Met up with my very first local hard booter today after stumbling upon each other here on BOL. Masahiko and his 16 year old son were waiting for me at Kiroro resort... somewhere l had never been before, either.
At his suggestion, he lent me the narrowest board l had ever ridden before by a brand l had never ridden either: a new Donek FC II Olympic 171. At 19.5 cm it was a little weird hopping onto it. l had my binding angles set to the steepest they have ever gone... 55B/62F. This was also my first time riding a VSR board.
FUN! lt was snappy and really quick from edge to edge and remarkably comfy to be riding at such steep(for me) angles. The only thing that threw me off at the beginning was the whole VSR thing. l didn't even realize it was a VSR board until l read the label behind the rear binding. No wonder l was getting spat out at the end of turns like someone had just squirted a shot of nitrous up me! Anyway, stopping the whole rocking forward and back through the turn sorted that out.
Then... on went the Donek plate. Although the set up was HEAVY with TD3 SW's etc. once it was on the snow the extra weight just disappeared. l could make surprisingly tight turns for a board that is 11/13. Sure didn't expect that!
There were LOADS of other carvers on the mountain. l have never seen so many in one place before! Apparently this was a typical Sunday at this time of year. The group Masahiko rides with gets up to 20 at times.
l also learned that every Tuesday and Thursday evening his club(imagine that... a carving club) train gates at a resort very close to my home. The season at that place is coming to an end but my wife and l will definitely be getting involved next season.
l am already stoked for next year!