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Thread: Ordering a new board for East Coast trails...

  1. #1
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    Ordering a new board for East Coast trails...

    Last year, I moved to hardboots and plates on my current "all mountain-lite" board with the intention of getting a proper AM/carving board in 2012. That time has come () and have decided (after much reading and researching on this forum) on ordering a Donek. I've contacted Sean and we'll be talking next week. While I'm sure he'll steer me in the right direction, I'd also like the benefit of input from the BOL crew, particularly east coast riders used to narrow trails and less-than-hero snow.

    I'm 6' 3", 200 lbs, intermediate carver. I'm not into speed, so not looking from something too long. Like everyone on the right coast, I encounter a fair amount of bumpy terrain (especially toward end of day), hence thinking of an AM set up rather than pure carving board.

    When I carve, I tend to carve C's, but find I run out of trail width on all but the widest blue groomers in NY, VT, NJ, which are the states I typically ride in. I'm leaning toward an Axxess in a 172 length, but in a wider width to fit my 31.5mp boots and my 50/35 angles. However, the Axxess 172's SCR is 10-12, which (at least in my mind) seems a big diff from my current board, which has an SCR of 9. Is it a big deal in your opinion?

    My concern is if I'm having a tough time getting 2 linked C's across a narrow trail with an SCR of 9, will something 10-12 be even more of a challenge, or does the added running length/flex pattern of a proper AM/carving board enable me to get more (higher) on edge and force a sharper radius turn? I read something to this effect on Carver's Almanac, but can't be sure.

    Donek also makes the Freecarve Peterson in a 170 with an SCR of 10, but not sure which board (FC or Axxess) makes the better choice for me and the terrain I typically encounter.

    Any advice is appreciated. I am very excited to finally complete the transition to a proper carving set up, so I want to be sure I have enough input for the right decision.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Metal ax with width and scr suited for your trails and boot angles. Metal will be grippier and smoother on harder snow/ice and smoother in chop and variable conditions.

  3. #3
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    I think the Axxess 172 will be a fine choice... especially in metal as snowboardfast suggests. I had an older Axxess 172, great deck.

    Don't worry about the sidecut numbers. The Axxess 172 is a tight-turning board. If you want it to turn really tight and ren't into speed, you might consider asking for it to be built just a bit soft for your weight. Something to discuss with Sean, I'm just throwing the idea out there, obviously listen to him and not me

    Also the variable sidecut radius boards are IMFO easier to turn "early" and this helps on narrow trails. For that reason I recommend avoiding a single-sidecut model.

  4. #4
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    I have been riding the icecoast on a fixxed 11.5scr for a number of years with good results. IMO the Axxes is a better choice than a FreeCarve. It will deal with the crud a bit better and still be capable on boiler plate
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Michaud View Post
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    I'm 6' 3", 200 lbs, intermediate carver. I'm not into speed, so not looking from something too long. Like everyone on the right coast, I encounter a fair amount of bumpy terrain (especially toward end of day), hence thinking of an AM set up rather than pure carving board.
    I would not get too hung up on AM vs freecarve. IMO the flex pattern and dampness will have a greater influence on getting you through the chop. A softer flexing, more damp ride won't bounce you around as much. If you are not in the park or the trees I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    When I carve, I tend to carve C's, but find I run out of trail width on all but the widest blue groomers in NY, VT, NJ, which are the states I typically ride in. I'm leaning toward an Axxess in a 172 length, but in a wider width to fit my 31.5mp boots and my 50/35 angles. However, the Axxess 172's SCR is 10-12, which (at least in my mind) seems a big diff from my current board, which has an SCR of 9. Is it a big deal in your opinion?
    no, you'll be fine

    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    My concern is if I'm having a tough time getting 2 linked C's across a narrow trail
    This comment sticks out. Is this a regular thing? Keep at it and you will surprise yourself at how tight these boards will turn.

    A modern board (like the one that Sean will make for you) should give you a whole new outlook on carving. Not sure what you're on now but it sounds like you will be stepping it up a lot equipment-wise. Better grip, a smoother ride, more fun, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    with an SCR of 9, will something 10-12 be even more of a challenge, or does the added running length/flex pattern of a proper AM/carving board enable me to get more (higher) on edge and force a sharper radius turn? I read something to this effect on Carver's Almanac, but can't be sure.

    Donek also makes the Freecarve Peterson in a 170 with an SCR of 10, but not sure which board (FC or Axxess) makes the better choice for me and the terrain I typically encounter.
    Our trails are short, icy, fairly narrow and can get somewhat cut up by end of the day. But then in the end its the rider, not the equipment. Your personality has a lot to do with it. Are you aggressive and hungry to ride whatever is in front of you? Are you looking for a more laid back ride with not too much work?

