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Discussion Starter #1
As the topic states, planning a holiday to Japan in feb 14' and I currently own the 2 boards mentioned.

From what I hear Japan is big deep powder so a stiffer longer board is preferred but I love the ride and feel of my skate banana over the dark series.

I weigh 215lbs and am 5'10"

I am probably too big for the skate banana as it is but I don't seem to have any issues with it in Aussie conditions. I just worry in powder ill have trouble staying above with a shorter softer board.

Any advice or insight is appreciated!!
 

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1) depends on where you're going in Japan
2) you don't need a stiffer board. There are plenty of soft powder boards (more surfy)
 

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Where are you going in Japan?

What kind of riding do you do?

At 215lbs the 154 banana is not going to work in powder, even the 159 dark series is very small for a deep day at your weight.

My advice, keep the banana which you like to ride on non pow days and sell the dark series (or trade) for a proper powder deck. There are many to choose from.

Everyone will suggest different lengths but I would be thinking in at least the high sixties for Hokkaido, of course it depends on the type of board you go with.

You could easily ride a 170 or 180 birdman which some of the bigger forum members swear by. ETM and memphis hawk both of whom ride deep pow here in Japan and are comparable weights.

On the other hand if this is a short trip and you don't think you will be coming back regularly renting a pow deck on the deep days is an option.
 

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I'm not riding in Japan, but to give you an idea... I weigh the same (albeit at 5 inches taller) and wouldn't ride anything anywhere near that small, let alone in powder... but the terrain here is much rougher and better suited to long board stability. I bought a Birdman 180 this summer for pow but haven't taken it out yet. I'm planning on getting a Skunk Ape 169 to split soon as well. I mostly ride 162's but am thinking I might enjoy the longer rides. I'd say you're a bit small at your weight.
 

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Where are you going in Japan?

What kind of riding do you do?

At 215lbs the 154 banana is not going to work in powder, even the 159 dark series is very small for a deep day at your weight.

My advice, keep the banana which you like to ride on non pow days and sell the dark series (or trade) for a proper powder deck. There are many to choose from.

Everyone will suggest different lengths but I would be thinking in at least the high sixties for Hokkaido, of course it depends on the type of board you go with.

You could easily ride a 170 or 180 birdman which some of the bigger forum members swear by. ETM and memphis hawk both of whom ride deep pow here in Japan and are comparable weights.

On the other hand if this is a short trip and you don't think you will be coming back regularly renting a pow deck on the deep days is an option.
What he said. Depends a little bit on where you are going to ride in Japan, but basically you have a pure park/jib deck in the Banana and something that might work for some basic groomer riding in the Dark.
Don't even think about venturing off into the pow or trees with those decks at your weight though, unless you harbor ambitions to become a submarine captain.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Where are you going in Japan?

What kind of riding do you do?

At 215lbs the 154 banana is not going to work in powder, even the 159 dark series is very small for a deep day at your weight.

My advice, keep the banana which you like to ride on non pow days and sell the dark series (or trade) for a proper powder deck. There are many to choose from.

Everyone will suggest different lengths but I would be thinking in at least the high sixties for Hokkaido, of course it depends on the type of board you go with.

You could easily ride a 170 or 180 birdman which some of the bigger forum members swear by. ETM and memphis hawk both of whom ride deep pow here in Japan and are comparable weights.

On the other hand if this is a short trip and you don't think you will be coming back regularly renting a pow deck on the deep days is an option.
Australian snow hardly see's any powder and if it is it isn't deep. I like to go off track and hit natural features and venture off through the trees and dropping off and small cliffs I find. Mainly groomed runs though. And charging any hill I can.

I am in no way a pro but have been given the op to go to Japan and with a little one on the way I don't see another chance in the close future that ill get to do anything like this again.

We plan to go to hakuba for 2 weeks if this helps.

I never considered a hire board lol last hire gear I had broke on me half way down a run at Treblecone in NZ so from that day on I swore to never hire gear again haha. Though seems hardly worth buying another board for a 1 off trip...

Thanks for the advice so far! Very helpful

Am I wrong to think the dark series is a decent all mountain board? I thought I maybe able to get away with it. No harm done if not...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Btw I'm not a fat 215 lol heavy for my height on the snow though it seems but as I said in the conditions I ride in aus a small board doesn't matter.
 

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There are different kinds of rental. On the one hand there is the basic shit and LTR stuff for beginners. On the other hand there are the specialized 'premium' providers. There are quite a few of the latter in Japan specializing in higher end pow sticks.

February in Hakuba should have lots of powder. By all means bring your Banana (for park) and/or Dark (for groomers), but neither is going to work off-piste, in the trees, etc.

You really want a pow stick and, as mentioned, good rentals are definitely available. dreampow is more in tune with the Nagano scene than me, so he might have some contacts.

Another thought: For two weeks you will wind up paying almost as much or more for a rental as for a good used deck.
 

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In Hakuba at the spicy's in town, they had k2 ultra dreams, peacekeepers and a load of libs when I went in one time last season.

I'd say bring the 59 and if you find you can't handle the pow on it then go and rent a pow board there. On a pow day just slam your bindings back as far back as they can go.

You could buy a pow board and then sell it when you get back to australia.

