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Discussion Starter #1
I don’t think the snowboard industry knows much about surfing yet they throw the term surfy around often. Apparently it’s a buzzword that sells. That same crap gets repeated in forum discussions. Exceptions for me are when snowboard companies work with a surfboard shaper like Matt Biolos, Chris Christenson, etc. Full disclosure I haven’t ridden their shapes but I would wager they are as close as you can get to surfing the white wave with similar mechanics to actual surfing. Perhaps the term surfy has been created by snowboarders to mean something that varies from the actual mechanics of surfing?

If you surf and snow board at a high level I’d like to hear your thoughts on what characteristics in board, boots and bindings you’d define as “surfy”.

If you snowboard only I’d like to hear what surfy means to you. I’m guessing I’ll disagree but let’s see how this goes.


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I'm a proficient snowboarder and windsurfer and an average surfer so do have an option on this.

For me surfy means some steering at the ankles. For snowboarding that means boots/bindings that aren't too stiff. When it comes to boards though I class a responsive board as surfy as that matches response of a surfboard.

In powder is different - everything is surfy!
 

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I don’t think the snowboard industry knows much about surfing yet they throw the term surfy around often. Apparently it’s a buzzword that sells. That same crap gets repeated in forum discussions. Exceptions for me are when snowboard companies work with a surfboard shaper like Matt Biolos, Chris Christenson, etc. Full disclosure I haven’t ridden their shapes but I would wager they are as close as you can get to surfing the white wave with similar mechanics to actual surfing. Perhaps the term surfy has been created by snowboarders to mean something that varies from the actual mechanics of surfing?

If you surf and snow board at a high level I’d like to hear your thoughts on what characteristics in board, boots and bindings you’d define as “surfy”.

If you snowboard only I’d like to hear what surfy means to you. I’m guessing I’ll disagree but let’s see how this goes.


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To me, surfy is when the board moves dynamically under you without any effort. Like when you glide in powder and the board just floats and turns under you. I suppose a carving turn could be surfy as well, like if it made round smooth arcs effortlessly.

But also a combination... like when you carve up into a powder bank on the side of the piste and you slash and glide to get back into the piste.

I'm not a wave surfer (even if I would love to). I've done wind surfing and wake boarding, but powder and carving kinda beats it all.
 

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For me surfy is slashing in the powder on a powder board riding off the back foot - which is the closest to surfing that you can do on snow. I have surfed for most of my life and snowboarded for a few years. They are totally different things but a surfy snowboard is a loose snowboard that lets you float and slash in the soft snow or fresh powder.
 

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I snowboard to snowboard. If i wanted surfy, i would grab a wetsuit and a board, and head to the beach (I have a friend that surfs all year round). But then i cant surf, so I probably wouldnt be very successful.
 

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Somewhat experienced surfer, advanced snowboarder. “Surfy” describes fluidity and a state of relaxation -you’re not relying on body tension and precise turns, rather glide and response to the conditions. It’s more of a reactionary and passive state. As mentioned above, the board does much of the work. (Not to imply that surfing can’t be aggressive, proactive and hard charging).
 

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For me surfy is slashing in the powder on a powder board riding off the back foot - which is the closest to surfing that you can do on snow. I have surfed for most of my life and snowboarded for a few years. They are totally different things but a surfy snowboard is a loose snowboard that lets you float and slash in the soft snow or fresh powder.
This is correct. I surfed to a very competent/competitive level for numerous decades. As a result my riding style is probably greatly effected by my surfing evolution. Now......, I just love everything about snowboarding. I love smashing out back foot turns, slashes and re-entry type cutback S's which are so easy to transfer from surfing into the powder. When riding...., I'll always try to make my boards perform a bit "Surfy" by setting it back, making the tail feel light and cranking it of the back foot whenever I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Absolutely fascinating. Your responses vary quite a bit. I thought surfy described a snowboard designed to mimic surfing in any terrain. Where you pick the best line for a surfy flow, laying in to your turns, ripping what's asking for it and leaving the rest be. As if you were ripping a perfect day on your shortboard, but the ride doesn't end in 30 seconds, it keeps on going through the trees, down the steeps ... and if all you have is groomers then you carve that up too. Pow is clearly preferred but not necessary in my book. Maybe it's a pipe dream. I thought the intent of companies pairing up with shapers was to explore what could be made to further this style of riding. I didn't think it was to just to sell pow boards made by shapers. Maybe it was though.
 

