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 Post subject: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:42 am 
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Looking for some geeky discussion here. Many of you who ride resort as well as backcountry have probably noticed this. On days when the snow is hard, but chalky, edgeable, and fairly smooth, I often see strong skiers arcing big GS turns down the hill. I pretty much never see snowboarders do this, and when I try, I tend to end up slipping out some on my edges. Keep in mind this is at high speed on somewhat steep terrain, such as straightlining a chute or out of a drop, then going into a big turn to control speed. Think Silver Fox at Snowbird type of stuff, after it hasn't snowed in a week. The snow is hard, but carveable at lower speeds.

My theories:

1) Most snowboard sidecut radiuses are around 8-10 meters. Most freeride skis are 20-30 meters. The snowboards short radius tries to hook into a very tight turn that is too tight for the speed, and the edge slips. Trying to force the board to make a larger carve inherently causes some slip that is then amplified by the speed?

2) A snowboards single edge can't hold as well as skiers two edges, thus the boarder must be even stronger to apply the pressure needed to hold a carve.


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:36 pm 
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total boarding tech geek here. correct on 1, but also most board's flex patterns are also designed for the smaller turn, slower speeds matching the deep sidecut. I've found that 13-14 meters is pretty spot on for fast carving but dependent on stiffer flex and torsion also. wrong on 2, If you didn't start on skis, watch a slo-mo gs or downhill racer video, its mostly weight on one foot at hardest apex of the turn, when a racer isn't bobbling or handling ruts. watch thin white line about the downhill, it's incredible really http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-NL-iby9zY

I recommend a Donek


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Is this that gotroff guy again?

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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 369
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Another board geek.

As mentioned, sidecuts tend to be too small on freeride boards. GS snowboard sidecuts are up to 20+ meters.

There is too much torsional flex and longitudinal flex on a normal width softboot snowboard to handle the higher forces of a carved turn at speed. My 16m Furberg will lock into a big carve, but cannot be pushed without the board twisting off. GS snowboards are much more torsional and longitudinally stiff. They are also narrower, in part, to decrease the pressure required to keep it on edge at speed (also for quicker edge changes and so that they are more torsionally stiff). The drawback is that a torsionally stiff board will make it harder to initiate low speed turns.

There are significant limitations to the load that snowboard softboots can handle (modified splitboard AT boots are also soft). Alpine hardboots (much stiffer and heavier than AT boots or softboots) are beefy and can lay down a serious carve at speed as long as the rider has the skill. Likewise, ski boots are beefy.

As mentioned, two edges seem to be better than one. Skiers can continue carving on tracked out groomers when it is really difficult for a GS snowboard to continue carving. GS competitions on skis are much higher speeds than GS competitions on snowboards.

Softboot carving can be helped with a very stiff softboot, stiff binding set up, and a torsionally stiff board.

Backcountry conditions generally make it a bit risky to carve a snowboard as the rider runs the risk of stuffing the nose in a soft patch of snow. Even on firmer days, there is enough inconsistency in the snow density that finding a soft patch is always possible. The vast majority of backcountry turns are slarved.

Sometimes it is possible though.

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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Personal opinion, but most snowboards are simply too small. one-nine-five :twocents:
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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:07 pm
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Thanks for the answers. Just to be clear, I'm talking about off piste freeride/big mountain style of riding. Carving groomers is fun though, and a lot transfers over to freerriding, I just can't imagine charging bumps, tree runs, and cliffs in hardboots. Maybe just cuz I've never seen anyone do it. As far as size, I ride a board most would consider big for my size. A 165 wide, I'm 5'10, 155 lbs. The reason for it is I can ride very close to centered and be able to pressure the nose, and if I do hit a soft patch I won't get tip dive, most of the time at least:). Trying out a 180 or so would be cool.


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
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Location: Colorado
Great responses in this thread. I would suggest that almost all free ride splits have too much sidecut, but as Buell notes, even with longer radius sidecuts, the boards are too soft, especially torsionally, to hold a really high G long radius carve at high speed.
But, there is hope… a reliable, high speed, stable, slarve can be pulled off in the conditions described, and slarves like this can work very well.
I would rather see 14-20 m radius sidecuts on the majority of backcountry splits, boards with these types of radii are still easy to get quick turns out of with contemporary rocker profiles and tend to be much more capable (stable) when dealing with variable snow conditions at all speeds.

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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
claymond wrote:
Thanks for the answers. Just to be clear, I'm talking about off piste freeride/big mountain style of riding. Carving groomers is fun though, and a lot transfers over to freerriding, I just can't imagine charging bumps, tree runs, and cliffs in hardboots. Maybe just cuz I've never seen anyone do it. As far as size, I ride a board most would consider big for my size. A 165 wide, I'm 5'10, 155 lbs. The reason for it is I can ride very close to centered and be able to pressure the nose, and if I do hit a soft patch I won't get tip dive, most of the time at least:). Trying out a 180 or so would be cool.


Not advocating anything. For me, alpine hardboots are for riding groomers only. I have other board and boot combinations for the rest of my riding. Just using the GS board / freeride board comparison to highlight some points.

I have owned a 200 Tanker and I am only 145 pounds. That was big and novel, but not versatile. It was insanely fast and stable though.


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:34 pm 
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I think it's very cool of companies like Donek and Furberg to be bringing ideas to the market that are innovative. And I wish I could support them more, but the price point is too high at this point. It's a bummer, but the wasatch is rocky, I go through a couple solids a year at Snowbird and usually one split a year. I just don't have the money to buy a $650+ board that often, which sucks because manufacturers will change when people are buying the new tech.


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:36 am 
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claymond wrote:
I think it's very cool of companies like Donek and Furberg to be bringing ideas to the market that are innovative. And I wish I could support them more, but the price point is too high at this point. It's a bummer, but the wasatch is rocky, I go through a couple solids a year at Snowbird and usually one split a year. I just don't have the money to buy a $650+ board that often, which sucks because manufacturers will change when people are buying the new tech.



Good thing you are not a skier then!

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http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:44 am 
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Location: Colorado
One other thing I have been thinking about is upping torsional stiffness, while keeping longitudinal flex about the same (although I prefer my splits on the stiff end of the spectrum, still much softer than a GS race board). I have some ideas I am mulling about in my head, hopefully, at some point soon, these will make their way into a new board design.
A little more torsional stiffness, combined with a bit longer radius sidecut, should allow for a little better ability in medium radius turns at speed (I accept that snowboards are just not really suited to really long arced turns).
Skis have always been the better tool for those who really want to go fast… but really fast speeds really only occur on super hard packed race courses anyway, not in the backcountry.

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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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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:26 am 
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I see the speed as an issue more than alot of people because most of my partners, inbounds and backcountry, are skiers that haul ass. Can't let them smoke me!

I wonder why there aren't any mainstream manufacturers making boards that are stiff, tough, and designed for only strong riders to handle. With splitboarding getting so popular, and freeriding overall, I'd think there's demand. I'm thinking boards equivalent to skis like the Rossignol RC112.


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 Post subject: Re: GS Turns on firm chalky snow
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:31 am 
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This is precisely the type of large radius off piste turning I like to make, terrain and snow conditions allowing. It requires a very specialized board (as aptly noted by others above) and good doses of leg and core strength. I will chime in with some specific thoughts about board design (size, taper, scr, flex profiles) attributes when back at my computer tomorrow. In my opinion there are no production splits suited to this style of riding. I second Donek.

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