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Snowboard Equipment and Setup

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys (/Girls), I have been making a snowsports website as a hobby for a couple of years now, and have just managed to release the Snowboard Equipment and Setup parts of the Snowboarding section. The site has had information about skiing there for a while and I have already posted in the skiing forums, to see how people think the site could be improved. Now though is the snowboarders chance to give any scrutiny that they would like.

The site is called 'Mechanics of Sport' and the link to the snowboarding section is here http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/snowboarding.html . Currently the Equipment and Setup pages are the only parts of the snowboarding section there, with the part on snowboarding technique still to come.

It would be great if I could find out what some of you think of the pages I have there. Does anyone think there is anything missing or I have forgotten to say anything. Does anyone disagree with anything that is said, or would you use different words or terminology for things, are there any mistakes?

Any feedback would be much appreciated, I have put a lot of effort in to get the site to where it is, and would like to make sure all the information and advice is as good as possible.
post #2 of 14

Hi again Mecho,

Like the last time, you've made a great start. Here are some random comments.

You might want to add split boards to your board type, These boards are used for back country skiing. They split down the middle to turn into cross country type skis so the riders can more easily hike back uphill.

Also be aware that rocker boards are also on the market. These have reverse camber to work better in powder.

Split tail boards are pretty much obsolete these days.

Freeride boards are directional more because the bindings are positioned more toward the tail.

Alpine boards generally have a squared off tail and hard plate bindings. You say you won't discuss the bindings in the board section, but you mention them in the boot section - oops. If you're going to mention them you should explain them. FYI - There are a lot more alpine boards in use than split tail boards.

The board sizing calculator is a bit odd, but worked fairly close for me. Note that it's hard to find boards over 168cm long. You also might want to consider being more specific about measuring to your mouth (e.g. use lower lip instead?) and a link to an online calculator so we can convert inches to cm.



Unlike skiing bindings, snowboard bindings will not release your foot if you have a bad crash. This does not cause problems however, since both feet are bound together with the snowboard, and it is a lot harder to twist your legs.

 Non-releasable bindings do cause problems. They are the primary reason why wrist injuries are the most common injury to riders.


Step in bindings are almost a religious issue. My comments are biased, but so are the ones on your page. I've ridden several types and have the opinion and experience that

"but they also compromise on their performance and adjustability the most. They have no straps for adjustability, and are not as stiff and responsive,"
is simply not true. The high end step ins I used had a difference in feel, but no difference in performance. Saying adjustability is compromised is like complaining a boat's steering is compromised because it has no wheels. The advantage of no adjustability in the boot to binding connection tightness is that step ins have a consistent tightness. It's hard to make strap connections consistently tight. High end step ins are generally stiffer than strap bindings because of the all metal connection between the boot and the binding and the generally stiffer boots. Step ins do get clogged with snow, but straps break. I'd say "Step ins have a reputation for lesser performance and getting jammed with snow, but

are easier to get in and out of than strap bindings. Most step in users prefer this convenience to any loss of performance or inconvenience from snow stuck in the binding mechanism." The systems that don't have highbacks in the binding have a highback built into the boot. These designs were intended to make the rental process simpler by eliminating a need for adjusting the highback.

For boot fit, you should mention that women often have problems where the boot will not hold their heel in position. This makes it harder to make toe side turns.

For determining regular or goofy, it may be simpler to say stronger foot goes in back. Some people with skateboard or surfing experience may prefer to ride strong foot in front. If you're unsure, use duck. Duck is another option to regular or goofy and should probably be moved up into that section. Duck stance is also good for freeriding. It is more comfortable for people who are naturally bowlegged or people who naturally stand with their toes pointed outward versus having their feet point straight ahead.



The angle of the highback is also adjustable, and will change the responsiveness of the bindings when you lean backwards

Change lean backwards to make heel side turns.

I don't see any mention of leashes.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
As always thanks for the feedback again Rusty. I agree with a lot of the things you have said, and have written quite a discussion about some of them below, which I hope will bring some more comments and opinions from people.

I wasn't sure whether to include split boards or not, but I think you are right, they should be there.

I was intending to put the rocker boards and the other new boards that are coming out with strange cambers into the newer snowboard concepts page which isn't ready yet. I will have to mention them in the main snowboards page though with a link. Would you say that newer snowboard concepts is the correct name for the page though?

