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Thread: Alpine Snowboard Plate Systems

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Michaud View Post
    OK.... so what you said in the video seems to severely contradict the camp that believes being able to use independent foot movements to bend the board into a tighter arc or otherwise "work" the board are good things.

    Your impressions of this new breed of plate, along with the acceptance and dominance of this style of plate on the World Cup and in the Olympics seems to support my belief that bending or twisting the board with your feet to some benefit is a myth.

    As for your plate, looks promising! I have to wonder whether the suspension benefit will offset the weight penalty. I didn't feel like the Vist was worth it, for freecarving, but this style of plate appears to work better, mechanically. I think minimizing weight should be your second priority - the first being getting the thing to work well and reliably, of course.
    The plate may not be for everyone. If you're into bending, twisting and pedaling the board as you ride, then a plate is not for you.

    It certainly doesn't completely isolate you from the snow, and there is a little but of a sensation of riding on air. It's like a car suspension - you feel in contact with the surface, but the bumps are smoothed out.

    Pesonally, I could care less about all that board manipulation stuff. So far the extra wieght is worth it. Of course lighter is better!
    Last edited by Michael Pukas; May 19th, 2010 at 02:05 PM.
    I carve therefor I am

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donek View Post
    I have made the foot movement argument over and over myself. I thought I'd get on the plate I rode and immediately fall over because I was unable to pedal the board. That did not happen.
    I'm not surprised!

    A 184 with plate and bindings mounted to it is a beast. It's amazing what an additional 5lbs feels like when you pick up a board.
    Agree completely. That was my impression when mounting up the Kessler 185 with the Vist. It was too much for my freecarving tastes. In the carve, sure, it was great, but in every other aspect of a day of snowboarding, no thanks.
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  3. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Michaud View Post
    I don't think so. Think about it. We're going to see the emergence of a new standard insert pattern. When you buy your next board, you will choose whether you want 4x4 or Apex inserts (for lack of a better name). If you can't afford to buy a board from a company that will give you that option, you probably can't afford a plate either.

    Being able to mount this to an old board you've been using for a season or three might be "nice", but if adherence to the 4x4 insert pattern increases the weight of the system, I don't think the industry should go there.
    Bold statements, Jack, and I completely disagree w/ you on most of them.

    Having a plate that can mount to a 4x4 insert pattern WILL sell more plates - pleople will but them just to try them - on their old boards and new ones. A board doesn't have to be designed for a plate to be ridden with a plate.

    Re: affordability, if you can't afford a new board f/ Sean, maybe you can afford his reasonably priced plate to put on your 4-year old Donek to ride until you can afford a new deck. One of Sean's goals is to make a plate afforable so everyone who wants one can ride one. Think about it...

    There's not going to be a significant difference in weight between a plate for a Modified Hangl, Hangl or 4x4 pattern. There are other, bigger issues than weight when considering which insert pattern to use... one of the problems as Sean mentioned is there is no standard stance width for a 4x4 pattern, so even if you buy a plate for a 4x4 pattern and plan to put it on your old board w/ a 4x4 pattern, it may not fit - the spread may be too different.

    As far as insert patterns go, Apex does not use the hangl (edit - I could be wrong) - it's uses what we've been hearing called the Modified Hangl - not sure if that's what it really is or not, but that's what we've been calling it. All of the boards Sean has been making for testing have both his 4x4 pattern and Modified Hangl. (edit - I'm still a little confused on the whole insert thingy...)
    Last edited by Michael Pukas; May 19th, 2010 at 02:16 PM.
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  4. #244
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    Insert pattern, this is copy from Apex site:
    The Apex Race Plate won't work on standard 4x4 inserts. It fits inserts set up for that other plate. The one that starts with "H" and ends in "angl".

  5. #245
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    As far as differing widths of 4x4 sets, since the rear is mounted solid & the front slides, the front mount could be slotted to accomodate this. One inch of slot should cover any set difference.
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  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0ardski View Post
    As far as differing widths of 4x4 sets, since the rear is mounted solid & the front slides, the front mount could be slotted to accomodate this. One inch of slot should cover any set difference.
    That's exactly the issue - there's a limit to the slot size, and where the sliding pivot falls in that slot. There is some room to accomodate different widths, but there's a limit to that...
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  7. #247
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    moot point

    Pedaling on narrow race board may have a minimal affect on longitudinal flex; any torsional flex would be accomplished by lateral knee movement.
    With lower angles on a wider board pedaling definitely has some torsional effect.
    Last edited by b0ardski; May 19th, 2010 at 04:16 PM.
    N.I.C.E. at Schwietzer
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  8. #248
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    "That's exactly the issue - there's a limit to the slot size, and where the sliding pivot falls in that slot. There is some room to accomodate different widths, but there's a limit to that..."

