Hey, has anyone ridden this board? They're on sale at www.the-house.com - is it worth picking one up?
Hey, has anyone ridden this board? They're on sale at www.the-house.com - is it worth picking one up?
"Is that more fun than snowboarding?"
I guess the good person to answer this would be Nils. Frow what I know, this is a good price for this board, and I think it's a good one, but, like I said, Nils is the person who would know.
This is from a post from TahoeCarvers.com, Jim and I were discussing how suitable the 178cm Nitro was for some weighing 165lb /75kg as Nils commented that it may be too short for someone at that weight:
Jim [11-03-03 08:29]
Yeah, the 178 Nitro has a pretty soft flex to it. Much less than the Winterstix I checked a year ago. We shall see. I'll be comparing it to my old 164 Santa Cruz Flame which is a little too stiff for my powder tastes. All of this may not be a big deal since I've done 3' of pow on a 151 XXX in years past...really. These Nitro's are very reasonable at $299, if, you know what you want, you are probably right about the specs.
Carve On ~~~~
I agree Nils would know. His site is www.swallowtails.org
I couldn't find anything like a Nitro Swallowtail review there though. However, this months issue of Couloir mag reviews 5 different swallowtails including a new length 181 Nitro Saber Pow swallowtail and mentions the classic 178 and 195 Nitros as being a good board.
lacking time to answer
give me a week! Dimitrije Milovich rides the 198 he loves it!
yes its the 195!! on the swallows page (sorry galleries are down for the moment apache prob) see the "tales" where he talks about his style of riding...Most people say the nitro pows are too soft in flex, some like Dim likes this feature.. I haven't had the chance to try them so have no idea....Tested the flex and it is way softer to my swellpanik ST..
i've got the 178cm on d.milovitch's advice, dig it on and off piste and i'm 195lbs.
looks like a good deal at da house for the larger model on clearance.
I can't say that I have been on that specific board but I have really liked nitro decks even the cheaper boards of theirs ride quite nice over all they are pretty high quality
Well this one's been done to death, but you did ask.
In almost twenty years of helicopter-assisted snowboarding I've only ever come across two people on swallow tails. In both cases the people in question dumped the board and went for something else on their second day. Their reasons were essentially that they weren't going to waste that over-the-head powder. These were good riders once they got on the right equipment (one was Drew of Salty Peaks in Utah IIRC).
If you're seriously into powder I'd try to check out a Burton Fish. They are also odd-shaped boards, but the difference is that I have not yet come across anyone who took one out for a single day and didn't then keep it. Here's some bs about the Fish from last year.
Don't get me wrong, it's great that there are lots of different types of board out there, and swallowtails are very pretty. Just don't try to get in a helicopter with me if you're intending to ride one; the days are too short to wait for you
Well don't come in La Grave with your twin tip, you might get laughs too...
More seriously, if you really think those are wastes, its because you never ridden one...No other board can beat the speed handle a good ST gives. No other board allows for a forward position as those boards give too> if you prefer to ride with the front leg stretched in order not to nose dive: its your choice .
Still wondering if your post was first degree or not...
I was planning to stay out of this.....however.....of all of the helicopter assisted trips I've seen ( mainly in the B.C. area ) the desire to provide customer with a safe, enjoyable experience results in the company providing the trip choosing avalanche free ( read shallow <25 degree ) locations relatively close ( read short air time ) locations with "hero snow"....
So a s/t is not really required to master the conditions, this combined with the lack of snowtime on the their s/t, I would hazard a guess that customer does a quick calculation of the cost of said trip and says "bollocks...." and pulls out their regular 'board.
What does this all mean...buggered if I know
Ok these explainations makes sense...Not really making me want to do a heli trip there thu ...
Also heard the operators ask some of them groups not to use too much slope space (width) so next clients can be using the same mountain without any tracks (etc for next group too)...put four guys on two meter ST and you can say goodbye to untracked area ...You usually make 1 turn when everyone makes 5 with regular boards...difference is the ST turns are in the 200m radius range ..
Yes a ST requires a little bit of riding time, but not that much..But of course if the customers are used to twin tip freestyle boards they might need a few days...
Your mileage may vary, but in the spirit of chatting about this stuff....
Just to nail the caveats:
(a) These people were expert heli-boarders with several million vertical-feet under their belts. We weren't riding tourist terrain, and I do know the difference.
(b) They were riding their own S/Ts which they were happy with to the extent of comitting helicopter time to. They knew how to ride the things. Yet still they dumped them, as did the chap who held the daily-vertical record.
