentally, TheGoodRide manages to fall into both of those traps - they have no idea about gear and are beholden to anybody offering them free gear.
As a result of the above most reviews are not very useful and generally too positive.

Then there is the ability factor. Most recreational riders think that they are better than their actual skill level. They never actually pushy the limits of their gear - when somebody says that a board is sketchy it more often than not it is a reflection of lacking skill rather than a limitation of the equipment.
 

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I dont. I dont get many opportunties to get on Bataleons. I might try and get on it this year at SIA.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sure, but how many other boards have the reviewers ridden. And the overall value of what they write. Is it stable for RC? Yeah. But compare it to a like YES PYL and its a little loose. I'd definitely pick that for instance over a Raptor if stability is your main issue. The rockered tips will keep the board plenty playful for your needs at slower speeds.
Camber under the feet definitely sounds good, that was my main concern with the hybrids, I think I will stick to reg camber or camber with rockered tips. Any boards with the rockered tips I should look into?
 
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