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Why we ride skinny


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the tips and tails of alpine boards are stubby to maximize the effective edge, which makes sense because theyre designed specifically for carving. Narrowness of an alpine board is also a prominent characteristic when comparing alpine to other snowboards... but why? I know its faster edge-to-edge when theres less distance inbetween... is that it or is there more?

and yes i used the search function, but about 300 topics came up so i figured this would be easier and more direct.

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It's hard to make a wide board stiff enough from edge to edge. to hold up under hardboot plate binding forces. Lately there has been some new constrution techniques that are allowing wider boards to have similar strength(METAL). Last year there was a few riders going really wide at the World cup level. However all of them went back to more common waist after having a hard time with their riding. Most boards can be made up to 23cm with the same torsinal strength of a 18 or 19 board of just a decade ago. The biggest news with the new board constuction methods are the dampning propertys!!! Any board builder can build a board up to free ride standards in even wider widths. Sean has been making great wide shapes at Donek, so has Bruce at Coiler. The avarge width on the world cup has grown a few CM the past few years. My GS board is almost 21 at the waist and I ride 25.5mondo boots. I of course still like to go out and ride stuff down to sqwal width some times changing the width is more fun then length. I do however adjust my angles to be over the edge. It would just be silly to ride a wide alpine board with underhanging angles.... :lol:

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Every time I have gone down in width (25, 23, 21, 17cm over the last several years) it felt like it took less strength to tip the board up on edge, or to hold an edge while traversing. From a simple physics standpoint it makes sense that it would take less force to lift yourself off the snow on a shorter lever.

People always talk about edge-to-edge quickness but I think that's just a side-effect of having better leverage, and needing less strength to accomplish the edge change in the first place.

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When you freecarve in soft snow I find it really beneficial to have a couple of centimeters of board outside your boots. I ride with 21 cm waist with 62/57 angles. On real hardpack it´s no problem having your boots to the edge but in soft Aspen-snow I tend to boot out and loose speed.

I haven´t noticed any less edgepressure changing from correct setup (boot al the way to the edge of the board) compared to ride with a little space.

/Mats

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