You're right that they start beginners out on shallow slopes, but that's not really relevant to experts. Once you've proved you're up to it, you'll find that you're not restricted in that way. Or you're thinking of resort-based helicopters, which are likely to have a high proportion of novices in them all the time. A group's only as strong as the weakest person there, so you have to work hard to find a good group.
Most novices don't actually own a "regular" board which is suitable for this type of terrain: they would be better advised to borrow a powder board from the operator.
If the avalanche risk is high I'll be in the trees, although maybe I'll be in the trees anyway. There's not much room for 200m turns there of course; is that a problem? You can of course carve as large as you like in the open; no one seems to have much trouble with that.
As far as conserving snow goes, you may occasionally get a refuel-run where they put three groups down (say) a narrow ridge line or something like that, but it's rare and I've never been asked not to carve as large as I like.
First, thank you both Phil and Nils for you informative responses.
Phil, the riders you mention seem to have owned their own swallowtail, liked them enough on the basis of prior use to take them on a heli trip...and then ditched them after an unhappy experience. What were the specific limitations of the STs in the heli terrain that caused them to vote with their feet in favor of other boards -- variable snow, packed runouts, drops? Or are you saying that even in good, deep powder -- the STs intended use -- the boards seemed limited enough in comparison to a regular powder board -- say, a Supermodel, Tanker or similar -- that the riders switched?
I ask specifically because I'm thinking of expanding my quiver with a powder-specific board. I'm aware that around Salt Lake there are supposed to be a group of ST riders, and also the Prior Swallowtails seem well-received here in North America. Obviously, the Fish also gets fairly uniform rave reviews at least for below tree-line riding... and on my understanding has been adopted by some Heli operations, while the ST has not been. If we were discussing why freestyle boards aren't used, I could simply say: inadequate flotation and no taper. Can you boil down what the objections were to ST performance in a similar way, e.g. floppy nose, edgehold, or whatever else may apply?
Here's the skinny on the Nitro pow sticks.. all models prior to this years were a cap construction with a REALLY soft flex.. We carry Nitro here at the shop and I ordered one for a customer last year. The flex concerned me a little bit... if you landed a booter wrong in the back country... it felt like it would snap. Sure enough, it did. The good news is this years model is sandwich construction with the same internals as their Saber, (a wide version of their Natural). The construction is a 110% improvement over last years!!! It even has camber and sidecut so if you get stuck on a groomer, (when I was Heliboarding in Chile they dropped us off on the top of the inbounds mountain... so this came in REAL handy). There are other boards more versatile out there... but there's something about walking around at a resort with a swallow tail thats really cool!!!
If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me an email...
That's what I'm saying, and I guess I'm saying it because it sounds wrong, does it not?[...]Or are you saying that even in good, deep powder -- the STs intended use -- the boards seemed limited enough in comparison to a regular powder board -- say, a Supermodel, Tanker or similar -- that the riders switched? [...] I'm aware that around Salt Lake there are supposed to be a group of ST riders, and also the Prior Swallowtails seem well-received here in North America. Obviously, the Fish also gets fairly uniform rave reviews at least for below tree-line riding... and on my understanding has been adopted by some Heli operations, while the ST has not been.
SLC ST: I will look out for them in December. Heli-wise, you're right that they're heading towards the Fish. I haven't checked CMH for a couple of years, Wiegele's is pretty much Burton/Solomon Supermodel-style boards plus the Fish. The place where the Fish excels is in the trees; in the wide open general knee-to-waist deep stuff it's not that much different from anything else (possibly because of the way you turn in open fields).
As Nils pointed out, I've watched but I haven't participated, so I can only guess. I'd say that in the back woods you need something which will work on everything from large glaciers through trees to log cuts and logging roads. I get the feeling that the STs are designed for open powder fields, which are the easiest type of terrain you're likely to find. I'd say that the Fish is more successful because it tackles the hardest part.Can you boil down what the objections were to ST performance in a similar way
I'd add to your "why Freestyle boards don't work in powder" with "they're too short". The Fish is the only short board I've found which works in powder (I use a 156 versus a 165 Supermodel etc).
Although I've no urge to try an ST in big powder, I have tried both GS and SL boards in heli-terrain. GS boards are fine, especially in wide open powder fields. They're tricky to balance (too narrow), and they don't help you in tight trees (turnable but not enough tail flex). Landing jumps is hugely difficult. SL boards just sink, which makes life very dififcult. You need buckets of technique, a lot of balance, and a strange sort of machismo to bother with this.
