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 Post subject: DIY Split Board Performance
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Arlington Massachusetts
East Cost represents - and greetings from a new member!

I split and rode a Winterstick ST 166 this year - took it out both on and off-piste - including about total 6,000 feet vertical skinning with Voile tractor skins on North Tripyramid and Mount Washington in N.H.

My question is this: I enjoy this board, but I experience that at a ertain point of steepness (around 25 degrees in unconsolidated pow) that I lose purchase on the snow, even though the skins extend to the rear tail kick, and I use climbing bars; my AT companions do not have such problems. Although the ST is a fairly stiff board, the split planks have a fair amount of flexibility, and it seemed that the tip and tail of the board don't apply much pressure in skinning mode, with resultant loss in efficiency.

I'm curious about more experienced splitters views on this, and also whether a factory-split board may be more efficient in skinning.

Steve

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
The stiffness of the board can make a difference. The guys testing the Voile Mountain Gun reported better skinning efficiency due to the increased stiffness. That said, your setup shouldn't be preventing you from keeping up with your AT friends in the conditions you describe. Traversing on hard snow using soft boots would be another story... One thing to check is to make sure your skins are not getting glopped up with snow, as that will kill the traction. Black Diamond Glop Stopper is a wax you can apply to your skins to reduce this.

Other than that, skinning technique has a lot to do with it. To find out for sure if it's a technique issue, on one of your future trips do a test where you switch gear with one of your buddies for a bit, if you have the same size feet. My skinning technique sucked initially (still does, just "sucks less" now). One of the big "aha" things I found is that when it starts getting steep, it really helps to fight the tendency to lean forward. You actually want to stand up straight or almost lean back, as weird as it feels. This will keep the pressure more evenly distributed along the ski, keeping more of the skin in contact with the ground, and hence better traction.

And finally, if you're getting into steep unconsolidated pow, do yourself a favor and get some Verts. They're the best tool for climbing the steep and deep. Of course, everyone here knows I'm a Verts evangelist, so YMMV, blah blah blah. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Arlington Massachusetts
On the subject of my technique, I'll take a positive position - the good news is that I have a *lot* of room to improve.

Leaning "back" on the steeps to maintain tail pressure seems a very good suggestion (this is the purpose of the climbing bars too, is it not?). I do tend to lean forward a lot up the hill as if I were hiking and pressuring the toe-hold, so that could be a big factor in my performance.

I'd love to demo some of the new manufactured product (particularly the Khyber), but split demos are pretty hard to come by on the east coast; just not a big market out here yet.

Steve

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