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I don’t surf. I interpret surfy as sloppy. Imprecise turns. Bad carving. Also agree that everything is surfy in deep pow.
Absolutely not.

Doesn't have to be sloppy, or imprecise... and for sure it's not bad carving because it's not even carving. It's something different altogether, and can certainly be very precise and very clean.

Also, not everything is surfy in deep snow. But a board can only be truly surfy in deep pow.
 

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Absolutely fascinating. Your responses vary quite a bit. I thought surfy described a snowboard designed to mimic surfing in any terrain. Where you pick the best line for a surfy flow, laying in to your turns, ripping what's asking for it and leaving the rest be. As if you were ripping a perfect day on your shortboard, but the ride doesn't end in 30 seconds, it keeps on going through the trees, down the steeps ... and if all you have is groomers then you carve that up too. Pow is clearly preferred but not necessary in my book. Maybe it's a pipe dream. I thought the intent of companies pairing up with shapers was to explore what could be made to further this style of riding. I didn't think it was to just to sell pow boards made by shapers. Maybe it was though.
It can definitely be an 'approach' to riding.

See Travis Rice and Victor de le Rue.... not surfy.

See Austin Smith and the japanese pow surf crew... surfy. And extremely precise and clean.

I guess you can have a certain style that transfers to how you ride groomers. But at that point it's not the board being surfy. It's you having a surfy style...

Manufacturers make and market everything to sell boards. That's fine. But the initial idea is more like you said... shaped boards made to further that style, that philosophy.

What a lot of people now refer to as surfy has just been "dumbed" down because a lot of people will never get it and yeah then will be confused with sloppy.... far from it.

Think... marihuana, not cocaine :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All their boards have a hull, right?, I heard that the 420 powder hull by Yes is supposed to mimick that 'surfy' effect too
All those boards are considered hulls, the whole board. Any snowboard is a hull. I think your asking if their nose is designed differently. They are different, the storm chaser being the outlier with a displacement design compared to the convex planing design of the nose on the 420 board and the flat planing design on the Mayhem.
 

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It can definitely be an 'approach' to riding.

See Travis Rice and Victor de le Rue.... not surfy.

See Austin Smith and the japanese pow surf crew... surfy. And extremely precise and clean.

I guess you can have a certain style that transfers to how you ride groomers. But at that point it's not the board being surfy. It's you having a surfy style...

Manufacturers make and market everything to sell boards. That's fine. But the initial idea is more like you said... shaped boards made to further that style, that philosophy.

What a lot of people now refer to as surfy has just been "dumbed" down because a lot of people will never get it and yeah then will be confused with sloppy.... far from it.

Think... marihuana, not cocaine :D
That's right, when you snowboard piste like conditions you are riding traditionally from the front edges which allows the ability in setting up your turns. In powder however, you ride so much more of the back foot which exactly mimics surfing......, set a line with the front foot and smash out a powder shower with the back foot. Heaven.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It can definitely be an 'approach' to riding.

See Travis Rice and Victor de le Rue.... not surfy.

See Austin Smith and the japanese pow surf crew... surfy. And extremely precise and clean.

I guess you can have a certain style that transfers to how you ride groomers. But at that point it's not the board being surfy. It's you having a surfy style...

Manufacturers make and market everything to sell boards. That's fine. But the initial idea is more like you said... shaped boards made to further that style, that philosophy.

What a lot of people now refer to as surfy has just been "dumbed" down because a lot of people will never get it and yeah then will be confused with sloppy.... far from it.

Think... marihuana, not cocaine :D
Yes to japanese pow surf style and also to what's going on at Mt. Bachelor. And 100% yes to precision.

But I'm not sold on the board not mattering on the groomers. Alot of what I see from Japan is on surf style boards on groomers. Of course ripping groomers can also be done on a camber twin, I'm just saying it might be easier to ride surf style clean, or take it to the next level entirely, with a board designed for surfing.
 
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