OK you baited me, I just put my son down to sleep again, I am awake, I am psyched that it is dumping, and I am going to try to post some photos of The Sickest Bad-Ass Haul-Ass Whoop-Ass Big Mtn snowboards that I know of:
text is under the pictures, if they are even there-
From right to left is the first board, 185 cm. with a short tail, 14 meter sidecut, 3.5 cm taper, 26cm waist, the core made on my lanai on Oahu in 1997 and pressed and ridden in spring of 98 in the Wasatch. It is about 50/50 carbon and glass, full poplar core about 7/16 thick at the nose and 5/8 thick through the back foot, and 3/8 at the tail. These cores are so thick that you have to shape the core instead of bend a flat one into the boards profile. Labor intensive and requires a lot of attention to keep them flat, but no headaches with spring back after laminating them or with them loosing their energy or curve over time. All these boards share the same continuous curve rocker. I glassed the sidewalls with 4 oz glass and heat cured UV surfboard epoxy, board is lammed w/ standard epoxy, pressed at about 50lbs cured at 160-170 and left in the press overnight.
Next board made in 1999, is full profiled or shaped core as well, all poplar, 50% carbon 50% kevlar lay up. seriously stiff with no real top end, but also loose and really responsive form the full curve. 14 meter sidecut blended into a 16 meter sidecut on the tail, 3.5 cm taper. Big sidecuts are really nice when you are really flying and then pop up on a suncrust etc. they hold a similar line and don't make you skid which usually precedes disaster at high speeds.
Third board, the split is definitely the baddest board in this lineup. it is 75% carbon 25% kevlar, not a stitch of fiberglass, stiff like a race room DH board, but fun and loose at low speeds. I have ridden this board for the last decade, but not a lot of days each season since 2006. these boards all just dance at lower speeds and on low angle slopes due to the big smooth rocker line, but because they are so stiff you can just lay them right over on a rail, bury the whole board at speeds where folks in the movies are just straightlining, even in heavier snow (as long as your legs are still fresh). It is a sick board and really makes a hero out of you, I am super proud of it even though it is showing a lot of battle scars. It has taken a lot of hits and never had a rock get into the core. It weighs 10lbs, 7oz with all the hardware on it as shown. This board just tears big arcs or small through serious breakable crust because the nose will only move about 3-4 inches when you are stomping on it. I threw a 12 meter sidecut blended into a 14 on the tail on this one so it would make better wall hits home here in the wasatch. I started making these boards because I was so sick of wanting to bury all of my board in bigger carves and tripping over a soft nose board. I knew my first board was going to really handle speed well, but I was blown away at how fun it also was at lower speeds through the brush etc. too fun, I am glad that everyone is now getting at least a taste of what a rockered board can do. Just wait till they start to stiffen up a bit. It seems like only Volkl skis like their KURO, and Praxis skis and a few others are starting to lock in the curve of their rockered boards with stiffer flex. That is why I labelled my boards Preflex.
No, I do not ride switch, I reckon this board is more like a 192 if it had a standard tail. even thought the tails of these boards are the softest part they are still very stiff, and they really beat you up on a dust on crust day. BTW these boards rip on any snow that you can sink a few inches of rail into, but they will kill you at a resort. The whole edge engages in turns and they edge with a lot of power, but they beat you up in bumpy stuff.
Last board on the left is a much thinner 175cm 50/50 carbon/kevlar, 12 meter sidecut, 7lbs 6oz as I remember w/o hardware. I only use 6 oz carbon fabric, a lot of the strength comes from the core and the distance between the laminations. In contrast a glass board uses around 20 ounce per yard fabric on a real thin core, and you are really riding the glass more than the wood. Glass is relatively supple and stretchy compared to carbon and carbon kevlar lay ups an they make much better board for icy bumpy situations because they absorb a lot of energy by deforming. Hard bumpy snow, you want a softer board to smooth out the ride and keep you connected; soft pliable snow, you want a stiff blade to slice it up with.
next round of boards are going to be Paulownia core, with maple stringers on the edges and a poplar stringer on the inside and under the inserts. This wood is amazing if you have never seen any nice pieces of it. It is between balsa and poplar in weight, really nice fine grain and doesn't sponge resin like balsa or shear like foam.
I hope the pictures posted, . . . crap they didn't Ok, I put links in if they don't work and you are interested pm me
+ 1 on Apo Boards and the Apocalypse in particular (if you can find one!) Apo boards are great, I rode (and sold) "A" snowboards for years and have ridden the original Apocalypse's. I bought a stack of the Apo Family 162's last year from a liquidator. Regis Rolland is the man and has forgotten more about boarding than we may ever know.
I have a Palmer 164 Boarder-Cross specific board that absolutely dominates. Scary fast, stiff, with a titanium shank running down the middle. It has major effective edge 136-140cm and a 11 meter sidecut. I was going to split this but a have too many already. Plus its fun to go 60+mph on groomer days.
_________________ Talking about snowboarding is like dancing about architecture...
Thanks John, although realize that John has been riding cambered 190s and 200s for some time and I think he weighs about 30 pounds less than I do. That is working a rail!
I would second the rad airs as look like good big mountain boards, but even though they are for sale in some europe locations, it looks they havent been distributed to the US yet. The older ones were really light with a channeled core, beefed up with a little aramid and carbon. Big very rockered boards are still really easy to turn at low speeds, they just kill you in April negotiating the low elevation brush after 4-5 climbs with 20-30 lbs of adhesive spring pow stuck on the deck.
I spent a bit of time on a Glissade 185 and 175. Glissades can handle a lot of speed too but seem to have dwindled out of the market as well.
I think any cambered boards that are really stable through being stiff really lose a lot of responsiveness and manueverability at low speeds especially in drier snow. I would reckon that Regis' boards (APOs) are real versatile to handle the few 1000s of feet of ice and hardpack that it looks like one is regularly subjected to in the Alps. But how do you get a real stiff cambered board to be playful on low angle slopes and wiggling through trees at more moderate speeds? One prevents the other
The Glissade Big Gun 195 is far and away the most burly big mountain board I've ever ridden. Nothing else I've ridden really even compares - it's in a league all its own. I absolutely cherish mine... and am so bummed that they're no longer pressing boards.
_________________ 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