    I was thinking slotted mount holes on the base & the plate.
    Last edited by b0ardski; May 19th, 2010 at 02:48 PM.
    N.I.C.E. at Schwietzer
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  9. #249
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    I haven't been following all the technical talk and mechanics of the plate system. For us non-engineering minded folk, how will the average consumer who doesn't understand the science behind it order their boards going forward with this type of system?

    I see this as a board (plate) mounted on top of your board. So traditionally, without the plate, your weight is directly flexing the board. With the plate, you are flexing the plate to a certain degree and then the board. Does this mean, you'll have to order a board with a soft flex since you'll be bending two things instead of one? So if I'm a 150lb person that orders a board with a given flex, now I need to order a board with a flex meant for a 130lb person since I'm mounting something on top to bend as well?

    If the advantages as Sean states that noticable, I'd be willing to explore the plate system idea assuming costs and benefits are significant enough.

    Please clarify.

  10. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0ardski
    was thinking slotted mount holes on the base & the plate.
    Ahhh, good point!
    Last edited by Michael Pukas; May 19th, 2010 at 03:55 PM.
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  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
    I haven't been following all the technical talk and mechanics of the plate system. For us non-engineering minded folk, how will the average consumer who doesn't understand the science behind it order their boards going forward with this type of system?

    I see this as a board (plate) mounted on top of your board. So traditionally, without the plate, your weight is directly flexing the board. With the plate, you are flexing the plate to a certain degree and then the board. Does this mean, you'll have to order a board with a soft flex since you'll be bending two things instead of one? So if I'm a 150lb person that orders a board with a given flex, now I need to order a board with a flex meant for a 130lb person since I'm mounting something on top to bend as well?

    If the advantages as Sean states that noticable, I'd be willing to explore the plate system idea assuming costs and benefits are significant enough.

    Please clarify.

    The plate itself has very little flex. The reason you see Sean's plate flexing is because his elbow is pressing directly down on the middle of the plate. Your feet will be pretty much centred over the pivots, therefore reducing most flex. Any aditional flex would be cause any "Special K "movement in the legs. If people still use that move.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Pukas View Post
    Bold statements, Jack, and I completely disagree w/ you on most of them.
    Just thinking out loud. Yes, a plate that can fit a 4x4 insert pattern will sell more plates, of course, but I'm not optimistic that it would be the best or lightest design. Also it may sell less boards. I can imagine people thinking that a plate will breathe new life into a board they were about to replace, and it will to some extent. So then they buy a, what, $300? plate instead of a new board.
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  13. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Michaud View Post
    Your impressions of this new breed of plate, along with the acceptance and dominance of this style of plate on the World Cup and in the Olympics seems to support my belief that bending or twisting the board with your feet to some benefit is a myth.
    people get upset when you say that!

  14. #254
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    Plate design versatility

    From the point of view of mounting a plate system, using a 4x4 mount would be nice for backward compatibility. However a lateral mount system, as shown on the photo of Matt Morison's Kessler, has a significant mechanical advantage in transmitting tilting forces to the board edge.
    The insert mounting pattern for lateral plate mounting points should be identical for Apex and other plate designs, certainly in terms of distance between adjacent mounting points on the long axis of the board.
    How to fit this to narrower boards could be an issue, as any hinge/slide interface design is likely to have a fixed width, and the more lateral the attachment points the greater the mechanical advantage. To produce a system able to deal with a range of board widths may require more expensive tooling up and make it more difficult to produce at a reasonable cost.

    From the point of view of using the plate system Sean is developing on a range of boards with a range of stance distances the answer is simple.
    The hinge/slide interface between board and plate mounts wherever the inserts are on the snowboard. Anyone ordering a plate will have measured the distance between the inserts to be used on their snowboard.
    Just as we have boards made in a range of sizes and shapes now, so the plate attached to that interface is customised for plate width & length, stance width, stance setback, plate stiffness and camber. Sean can make both custom snowboards and custom plates.

    Sean, I like the way in which you have utilised the UHMWPE to create low friction but durable hinge and slide mechanisms. I was concerned about the wear characteristics of the apparently metal axle on metal frame & metal on carbonfibre/epoxy plate Apex design.

    It was also nice to see directly shown in the video the mere millimetres of slide movement that need to be accommodated to allow quite substantial board flex.

    I'll be thinking hard about the design concept you have come up with. Aaah, if only I had a computerised milling machine!

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  15. #255
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    Are you a believer?

    Ok now Sean of Donek has pipped up do you believe what i have been saying for a while ? (view previous posts) I have 8 plates in production I have hardware that mounts to 4x4 or 4x2 inserts. Is anyone riding in south america this summer that wants to try one of my plate hardware systems?
    Last edited by lowrider; May 19th, 2010 at 08:04 PM. Reason: typo

  16. #256
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    $300 plate

    Jack where can i get a $300 plate???

