Snowboard questions.

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Snowboard questions.

Postby jv. » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:18 pm

For the past several years I've used old Burton snowboards to kite during the winter. While I've moved from inflatible kites to Ozone foil kites, I've pretty much ignored my boards/skis (except for moving from strap to step-in bindings.) I've been thinking of getting a modern snowboard, but not sure what to get. When I ask the 'experts' for help at any of the shops, they pretty much look at me like I'm from Mars when I tell them I mainly kiteboard, rarely paying for lift tickets.

So - any advice on what to get? My boards are the traditional boards - probably 3-4 years old. Range in size from just below my chin to just above my nose. I notice that I enjoy the shorter board when in packed snow or ice, but the longer board in new snow or powder.

I see Burton has basically three styles - 'Camber' which they describe as 'percise & snappy', more like the older boards I have. Next, they have 'Hybird' which they describe as 'spring loaded' which has continuous rocker and seems more for tricks. Finally, they have the 'flat rocker'.

Can anyone comment on what would be best for snowkiting? On Snow? On Ice? Jumping? etc... Not that I have to bet Burton (though I've liked their boards), but if I understood the advantages of each style I could make a better choice. Also, any comments regarding how much flex (more or less) I should look for would be welcome - along with any other advice. Sooner or later we are bound to get snow, and I'm itching to try something new... Thanks!

p.s. - I sometimes use old downhill skis to kite, and other times use short 'trick' skis (especially on ice). I really don't like skiis much since I have a bad back and don't like the feeling of being twisted forward when skiing. However, any comments about types of skiis would be welcome too.
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Re: Snowboard questions.

Postby dmonn » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:51 am

Since most of what you're doing while kiting is going straight, the straighter the edges the easier the ride. Too much of an hourglass shape really seems to work against you while kiting. Just like skis, the ones with straight edges rather than the hourglass shape work better for kiting. I dunno about the best amount of camber or flex, but the one thing that has really made a difference for me is to get a switchblade for my board.

It's a gizmo that bolts onto your board that gives you a vertical skate-type blade on the heelside of your board. You drill holes through your board to mount it, so I bought an older, used board. The blade part is easily removed, but the bracket should probably stay on the board. The bracket stiffens up the middle section of your board on the heel side, so that does modify the flex. It takes a bit to get used to using the blade, but the difference is amazing. I can ride on bare ice and easily stay upwind. Without the switchblade, you can't do that unless the ice is soft. Even skis with sharp edges don't bit well enough. When there are patches of snow and bare ice, you don't even notice when you go from ice to snow to ice--your edge bites into the ice as well as the board edge bites into the snow.

The switchblade is pricey, but what you're paying for is the R&D that the guy did that developed it. It's about $15 worth of materials, but very good machining of the parts, and easy to intall on your board with a cordless drill. Here's the link to his site: http://www.mnkiteboy.com/ The thing really does work as advertised.

Don
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Re: Snowboard questions.

Postby jv. » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:04 pm

Thanks for the tip - just ordered one! The way this year is going, doesn't look like I can count on snow...
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Re: Snowboard questions.

Postby jv. » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:32 pm

Got the switcblade yesterday, put it on an old board today. Out on Little Muskego this afternoon - worked great. I wouldn't trust the ice on south end in deeper water, but had plenty of are on north side where I live to play. Surprised how well the device worked, thanks for the advice.

So how thick is ice on Little Muskego? Well, the several snowmobiles racing around the lake might have been pushing their luck a bit, but a number of people ice fising & found 5 inches in front of my place. This time of year I hedge my bet and wear the drysuit anyway...
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