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 Post subject: Re: Initial Ride Impressions: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:16 am
Posts: 482
Edited

Here's a ride report after having ridden this board in trees, steeps, wind-load and deep pow. In short, its combination of quickness, speed stability and abundant float makes it the most capable all-around off-piste design I've ever ridden. I adjusted to and forgot about the board far sooner than any other I've ridden; it's naturally fit to my forward riding style (which is great because I can't tell you how bad it would suck to pay for a custom deck and have that not be the case).

This board is an aggressive and unusual design, with a combo of (1) long length, (2) wide width, (3) aggressive taper, and (4) regressive medium --> long sidecut radii. I thought I knew how it'd ride, but you never know. I definitely had questions about how it'd ride (see earlier discussion on this thread), but I had pretty strong intuition as well. Luckily, intuition served me. I will probably have a solid version of this design pressed, perhaps slightly stiffer for resort riding.

Again, specs:

Length: 187cm
Effective edge: 151 cm
Width: 27cm
Shovel width: 34.4cm
Shovel length: 22 cm
Tail width: 30.6
Tail legnth: 17 cm
Taper: 3.8 cm
Stance offset: 4.5 cm
Stance width: up to 28"
Sidecut: 10.5 - 12m variable regressive radius
De-cambered (flat) nose and tail

Float: This is first and foremost a powder design (pow is why I ride back country), and that's where it most shines; the board floats beautifully at all speeds--I can't sink the shovel. This owes to the aggressive taper, overall surface area (length and width, surface area shifted forward), and stance set back. It's also very well balanced; moving from packed to powder snow requires virtually no fore-aft weight shift.

Turn In: Initiates turns and can get sideways very quickly, making it agile in tight situations. This owes to the regressive sidecut radii and aggressive taper placing more sidecut further forward, sharpening the turn-in angle, and reducing the amount of effective edge behind the back foot. On flatter terrain, fast turn in requires a riding style that exerts forward pressure on the board. Riding in the back seat makes turn in sluggish.

Turn Release: Conserves speed when exiting turns. Turn release is fast, quiet and efficient. It doesn't pop, rebound or try to turn back across the hill. It does so while maintaining tail-hold. This owes to the regressive sidecut's longer (faster) radii at rear of the board (and end of a turn) and the diminished sidecut exit angle resulting from longer radius aft and the aggressive taper. Overall the sidecut is still long enough so that it smears and slarves naturally - those turns are also enhanced by the taper.

Speed Stability: Very stable at speed. It chews up chopped powder in big GS turns. It rails beautifully. It most excels at big, high speed powder arcs. Though sharply tapered, the rocker-less tail affords plenty of stability. It's not hooky or twitchy nor does it try to initiate turns on its own (a concern I had given the turn-in angle resulting from the taper). Even at relatively high speeds moving from packed to powder snow requires very little fore-aft weight shift.

Steep Stability: I have not ridden on hard pack or icy steeps; I have ridden relatively soft (for steeps) wind-deposited terrain that I estimate was around 55 - 60 deg (hand on wall) -- but not overly long shots. In these situations the board maintained good trip. the longer radius sidecut out back feels really stable and secure. In hop turns, it falls into place smoothly and quickly after the turn apex, though the length of the board makes hop turns more burdensome than would be the case with a board designed for steeps. (This is far from the board I'd design for steeps, but it seems to handle such terrain nicely. I reserve judgement for steep terrain on harder snow conditions.)

What I'd change: At this point, nothing. I do wonder how short I could go before losing the above-described ride attributes. But that's not an experiment worth paying for. As with any design, I will likely come up with ideas for changes with more time and more variable conditions. But I really couldn't be happier with the result. I've never been so comfortable on and confident in a snowboard in my life. It's in an entirely different league than any other split I've ridden. Fun.

That's my report. For a parting shot, here's a pic mounted with bindings and hardware:

Image

_________________
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: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:58 am
Posts: 64
Location: Colorado
Nice review Taylor. I have a 167 Donek Nomad split with a custom scr config of 7/15m and lots of carbon on the way. I might be able to shed some light on your question of loosing length. I am coming off of a custom 174 Prior 4wd split. I loved that board but it did have some limitations, namely the singular sidecut of around 12m an it's relatively plankish flex pattern. Oh well, it is what it is and served me very well. The new deck will be a huge jump in technology, lots lots lighter and much more versatile. Ill let you know when I get it on the snow.

Think Snow!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Donek Split
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:16 am
Posts: 482
You should post pics and specs when that board gets out of the press. I'm particularly interested in weight (carbon). I'm sold on regressive sidecuts. I'd be interested to feel how a 7 to 15 scr rides; that's a wide span.

With this board, I suspect I could take about 5-10cm off the overall length while keeping the shovel width and a proportional amount of taper without totally upending the float and stability attributes.

_________________
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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 Profile  
 
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