    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    Any advice is appreciated. I am very excited to finally complete the transition to a proper carving set up, so I want to be sure I have enough input for the right decision.
    Thanks!
    You won't go wrong with a Donek. Listen to Sean. Have fun.
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  6. #6
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    The world is different for big boys. A lot of boards which would be stout for a 175 pound guy will be very turny for someone over 200 - sometimes too much so, in fact. I'm 210 or more, and my 180 Coiler Racecarve, which was built for me in '02 with a 12.5 radius is terrific for tight linked turns but now that it's had me pounding on it for 9 years and has softened up a bit I often wish it were LESS turn-oriented when at speed (the current VSR designs probably take care of this, so would a newer board). I wouldn't go below 12, and I'd plan to steepen the angles, too - totally different sensation especially on heelside once you get above 50.

  7. #7
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    Hijack alert.............. Jonny, get you some intec heels this season so you can try my Metals
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  8. #8
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    icebiker,

    The Donek Axxess is a great choice, don't be to concerned with a 10-12 meter radius. It seems like a lot for you now since you are struggling to complete turns on a 9m board on narrower trails but that will change over time as you progress. I have seen a lot of beginners with a fleet of boards, stick to 1 board until you have mastered the board you'll know when you're ready to step up to a more aggressive board.
    If you are interested in the FC series attend the ECES and demo some of Seans boards to get an idea of what you could strive for your next board.
    Last edited by GeoffV; November 15th, 2011 at 07:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    10-12

    I would actually look forward to that sidecut. When I made that move from SL cut to something bigger (13m, what I ride now) it was great. And I am riding PA pocono mountains

    If you're not comfortable doing them yet, I would start watching videos and reading about "cross under" turns - I use them a lot now, especially in those "oh ****, no more trail left!!!" situations.

    We should ride together! Our season starts soon...I will be at camelback most of the year, with occasional trips up to NY/VT
    Technique before power; courage before all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    does the added running length/flex pattern of a proper AM/carving board enable me to get more (higher) on edge and force a sharper radius turn?
    FYI - getting the board higher on edge is a function of rider input. As your comfort level increases, you will find yourself getting the board higher on edge.
    "Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get." - Homer J. Simpson

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Buggs View Post
    Hijack alert.............. Jonny, get you some intec heels this season so you can try my Metals
    Oh, I'm Intec-ed already. I think we had a sole length issue - my shells are 27 Mondo.

  12. #12
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    I will bring the #3 and not be lazy this year
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  13. #13
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    If you can wait for demo sessions, try a Coiler too. I like both on Colorado snow but prefer the feel of the Coilers on ice/hardpack. Granted, I haven't ridden the latest generation of Doneks on ice...

    You can't go too wrong with either though. Just talk to whichever builder interests you most, they'll customize to hit your needs exactly.
    Corey

  14. #14
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    I'd say wait until you've ridden a few boards with different designs to go custom. I'm close your size and found that I'm more comfortable with narrow boards than I thought I'd be. It took a while to learn how to ride 13-14 m scr boards on narrower trails, but now I find my Coiler RCII 180 to be very nice in bumpy snow--as nice as I've found.

    I think one thing that helped a lot was getting the Volkl RT 168. It turns very tightly (under my weight) and made me worry a lot less in crowds.

    I think you're going to have to go past 35 deg on your rear boot once you start getting the board on edge. I found I needed at least 50 deg on a 24 cm waist board, and that's with M29 boots.

    So again, you're going to find you ride differently (different angles, stance, etc) on different gear. I think a custom Donek is a great idea, but I think if you wait a bit you'll have a greater chance of getting what you really want and having it stay that way.

    You're welcome to give my Volkl or Coiler a try. Like NickG, I'll be at Camelback a lot.

    Take into account that I'm giving advice not as an expert, but as a new convert...

  15. #15
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    Thanks all for your valuable input. Truly a great forum this!!

    Interesting comments on softening the board a bit. I think my current board (Ride Yukon 172W) is a bit too soft to hold a good line with hard boots, so I assumed stiffer is better..but I think what I'm hearing is that the Donek will be stiffer and thus better able to hold a line, BUT it shouldn't be overly stiff in order to get it to flex/turn tighter...do I have that right? I know there is no real measure for stiffness, so it's all relative.

    I thought about one more thing: taper. My current board has no taper. The Axxess does. I assume between the variable SCR and the taper I'll be better able to quicken up how I enter and exit my turns so I'll need less of the trail width than I do now?

