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Heya,
I'm just starting out snowboarding (2 or 3 times) and I'm super excited about the sport. I've done a ton of research on board types and jargon and board characteristics and what have you, so I decided I didn't want to use rentals anymore and wanted to have my own board.

I'm 6"3, around 200 lbs. Ever since I started out, I was really interested in high speed carving / powder riding / freeride sort of snowboarding. So, after going around to a few snowboard shops in my area, I settled on a Korua Pencil. Really is a beautiful board. Issue is, though - a lot of sources mention that "you need to know what you're doing" with this board. None of them say it's particularly bad with beginners, but they say that you'll need to be on your game if you really want to bring the life out of it. That being said, was this a bad purchase? I didn't want a beginner board because I wanted something that I could use even as I improve, rather than buying a soft, flexy beginner board and then realizing that it's hard to stay stable at high speed 1 or 2 seasons later. I saw it as a much better investment to just buy something that's going to do what I want to do when I'm at a higher level. For reference, the korua pencil is medium-stiff. My bindings are medium, and my boots are medium-stiff.

Though, I've also seen a lot of people mention that getting stiffer, cambered (it's early rocker at the nose, camber under feet), more advanced-oriented boards will teach you good form & technique right when you're starting due to their less forgiving nature. As much as I'd like to side with these guys rather than the guys telling me to put it in the closet, I'd also like your opinions.

Let me know!
155762
 

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Can a beginner ride that board, sure. Will it hold you back/stunt progression, most likely. Your post is a bit strange as you state having been 2/3 times but are focused on being proficient at advanced skills. All said you'll be better served by a softer more middle of the road board as you learn and progress your riding to the advanced riding you want to do.
 

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Will you be able to get to the bottom with it ? Ya
Will you like it ? Ehhh maybe
Would a more « beginner friendly » help you progress faster and have more fun ? Yup.
At the end of the day its your choice. You will not outgrow a board in 1-2 season (in my experience) and you will not be able to attain a level where you can truly profit from a board like the pencil in 1-2 season (in my experience).
Imo, it would be the last thing I would get as a first board, but you already have it so why not ! As long as you’re having fun, being a « beginner » or an « expert » doesn’t matter. But I repeat, you wouldn’t outgrow a « beginner board » in 2 seasons.
 

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I think people get hung up on the word ‘beginner’ with some boards and don’t realise that some of these beginner boards can see most use them through years and years. Something like a Yes Basic you can hang on t until you kill it but because it gets such a good rep as a beginner board many inter riders probably just snub their noses at it.
 

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I salute your refusal to be a beginner for long! You’ve got the board now so just ride it until it stops riding you. It wasn’t so long ago that all boards were stiff and full camber, that’s what people learned and progressed on. At some point boards that are easier to ride came on the market. You’ll end up better at snowboarding if you learn on this. I’ve ridden that board and it has rocker in the nose and a tiny bit in the tail, the core is solid but the glass layup is actually quite mellow. That’s why it’s a popular brand, they are not THAT difficult to ride but can absolutely melt the piste once you have the technique.
 

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All Koruas are bad beginner boards. They're relatively stiff, heavily cambered, and wide. They cater to more experienced riders and assume strong technique.

As for whether you can make it work, depends on you. How athletic/coordinated are you, how often will you ride, how do you respond to a challenge and getting the snot beat out of you? If you're preternaturally athletic, ride a lot, and have grit, you'll be fine. If you're clumsy, ride seldom, and are a little bitch, you'll get worked and should buy something else. Tons of other possibilities in between and strangers on the internet aren't going to be able to meaningfully answer this for you.
 

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Congratulations on the purchase! I would say it's a great board but a bad beginner board. It's not the camber profile, but rather the width and the taper that makes it bad as a beginner board. A softer and more narrow board would be better.

I own a Pencil plus myself, which I bought my second season after having about 15 days on snow. It wasn't a problem riding it and it was a lot of fun. I still ride my first board (a Salomon First Call 162) when I want to have an easy ride on the mountain.

You could use the Pencil now, but you could also buy an extra board. You are going to want to have two anyway :D

If it's possible, go try it out and see for yourself. Maybe it's going to blow you way... if it feels difficult... keep it and buy an extra board.
 

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If you don’t hate it keep it. At 200lbs, a soft beginner board might feel like a noodle to you, and a stiff board might feel just right to you. 🤷‍♂️

I’m also happy to trade your Korua pencil for my 158 yes basic if it helps :)
 

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I currently own Cafe Racer 159 (pretty much your Pencil 164) and Cafe Racer 164. That’s not what I’d suggest to my buds as the first board. It’s an intermediate and up board imo. Like others have mentioned, if you are athletic, hyped and gonna ride much, you can ride it.

After 2-3 days and being motivated to progress, you should be already linking clumsy turns. That board will still hamper your progression until you get it to scarving (a mix of a skidded and a carving turn) but once your skidded turns are dialed (to initiate the turn from the front foot), you’ll be fine. Get an instructor to shorten this period. It promotes a lot of fore and aft movement so if you ride it from the backseat only (as many self-learnt beginners do), it will be hard to turn at low and medium speed. CR 64 is a keeper in my quiver for carving in softer snow/slush.

If you want to progress in switch and ollies, I’d still suggest adding a cheap camrock softer flexing twinnish board though. The 3 cm taper, the degressive sidecut and the 2 cm setback makes the CR the most challanging board to ride switch that I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update! (For those who care)

I had my first proper day on the slopes (took a lesson for balance, turns, speed control, etc) after 1 or 2 days of no (real) progress, as mentioned before.

Though I don't have anything to compare it to, I love the board! It's really controllable once you get the hang of it. It was really fiddly at first because it would slide out on you and start going tail first (which obviously led to a wipeout) but once I learned how to properly control my direction with my entire body, I was off. Now knowing how to properly & smoothly slide and brake as well as how to turn & link basic turns (along with several other smaller aspects, like how to rotate my body and how to brake intuitively) at semi-quick speeds, I think I can safely say that I made the right choice. Now that I've gotten a feel for the board and my capabilities, I think I'll be fine with it. In my various googles, I saw a lot of people mention how boards like these catch edges often and are hard to control - while I still did fall, I was able to consistently fall less and less as time passed, even when turning both sides and sliding both sides. I think I'll be good. :D

Do let me know if I'm being naive, though.
 

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Update! (For those who care)

I had my first proper day on the slopes (took a lesson for balance, turns, speed control, etc) after 1 or 2 days of no (real) progress, as mentioned before.

Though I don't have anything to compare it to, I love the board! It's really controllable once you get the hang of it. It was really fiddly at first because it would slide out on you and start going tail first (which obviously led to a wipeout) but once I learned how to properly control my direction with my entire body, I was off. Now knowing how to properly & smoothly slide and brake as well as how to turn & link basic turns (along with several other smaller aspects, like how to rotate my body and how to brake intuitively) at semi-quick speeds, I think I can safely say that I made the right choice. Now that I've gotten a feel for the board and my capabilities, I think I'll be fine with it. In my various googles, I saw a lot of people mention how boards like these catch edges often and are hard to control - while I still did fall, I was able to consistently fall less and less as time passed, even when turning both sides and sliding both sides. I think I'll be good. :D

Do let me know if I'm being naive, though.
Mate, if you’re loving life on the slopes then who cares what people think, just enjoy. You sound like you’re kicking goals, have a plan and are committed so just enjoy 😊
Post some photos of yr get-up on the snow also.
 
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