I agree split tail boards are pretty much obsolete in many ways, but I have still read so many reviews that say you haven't lived unless you have ridden a split tail board in powder, that I had to include them. Again although I have never ridden one, everything I have read lists them as the ultimate powder experience, so I had to write about them that way. It would be interesting if anyone with experience on them could help out here.

I was hoping to get some comments on the board sizing calculator, as I have found several of them across the net, and disagreed with the results that a lot of them give. The ones which I thought weren't so bad though, still had lots of people saying they are crap, so I thought this might be a touchy subject for some. Again I was hoping that with what I say at the bottom would stop people thinking it is too precise, and was also hoping that if people disagree with it, they might recommend different values that I could use.

With board length though, as boards are sized in centimetres I was intending to leave everything in centimetres, but what do people think, do I need to add a cm/inches converter? You are very right about it being hard to find boards over 168cm though, so I need to say/consider that in there somehow.

Good point about snowboarders hurting their wrists because of non-releasable bindings, I should probably say something about that. The point I wanted to convey more is that people don't hurt their legs often, and hadn't really thought about wrists.

With step-in bindings again you have said some very helpful things which I will need to incorporate. I do know some people who love riding with high-end step-in bindings and say they work really well, which is why I say at the bottom that with the more expensive bindings you will notice their flaws a lot less. It seems that I have perhaps not made this clear enough, and have definitely got some of the other details wrong.

One thing which I disagree with though is where you say that a duck stance could be put in the same place as regular or goofy. Firstly I have never really recommended a duck stance to a beginner, and have never read anything that would do that either. Even if the duck stance was up there, they would still have to decide whether they are regular or goofy for which way they generally ride, which side the nose of the board should be on, and for binding offset. There is a lot of truth in that the duck stance is more comfortable for people who are a bit bow-legged, I ride with a slight duck stance whatever I do, and I should mention something along those lines. I still wouldn't say that it is a particularly good stance for freeriding though, and many people I know who ride with duck stances turn them further forward when spending a lot of time in the powder.

Highbacks -  I have said that in the setup page although the maybe the other way round (not quite sure what you meant), as you lean the highback forward for more responsiveness.

With leashes, again I should probably mention them, but here in Europe virtually no-one uses them. All they do is get in the way. I would find it interesting to know what it is like in the states though, are they still a lot more common?

Sorry for going on quite a bit, but I would really like to know what people think about some of these things so that I can make the pages as accurate and useful as possible.
post #4 of 14
Leashes are becoming less used in the states, but "Your Responsibility Code" (the safety code promoted by the National Ski Patrol) says everyone should have retention devices.

Highbacks don't do a thing for toe side turns. Be specific so that people will know what benefits to look for when adjusting them. It's amazing how many riders don't even know they adjust, not to mention why they should be adjusted.

I suspect rocker boards will end up outperforming split tail boards. I have not tried them yet, but I've read the reports.

Our rental boards are freestyle boards (i.e. non-drectional). Many rental fleets are. A duck stance on these boards makes regular or goofy irrelevant. The default setting coming out of our rental dept. is duck. This is per the Burton Learn to Ride program.  The Jackson Hole Snowboard School (including AASI demo team member Mikey Franco) rides duck. They get their fair share of powder.   AFFFFFFFLACCCCCCC! (I'll explain later)
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for elaborating on some of the points. I have made the first load of changes, and think that everything is now more like it should be.

I am a little hesitant to go much further than I have now when talking about some things like the duck stance, although I think what is said now is definitely better than before. While making the pages I looked at lots of information on the internet to make sure what I say is reasonably in-line with the general consensus, and don't want to stray too far away from it unless I am sure about something. I also don't want to make things too complicated, almost anything can go in snowboarding but explaining it all would be too much, a lot of things will probably be elaborated on in the further sections when I make them.

As always any more feedback from anywhere would be much appreciated.
post #6 of 14
 Split tail boards?  You mean swallow tail boards I assume.  Swallow Tails are still one of the best designs out there for riding deep pow and they are a rocket.  I doubt you'll see them disappear, especially in the splitboard niche.  If anything you are going to start seeing designs like boards with a rockered nose and swallowtail.  The tapered design is going this route on a few models including the Neversummer Summit this year. 

As far as Step in bindings go.  There was a reason all the pros dumped them and jumped companies that tried to force them to stick with step ins.  Also, no one makes or actively sells them in the United States or Canada that I know of.  I had heard the Clicker system was still being sold in Japan several years ago.  Like the beginning of the decade.  Maybe there is still a market there. 
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, Swallow Tail Boards. I thought something didn't sound right.

