CN: Really big guy looking for a splitboard to ride trees and such in Colorado. More details bellow.
Hi all, I have been lurking for a while and I have a question about sizing. I have read a lot of the other posts but I have some specific questions on sizing for a big guy.
I am 6'7" 280 pounds(working getting this down), my resort board is a Ride Yukon 172 with Ride SPI binding and size 13 Salomon F22 boots. This gear is well dialed in for the resort and I can ride pretty much any inbound terrain. Living in Colorado I will be playing in the Rockies around here. I really enjoy riding trees, and I have been able to get my 172 through most any trees.
I am looking into getting into the back country. I have the standard gear, beacon, probe, shovel, and I have been reading a bunch about avalanches. I went to the Friends of Berthoud Pass on the snow day with snow shoes and quickly realized that was not going to cut it long term. I am looking at a splitboard but I am unsure what size to get, so keeping in mind that I would like to ride trees in the backcountry here are the boards I am looking at.
The Venture Storm looks really cool, I am looking at the 181 with the 27cm waist width. This size seems really big for tree riding, but I don't think the 171 would be big enough.
The other board I was considering was the Prior Spearhead in a 178. This would be a little shorter, and a little more narrow, maybe a little easier to ride in the tress.
I would love to try these boards out but I can't find these sizes to demo anywhere so I don't think that is an option. So the basic question is will either of the boards above work, and which would you recommend.
Spyder - I ride a 181 Storm and I'm a big guy - 6'3, 220lbs - the Spearhead is a great board, but my strong recommendation would be to go with the Storm.
First, us big guys need as much float as we can get. The Storm offers more board - length and width. Think about it like this: 160 lb guys typically ride 160 cm boards... For us big guys to get an equivalent ratio of weight to board length or surface area, we'd need to be riding boards well into the 200s. So we shouldn't shy away from going big - it's pretty easy to adjust, especially on an easy turning board like the Storm. Plus, I bet you've got big feet, and you'll want the 27 cm waist to avoid heel / toe drag.
Second, the Storm is at its best in the trees. I have a hard time imagining a better board for riding trees, even tight, steep trees. This owes to its rocker and relatively generous side-cut - it loves to turn. It's got a surfy ride, but it's also solid enough to handle pressure from big guys. And it's a great powder board - jumps right up on top of the snow. My only complaint about the board is the tail rocker in the 2009-10 model was a bit too much for the flex and didn't afford enough tail stability at high speed or on ice. Venture corrected that with a stiffer tail flex in subsequent years.
My two cents. Hope this helps, and feel free to PM with other questions.
_________________ Craig Kelly is my co-pilot 195 Glissade Big Gun 187 Donek Custom Split 173 Rossi Race DIY Swallowtail Split
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1181 Location: Colorado
Yup, I would say go for the Storm. I am 6'1" and 170+ lbs, and ride a 166x26 2011 Storm R here in Colorado. I could easily go up to the 170 for a specialized pow board. The rocker makes the Storms really quick turning when needed, so I do not think you will have problems turning even the 181 in the trees. I have a partner who is 6'3" and around 205 lbs or so, and he is on the 171x27 Storm R (2011) Storm R and loves it. These boards are very versatile, and generally ride great in the all the varied backcountry conditions we get in CO, with an emphasis on pow performance.
I rode the Spearhead for a few years and it was great. However, it is a bit better suited for high-speed turns and open shots. I currently ride a 170 Khyber on tree days(6'4 215lbs) and I love it. However, I think that given the extra weight, you'll need a much bigger board.
So I agree with the others, the Storm will suit you better for trees. Go for the 181/27.