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 Post subject: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:06 pm 
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I'm a big dude, 6'3" and 220 lbs, and I like to ride big boards... But for reasons I won't get into here, none of the stock split board offerings are as stable, fast or burly as I prefer for a big mountain all-rounder.

So a few months ago I decided to design my own; I spec'd out a custom design--based on exactly what I want from a deck--and sent it around to three manufacturers whose construction quality I am familiar.

The design:

Length: around 190
Effective edge: about 150
Sidecut: 10.5 - 12m variable radius, tip to tail
Taper: 3.5 - 4 cm
Waist width: around 27
Shovel width: Around 34, 35
Stance: 28" wide
Cambered

Winterstick: Never returned my email.

Prior: Got back to me promptly. They talked to their shaper; they'd do it for $1500, no hardware, with about a month wait. Fair enough.

Sean at Donek emailed me a CAD design of the board and quoted me a price of just shy of $900 shipped, no hardware. We got on the phone and worked out the final particulars of the design, which was fun. It ended up being about 187.5 cm long.

A month later, here she is:

Image

The construction and finish work are excellent.

Image

Here it is against a 181 / 27 rockered Storm (which is a great tree board) for comparison:

Image

I'll post some ride reports once I get it on snow.

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Craig Kelly is my co-pilot
195 Glissade Big Gun
187 Donek Custom Split
181 Venture Storm Solid and Split
173 Rossi Race DIY Swallowtail Split


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:34 pm 
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Pretty nice! $900 is a damn good price for a full custom board.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:59 am 
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Location: Sun Valley, Idaho
Looks awesome, I checked out the Donek site and it seems like a cool operation. I found myself watching his Mono Plate system videos...Kind of interesting stuff. Maybe he'll branch into split boards now that he's done yours, looks very well made.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:18 am 
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Zee wrote:
Pretty nice! $900 is a damn good price for a full custom board.


The length (overall, shovel, tail), width (shovel, waist, tail), taper, side-cut and flex (profile) are all custom. The shovel, camber and tail shapes are not. Each board they sell can be customized in this way, and for no extra cost, which is really, really cool. Alongside the excellent construction quality, this makes for a tremendous value.

My understanding is that Donek plans to offer a splitboard next season.

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Craig Kelly is my co-pilot
195 Glissade Big Gun
187 Donek Custom Split
181 Venture Storm Solid and Split
173 Rossi Race DIY Swallowtail Split


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:35 pm
Posts: 109
Have you weighed your new board? It would be very helpful to me since I'm looking at a similar project.

I'm a bigger guy too (6'4/215lbs) and am looking for a super stiff charger for big mountain and firm snow conditions. I was planning to call Prior and ask for an ATV split in a longer size and bigger waist. This could give me another option which would be great especially at that price point.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:58 am
Posts: 64
Location: Colorado
Wasatch Don, Donek can help. Here is the email. info@donek.com. Tell him the Snowman sent you. Quality is second to none. Think Snow!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Wasatch_Don wrote:
Have you weighed your new board? It would be very helpful to me since I'm looking at a similar project.


Don: It weighs 10.2 pounds as pictured (with clips and hooks).

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Craig Kelly is my co-pilot
195 Glissade Big Gun
187 Donek Custom Split
181 Venture Storm Solid and Split
173 Rossi Race DIY Swallowtail Split


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:03 am 
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Posts: 109
Thanks Taylor, that's actually much less than I was expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 202
Congrats on the new board - may it bring you lots of joy :)

I just wonder why did you get all these holes?

Cheers
Ivo


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1482
Location: Colorado
Taylor: cool stick. I have a couple of questions:

"Sidecut: 10.5 - 12m variable radius, tip to tail"

So you have a regressive sidecut? With a shorter radius in the front section of the board and a longer radius in the rear. I am curious as to why you made this choice.

"Taper: 3.5 - 4 cm"

I like taper, but would think that 4 cm of taper is a lot by any standard. Considering that this amount of taper necessitates a wider board over all (to keep toe and heel drag to a minimum on the rear foot) I am also curious as to your reasoning for so much taper.