    Erik: If the snow is PP or spring conditions, I am usually good to "C" my way down most trails that aren't chutes...One of my best days was a 40's PP day under the chair at Gore...i was ripping it up and loving every minute! But when it's icy/hard I find myself in less control and/or more speed than I'm comfortable with, so my fear was that the combination of a longer edge length and a longer SCR would exacerbate that situation. However, I think you and others are right....I will likely elevate my riding skill (and confidence at speed) as I move up to more appropriately suited equipment

    Teach/Jonny: I hear you on the angles...I've been at 50/35 for a few seasons now, mainly because I find I need the leverage to slide the board around in super steep, bumpy sections till I can get to a more open area to lay down my turns (Man how I wish I could go out West more often).

    Corey/Teach/Geoff: While I'd prefer to demo, my opportunities to do so have been limited. Given the limited times I get to ride (7 days/season on average), I'm thinking the AM/carve board will help me get to the next level and put me in a better position to progress to even more advanced riding down the road and the new board decisions that come along with it. I'll still take you up on your loaner offer Teach!

    Nick: absolutely need to meet up this year. I was emailing with Teach just last week about taking a day at Camelback (maybe a Friday to avoid weekend "trail debris")? I would love to get some hands on pointers from you and Teach...When I ride, I'm usually the only one out there carving (yet I'm not as proficient as many on BOL), so with no one to critique my technique, I have taught myself (and most certainly have a number of things to learn (or perhaps 'unlearn'). Let's pick a day in Feb (better conditions then) and make it happen. I like Fridays

  16. #16
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    Dude, a Metal board from Coiler or Donek will make a world of difference. Also get out with some other riders, especially ones that you know are better/more aggressive riders. But dont make it a competition, you want to find people that are willing to work with you 2-3 turns at a time not just blasting from top to bottom. I cant emphasize enough how a newer metal board can totally change where your at. I have not been on the newer Donek boards as I ride Coilers 90% of the time but I understand Sean is putting out some very nice stuff these days.
    Im far from a pro but running 35 on the back foot to me seems as if it could be a bit problematic for Ice coast style carving. Also you have to know when its time to stop trying to carve. Usually by 2 on a busy weekend the terrain is torn up to the point where only the people skilled enough to carve in the tightest of spaces are laying it down. If you watch them they really pick their spots. If you cant get people to ride with ask someone to shoot some video of a couple runs and post them up here. Im sure many people here will be happy to break down the footage for you. We will be here All season
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebiker View Post
    Any advice is appreciated.
    my advice? wear bright orange and make turn signals to let you know those straight liners behind you know that you intend to be turning!!!!

    just kidding though (well not really)... I grew up skiing and riding in Pennsylvania (most recently Shawnee, Camelback and one year at Blue Mt) until almost 10 years ago when I moved to Montana.....

    This is what I get to enjoy now..

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...type=1&theater

    and we open on Friday.... one day earlier than last year... I'll be riding on Saturday or Sunday!!!!!

  18. #18
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    orange and all that stuff

    kinpa: I believe your post was meant to stick your tongue out at all us PA boarders whose season hasn't started yet. So on that note, boo to you, sir....posting pictures like that....how's that supposed to make us feel!!!

    BUT joking aside you make an excellent point! I actually wear bright organge pants when I ride and I should really come up with some type of "turn signal" that works.

    icebiker: I ride with Teach when I can, and I think this year we will be riding together a lot more. I can definitely take off on a friday here and there. I have had to learn almost everything myself as well, and it has been slow-going. I like what bobby buggs said regarding knowing when to carve and when to just leave it alone. Don't get frustrated too easily on the east, chances are there are many many forces working against you

    I finally went custom this year (new donek metal freecarve II, you are welcome to try) only because I had a very good idea of what I wanted out of a board. I KNEW it had to be 20cm waist, and the sidecut had to be around 13m. It took me trying a bunch of different boards to get to that point. You could leave it to luck and just go for it, but it's a lot of $$$ to gamble .

    I don't regret for a moment the boards I have bought and sold on this forum. My advice comes with the same disclaimer that Teach gave: I'm not an expert, just a recent convert and total fan of the sport with a few years' experience.
    Technique before power; courage before all.

  19. #19
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    How did it get this late so early.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickG View Post
    kinpa: I believe your post was meant to stick your tongue out at all us PA boarders whose season hasn't started yet. So on that note, boo to you, sir....posting pictures like that....how's that supposed to make us feel!!!

    BUT joking aside you make an excellent point! I actually wear bright organge pants when I ride and I should really come up with some type of "turn signal" that works.
    ok, I'll forgive you this time, but for the future, ma'am would work just fine!

    and yeah, let me rub it in I snowboarded in PA for 11 years before I made the move west! how is it supposed to make you feel????? as psyched as I am for the upcoming season!!!!!