Of course you can also go too big on ordinary boards. I've boarded with a few on 2m boards (Lib Tech Dough Boys) and although they're clearly rideable, it's survival rather than fun. It may be the same thing with STs: the ones I've ridden with were both 195cm I think.
...sorry, the swallowtails are proven, it's just a choice. if you are a heli snow bounder, then that's another choice. there are groups of people who love split tailed boards and there are individuals who like those boards as well.
i speak for no one except myself, i like them and i like the submersion turning aspect. i see them more as a wing involved in the medium, emersion technique, not a board skimming the surface.
i also like a plate binding connected to a hard boot and a board for carving groomed, which is why we are here.
your trip is yours and it's all good for you. what matters are having choices and thinking for oneself. i believe the swallowtail that dimitri milovitch developed and some other models are good choices, the powder gun by nitro being one. if i haven't ridden a board, then i can't speak about it, only speculate...
what is important is the medium. what you choose is secondary to that.
bomberonline is a carving spot and we are off on a tangent, considering that, we are all off topic.
but i enjoy reading everyones perspective... nicely done.
If I could drop in here and add my two cents. I'd like to suggest that perhaps the reason the ST's were dropped is because they are directional. A twin-tip can be ridden switch anytime. A ST can be ridden switch depending on the model but are largely directional boards (I've seen several riders spin on snow 360's and aerial spins on STs). So, maybe these riders were wanting that ability to ride switch more comfortably.
Though I agree with Adam that powderguns (and this thread) are largely off-topic, I ride my Rossi Undertaker with plates and hardboots and enjoy it on or off piste.
Next step, plating a swally
Wow, 7 year old random thread bump? That might be a record.
When I saw the date on this thread, I started mentally mumbling to myself asking what noob bumped an '03 thread...
Had my hopes up for a second there... I was looking for www.swallowtails.org just the other day. Great dream material on there.
Last edited by DrCR; October 11th, 2010 at 11:17 PM.
Currently watching the 11 oclock news channel KGW #8. Talking about the heavy storms expected this coming season. Like I said. Powder Dreaming!!
I was looking for the name of that boutique swallowtail maker...I think it started with an M. From what I remember they were a beautiful wood aesthetic like Arbor and in the 200+cm range. iirc the guy stopped making them ~'04 or so.
For an upload 'dump', ftp is your friend if that's available to you.
Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; October 11th, 2010 at 11:53 PM.
AH yes. the 181 Nitro SABER i bought off Big Canuck last year. great DIRECTIONAL board in the pow. takes a little more effort in the tight trees but wasn't too bad. however on the wide open spaces it rocks!!!!! I put it up against my 176 prior mfr and it has exactly the same specs scr. just a bit softer. it does not like being on groomers. period
the powder at powder king mountain was lacking last year as we only got a couple dumps of 1.5 feet.
ive picked up a 2010 prior 170 khyber that has the hybrid rocker on it. looking forward to seeing how it performs in comparison to the s/t. i may even try h/bs on it this year if i get enough time on the hill.
think snow!!!!!! ULLR is supposed to be happy with us up here and is promising big dumps and cold weather
Dc you're talking about Miura Snowboards, indeed the most amazing woodwork i've ever seen on the snow ( 60-70 hours work per board..)...and quite impressive boards to ride too ( Jean Nerva rode one for a few years..). The shaper has taken a break from snowboard production unfortunately, he is working for a big composite company in the basque country...i'll try to get a hold of him to see if he has any intention of coming back ( his boards were quite too cheap for the incredible woodwork: around 850 euros ( to be compared with the 2500 + euros of the godess...)..
Unfortunately he never made the 214cm Tekila who remains a prototype....
I've seen a few of the new batch of Swellpanik's and it gets as close as it can to Miura's wood work, but without the 3D shape on the deck...They remain my choice of kinds for performance and looks...The Phenix snowboards 191 carbons are also interesting ( ex Freesurf / boheme shaper Seb. Perret ) and very performance oriented.
As for swallowtails.org, I had to stop doing the site ( lack of time, involvement in Swoard, architecture business developping etc...) but I store all the images from the galleries etc...The site remains watchable in the wayback machine ( google it)..the domain name should be available unless some butterfly collector found it ..
Up, that's the one. Beautiful craftsmanship there!
Maybe these guys would serve as a replacement. Not that my wallet could afford such an expense.
Last edited by DrCR; October 13th, 2010 at 01:46 PM.
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