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15 Year Old wants to start on an Alpine setup


Guest Thomas_S
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Guest Thomas_S

Hi.

I'm fifteen and have been snowboarding on for about 4 seasons. Anyhow, I really want to get into carving so heres some information about me:

Height - 5'4"

Weight - 106

Shoe size: 10 <<<---- I'm an over-pronator.

I could really use some advice on this. Like what kind of board is best for someone my size. Oh yeah, and on a budget, too. That can last for a few seasons, not just one or two.

I'm not too fond of the snowboard parks. Not my cup of tea. Like I'll just say scew it, and go out with some of my friends on skiers when everyone wants to go to the park for hours on end. IMHO, it's just plain boring.

I've read the welcome center articles a few times each, and am really excited about this.

Also, last year I started to ride with my bindings at more extreme angles. Something like 30 and 25, or similair. \ \ Type thing.

Thanks for the help, and I'm sorry about the jumbled mess of a message.

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Try to find either used gear or unused gear from previous years, you can often get some with good rebates. And also, focus primarely on the boots, because if your feet are uncomfortable, you won't have a good time snowboarding. As for the board, I'd say between 155 and 160 cm for your size and height. And a board not too stiff, it will be easier to make the transition. If later on the equipment you bough does not correspond to your style or preferences, sell it and get something else. But like I said, good boots first, I cannot stress this too much.

Derf

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Because you only weigh 106 lbs, you're gonna have trouble bending most alpine boards. You'll need something a fair bit softer than the average to match your lighter weight. Perhaps a hard-boot oriented "all-mountain" board, or even a boardercross board.

If you want to ease your way into the carving side of things (both financially and in terms of technique), you could just buy hard boots and bindings and mount them to whatever board you're currently riding, at angles of about 45 degrees.

And like Derf says, get good boots that fit well.

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Guest AlpentalRider

If you can, try and pick up a Burton Speed 160 they are selling on ebay. Those aren't too stiff and work real well. Plus you should be able to pick one up for around $100-$150 shipped.

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Guest wally sipes

baka has your best idea. get some hard boots that are not too stiff, plates and put them on your current deck. i ride longer carving boards in the morning and switch to a freedide hardboot setup in the afternoon. large fun. good luck, wally

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I tried the slow angle change when I went from freeriding to carving and found an area of about 35 to 50 degrees that was kind of a no mans land. I could heel and toe it up to about 35/15 and side to side it at 50/50 and beyond, but had a lot of probs in between. Is there anyone who rides at 45/45 degrees or in that range?

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Originally posted by trikerdad

I tried the slow angle change when I went from freeriding to carving and found an area of about 35 to 50 degrees that was kind of a no mans land. I could heel and toe it up to about 35/15 and side to side it at 50/50 and beyond, but had a lot of probs in between. Is there anyone who rides at 45/45 degrees or in that range?

Don't stop heeling and toeing...or rather, "toes down" on toeside, "toes up" (lift them up) on heelside. I'll catch myself not doing this, even at 63/60, and realize how much of a difference it makes.

Thomas - I'll chime in here on the boots as well...good fitting boots are a must. There are plenty of used boards and bindings out there. Make the boots your first priority. Oh, and welcome - you're gonna love digging arcs around your friends and turning heads on the lift. :D

joe...

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Have a '99 Alp 157 excellent/like-new condition (I know, need to get it back on the classifieds) - selling for $100.00 including ship in lower 48. The flex and length of this board would be ideal IMO. A very nice entry level, all mountain carving deck. Unfortunately, don't have bindings with 3D disks to sell (sold my race plates earlier this year). Lots of stuff out there. Like other posters have said, check classifieds here or ebay. Good luck and welcome!

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Hi,

definitely check out raceboarders.com ebay link. then you can save the search in ebay and be emailed everytime there is something new on ebay. ebay and the classified board here are great starts. alternatives are teh classifieds of other carving sites. you can try all the local shops, but unless you're sorta lucky or close to a decent mountain, I highly doubt you'll find anything. good luck.

Kirk, others,

just curious about something you said. Isn't the Burton alp you are selling considered more of an entry- level freecarver than an all mountain alpine board? I believe its lack of stiffness (and 200mm width?) make it more versatile than a raceboard or more advanced freecarve board, but I am under the impression it does not have the same functionality (ignore quality for a sec) as say, the Donek Axis...