  17. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunSurfer View Post

    I'll be thinking hard about the design concept you have come up with. Aaah, if only I had a computerised milling machine!

    SunSurfer
    I've got one of those. Send over your ideas. If they can be done cost effectively, perhaps they will be integrated.
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  18. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
    Jack where can i get a $300 plate???
    Jack is a pretty savy guy. That is the price goal on this system. He guessed it based on very few cues. I know I can do it based on the plate and uhmw parts, but machining that stainless was a pain. I'll probably have to farm it out. We'll have to see where the price comes in. Is it possible to cnc punch 1/8in stainless? Is that the correct term for those cnc machines that do sheet metal work?
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  19. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
    Ok now Sean of Donek has pipped up do you believe what i have been saying for a while ? (view previous posts) I have 8 plates in production I have hardware that mounts to 4x4 or 4x2 inserts. Is anyone riding in south america this summer that wants to try one of my plate hardware systems?
    OK. I'm missing it. Have you posted pictures of your system? What thread?
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  20. #260
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    Sean, whats the minimum width you are targeting? I have some skinner boards that I would like to try a plate on, but the Vist I currently have is too wide for anything less than 19cm. I'd like to try a plate out on 17.5-18cm wide boards. BTW, the $300 price target is really competitive; you'll definitely get a lot of buyers, including myself.

  21. #261
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    General question regarding plate design: all of these systems have the hinge point at the rear, however Tinkler boards + the plate lock the middle and float either end. I've tried Vist locked in the middle, but not the other configurations. Who here has tested out various locked states for plates such as these? Currently, only Vist allows this customization as far as I know. How do each of the other locked configuration feel underfoot?

    It appears world cup riders follow the locked rear methodology. Is this most ideal for racing? Is a middle lock perhaps more appropriate for freecarving where constant ruts are less of an issue? Theoretically, a middle lock creates a smoother bend in the board, rather than a kink shifted somewhat back when the rear is locked. Just thinking out loud here, thoughts?

    Sean, is your system configurable to lock the middle or front instead? Fin, how about yours?

  22. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekdut View Post
    Sean, whats the minimum width you are targeting? I have some skinner boards that I would like to try a plate on, but the Vist I currently have is too wide for anything less than 19cm. I'd like to try a plate out on 17.5-18cm wide boards. BTW, the $300 price target is really competitive; you'll definitely get a lot of buyers, including myself.
    As it is right now, the hardware is just under 17cm wide. The plate is 19 up front and in back, but there's little reason not to narrow that for weight as long as the bindings don't overhang the edge. I'll examine that and reduce stuff a much as possible there.
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  23. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekdut View Post
    General question regarding plate design: all of these systems have the hinge point at the rear, however Tinkler boards + the plate lock the middle and float either end. I've tried Vist locked in the middle, but not the other configurations. Who here has tested out various locked states for plates such as these? Currently, only Vist allows this customization as far as I know. How do each of the other locked configuration feel underfoot?

    It appears world cup riders follow the locked rear methodology. Is this most ideal for racing? Is a middle lock perhaps more appropriate for freecarving where constant ruts are less of an issue? Theoretically, a middle lock creates a smoother bend in the board, rather than a kink shifted somewhat back when the rear is locked. Just thinking out loud here, thoughts?

    Sean, is your system configurable to lock the middle or front instead? Fin, how about yours?
    There's really no way to accomplish what these plates are doing by locking the middle. A stiff platform that retains your stance angles and cants would have to be locked at either end. If you lock the center the plate must bend.

    There is no reason why you can't swap the front and rear pucks to lock the front and slide the rear.

    I don't think there is any difference in the bending state of the board with the front or rear locked. Locking one does not alter the normal force to the board any differently than locking the other. A center loaded board might sounds more elegant, but flex patterns can be adjusted to make a board loaded in two points bend to the same shape a board loaded in one point bends.
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  24. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donek View Post
    There's really no way to accomplish what these plates are doing by locking the middle. A stiff platform that retains your stance angles and cants would have to be locked at either end. If you lock the center the plate must bend.
    What if the plate is sufficiently high enough off of the board to flex and the plate to remain fixed? Or would that end up being WAY too high.

    Boards that would allow this would have Vist-like center inserts, or Tinkler-style.

    There is no reason why you can't swap the front and rear pucks to lock the front and slide the rear.
    Good to hear, do you know how this change feels/behaves underfoot?


