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Why aren't you riding newer gear?


trailertrash
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Why are there so many alpine riders riding older gear? Why not step it up and come in to this decade? This isn't meant as a flame, just curious really.

Is snowboarding not a priority in your life? It is a "B" sport instead of an "A" sport for you?

It seems there are a higher number of people riding older equipment here than in other sports I am involved with.

Ideas?

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$$$ and Idiocy

I guess first is $$$. Being a very avid golfer, I see people are starting the sport by acquiring general equipment from mass chain stores like Kmart, Dick's, or Sports Authorities for less than half of what they should spend for clubs.

Secondly, Idiocy (uneducated thinking). I do recommend that beginner should get 'Game Improvement' set with newer technology in brand name. THEN, most importantly, get FITTED by professional (Preferred PGA pro, not salesmen from Dick's). Now checking basic determining factors of choosing right equipment such as swing speed, flex, launch angles, ball speed, or club face angle are widely available at less than $200.

Then people excuse themselves by saying that they will do that once their swing gets proper shapes or they become good enough to get customized. WRONG.

By getting right stuff from the beginning, one can achieve that moment way earlier and excels.

I'v done that for golf equipment (pretty much every few years again and again). For alpine snowboard, I'm testing out new shape and newer construction to nail down what I really want. (still in processing). But once I figure out what I want, my credit card will be charged at one of board builders in North America. :1luvu:

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New custom stick $1000

Boots $500

Bindings $350

Season Pass $1000

That adds up for a lot of us- I'm not in any way saying this stuff should be cheaper or that it isn't already a good value, but it is "expensive" for a lot of people.

By comparison, I just picked up a used stick and bindings for $550 and sold some older gear which amounts to roughly $300 or less for a complete package. $300 is a great way to try out the sport and still afford lift tickets. Just because the gear is older in no way makes it less fun to ride. Less competitive on the world cup? Sure- but I gave up on my world cup dreams when I was 16 and having my ass handed to me by the kids at Carrabassett.

I sincerely thank all of the guys who can buy gear first hand every season and keep these builders going strong. Being honest about the number of days I'll get out in a season and balancing my real world obligations leaves me pretty content on "world class" and top end gear from a few seasons ago.

There isn't a big box equivalent in alpine gear, and there certainly are not very many active pro shops to either demo or be fitted in the same way as golf.

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Well the old gear is so good, it's kind of hard to justify especially when the season is short, and the mountains are 4 hr drive for 700' of vertical or whatever it is.

Having said that I did step up and bought a used SG metal slalom board this season, to dip my feet into the technology pool and see what all the fuss is about.

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I ride new gear now.

But, as of last year or so I rode older gear (first new alpine board ever this year).

B sport. Not enough disposable income to justify new alpine gear. Now that has changed, but I still only have a quiver of 3, soon to be 2, alpine boards.

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Good question -- should be some interesting discussion here.

I think Mr. E and Scrutton make good points that I generally agree with. I'm on oldish gear too -- no quiver of asyms or anything like that, but most of my boards are 5-10 years old.

A couple of points to add to Mr. E and Scrutton's comments above.

-I get approx 20 days on snow per year. About 5-10 of those days have good carving conditions. $2,000 for a metal board and plate works out to a lot of money per day to rock the latest and greatest, and it would be an ongoing expense if I was to cycle gear out every 2-3 years. By comparison, I also road bike. I get maybe 60 road rides every summer, my bike cost under $2k, and I expect to ride it for 10 years. That makes snowboards feel pretty expensive, though of course the math works out differently for someone who gets more days on snow than me. (To be clear, I have no argument with how new snowboard gear is priced - I think the prices are fair for the materials/labor/knowledge that goes into the products. It just feels expensive to stay on the cutting edge from a $ per recreation hour viewpoint.)

-I'm a hack, and I have no interest in being the guy that Cindy K described awhile back: "One of my friends has a titanium Kessler made especially for BX with chopped off nose and tail. It cost him $1,600 and another $600 for Catek bindings. Too bad he's a 25-cent rider." No point stinking up the snow on World Cup-level gear when I can ride at the same mediocre level on older gear for a 75% discount.