It sounds like Donek will build customs (for a very reasonable price), as long as they can use the camber profile of existing forms. All the Doneks I have seen have had a lot of camber-does your board follow suit with a very large amount of camber?

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Great questions, Barrows. This design reflects my attempt to design a versatile, high-performance board that excels across a wide range of speeds and terrains--a board sized to me (long, with lots of surface area and float) that is stable and performs well in trees, steeps, and in high-speed, long-radius turns.

So you have a regressive sidecut? With a shorter radius in the front section of the board and a longer radius in the rear. I am curious as to why you made this choice.

I like to think of it as progressive, but with progressively elongating rather than shortening radii. :)

But yeah, this deck incrementally blends (in something like 100 separate radii) a 10.5 m radius sidecut in the front section into a 12 m a radius sidecut toward the tail.

As a general matter, the larger radii overall (relative to production boards) is fit to my personal preference for long sidecuts and the stability they afford in large radius turns.

By placing a shorter radius up front, (where turn initiation happens, and where my weight is when bearing down in tight trees or making quick, surfy turns) I am facilitating some quickness of turn initiation for when I need and want that (again, in trees).

The longer radius toward the tail is intended to facilitate stability in larger radius, higher speed turns (esp. railing off-piste)--and to a lesser degree in steeps--when I am weighting the aft portions of my board more.

In those ways, the sidecut design is intended to facilitate more versatility and better performance across a wider range of speeds and terrains--and especially the relative speeds at which I'd be encountering those different back-country terrains--than a board with quadradic, radial or (the other) progressive sidecuts.

As an aside, I was surprised to learn that this is how Donek is designing their race boards--for similar reasons, at least in terms of performance attributes at different phases and speeds of turns. I didn't know that until talking to them on the phone. It was a great coincidence because they had already worked out the math of how to do this and how to relate it to profiles, flexes, etc.

I like taper, but would think that 4 cm of taper is a lot by any standard. Considering that this amount of taper necessitates a wider board over all (to keep toe and heel drag to a minimum on the rear foot) I am also curious as to your reasoning for so much taper.

For perspective, as a proportion of overall board length, this board has a tiny bit more taper than a Burton Fish and far less than a Winterstick Swallowtail. And yes, that's a lot of taper.

All three attributes you mention were design goal for me. I wanted a wide board to minimize boot-out. I hate boot out, so a starting point for design was a 27cm waist--a good width for my size 12s. As a general matter, I also wanted a lot of surface area for pow float --but I'm not sure how much actual overall surface area taper adds vs. redistributing it from aft to fore.

In any case, the abundant taper is intended to do a few things. First, and most obviously, it's intended to shift more surface area forward to facilitate nose-float, tail sink and thus a natural, even feeling ride in the pow. In this way, it's also intended to hold forward pressure, as I like to front load boards a bit when making quick, surfy turns in tree pow (tuck-knee, old school style).

Another goal gets again to ease of turn initiation. Upon turn initiation, this board is aiming deeper into a turn than a board without as much taper. This, alongside its sidecut design, should help its tree performance and tighter situations (remember, we are dealing with a 187.5 cm length). I was initially concerned that this could reduce stability at speed by making the board twitchy and overly eager to jump into a turn, but I think that between the nose riding up by virtue of its width and taper and by virtue of the fact that faster turns are not initiated as far forward this will not be a problem.

But I was also trying to facilitate ease of tail release when fishing about in slower, sliding turns--again, as in the trees. Along those same lines, I was trying to facilitate avoidance of tail hang-ups in high-stakes, super-steep hop turn situations. In that way, the taper tail is achieving the same objectives as rockered tail, but without sacrificing stability in high-speed, long-radius turns, as I find to be the case with rockered tails.

It sounds like Donek will build customs (for a very reasonable price), as long as they can use the camber profile of existing forms. All the Doneks I have seen have had a lot of camber-does your board follow suit with a very large amount of camber?