    I don't think there is any difference in the bending state of the board with the front or rear locked. Locking one does not alter the normal force to the board any differently than locking the other. A center loaded board might sounds more elegant, but flex patterns can be adjusted to make a board loaded in two points bend to the same shape a board loaded in one point bends.
    I suppose that is what I was thinking, that center loaded board would create the "perfect" arc, or whatever that may mean. But that does make sense Sean, you being the builder, you could build the board to account for that. Does this mean you will be building boards with plate specific flex and those without?
    Last edited by nekdut; May 20th, 2010 at 12:06 AM.

  25. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donek View Post
    There's really no way to accomplish what these plates are doing by locking the middle. A stiff platform that retains your stance angles and cants would have to be locked at either end. If you lock the center the plate must bend.
    Not necessarily. The locking holds the plate fixed longitudinally WRT a specific place on the board. In your design it also holds the plate fixed in altitude WRT the board. I see no absolute reason why you couldn't have slotted pucks front and rear combined with, for example, vertical pins or similar holding the board "fixed" longitudinally but simultaneously allowing it to float vertically at that point.

    Alternatively, fix the plate centrally and have your front and rear slots follow the arc described by the front / rear mounting points as the board curves (may require dedicated pucks for each front / rear insert position)

    There's other ways of doing this, too.

    That said, all the ways I can think of doing this would be heavier, require additional inserts for the centre fixing point, provide an additional point of failure, and I don't see any particular benefit in doing it.
    Last edited by tufty; May 20th, 2010 at 12:07 AM.

  26. #266
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    Hey, I think maybe this is one way I can finally make use of those Burton EST boards.... all I do is fit another board onto the fin-boxes, bolted on in the back slot and "free floating" in the front slot.

    I can cut the middle bit out of an old 4x4 snowboard to make my own custom plate. I can paint it to look like carbon fibre.

    The result: a rideable EST board.

    ---

    Generally I find the complexity of these systems unattractive, although you have to ride them (which I haven't) to know if it's worth the trade offs.

    I don't see a problem in changing from 4x4 - there's no real need to keep Alpine systems compatible with soft systems and our needs are clearly different from park people.

    I can see from Sean's excellent video what that plate does, however I'm not sure (having not ridden these things) how much difference that can make. So you still have a "flat spot" under your back foot, so all you're doing is eliminating the front one, as someone above points out. The fact that my front foot moves relative to my rear one a few cm here and there as I ride... well why is that important?

    If we're interested in "flat spots, would an alternative not be to make the binding mount points narrower fore-aft versus left-right, so the board's longitudinal flex is less affected (although there's a plate those mount into...).

  27. #267
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    Cool video, Sean. Before watching it I had no interest in plates whatsoever. Now, I'm intrigued.

    But I still think a controlled experiment would be a good idea. Add a 3 pound riser underneath each binding, and see how that impacts the feel. You'll get the same extra height, and lots of damping, and it's so much easier to fabricate.

    I'm not joking, actually. I wonder how much of the perceived benefit comes from those aspects vs. not being able to feel the board flexing underfoot.
    Last edited by NateW; May 20th, 2010 at 01:56 AM.
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  28. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekdut View Post
    What if the plate is sufficiently high enough off of the board to flex and the plate to remain fixed? Or would that end up being WAY too high.
    I think you'd end up with a see-saw feel if it was anchored in the middle and floating an inch over the board at each end. You could fix the see-saw effect with a hinge the middle of the plate, and sliding mounts at the ends... but then you're no longer decoupling your binding cant/tilt from the flexing of the board.
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  29. #269
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    Think I disagree. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by philw View Post
    So you still have a "flat spot" under your back foot, so all you're doing is eliminating the front one, as someone above points out.
    Phil, Generally I think you have excellent and well founded points, but I think I disagree with you here.

    I believe that if we were to freeze a board mid turn that has a plate system and analyze what is happening at the fixed and floating point, the forces (and therefore the flat spots) resolve identically. at any "frozen" point in time, we can assume the slider is stationary and therefore are acting just as two identical hinge points with forces normal to the board. If I were to take seans board with seans plate on it and strap it to my feet, and stand on my bed allowing the board to flex (as if mid turn), the flat spot on the front mount should look the same as the flat spot on the back mount.

    (Though I have yet to ride one either) I believe that these plate systems are more about isolation the dynamic motion of the board as it undulates through turns and ruts from the lower body. This should allow a rider to be less fatigued and focus more on balance.

    Keep the posts coming sean! Love the videos!

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    Fixed where?

    Front fixed, Rear fixed, Been there done that! rear fixed is slightly better. But slightly better on a plate is huge compared to no plate. Don't be thinking locked in front or rear like a seat belt in a car I'ts just two fulcrum points only one that slides. The front one sliding absorbes the shock smooths out the crud and makes a smooth path for the rear of the board to enjoy.

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