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How long of a board can you go?

Guest scotren

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Guest scotren

I know alot of people ask how long of a board o ride,, but they always tell them that the longer the faste but only to a point.. Well i m from lower michigan.... there arent very many of us and i am in college.. so no money to go around. I am 5'6', 150 lbs, and hve a size 25mondo (8). I was woundering wha the longest board you think i could go without slowing down... ride a 168 right now and am planing on getting a new board how long do you think i could go Thanks


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What does the term "slowing down" mean?

A 173-175 would be a decent GS stick for your Michigan hills. Anything over 180cm is overkill b/c you don't have the run-out to take advantage of speed.

However, I'd steer you towards a shorter board! Don't give in to the BOL "longer is better" myth. Build up your SL skills and get a 158ish at your size....

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like a workout and speed events

I belong to the flex school of thought that is a bigger issue at your weight many decks are gonna be too stiff and that will make it hard to deal with ice

sidecut is a big issue as well no matter what the length of the board a 9 meter sidecut is gonna be useless at 50 mph be it 148 or 178(if such a animal even exists)

it comes down to what you want to do

my best advice to you would be to ask Bruce at Coiler or one of the other custom builders(Donek, Prior) I doubt anyone has more experience helping people get the right board for their needs than this group of people

Donek will ship you a demo to try that

I wish more companies would do that in particular with the state of alpine in recent years

thats what made me buy a Donek I think

I demoed a axis and bought a sasquatch go figure

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Too much length will affect your low speed manuverability(think all those little kids in lift lines you gotta get around). It just plain takes more effort to use a longer board so you have to work on technique. Sidecut and flex affect how the board rides. Longer sidecut=longer turn radius. If you don't have the room on the runs you ride, you will be forced to skid turns a lot more, at least in less than perfect conditions. Donek will send you demo boards to try. I would ask for a Axis to demo in a 167 or 173. They have a softer flex but carve like you are on rails. If you like 'em but want a full on alpine board, Sean can build a FC2 with those flex characteristics. Or you could buy a Volkl Renntiger SL163 or a GS168. Both of those have a softer flex in the nose but edge well and suit my lighter touch style. I'm 5'7"/160 lbs and find these are both good decks for me.

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Any board will go as fast as you let it go. If you point a 130 and a 200 straight down the hill you'll get to the bottom of the hill a virtually the same time. Where the size of the board comes into play is the feeling of stability at speed. Other factors come into play as well like flex and damping, but as a general rule, the longer the board the more stable it feels. So when a board feels more stable it allows you to ride faster and still be in your comfort zone. You also have to factor skill level into how long of a board you will feel comfortable on. I'm 5' 10" and 150, I feel comfortable on virtually all size boards as long as they flex properly for me. To find the right length board think about what size turns you want to make, and pick a board with a sidecut radius that will do these turns. Keep in mind your weight so you don't end up with a board made for a 200 pound person, and be honest with your abilty so you don't end up with a board that's beyond your ability to turn.

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"Don't give in to the BOL "longer is better" myth."

This is probably indirectly directed at me. I went out and got a 205 made, which lead to to a rash of 210s and then CMC's 228 I believe. I decided I wanted to push my limits on length while I was young and could be stupid (there, I said it . . .stupid). I measured up my Dakine Dually bag and found that 205 was as long as I could go and still be able to travel with boards. That being said, I love the board. One of my favorites, but not exactly practical. 205 long, big sidecut and really stiff, but boy is it rewarding to ride.

But to answer your original question, I would have to agree with the comments that it isnt just length, but the combination of length, stiffness and sidecut. You could go reaaaaaaaaaally long, as long as it was softer with a big sidecut etc. etc. I wouldnt be scared of a 185 if I were you, as long as it was of an appropriate flex. I weigh in at 175 and my favorite board is a a donek 195 with an 18.5 waist, 16.0m sidecut and slightly softer flex. Just seems to be the right balance of edge hold and stability at speed. Your a wee bit lighter, pull that back down into a similar 180-185, and I think you would be pleasantly surprised what the board has to offer.

Regardless, ride everything you can. Have some short boards, have some long boards. Ride them all. There are some GREAT boards in the 170-175 range designed for PGS that can really fit the bill. Madd is back with some incredible shorter boards, and Donek and Coiler are offering some carve specific boards that are slightly softer than their racing brotheren to make sure they have great edge hold through all conditions.

Ill shut up now. Long story short, you can go as long as you want, just dont be stupid about it. Meet up with some people and try out their longer boards. If you are in the VT area, drop me a line, I have some longer boards that you would be more than welcome to try out.


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