Forums Splitboards What choose – Voile Mountain Gun 161 or 171 ?
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  • #567815
    4 Posts

    Excuse my poor English. I’m riding on Elan freeride board 165cm (specs I’ve forgot, but It’s like mountain gun). Hard skialp boots 9.
    I’m 175cm tall with weight 70kg. Angles 40 – 20. Riding on all snow conditions, but steep firn couloirs are still a little bit difficult for me. No trees, only pure snow between rocks, glaciers and so on. I love carving and speed, but every time and mountain isn’t good for it. I hesitate between 161 or 171 lenght. Please, what shall I buy ?

    (by the way – super forum)

    2068 Posts

    Welcome. I’m by no means an expert but I’d definelty say the 171. fast carving, no trees=longer board. A rule of thumb I’ve heard several times is: by your splitboard 3-5cm longer than your resort board.

    BC=More deeep POW.

    4 Posts

    And what about riding in steep firn couloirs ? Fast turns, low speed, close field between rocks…isn’t long board wrong for this ?
    For others conditions I thing 171 is best for me.

    116 Posts

    I weigh 175-185 and chose a 161, on the advice of Don Barney at Voile. It nosedives sometimes if I don’t pay attention when descending with a pack, but it’s easy to flick around on steep and narrow or icier terrain. When the budget permits, I’m going to pick up a 178ST for winter touring (more powder); when I bought my board, I talked to DJ Barney (Don) at Voile, and he said that he’d ended up with pretty much the same quiver, for the same reasons. Specialization, mostly. He’s about 2″ shorter than me and 10lbs. or so lighter. Personally I have settled upon a strategy of either going for things in-a-day or from-a-basecamp so that I don’t have to descend anything steep with a big pack. Just a 10 oz. summit pack, some water, a snack, and avy tools for peak bagging (where I deliberately chase the steeper lines). Then retrieve the ‘mid and overnight junk for the easier ride back down, and lean way back while cruising :-). Plus, I pack light.

    I saw a Voile swallowtail on eBay this winter, it went for ~$500 I think? Boy I sure wish I’d thought to pick that puppy up. But then again, even on Tyndall, Williamson, Darwin, and Shasta, the crux of the descent is above basecamp, so I’m not losing *that* much sleep over it. I’d like a swallowtail for winter touring or longer tours, but then again, for longer tours I have an AT rig, and what I *really* want is a pair of stupid-light 1.5-camber waxless skis like the Atomic Chugachs so I can go faster on things like the High Route. I digress… a lot.

    The fact of the matter is that short boards tend to work better for knocking around in steep chutes, while long boards (particularly swalllowtails) are better for deep powder and heavy packs. You’re going to have to either compromise a little or buy 2 boards. Or ski sometimes 😉

    For what it’s worth, I seem to recall BCD riding a Mtn Gun 171 in the Mendel Couloir. The top was ~70 degrees (his estimation), and he nailed it, which kind of goes to show that it’s not the brush that makes the painting. 🙂 (aka “tis a poor craftsman who blames his tools”)

    Jon Dahl
    384 Posts

    If you are not comfortable on that Elan in the steeps, by all means get the 161. If you ride a lot of deep snow in open terrain, get a longer freeride series split. Softer flex works better there. It does get easier to build a quiver after you purchase your second board, I’m at seven boards right now and still looking!

    81 Posts

    i too am deciding whether to get a mtn gun 161 or 171…

    i’m 5’8″ 160#. i’ve ridden 12+ years, and i ride pretty aggressively. in the resorts i usuallly ride between a 159 and a 163, and have felt comfortable in the biggest sierra dumps to the lightest utah powder days.

    i’ve had 2 years of snowshoeing with the board strapped to the pack here in the wasatch, and have ridden a 159 solomon fastback from several years ago…love the shape and flex on that board!! i’ve felt perfectly comfortable with that board in the BC.

    i’ve ridden a friends 169 in-bounds (on a good powder day) and loved it for the surfy feel, but also felt that it was a bit wide, and a little sluggish edge to edge. though it did feel like a cadillac. plush!

    i’ll be doing single day-trips in the wasatch this winter, probably in mostly wide open terrain, with the occasional steep chutes, rock drops, tight hop-turns, and the occasional spins…

    i have access to a friend’s 161 for a good price. could i go wrong in purchasing it??? or should i pony up the extra $$ for the 171, which i feel may be too big?? of course, the dollar speaks loudly.

    thank you for all your help and commentary in adavance. love all the posts, and excited to join the SB community.

    116 Posts

    I am 2.5″ taller and weigh 15-25 pounds more than you (depending on how good of a shape I am in) and I find my 161 to be great in all but the fluffiest conditions. With a full pack (20-30 pounds for an overnighter) it can get to be a bit of a pisser on tours in winter conditions, but if you’re just doing day trips with a light pack, I can’t see how you could go wrong. The nice thing about a 161, as you hinted, is that you can make tight turns and whip it around in a hurry when things get steeper and narrower.

    Most of the longer tours that I set out on take place in the spring, when the snow is more consolidated and thus the flotation is not as big of an issue. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a swallowtail, though, which is what I really want for full-on white-smoke powder dumps. My Rossi Undertaker is in Japan with my little brother (it snows more or less continuously from December through April in Sapporo), but I know what I like to ride in blower pow, and it ain’t a Mtn Gun. So…

    If you can get a crushing deal on a 161 and save the money, my suggestion would be to pack light (always a good idea anyhow) and enjoy the extra gas money for your trips.

    38 Posts

    Voile is going to release the mtn gun in 153 and 166 cm lengths later this year. If you already planning on spending the full price, you might want to wait and get the prefered length. If you can wait that is.

    4 Posts

    That is very nice report, but I will need a split in march. Voile didnt make delivery for europe (I know why), from spring I had booked Mountain gun 161. Lenght 166 will be the best. In next few days I will probably take burton s-series 168. thanks a lot.

    467 Posts

    From my experience, an extra 10 cm is hardly going to make a difference between landing a jump turn or careening into the rocks in a narrow couloir. Its all about personal ability.

    However, the extra 10 cm IS noticeably helpful when trying to stay afloat while surfing that ideal pow you might encounter in said couloir.

    Hawaiian longboarders in the 50’s had it right: longer is better in the ocean and the couloir.

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