Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:16 am Posts: 4 Location: Laguna Beach & Mammoth Lakes, California
First off, congrats to Chris and to all of you for making this forum as awesome as it is, and the go-to place for backcountry snowboarding stoke. Nice work.
Now, down to da bizzness at hand...
So my son JT has really put some time into honing his all-mountain skils the past couple of years. The kid who once asked me "are there lifts at Saddlebag Lake?" and said flat out "I'm not going then, no way" when he found out he'd have to hike, has begun to change his tune. It started with his first powder days season before last, and on our last bluebird pow day a couple of weeks back he even beat BT and I to the top, catching the first gondy car to make it past the mid-station, just as the flag dropped. Now he's starting to realize that there might just be some kind of major unknown reward out there away from the hill. Being 14 and getting into physical primetime helps too, of course. The time has come for JT to hit the bc with us.
Anyway, I don't know much about splitboards beyond what I've learned from hanging out and touring with Chris a bit at Shasta one winter, and in the spring at Tioga... soooo, anybody want to educate me? What do I need to know when it comes time to get him set up? He's tipping the scale at close to a buck and a half, and beginning to move from competent to truly pretty talented (I can say this without bragging 'cause he ain't got my genes) so I'd like to get him a board that will keep up with him in the bc as he continues to improve.... and I don't even know enough to ask the right questions. Any and all input would be appreciated.
Oh and here's a couple of pics of JT... the first is from last week at Mammoth, on a windy, wind-buff day in Avy 3:
And some of you may have already seen this one in a thread on our site, but it's my favorite so I'll repost it here. The kid has turned into a helluva surfer too, and he's bringing his summer style to his snowboarding... I really dig that.
Anyway, congrats again, and thanks in advance.
_________________ \"I have common sense, I just choose not to use it.\"--JT, My 10 year-old stepson.
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:15 pm Posts: 2451 Location: san diego CA
Well Mitch...looks like he is outfitted in outer wear so you have that covered.
What size board is he riding now? I know that Mammoth Mountaineering has a 154cm Voile Mojo for demo . If thats too small he will have to jump up to a 162 cm.
Has he been riding with a pack? And of course ...how about Avy skills?
But really if he is already charging the lifts then the main thing would be putting him in the right size board.
A few of the members here are getting away from the traditional thinking of a Bigger board for the Backcountry and I think they are on to something. I would recommed staying about the same size in length and he will be able to use his current binding/boot set up .
For you though it will take about an Hour to get the hardware on the Voile adjusted .....and He may not be able to get his exact stance ...but real close to it.
Then just make him practice the transition from split to skin mode in the hotel room.
And on Voile's site they have 3 really good tutorials on how to install skins,how to skin , and how to transition
Mitch slumming on splitboard.com! Better not let the tele crew find about this one!
There isn't much to it really. Tex gave pretty solid advice. I would get him a Mojo to start off with. I got a hunch you are pretty friendly with the Voile crew. A board that is slightly larger than what he is currently riding is generally the rule of thumb. 4-6 cm or so. Because the Mojo is a pintail, it will float so it's not as important, but hey if the rule of thumb works for him than go with it.
As far as transition goes, it just takes a little practice. Make sure that when the bindings are mounted they are too far forward on the plates as to impede skinning. Generally I find that the front two screws in the disc go 6 or 7 holes back from the front of the plate. With him not being a big gorilla like me, it might be even further forward. Basically you want it centered as possible since if you get it too far back it's just weird riding on it.
Everything else is pretty much the same as far as touring goes. It just takes practice for those of us who are only familiar with the sideways slide. I always get a kick out of first time splitters and remember how it was for me. You might want to stay away from steep ascents that involve lot's of kick turns for the first few outings. God forbid if it involves a patroller turn.
The other thing you have to do is take a lot of pics of your boys first day out and post a trip report.
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2373 Location: California
Mammoth Mounteering--tell them Chris sent you. I say Mojo too. Lightest, smallish sizes, all mountain board. You know avy and all the skinning things that may come up. The transition is what it is. My advice is don't make him feel rushed. I remember feeling stressed cause I thought people were missing turns because of my slow ass. Tell him to get a transition routine and do it the same way everytime. Once I started doing that I ended up eliminating some inefficiencies, packing a little different, etc. And now I'm usually not the last transitioner anyomore.
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4985 Location: California
Right on Mitch and JT!
I've been stoked on seeing the pics of JT on ttips recently. Even 3-4 years ago the kid had style...
Good advice all around. I'd venture to say he'd be good on a 161 Mojo or a 162 Burton. Both are great all mountain boards with the Burton having a slightly better flex but a tad heavier. Based on your relationship with Voile I'm sure that will offer the best price but the Burton's are plenty reasonable as well.
For now he can use a set of his existing bindings (use the lightest and lowest profile he has) but eventually you'll want to get him some Spark Ignitions. He'll have better performance and he'll be faster on the up because they are way lighter (win-win for both of you). The binding incorporates the slider track attachment into the binding (same idea I told you about many, many years ago).
For boots, his regular boots will work fine. When it comes time to upgrade he'll want to choose something light with a good liner.
I'm sure you guys will figure everything else out, if not don't hesitate to ask!
ps. My boy is twelve and ready to hit the bc too, lets do saddlebag this spring!
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:12 am Posts: 829 Location: PNW Hood Canal
The transition is what it is. Tell him to get a transition routine and do it the same way everytime. Once I started doing that I ended up eliminating some inefficiencies, packing a little different, etc.
Ecobrad, great advice that I'm gonna take to heart. I have fumbled with a few different transition methods and have not yet settled on a routine. You are so right that I can percieve much more efficient transitions once I follow the same routine. Thanks.
_________________ Mumbles...addicted thanks to sb.com
Mojo 171 / ST 178 / C-Split 165 / DIY Johan 162
Sparks Ignition II's / Mr. Chomps
DC Torch / Lowa Structura EVO AT