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philw last won the day on June 1

philw had the most liked content!


  • Location
  • Home Mountain/Resort?
    Ski Rossendale
  • Occupation?
    software & other stuff
  • Current Boards in your Quiver
    Kessler 156 SL
    Powder boards as available...
  • Current Boots Used?
    Atomic Backland Carbon
  • Current bindings and set-up?
    F2 Race Ti
  • Snowboarding since
  • Hardbooting since

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  1. It wasn't unexpected, this last couple of years. He was still pretty much around until then, although he hasn't been running the place for quite a while now. You can still go if you can get into Canada. He was a crazy Austrian guy, but he wasn't bothered about where you came from or what you rode: his business always treated poor snowboarders like me just the same as they treated the richest old school skiers. That's why he got most of my heli money. In fact he's still got some of it and I'll be there, Covid permitting, to collect on some of it in December. I'm sorry he's gone, but he had about as good a run as any of us can expect.
  2. What he said. You can spend a lot, but it's mostly optional. My care hire was very cheap, although the attempts to sell me over-the-desk extras were exceptionally aggressive. The desk man insisted that just driving in Iceland would result in me being liable for €9,000 to repaint a car which was worth less than that and which already had damage to every panel, some of it rusting. I laughed and suggested he bill me in advance and then my lawyers would sort it out later.... a successful bluff call. Also I actually had to extend my trip by a few days, and my car rental got significantly cheaper (!), so shop around! Americans seem to like being in "tour groups" and you can pay a lot for that if you want it. On the other hand Iceland's like anywhere else, you can just park (mostly for free) and walk where you want. For example up to that volcano in the image. They'll charge you to "lead" you there if you want, but it's optional. The car I did hire was a stick-shift, although in Europe we mostly all started with those so it's no problem. Even so, it took a couple of times for me to remember how the things work. The roads are exceptionally quiet though, so there's really no stress to driving there. Lots of the USA is pretty amazing too, but Iceland's certainly a very different place and worth a gander. There are lift-accessed ski hills, but it's going to be mostly dark when those are open. You can "tour" there to access the snow in the long days, but otherwise it's a heli place really. I didn't see anyone in the hills there at all, not one person, other than us.
  3. I'm still laughing at the pond-skin concept. Yeah, it's not cheap, but then there's not a lot of competition in terms of accessible places with good snow at this time of year. Brown sugar... I think it's a combination of maybe wind-blown dust and dirt from the rocks. It's generally pretty good to ride on for whatever reason. Here's a kit dump. I was riding my Burton Dump Truck which was perfect in this snow (although too wide for much of the stuff I encountered in 2019 I thought). The transceiver is the Arva Evo 5 which I really like. Those things are way better than they used to be. We were using Black Diamond electric air bags (not shown), which are lighter than those I've used previously. There were a few sloughs around but nothing felt like it could remotely slide - there's just the one layer in this, it's all consolidated. And here's a shot from this afternoon from the active volcano, which is about 6 hours drive from the snow, being in the bottom left hand corner and near the international airport.
  4. A little later and a different tenure. The snow here's much better. Steeper than this shot looks, about 800m vertical from the top to the sea. There's a 30m cliff with waterfalls at the bottom, so you can't quite get to the water. There were whales in there, we say three flying back over it. Another camera phone shot. A sponsored local who was pretty good on the soft boots. She was interested in boot technology and, like me, thinks snowboard boots have been somewhat in a rut for 30 years. Looking for whales on the way home. Note the avionics, which are more electronic than older machines.
  5. I'm sorry to hear that. I was reading this as I'm interested in how things are going in Canada, a place I care about. People I worked with in the UK have been "in the front line" of Covid. They were exposed to the virus before we had decent PPE and vaccines, because it was their job to help the sick. Some died. I just walked away from a dinner table where some right wing moron was spouting off about how much he dislikes being told not to kill more of us. I did not walk away because I'm a "snow flake",
  6. Iceland is full of Brits and Americans. One of them has hard boots. They have strict Covin control measures, for which I'm truly thankful. I'm safer here than in my own country, where we have a populist leader. These guys really understand the sacrifices necessary for freedom.
  7. Oh, something new to try. I like the look of that. I guess my main problem as a hard-booter would be the width... riding wide boards (eg my Burton Dump Truck) with 45/35 angles and hard boots isn't great on piste because it's too wide at around 26cm waist. The lever on the edge doesn't work - my heel/toes are too inboard so getting the board on edge on hardpack isn't easy. Of course powder is fine. The waist width is essentially identical to this Kessler, so I guess I would have the same problem. Maybe I can make it work if I go a bit wider. I can't remember what my first ever snowboard boot angles were - the bindings were mounted directly on the board. I think they were maybe 35/18 or something like that. Hmm.
  8. Holy necro Please don't make me read back through all this to remember which boards were rockered and which weren't. I do remember riding rockered boards when they were in fashion - Burton and Lib I think. I didn't really find the rockers much different, other than that the noses had a tendency to wander a bit if you didn't discipline it. Not a big deal, but you don't, in my view, get the benefits which skiers seem to get from their rockers, possibly because of the difference in load as applied to a board versus a ski. The board I actually liked was the Burton Joy Stick which was playful and maybe had less pronounced rocker, or at least not so much as to be annoying. I did ride with people who were on banana and similar boards, none of them could ride, but that was probably not the fault of the boards which no doubt would have been fine if the riders were good enough. Me, I have two boards, one for piste & resort powder, and the other for the deep stuff. It's not a significant issue to fly with two boards (I used to fly with 3), and that works well. For powder I want taper and width, for piste I want Mr Kessler's finest.