Yes, and the custom price point value really can't be overstated. They have a cad system that allows them to design cores in real time on the phone, or according to specs you send them--and at no extra cost. It is a really, really remarkable thing--especially for a bigger guy like me whose body and thus board requirements are outside the usual production-deck bell-curve.

And yes, this is a cambered and not a rockered board (which, for a number of reasons, is my preference). It has about 8 mm of camber at its highest point. The shovel is 22 cm long; there is a flat section extending aft of that about 10 cm, after which the camber begins (but it sets in very gradually). From the flat section the camber extends aft to the tail, which I prefer for the stability and speed security it affords.

My experience riding rockered boards at speed in powder reminds of trimming a surfboard, where the board could ride at any number of angles (nose v. tail depth) along that rocker short of the shovel actually burring. It's not a sensation I like; it feels inherently unstable, and it forces the rider to keep weight centered rather than affording freedom to throw weight further forward and aft at the start and ends of turns, or as might be needed in a pinch in the face of a terrain surprise. Another reason I like camber is the added stability once on edge. All things being equal, cambered boards grip better. And it's what I've been riding for 28 years; it's familiar.

My understanding is that Donek has nose-flat-cambered and fully-cambered press forms, and you are correct that those forms are not customizable. My understanding based on other posts on this site is that they are developing some rockered or partially rockered forms specific to a split design next year, so that will be an option in the future.

In any case, Barrows, that is some of the thinking behind this design.

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Craig Kelly is my co-pilot
195 Glissade Big Gun
187 Donek Custom Split
181 Venture Storm Solid and Split
173 Rossi Race DIY Swallowtail Split


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am 
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Posts: 156
Location: Boulder
What a fabulous board, great job! Go Go Colorado Customs!

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1482
Location: Colorado
Taylor wrote:
Great questions, Barrows. This design reflects my attempt to design a versatile, high-performance board that excels across a wide range of speeds and terrains--a board sized to me (long, with lots of surface area and float) that is stable and performs well in trees, steeps, and in high-speed, long-radius turns.

So you have a regressive sidecut? With a shorter radius in the front section of the board and a longer radius in the rear. I am curious as to why you made this choice.

I like to think of it as progressive, but with progressively elongating rather than shortening radii. :)

But yeah, this deck incrementally blends (in something like 100 separate radii) a 10.5 m radius sidecut in the front section into a 12 m a radius sidecut toward the tail.

As a general matter, the larger radii overall (relative to production boards) is fit to my personal preference for long sidecuts and the stability they afford in large radius turns.

By placing a shorter radius up front, (where turn initiation happens, and where my weight is when bearing down in tight trees or making quick, surfy turns) I am facilitating some quickness of turn initiation for when I need and want that (again, in trees).

The longer radius toward the tail is intended to facilitate stability in larger radius, higher speed turns (esp. railing off-piste)--and to a lesser degree in steeps--when I am weighting the aft portions of my board more.

In those ways, the sidecut design is intended to facilitate more versatility and better performance across a wider range of speeds and terrains--and especially the relative speeds at which I'd be encountering those different back-country terrains--than a board with quadradic, radial or (the other) progressive sidecuts.

Generally speaking, this type of sidecut should be termed regressive, as the term progressive has been used in the past to describe sidecuts which feature longer radii in the front of the board and shorter radii in the rear of the board. Progressive sidecuts were typically used (and may still be) for free carving boards, as they were fun in that they gave the feeling of acceleration through the turn, with the increased loading generated by the shorter radi at the end of the turn.
As an aside, I was surprised to learn that this is how Donek is designing their race boards--for similar reasons, at least in terms of performance attributes at different phases and speeds of turns. I didn't know that until talking to them on the phone. It was a great coincidence because they had already worked out the math of how to do this and how to relate it to profiles, flexes, etc.

I like taper, but would think that 4 cm of taper is a lot by any standard. Considering that this amount of taper necessitates a wider board over all (to keep toe and heel drag to a minimum on the rear foot) I am also curious as to your reasoning for so much taper.