    When I teach the pole touch in skiing, I always tell my students to think of it as a turn signal.... we could all start riding like b0ardski with poles! hmmmm... I might have to try that this year.... since we will be the only ski area open this weekend and with limited terrain, might get a little crazy with all those die-hards! I could use my poles to poke them if they get in my way too!
    Last edited by kinpa; November 16th, 2011 at 04:37 PM.

  21. #21
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    Ordered!!!

    Thanks again for all the advice folks. I pulled the trigger today. First off let me say what many of you already know: Sean is A class. Incredibly patient with my questions, super friendly, gave me solid advice and recommendations, and left me with the feeling I'd make a solid decision.

    End result: Axxess 172 in custom 26 waist with tighter 9-11 VSCR than standard 10-12. Perf metal style topsheet. Will post pics when I get 'er. Board is probably wider than most would recommend, including Sean, but with my back issues, big feet and tight trails it's what I need at present. After a few years on this thing, I suspect I'l hone my skills to the point where I can go narrower with an FC type of board.

    Happy thanksgiving to all.

  22. #22
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    Only thing about that is 26 waist is gonna be a bear to get up on edge all day. Widest I have ever purchased was 21.5.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Buggs View Post
    Only thing about that is 26 waist is gonna be a bear to get up on edge all day. Widest I have ever purchased was 21.5.
    not when you're big and riding low angles. just takes a bit of getting used to.

  24. #24
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    Sounds nice! Metal, carbon, or standard construction? I bet that will be really versatile, good for slush and bad grooming even if you decide next season you want to go with a 14 cm waist Virus.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieran View Post
    not when you're big and riding low angles. just takes a bit of getting used to.
    +1 on that. I ride a 27 waist now and even with softies and 3 straps I have no problem getting it on edge. With hardboots it was even easier. That said, the issue was maintaining solid edge hold..my current board isn't really designed for that (plus not being built for carving I was always skittish about stressing it with plates and HB's for fear of ripping the inserts out). So, the 3 straps will go back on that board for less than ideal days.

    Teach, standard construction and yep it should be good for the lumpy bumpy stuff. Speaking of lumpy bumpy, you and Nick want to set a date for a meet up at C'back?

  26. #26
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    I bought a Donek "custom" over the summer and have four days on it so far this season. Technically it's an FC with rubber dampening, very low camber, stiff for my 6'/200#, variable side cut, blunt tip.

    Coming from "normal" snowboards, this thing really scared me as I pulled it out of the box, but once it was on my feet it was a dream to ride. I'd even go as far as to say that it turns easier than any of my other boards (Prior MFR, Hammer, Rossi).

    I did get a shorter board, 165cm, but with the actual edge it ride fast and stable. The board is 23.5cm to accomodate angles of 42/45 with a mondo 30 boot (UPZ 27.5).

    I think you're going to need to get those angles closer together (five degrees of diffeence) or you'll never find a happy medium; i.e board will always be too narrow for back foot or too wide for front foot.

    Sean makes a great board, custom to your needs for the same price as a factory board by other mfgs, and it's at least as good, probably better.

    Where else can you specifiy tip and tail style, top and bottom graphics, metal or rubber, build structure, sidecut and dimensions, and USA built and bred?

    BTW, I'm a East Coast rider too, but three of those days were at Brighton Utah last week. Yes, it totally sucked

  27. #27
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    Results!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nice to see the results of a fact finding mission like this. Very cool!!
    Great effort, excellent results!!

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    SEARCHING TIP: go to GOOGLE and add this to the end of your search terms- site:bomberonline.com

  28. #28
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    Nice! That would have been perfect the other day at Blue! Can't wait to see it live. Let me know when you're up for Camelback. Tomorrow?

  29. #29
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    What an awesome board!!!

    Got a chance to rail the new Donek this past week at Tremblant. Conditions were manmade groom the first few days, then 8" of fresh powder followed by packed powder. Windy as all get out, so some spots were icy.

    The new board exceeded my expectations! It was simply a total game changer for me and moved me to a new level of confidence in turns, at speed, and in the chop. The variable sidecut made it easy to carve both wide as well as tighten up the arc/turn by weighting the front (which has a tighter SCR). The rear taper made a huge difference in releasing from turns. The flex Sean built into it for my weight neutralized pretty much any chop I encountered, even at speed..it was like a hot knife in butter. Even on some of the harder/icy spots the board just held. I even took it into a terrain park to slash some of the walls...no problem. I had a 5h1t-eating grin on me on every run (though no-one could see it since I was full-face-mask due to the cold and wind.

    Everyone's advice was spot on...in particular the point about moving my rear angle in from 35. I am now 45 in rear (still 50 in front, but that feels right). Thanks again for all the tips.

    Can't wait to take it out again. Teach/Nick...still want to do the Camelback day, but Mother Nature's playing hard to get....

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