---

Barry

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Guest Thomas_S

A few questions here:

The Oxygen SX Jim offered to sell: What are you views on that board, and my size etc. Also, Oxygen's site listed it as a freestyle/freeride board. What is the difference between freeride and boardercross? Same with the Burton Alp Kirk offered. Preferably, I'd like to have the ability to board in different terrain. Groomed, powder, etc.

Another question: What are 3d disks?

Also, what is best to look for in boots and bindings? I see step in and bail-types. In the soft boot world, step ins are really frowned upon. What about in hard boots? Do you also have to worry about compatible boots?

I'm sorry about all of these questions. But you know what, I have to start somewhere....

On another note: What is it like? For instance, does it take long to adjust to the equipment? I know I will have to scale back from the diamonds, but how much, or long?

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.

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Difference between freeride and BX:

Others may give you a better, more technical answer.... but generaly speaking, a BX deck is usually stiffer, has slightly more effective edge given the same length, slightly bigger sidecut radius, and is slightly more directional. Many companies don't market a specific BX model but their top-end freeride board makes a good BX board.

3D disks:

Binding disks that ft the Burton 3D pattern, a.k.a. 3-hole or my favorite, A-hole pattern. Applies equally to soft gear.

Step-ins:

I believe most of us would agree that the Intec standard for step ins is widely accepted by freecarvers and by casual racers; you don't see too many serious racers using them, due to the fact that racers often prefer a little give in their binding and step-ins are often a stiffer interface than bails. (Others, feel free to refine or correct that statement.) I personally use TD2 step-ins and Catek step-ins; I love 'em.

I last used softie step-ins in 2000; when K2 started to pahse out the HB clickers, I jumped ship to straps. (I ride both softies and plates nowadays).

How long does it take to get going:

That varies widely by rider, and by whether you have access to good instruction, formal or otherwise, and finally by how well suited your gear is to you. My first two years on plates, I didn;t get very far mostly because my boots were a size too big and that screwed me up - and because I was not committing to the carve enough. A pair of boots that fit better and a couple of days riding with some very helpful individuals made a huge difference. I love riding with people who can kick my @$$, because I learn so much from them. On the whole, I've found other hard booters on the hill to be incredibly helpful and eager to share their knowledge and opinions, there are a few exceptions of course.

It is good to see some young-uns taking up plates. The sport needs new blood! Welcome!

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your boots make sure they are not too big

too small is okay as long as its not more than 3/4 of a size a good boot tech can add allot of room to a boot

go for somthing that is a little soft at this point a true race boot would not be ideal

burton 3D most bindings support it both bomber and catek will work fine with 3D

no worries there

stepins I like them intec is the best!

the mighty alp is a good board to start riding alpine on they are forgiving and are just dandy for most freeride conditions I had the 169 and it went everywhere with me, they trench alright too

personally I think that hardboots on boards that are meant for softboots rarely works well but that could just be me

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In answer to Barry's question, yes, it is a freecarve board that is versatile enough to ride on and off piste. As far as the "all mountain" category, probably not in the technical sense from the most contemporary (nose/tail & waist width, flex, etc.), but I think it kinda depends on the rider's perspective as well. I've ridden that little alp on hard-packed cord, thigh deep powder, crud, trees, and even some bumps and it performed well (managing to stay clear of rocks, etc - that's why she's still cherry!). Not much terrain park. I have yet to ride an Axis, 4X4 or Coiler AM (would LOVE the opportunity), so I cannot make a side-by-side comparison. From what I can tell, the alp probably would not handle the varying conditions as well as the Axis, 4X4, etc. But, it still holds an edge well on easy/moderate terrain at slow/medium speeds, forgiving enough to relax a bit once you've initiated an edge, and wide enough to enjoy the powder some. I had some old asym alps (157 & 164) that were stiffer than the newer generations. Those were fun too! The only Burton that I would guess to be similar to the function of those listed above (quality aside) would be the Coil (formerly e-deck), which I've ridden as well. Bottom line, the alp is still a good choice for a first carving deck. The other mentioned "all mountain" sticks would probably work great too!