For perspective, as a proportion of overall board length, this board has a tiny bit more taper than a Burton Fish and far less than a Winterstick Swallowtail. And yes, that's a lot of taper.

All three attributes you mention were design goal for me. I wanted a wide board to minimize boot-out. I hate boot out, so a starting point for design was a 27cm waist--a good width for my size 12s. As a general matter, I also wanted a lot of surface area for pow float --but I'm not sure how much actual overall surface area taper adds vs. redistributing it from aft to fore.

In any case, the abundant taper is intended to do a few things. First, and most obviously, it's intended to shift more surface area forward to facilitate nose-float, tail sink and thus a natural, even feeling ride in the pow. In this way, it's also intended to hold forward pressure, as I like to front load boards a bit when making quick, surfy turns in tree pow (tuck-knee, old school style).

Another goal gets again to ease of turn initiation. Upon turn initiation, this board is aiming deeper into a turn than a board without as much taper. This, alongside its sidecut design, should help its tree performance and tighter situations (remember, we are dealing with a 187.5 cm length). I was initially concerned that this could reduce stability at speed by making the board twitchy and overly eager to jump into a turn, but I think that between the nose riding up by virtue of its width and taper and by virtue of the fact that faster turns are not initiated as far forward this will not be a problem.

But I was also trying to facilitate ease of tail release when fishing about in slower, sliding turns--again, as in the trees. Along those same lines, I was trying to facilitate avoidance of tail hang-ups in high-stakes, super-steep hop turn situations. In that way, the taper tail is achieving the same objectives as rockered tail, but without sacrificing stability in high-speed, long-radius turns, as I find to be the case with rockered tails.

Yup, I never thought about taper amount as a proportion of board length-an interesting idea to ponder... In any case, I agree that taper allows the tail to be smeared about more easily (as you mention, so does tail rocker) without the stability loss that can be attributed to rocker. It seems that turn in (initiation) on this board is going to be quite quick due to high taper angle and quyicker sidecut at the nose-I understand that this approach will suit your riding style (tuck knee does mean something to me, being an "old" guy!). For me (6'1", 170 lbs) I would be concerned about the nose wanting to turn in too quickly (grab) in steep situations, but the length of the board may mitigate this tendency
It sounds like Donek will build customs (for a very reasonable price), as long as they can use the camber profile of existing forms. All the Doneks I have seen have had a lot of camber-does your board follow suit with a very large amount of camber?


Yes, and the custom price point value really can't be overstated. They have a cad system that allows them to design cores in real time on the phone, or according to specs you send them--and at no extra cost. It is a really, really remarkable thing--especially for a bigger guy like me whose body and thus board requirements are outside the usual production-deck bell-curve.

And yes, this is a cambered and not a rockered board (which, for a number of reasons, is my preference). It has about 8 mm of camber at its highest point. The shovel is 22 cm long; there is a flat section extending aft of that about 10 cm, after which the camber begins (but it sets in very gradually). From the flat section the camber extends aft to the tail, which I prefer for the stability and speed security it affords.

My experience riding rockered boards at speed in powder reminds of trimming a surfboard, where the board could ride at any number of angles (nose v. tail depth) along that rocker short of the shovel actually burring. It's not a sensation I like; it feels inherently unstable, and it forces the rider to keep weight centered rather than affording freedom to throw weight further forward and aft at the start and ends of turns, or as might be needed in a pinch in the face of a terrain surprise. Another reason I like camber is the added stability once on edge. All things being equal, cambered boards grip better. And it's what I've been riding for 28 years; it's familiar.

My understanding is that Donek has nose-flat-cambered and fully-cambered press forms, and you are correct that those forms are not customizable. My understanding based on other posts on this site is that they are developing some rockered or partially rockered forms specific to a split design next year, so that will be an option in the future.

In any case, Barrows, that is some of the thinking behind this design.


Taylor, thanks for sharing your thoughts and approach. I agree that Donek is offering very good value in custom possibilities. I have some board designs in my head, (different approaches than yours, to each his own) and may have to try and get one of these built sometime.

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Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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