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"Exotic" boarding gear?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm the kind of guy who usually likes to do things right the first time.
For the last two seasons I've been riding a Burton board with some DC boots I bought used off a buddy and I feel like getting some new equipment.
now I normally kind of like buying the good stuff off the bat so I can "grow" into it and future proof myself for the upcoming years so what is a good board, binding and boot I should look out for? I want to get something pretty gnarly seeing as I've saved up some $$ so I was just looking for some suggestions as to what you guys can recommend. I don't really do crazy rails or jumps or anything like that but I like to hit the smaller kickers sometimes. I'm mostly just into straight forward riding but I want a good combination of gear that performs. when I ride I usually go to big bear or mt. high (when theres snow) sprinkled with trips to tahoe. anything out there besides Burton that you can recommend? I'm not really into the whole 'snowboard' thing, which is why i'm asking. I just want some good stuff. thanks
post #2 of 9
You need to find a demo days that is going to have the whole product line from the company you are interested in. That way you can narrow down the choices and compare performance. That's how I decided on my last board. I would check out Never Summer, Palmer, but I really do love my brand new Atomic. Check the manufacturer's websites for their schedules. Palmer is going to be at Loveland for a free demo day this weekend.
post #3 of 9
There are lots of things to think about when looking for a board. How big are you feet? If you are a relative of bigfoot, you will likely want a wider board. For local hills and hard snow, you won't need a lot of float in your board for powder, but having more surface area can sure help a lot when Tahoe gets a big dump. Only you can decide how to make the tradeoff of wider width for more foot room+powder float vs. slower edge to edge performance on harder snow and longer length for faster speed+powder float vs slower turning on harder snow+harder to do tricks. You also want to look at stiffness. A too stiff high end board will make it hard for you to "grow into" expert skills because you won't be able to learn how to bend the board. A too soft board will wash out on turns and you'll have trouble riding at faster speeds. Factor in your weight and height and riding ability to determine the right stiffness. Sorry, there is no numeric scale to compare one board against another. It sounds like you'll want something in the middle vs getting a board with a "stiff" or "soft" description. You'll definitely want a "freeride" type board (binding holes drilled towards the back and flex pattern set to ride better in a forward mode) vs a "freestyle" type board (holes and flex pattern in the middle for bi-directional performance). Look for the sidecut numbers to compare how "turny" the board will be when put on edge. The greater the difference between the tip +tail widths and the center width, the more turny it will be. The more of a difference between tip and tail width, the more the board will help you start your turns (assuming the tip is wider than the tail). You may or may not want this. A higher quality board will have more expensive materials in it. These materials may deliver more performance and reliability or they may be overkill. That's a judgement you'll have to make. There are tons of great boards on the market. Even after narrowing for the above factors, you could still have dozens to choose from. Only you can decide what's best for you, but don't be afraid to go to a shop and let them help educate you on factors that can help narrow down your choices. Daysailer's advice on looking for a demo day should be taken to heart! Demo guys get paid to steer you to the right model for your riding. Riding a board for real is much better than guessing based on specs.
post #4 of 9
O yeah - and I moved your thread to the gear forum
post #5 of 9
Thanks Rusty, you explained that better than I did. I read alot into the post. Chriscart1 it seemed like you wanted to more freeride than freestyle.

How I decided my new gear this season:

I bought a new pair of boots this season. My feet and the expert guidance at Boulder Ski Deals decided my final choice. I have long and extremely narrow feet so I ended up with Salomon "Dialogues". I would have preferred to get a woman's boot but my foot is too long. Salomon's run narrow. Your foot will be different. The handles on the Salomon's make getting in and out of the boots a snap, they are comfy and warm and offer my ankles lots of support. I do more all-mountain freeride. I've seen a few other around the WP ski school locker room too. Your style of riding may determine your boot.

I didn't buy a new pair but I just like FLows in general. It's a personal preference. I bought the Pro C FR's a few years ago cause I know I needed a more freeride type binding. I wouldn't use them in any freestyle situation.

My board decisions depend on what I want out of my next board. Also I have a bum left knee and I ride regular so I need something that won't kill my knee when I twist the board. A really stiff board can be painful. I wanted a new all-mountain board this year that was light, responsive, not too stiff but could carve, and float in the powder. I got some nice promotional material from Atomic. I checked out their website and what their product line was. I narrowed my choices down to 3 boards. I thought the Radon would be it but wasn't sure. I went to demo days at Loveland in November. I tried the three different boards at the Atomic booth. I tried the Radon but it ended up being too stiff for me. The Cold Smoke was the same spec's but was a little softer. After three runs I knew I found the board that would give the performance I wanted for me. Your expectations will be different. Someone tried to talk me outta this board cause they thought it would be too narrow for me. I'm glad I ignored them because I'm getting the board performance I was looking for. I would have bought the wrong board if I hadn't gone to demo days. What you want out of a board is more important than the name on the board. Check out websites and reviews. Narrow down your choices and then go demo boards. Try different lengths too.

Happy Shopping.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks for the informative post therusty. my shoe size is about 10.5 and I don't hit much powder, mostly just the hardpacked, manmade snow at Big Bear so I think I'd like a more narrow board.
thats sound advice too on the flex... I definitely don't need anything with too little or too much flex in it. I guess I'll just have to look into the demo days up there and see if I can check out some gear. new boots I'll definitely get this year then next I'll probably get a new board and bindings.
which is why I asked about 'exotic' equipment... I was wondering if there was some cool italian snowboard boots or something that I could buy... anything that isn't mainstream is cool with me
post #7 of 9
Here are a few "exotic" snowboard groups that make fine stuff for WC racers:





But I wouldn't rule out Prior, Coiler and also Donek, each made over here in North America. They'll cost a lot less and the quality is there.

Has anyone ridden any of these? I'd like to hear what you have to say.
post #8 of 9
I've ridden Prior and Donek freeride boards through their life cycles, they're very nice boards each with their different emphases. I wouldn't recommend either to the o.p., though, unless he can demo first as it sounds like he's not sure what feels good for his particular riding style yet. If he can't demo I'd first see if the Burton still has some camber left, if it does why replace it? Which Burton is it? What stance angles do you ride with those 10.5 feet?

In terms of exotic gear, my advice would be to go with merino wool base and mid-layers or softshells as a way to get your exotic groove on, and maybe a soulful looking wool hat. If you simply want a board that's visually distinctive Arbor makes gorgeous topsheets and Lib Tech imo has some great prints, plus they're made near Canada.
post #9 of 9
I've ridden Tomahawk - which is on same level as the above mentioned and absolutely stoked about their quality and speed.
Words out that next year F2 is sorting out a titanal race board too. Some riders that tested them already said that finally F2 found their way to quality (though not worldcup level) boards back.

I'll testride SGS Race in two weeks.
Consider Prior Custom as well as CTKook mentioned. I tried a Pen Snowboard from Pokkis last weekend which provided great stability.
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