  9. That's pretty much answered that one - thanks. I'm thinking that I'm at the point where it's remarkable that I'm doing this stuff at all, never mind doing it with excessive style, so I think I'll start building gently. My drop there wasn't huge so carving out in the one feasible direction was straightforward. I'm not much of a "grab" person in so much as it seems a bit affected, but maybe I'll give the tail grab and the shifty a shot. (In other news, it's still illegal to travel from here to the snow, but that may change this month, and there's still snow in Iceland and Greenland if you know a man with a helicopter, so all is not yet lost... )
  10. Snowbird - one of the lifties just gave it to me. I think it was because I was ripping the place up somewhat, and at least from what various regulars said, they obviously get a lot of learner snowboarders there. It's a good sticker though, the only one I have on there - if you know why it's funny then you can probably ride.
  11. Actually for that one I used the same pole - a Delkin KaBoom, which is multi-segment but fixed length. Google tells me that one's 50.8 – 152.4 cm, or 20″ to 60″. I broke that pole after many years and ended up with a Rode microphone boom which is three simple carbon fibre sections. I like it, and shot the thing below with two of those sections. As both sections are necessarily long, it's a bit of a hassle to transport. The edit posted earlier was my first attempt with the 360 camera, so I experimented with a few of those editing things. It is pretty neat in than you can effectively create your angles after the event. The difficulty in editing was more that with that camera (the now obsolete Rylo) you had to do the 3D editing on the mobile phone app. So I crop and pan segments out of the 3D sphere using the Rylo phone app, then export those as ordinary 2D videos. Then I use DaVinci resolve to cut those together. So the edit process has that extra mobile phone based step, which is the difficulty. Now you've reminded me I'll go and check if there are free plug-ins which will edit 360 video in DaVinci Resolve - that's what I really need, so I don't have to bother with the phone app at all. Other people may be happy with the phone on it's own, but I like the big desktop editor toys. Overall, as you end up dealing with video optimized for mobile devices, and mostly (in my case) lower resolution that 4k once it's cropped, you actually need less compute power That said, these days power is no longer the issue it once was: computers are mostly powerful enough. Note that the spherical video from these consumer 360 cameras (including all the current "action" ones) is typically 5.6K or some such, which is obviously bigger than 4k. However if you are cropping a conventional 2D video out of that sphere, then you're not using most of those pixels, hence the actual video quality is not very good or clear - it's much lower/ worse than the 4k you can get from any modern GoPro for example. Hence I'm waiting for a lightweight 360 camera capable of being cropped down to 4k: then I'll be happy. Well for a while
  12. Or: "Jumping for adults". I know how to jump with my snowboard. I mean, if there's a cliff or a pillow I'll ride over it with a bit of speed and then try to deal with the landing, mostly by ensuring there's at least 3m of powder where I'm heading. After that it's just a question of if I ride out of the crater or not. You can't really see it in the image below from today, but bottom right there's a small ramp. It's maybe a meter tall fashioned as a mellow "roller". It's "passive", in that it doesn't do anything to your balance should you hit it (there's no "kicker"). If a hard booter his it full speed there's just about enough space down there to put in a turn before the fence at the bottom. Soft booters generally spin just above the snow then crash or sideslip away - I've no desire to do that. I'm trying to get straight in my head what the best technique is for hard booting a roller like this is. I can simply suck it up and take minimal air; I can hit it straight or hit it at an angle; or I can extend violently as I get to the lip. I'm not really interested in tricks at all, but I am interested in the best technique for rollers, for I suppose (a) height; and (b) length of air, and maybe (c) maximum hard boot style [which has to be very different from spinny tricks]. Anyone got any tips?
  13. That one's also designed and built by Ken Achenbach. Is commonly used for MTB and surfing also. The question was specifically about accessories and carving, neither of which are particularly my thing. However for back country snowboarding at least 360 cameras seem to me to be the way to go, because there's no stabilisation issue as they capture the entire 360 degree field, so can do that in post. But more importantly you can crop and frame in post production too, so it makes the camera-man job much easier/ lower skilled. On the end of a pole works best, either for 1st person or 3rd person use. Poles over about 1.2m long are give a big enough usable field of view. Otherwise, I think the "go pro accessory" thing is a bit like dealer-fit car options - a lot of accessories are sold, but I suspect not so many are used that much. You don't need a bag of bits. Most people will be able to cobble something together if you want to experiment.
  14. I just had a look at the Coiler website and it seems true that they really don't seem to cater well for short boards. Other suppliers have this well covered though - Kessler for example.
  15. ( I was busy getting vaccinated, now all I need is the law on travel to change in one country, and I'll be on the snow! It's a race between a snowboard-related business meeting in BC and Iceland. So far Iceland is looking like the best bet. I digress..) Yes, agreed. My own path has been mostly Euro SL boards on piste. Other styles and types of board exist: this approach clearly isn't what everyone wants and as stated it does require more rider-involvement than some may want. You don't want to borrow my 162 Kessler if you weigh twice what I do; getting the sizing right is very important I think. At absolute maximum speed you don't get much support from the board, but at a resort I'm probably going to be the fastest person who's not straight lining anyway, within the limit of the board. Metal helps a lot there. However if your goal is only turn performance at maximum speed, then get a longer board. With powder boards, people used to say "go big or go home", and we'd not really let people come riding if they didn't obviously have a big enough board to survive a day. These days boards are designed to still work, but at shorter lengths. I haven't found big or small boards hard to turn, but the smaller boards are I suppose more responsive.
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