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Boards with taper?


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Hi All,

I was just reading another thread (I'm not going to say which one:o) and was curious, What are the characteristics of boards with taper? I have not had a chance to ride one and am VERY interested in board design.

I have read about it a little, but haven't REALLY heard other than the sales pitch on the websites (I forget which one).

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......... Sean Martin, Chris Prior and the elusive Bruce Varsarva have a wealth of knowledge to add to my dumbed down explanation. Or you could ask Bordy for clarification. :lol:

I would be surprised if we hear from these guys.

I would love to hear about it from Bordy though......

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My limited understanding is this: in freecarving, we usually want to finish the turn, come across the hill and start the next turn. In racing, they need to get to the next gate, which means they don't care about finishing the turn. A board with no taper or even reverse taper helps you finish the turn, downside being it tends to lock you into the turn. Taper lets you release out of the turn earlier.

Actually, most boards these days have a little taper, to help avoid that locked in, headed for the trees feeling. I think the latest race sticks have a lot of taper.

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Everyone has hit most of the points with a little confusion with a race turn.

First the only thing worth adding about taper that has not been said is how much better the board tracks. The tail just settles into the rut the wider nose dug and tracks real well, Release is a big issue that taper solves, It allows the rider to come off the old edge with some push and power, and then when the new edge becomes hot the tail just follows right in. Very nice. Also taper makes it a bit easier to slide the board or make a quick direction change by breaking the tail loose something that happens a lot less in a race course then most think. But is a nessesaty.

O-kay here is race turn shape 101. In order to go as fast as possible in a coarse you need to have the fastest line, but in PGS the course gets a bit bumpy and rutted at the gate much to rutted to hold a entire carve some times with out getting bounced of line. The way to fix this is to start the turn very early almost right after the last pin as soon as the board crosses the fall line at a point called the rise line you want to throw the board up on edge and push your body down the hill off of the board. So we are throwing our body down hill and forcing the board to start carving on what was just the down hill edge the board bends and starts to turn and we can us a little energy do move down hill faster. As the board hits the fall line most of the dirrection change is done and we try to just coast through the pin and rutted hole near it making only fine adjustments to stay on line. If you are gliding and not trying to carve when the board breaks the fall line after the pin you are not making any pressure againt your dirrection of travel.

O-kay so here is were taper makes a differance. At the start of the turn you can really push against both feet and the board just sets the edge. As you find the fall line a tapered board really want to go down it. The nose just drops in and the tail follows, More time in fall line means more speed.

as you finish the turn the board tracks great through the rut due to a nose camber profile that wants to find its way over and through any bumps and ruts in it way and a tail that follows with out any hooky feel and sturdy as a table to stand on for just a little sqeeze of speed, This also gives the rider time to make any miny adjustments while setting up for the edge change in the rise line.

In pow it allows the tail to sink like a swallow, tail, But on the groomers a Pow board with taper holds a sick edge!

Many board manufactors try to change the radius also. But taper is the simple answer...

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...It'd be interesting to try three boards with identical specs except:

1. Large taper

2. No taper

3. Large negative taper

in short succession (all in one day).

That would be fun for an SES in the future.......

Thank you all for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

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