Cheers for the correction. I've readjusted the paragraph on them again to say more like what it said to start with but with the correct name now.
post #8 of 14
 I looked through your site a bit more.  You have "pop (camber)".  It should read camber, pop is something that can related to camber but is not part of the design.  Keep in mind that camber is sort of a dying breed these days in snowboarding.  Reverse camber or Rockered boards are becoming the board of choice.  Most snowboarding companies have more rockered boards coming out this season than they do cambered boards.  Then you are seeing mixes of both technologies in the boards like Neversummer's Rockercamber and Lib Tech's C2 tech.  I guess I am saying that I would expand on that category a bit. 
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post

As far as Step in bindings go.  There was a reason all the pros dumped them and jumped companies that tried to force them to stick with step ins.  

Yup. Could it be that none of the pros are over 50 with lard butts (and neither is the target market)? If bending over isn't a pain, there's no real advantage to step ins. Step ins also suck bad trying to click in in steep back country. Every step in binding I've ridden has had issues. So has every strap binding. Alas, KC is right, Flow is the only step in left in the US. Step ins are doomed to go the way of the swallow tail, errr dodo bird.
post #10 of 14
 If bending over is a pain, you're probably not going to be snowboarding anyway. 

Flow is not a step in binding, but a hybrid, quick entry binder.  There are several of those these days.  K2 has the Cinch, Ride has the Contraband series, and I believe Flux has a rear entry model.  As far as I know there are no true step ins in the the North American market. 

To be honest, I really think there could be a great market for step ins, but someone is going to have to put a lot of money into it for a long time before it becomes profitable.  The early attempts and lack of follow up with the problems of the system, lead to it's demise.  Now there is such disdain for 'em that it'll take a good while to change everyone's opinion and have a majority of riders accept them. 
post #11 of 14
I agree. I call Flow a step in because that's how people use it, but it's truly a rear entry. It's kinda funny I started my snowboarding career in the midst of severe back pain (e.g. 5 minutes to strap in). The pain is mostly gone and so are the days when the ability to spell snowboard qualified one to be an instructor no matter how painful it was. I suspect Flow will have essentially all of the quick entry binding market for a long time to come. I don't see enough demand to support a second big player or any tech breakthroughs on the horizon.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
@ killclimbz. Your right with camber as that is the proper, more common way to say it, I just always called it pop so that is what was there to start with.

Negative camber boards are very quickly gaining popularity with freestylers, and I imagine that in a few years most freestyle boards will have some sort of negative camber. It is unlikely though that negative camber will replace traditional camber though, as negative camber does not have the edge hold, in fact that is almost the whole point of it. For a freeride board, holding an edge well on a hard packed piste is very important, and it is unlikely that negative camber is going to make a big impact here, almost all the current negative camber boards are very freestyle specific. Having said that the negative camber is said to work well in powder so it will probably become common in powder orientated boards. Only the future will tell what really happens, and I will try and adjust the site to say whatever is true at the time.
post #13 of 14
It is actually interesting to note that "negative camber" - rocker, reverse camber, etc - many different names for different apps. has been showing up on the WC race podium.  This is mostly manifested in an a rockered nose, but here is what Phil Fell (well known race coach) said:
"The first turn I made on a skate banana last season, my first impression was......Oh my this technology was make the perfect race board for steep, icey SL racing. There are reports of many of the top World Cup racers testing boards with full rocker for icey courses.
For buffed flatter terrain I think I'd still prefer a board with camber, but when it's steep and firm I'd take a rocker."
That is thinking outside the box, no?

BTW, that quote was from a year ago.  Rockered noses are everywhere on the WC from what I understand.  I have not heard much of full rocker lately.

Great thread and great site - keep up the good work.

Back to lurking for me.
post #14 of 14
At this point in time rocker (negative camber is not the term that's being used in general) boards have taken over the market.  Companies that are not making rockered boards are not making money.  Pretty much every company has them in their line up and for most companies, it's the majority of their product.  Lib and Neversummer are certainly offering more rockered boards than cambered these days.  Burton, Rome, Unity, Capita, and almost everyone else has 50% or more of their boards in a rockered variation. It's already happened.  Most are now experimenting with a fusion of the two techs, with rocker being the foundation it's built around.  I suspect given a few years you'll see a mellowing out of this trend, but right now, show me a company that is only making cambered boards, and I'll show you a company that is looking at bankruptcy.
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