However, you could get skunked and find only hardpack conditions when you get here.
 

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Since you will be in Hakuba and not Hokkaido that does change things a little.

The chances of hitting deep powder are still very high, but its not a guarantee and if you are very unlucky you might not get any big dumps.

Personally I would choose the dark series over the banana, but the OP said.

I love the ride and feel of my skate banana over the dark series.


Sounds like he doesn't like his dark series that much in which case a trade or selling it might be a good move.

Renting a pow board is a good option as it means if you don't get the big dump you don't have to splash out.

That being said if its an average season you could easily need to rent a powder deck for 3 or 4 days or more at which point it becomes quite a waste of cash.

I am 175lbs and ride a 157 as my all round deck and for small dumps of powder. The OP has 40lbs extra and with only 2 cm more the 159 is not going to be a good use of the OPs rare chance to ride some world class powder.

He is clearly new to powder and will want something that gives more effortless float to make the most of it.

My vote still goes for a trade or sale of the dark and get a 2nd hand pow deck. You can always sell the pow deck after the trip too.
 

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idk...never been riding in Japan...but from vids of deep fluffy and the seemingly low angle and the fact that ur 215#...there is no way a 159 is going to work unless ur on groomed packed that is less than 8". I am 180# and rode a 159 banana in baker poo and it folds up and sinks...sucks and got rid of it asap and got a 164 c slasher. If you got J-fluff with deep and low angle...I'd think...but idk...ur looking at least a 168-170+ or longer pow stick.
 

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I have a 162w Carbon Credit (basically the same as a Skate Banana as far as I can tell) and I prefer my 158w Banana Magic in the pow and pretty much every other situation. Just wish it was 162w is all. We've got so much chop and chitty snow in the Vancouver locals and places like Baker (even on heavy "pow days") it's no wonder wrath didn't like it. The CC is just barely softer but it's still supposed to be a floppy jib stick and not a big mountain shredder.

As the other guys said, I think the OP should consider the renting situation tho, getting one of those deals where the rental fee goes towards a purchase if they have it... or possibly buying there and selling back home in oz... and as far as I know dude could be a jacked 215 to my tall and athletic 215! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a 162w Carbon Credit (basically the same as a Skate Banana as far as I can tell) and I prefer my 158w Banana Magic in the pow and pretty much every other situation. Just wish it was 162w is all. We've got so much chop and chitty snow in the Vancouver locals and places like Baker (even on heavy "pow days") it's no wonder wrath didn't like it. The CC is just barely softer but it's still supposed to be a floppy jib stick and not a big mountain shredder.

As the other guys said, I think the OP should consider the renting situation tho, getting one of those deals where the rental fee goes towards a purchase if they have it... or possibly buying there and selling back home in oz... and as far as I know dude could be a jacked 215 to my tall and athletic 215! ;)

Since you will be in Hakuba and not Hokkaido that does change things a little.

The chances of hitting deep powder are still very high, but its not a guarantee and if you are very unlucky you might not get any big dumps.

Personally I would choose the dark series over the banana, but the OP said.

I love the ride and feel of my skate banana over the dark series.


Sounds like he doesn't like his dark series that much in which case a trade or selling it might be a good move.

Renting a pow board is a good option as it means if you don't get the big dump you don't have to splash out.

That being said if its an average season you could easily need to rent a powder deck for 3 or 4 days or more at which point it becomes quite a waste of cash.

I am 175lbs and ride a 157 as my all round deck and for small dumps of powder. The OP has 40lbs extra and with only 2 cm more the 159 is not going to be a good use of the OPs rare chance to ride some world class powder.

He is clearly new to powder and will want something that gives more effortless float to make the most of it.

My vote still goes for a trade or sale of the dark and get a 2nd hand pow deck. You can always sell the pow deck after the trip too.
Good advice all, thanks!

I knew my sticks are basically too small but as said in aus it doesn't matter and if anything I can throw the board around easier.

This all said I think I will get rid of the dark series

@destroy are wide boards better for powder over regular? Or is this purely preference? I wear a size 12 boot so could probably use a wide. Lol at the jacked 215 comment hahaha I like to think I'm athletic my wife says I'm too big to be athletic :/
 

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Hey, sorry to threadjack but I'm doing almost exactly the same thing. Heading over to Hakuba in the first week of February with some mates. I ride a 158cm NS Proto-CTX (wide) and I weigh about 195 (might be closer to 185-180 when I go, pre-season for football before I head off). Will I be right just setting my bindings back a bit for powder days or should I be looking at borrowing/hiring a powder stick? I rode the same board up at Big White in Canada and it did pretty well on powder days there but maybe I'm missing something haha
 

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Nah you'll be alright mate. Take it over with you and if you find it's no good then rent something. But at your weight and seeing you've got a midwide board I think you'll be fine.

I rode a 161cm Joystick at Niseko in January and I had more than enough float (I'm around 190-195 lbs also).
 

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Nah you'll be alright mate. Take it over with you and if you find it's no good then rent something. But at your weight and seeing you've got a midwide board I think you'll be fine.

I rode a 161cm Joystick at Niseko in January and I had more than enough float (I'm around 190-195 lbs also).
Nice, thanks man!
 
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