Actually, having said that, at a camp about 5 years ago, a coach told me that one of her World Cup teammates had competed on the same GS board (Oxygen Proton, black flame topsheet) that I was riding -- the stock retail version, not a custom. Has my ability surpassed a WC racer from the first half of the decade? There's a free beer in it for anyone who wants to tell me different, but I'm pretty sure the answer is "no". Do I really need a better board at my level of ability?

-To reiterate what Scrutton said, the gear I'm on works well. It's not like using a 10-year old computer, which would be on the brink of collapse. A lot of what's in my quiver was pretty high-end gear when it was built, and it still has a lot of life left.

-And hey, I know I'm not supporting the builders like people that buy new boards from them, but I do buy used gear, and that helps support sales of new gear: it's a lot easier to buy new gear when you know you can flip your old board and recoup some of your costs.

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I'm definitely on the other side of the coin... most of my carving gear is modern and I'm the original owner of most of it as well. Snowboarding is without a doubt my "A" sport. My powder gear is not as up-to-snuff

Having said that, cycling is my "B" sport. The road cyclists reading this would laugh their @$$e$ off at what I call my "road bike" (hint: steel frame, weighs 22 pounds) and would probably scratch your hard at my new MTB as well (although it's a huge upgrade from my previous one, several folks I know told me I spent half what I should have...) I spend almost as much time cycling over the course of a year as I do snowboarding but I'm nowhere near as intense about it.

Bottom line - priorities. I could afford spendier bikes, but I choose not to, because I'm happy with what I've got, it's not holding me back from having fun and getting a great workout, and it's simply not a priority for me.

You'll never hear me criticize anyone who takes a similar approach to carving that I take to cycling. But you might see me sell them some of my used gear, and which case I hope they enjoy it as much as I did :biggthump

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As a newbie - getting new gear when you are uncertain about a sport can be very expensive. So I bought the boots new (nothing is more important than a good fit and happy toes) and the rest of the gear kinda found me (I love my "new" coiler) although none of it is no more than two seasons old.

Also I am not really a gear junkie ... right now, if it does the job for me, then I am going to use it and love it and push it. I really have no clue what I am doing most of the time and don't want to be a poser, so having gear that isn't new out of the box doesn't lead to expectations that I am good at what I do (can't have it go to my head or I will do something stupid on the hill). But when I am good - you better believe I am going to get a custom board, and pay whatever Bruce needs me to pay.

On bikes - I have been meaning to upgrade all the components on my mtb for two years now, but can't justify the cost (see earlier cost-benefit analysis by Dan) and right now I would rather spend the money on a weekend snowboarding out of town. I don't ride my road bike enough for it to need new parts!

Do most carvers also ride? Interesting!

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Nice post Dan, funny stuff. I would just say that you don't have to be an F1 driver to enjoy a Porsche.

I am especially curious about the people for whom snowboarding is an A-list activity/passion, or even a lifestyle, and yet they still go bargain hunting for gear.

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To Jack: There is still a lot of almost new gear for sale in the classifieds for nice prices to get. Like for instance 50% of my new bought boards which I sell after two or three days riding :freak3:

(I am still looking for the perfect quiver)

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I am especially curious about the people for whom snowboarding is an A-list activity/passion, or even a lifestyle, and yet they still go bargain hunting for gear.

Bet those are the same people that come to an ECES for a couple days with $20 in their pocket, a loaf of bread and some cold cuts, with the goal of coming back with $10:rolleyes:

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Right on the money, Dan.

-I'm a hack, and I have no interest in being the guy that Cindy K described awhile back: "One of my friends has a titanium Kessler made especially for BX with chopped off nose and tail. It cost him $1,600 and another $600 for Catek bindings. Too bad he's a 25-cent rider." No point stinking up the snow on World Cup-level gear when I can ride at the same mediocre level on older gear for a 75% discount ...To reiterate what Scrutton said, the gear I'm on works well ... A lot of what's in my quiver was pretty high-end gear when it was built, and it still has a lot of life left.

Me three. I'm a terminal intermediate, and while I know for a fact that a metal board will push that envelope for me, it's hard to justify splashing $$ when I have four fun, older boards on the wall, that haven't seen a lot of use and are already a sunk cost.

By comparison, I also road bike. I get maybe 60 road rides every summer, my bike cost under $2k, and I expect to ride it for 10 years.