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Originally posted by Kirk

The only Burton that I would guess to be similar to the function of those listed above (quality aside) would be the Coil (formerly e-deck), which I've ridden as well.

Friend of mine has a Wire, which is similar in proportions and flex to my older ('99 I think) 4X4. The newer 4X4s (and AMs and Axis) are stiffer by quite a bit I understand.

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Originally posted by Kent

But, I'm a firm believer is that hardboots are for hardcore carving/racing and recommend softies for all-mountain riding.....

Bah, I'm the opposite: softies are specialised equipment for freestyle. If you just want to ride the mountain, hard boots and an all-mountain board are what you want. At your light weight, maybe the Prior 4X4 in the 159 length, but talk to them first. Your other choices in that style are the Donek Axis (maybe too stiff for your weight) and the Coiler AM (Bruce can detune it for you but I think he's all booked this season).

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There's one thing you guys (Kent, Neil...)seem to be overlooking when suggesting "Prior 4x4, Donek Axis and/or Coiler AM". If you read the original question, you will see he is on a budget, that means not able to afford a 550$US or 680$CAN board! And he also said he is starting.

In my opinion, when starting alpine snowboarding, any general alpine board will do, be it a soft slalom board or an all mountain board like a Burton Alp, it will do, then you can make up your mind on what you like and what you don't like. It's what I did, my first alpine board was too short and too stiff, I sold it and bought another board after 2 seasons and now I am happy.

Derf

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Chris Houghton sometimes has used Prior 4X4s for reasonable money kicking around. There's deals to be had in the classifieds here. Prior's website usually has a few discounted/demo ones, although still a little pricy ($CDN575 for a 159 currently, that's about $US455). Older Burton Wire/Coil/Alps would work fine, probably great at his weight.

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Originally posted by Derf

There's one thing you guys (Kent, Neil...)seem to be overlooking when suggesting "Prior 4x4, Donek Axis and/or Coiler AM". If you read the original question, you will see he is on a budget, that means not able to afford a 550$US or 680$CAN board! And he also said he is starting.

Nope, didn't overlook that. Budget is a relative term.....no parameters given. Check the used market.

Sounds to me that your advise is that any POS will do the trick. I'm offering a targetted solution.

A CHEAP snowboard is RARELY the least expensive option. For the price of your 2 POS boards, you could have upgraded from the start.....

I only recommended the Prior. Takes tooooo long to get a Donek or Coiler. I'm not saying the Prior is "better"....but it seems that Chris is the guy who is ramping up production to meet demand. It's a balance b/w quality and ability to ride sooner. Kudos to his efforts!

Kent

P.s. - Neil....I do admire your "hardboot" dedication, but let's be honest. Hardboots are for cord and gates!

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Guest Thomas_S
First things first....you need a diet full of whole milk and protein! 106...is that right?

Not really. I already eat well. I am also a long distance runner, which is an endurance sport. You lose whatever is too much in your training. Running sixty(60) miles a week at a good pace will do that.

Yeah, I do see where you were coming from though. For most, thats pretty bad. Okay for a long distance runner though. :D

Kent: Your right. Budget is a relative term.

For me, I feel that I could *possibly* afford an Axis or 4x4. However, that could mean making cuts in other areas. If I could find one used that would make life a lot easier. However, if a new board was a better route, and could last a while, I might be able to make ends meet. Another question. On Donek's website, they also have the FreeCarve, which is shorter than the Axis, and the same price. Would this board also be good, or no? I realize they are different styles of board, but would either be good as my first Alpine board?

Again, thank you for all your help. No doubt some of you are probably fed up with me. :D

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Originally posted by Thomas_S

Another question. On Donek's website, they also have the FreeCarve, which is shorter than the Axis, and the same price. Would this board also be good, or no? I realize they are different styles of board, but would either be good as my first Alpine board?

The Freecarve, especually in the narrower widths, is more if a groomer-only board. The freecarves are also noticably stiffer than the Axis 167 and 172 which will be a huge thing for a light guy such as yourself.

I have the Axis 172 and I'm in the high 190s, and I think the flex is right on. I am guessing it would be way stiff for you.

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