Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:12 pm Posts: 2 Location: Seattle, WA
I'm ready to dish out the cash for a split. Not enough cash to get a prior, but enough for a voile. Though, I'm concerned about a few things:
173 freeride -- is it stiff enough? I'm only 160 lbs, but like stiff boots, stiff bindings, might throw some plate bindings and hardboots on it in the future, and want to be able to drive an edge in without the nose buckling.
171 mtn gun -- I don't want the extra width, I have small feet, ride reasonably steep soft boot angles and may even try throwing my bomber TDs on there and use hardboots. I certainly don't need the width, I don't want it, will I notice it? (on that note, is it a ridiculous idea to simply put my regular old trench diggers on a split? Will it just be way too heavy? Is it possible to dismantle them and just put the toe and heel paltes on the voile plate?)
Finally, the only thing making me hesitant to try to find a 182 freeride is my concern about skinning becoming more technically difficult with the extra length. My reg. board is a burton supermodel 181 and it's perfect in every way. It's not super still, but it is long, and has a very narrow waist for a freeride board considering its length. Should I just ditch fancies of these short boards and just get the 182? (I dont think i want a swallowtail).
Good luck with your choice. one thing I can say from experience, I had a voile 182. the skins dont cut it . of course that was stock voile skins. With the 130mm skins it might be better, especially if you get the length right. come steep sidehilling with aslick skin track; that was misery! I use raichle concordia boots with a burton racing binding plate. that setup is sweet light and easy
I used to ride a Super model with plates. Fun, but definatly turny and skiddish (for me). Narrow waist, but also a deep sidecut. I'd venture to say the Freeride would be similar, but haven't been on one.
I have a Voile 171 Gun with modified Cateks (see my Gun mods thread in the Board Review's). Very damp, and for a guy used to riding stiff BX/ GS boards, not all that stiff really. Did I mention it was damp? Super quite on the gromers with moderate speed, and it switches edge to edge rather well, quicker them my Supermodel used to, granted that was with Burton Carrier plates on it. Very easy to ride, and I think I'd feel undergunned with something softer. I'm about 150-160lbs, 5'10"ish. Not super lively felling, but very predictable. I actually don't feel the width that much over a 24cm waisted Donek Incline.
I think you could get the TD1's to work, but I'd drop everything save the toe and heel blocks, bails and throw. You might have to shim them off the slider plate to prevent the shoulders of the bails from rubbing (they extend lower then the blocks), but its fialry easy. Hell, thats what Fin did with the Bomber Split binding!. If your foot is over 27, you might not be able to mount the plate. I'm a 26. and used the last holes on the Voile plate with my Catek mod.
I haven't been in softboots for years, so its hard to comment, but if you are riding plates, I think you would be happy on the Gun.
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 5051 Location: California
You didn't tell us what type of riding you like to do (pow, steeps, tight couloirs, all) and in what type of conditions (pow, corn, ice, all), but based on your locale, I'd recommend the 171 MTN Gun.
The Freeride Series is designing for softer, lighter snow (not really the PNW pow). Are you worried the 171 might be too short? Remember that the board is tapered so it will ride longer than it is in powder yet it will still have the ability to make quick turns. When its not deep powder you'll also have the benefit of a shorter board.
As for the width, I have an US 8.5-9 and I'm fine on anything under 25.6 or 25.7. What size are your feet?
My .02 is the shorter, stiffer, tapered Mtn Gun 171 will be a more versatile board but I'm sure you can go wrong with either.
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:43 pm Posts: 441 Location: Western Washington
For our riding out here, I'd vote for the Mtn. Gun. Stiffer board would be better for our variable stuff. I ride a homemade split 178 Oxygen at your weight. Haven't done a real technical skin track yet, so I can't comment on the length...yet.
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