It would be a lot easier for me to justify spending money on a new snowboard and gear, if I hadn't acquired a mountain bike habit (doh!) and committed to a 4K freeride bike for next season. If snowboarding is your only hobby, well and good ... if it's not, sometimes you have to prioritize.

-And hey, I know I'm not supporting the builders like people that buy new boards from them, but I do buy used gear, and that helps support sales of new gear: it's a lot easier to buy new gear when you know you can flip your old board and recoup some of your costs.

Yes to this. I buy a lot of stuff second hand - not just snowboard gear - and you can save a stack of $$ if you don't care that it's been gently used. If you have lots of $$ to throw around, knock yourself out. Some of us just have to be smarter about it.

Now, if someone had a decent used set of balls for sale ... that might be more use to me than a new Coiler!

PS Just to throw in another thought ... I've just got to the point, after about 8 years of riding alpine semi seriously, to know what I want in a custom board. A less experienced rider might justifiably be wary of spending a big chunk of change to find that what they thought was going to be good, was a total bust (and I've owned a couple of boards and some boots that would fall into this category). There's nothing to lose by taking the time to try stuff out, before you jump in with both feet and your wallet.

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Snowboarding is an A list sport for me and always has been. I update my equipment about every 5 to 7 years. Money is the biggest issue why I don't upgrade more. If I were rich, I would have a small warehouse just to keep all my boards.I'm not so I ride the boards I have and save until I can buy a new board, boots or bindings.

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I'm going to back up a bit and say that I do see a suprising volume of Stat 6's, UPS boots and the like out there and under peoples feet.

I assume it's because they are happy and enjoying themselves. Hell, I dig out the Safari about once a year just to remind myself what that was like (and I started riding in the FP years).

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I am especially curious about the people for whom snowboarding is an A-list activity/passion, or even a lifestyle, and yet they still go bargain hunting for gear.

For me, it was a quest to try as many different things as possible; boots, bindings, and boards. I've ridden at least twenty five different boards, ten different boots, and several different bindings. After several years of experimenting, I have a good idea of what works for me, and what doesn't. Now I'm in a position to know what I want, just don't have the funds at the moment. Got the skis I wanted. Next priority is to get the boards I want.

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Part of the problem is the huge amount of nice gear on BOL marketplace

and the advent of digital photography.

I bought a brand new custom Prior about 15 years ago when we were on rec.skiing.snowboard, and there were few choices available to the buyer,

and certainly no pics available.

I bought 3 used boards last season/this season from the BOL marketplace (2 Coilers and a SG). I bought a couple of other used boards also from craigslist and ebay.

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This topic is definitely current events for me since I've just logged my first few days ever on a Kessler. Previously I've had old stuff (Burton FP, Rossi WC) and had great fun, no doubt. Not the same and there is no going back.

The new ride is is worth all the $. I can compare it to road bikes I've acquired that were clearly so much better than the immediate predecessor as to be undeniable. It's the same thing. I understand Dan's logic about cost per use, however, conversely I can rationalize that because time on snow is limited to 30 days +/-, it is rare and deserving:)

Lastly, I am definitely not worthy of a Kessler but I am able to really enjoy it.

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Cause my favorite freeride board hasn't been in production for over 10 years and the industry is just starting to catch up to the technology it utilizes. Then my carving board quiver is just deep enough(I am the guy with all the cheezy asym's in every size and the super skinny mid 90's WC stuff...) that I can almost stay satiated without a METAL in the mix. Not to say that I wouldn't want to carve metal, I just happen to carve carbon and can get away without it.

When I can justify the expense, however, I will be buying metal, just for a little taste... Then I'll have to upgrade the boots since they won't cut it anymore, then I'll have to upgrade the bindings, since they won't be just right either, then I'll have to upgrade the wax iron and the wax(no cheap wax and 1950's iron on the metal board!), then I'll get sucked into the temptation to get a plate, then I'll want to run a gate course on the clock to see how it all compares, then I'll want to follow the USASA circuit because I have qualifying times, then I'll need a coach since my times will have to improve, then... where does it end??? Best not:AR15firin upgrade!

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Let's see, finalizing my divorce, paying off my lawyer, paying off my loans, and only getting my share of the condominium over 5years...

I'm also into rock and iceclimbing where thankfully you don't need to replace the gear very often and you don't need to spend a fortune on lift tickets.

So, will I buy a custom Coiler? Not for another while...

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