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Medium- Tight turns


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Just began hardbooting and I'm on a Volant 172 GS Aggression with TD1 Stadards. I finally started laying down some turns on Day 2, but realized I need some decent room and maintain some higher speeds while carving this board. I read in another thread that some mountains ppl ride are not conducive (sp?) all the time to carving. The mountain I ride sometimes gets crowded (Blue Mountain) after the 1st 1.5 hours of the morning and weekends and I want to continue to hardboots, but feel I should find a board the will permit carving, but I need to do so at slower speeds and tighter radiuses.

I also picked up an Oxygen Boardercross board last summer (168 cm) but I dont know all of the other measurements of the board, sidecut,etc. I was told I could use it for busier days.

I know its proably out there already, but can someone give me the board cuts, sizes and stiffness Lesson 101, i.e. I read that shorter sidecut provides tighter turns.

I weigh 205 and 6 feet tall.

Any input would be great and some interest in a cheap board that would meet my needs possibly, but my wife would kill me.

Thanks Greg

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Touchy-feely version:

Assuming you ride both boards at the same speed, and lean in at the same angle, the board with the shorter sidecut will turn tighter. For me, the way it really works is that I ride faster on the board with the bigger sidecut.

You can make a board with a larger sidecut turn as tight as a board with a smaller sidecut, you just have to be riding faster so you can lean way into the turn. Or you can angulate a lot (increase the edge angle without leaning in any further), but IMO it's more fun to just go faster. :)

Intellectual-mathematical version:

Jack did a great article... http://www.bomberonline.com/articles/physics.cfm

Stiffness doesn't change the fundamentals - your turn radius is still a function of sidecut and edge angle - but it does affect how well the board holds an edge on uneven snow, and it affects the 'feel' of the board.

The sidecut radius also determines the largest radius turn that you can possibly carve of a given board. As a correlary, for a given sidecut radius there's a "top speed" at which the sidecut just won't carve. You tip it slightly on edge and the board skids, period. The larger the sidecut radius, the higher that top speed is. You can ride faster than that of course, but your turns will be skidded rather than carved.


Some data points:

Most freestyle/freeride board sidecus are under 10 meters. 10m is 'big' by those standards.

10m is 'small' compared to most alpine boards. Mostly you find sidecuts in that area on all-mountain boards and slalom boards.

Freecarve boards tend to run 10m-12m

GS board tend to run 13m-15m. (though apparently that could be changing - GS sidecuts could be getting tighter soon)

Super-G boards tend to be 15m-18m.

But most skis, even "shaped" skis, made for "carving" have sidecuts larger than 15 meters. IMO the ski industry still doesn't quite get it, but that's a rant for another time.

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That board really hooks in when you set a carve, it should not be a problem to thread through the people if you get enough angulation, as stated further up the thread. I just found that the board is so damp that crowded runs made my legs tired from all the transitions to weave through the golons (I mean moving slalom gates). Don't give up on it yet, give it some time and you may find that you don't need another board.

Just my 2 cents (and Canadian too).

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The mountain I ride sometimes gets crowded (Blue Mountain) after the 1st 1.5 hours of the morning and weekends and I want to continue to hardboots, but feel I should find a board the will permit carving, but I need to do so at slower speeds and tighter radiuses.


The mountain I ride on is the same as your home mountain with crowds. Your board length is fine for uncrowded days and nights. For crowded days you can still ride your 172. You need to turn the crap out of it and always stay on your edge. Never take time in transition. When I ride my 166 Rossi on semi-crowded days I'm always turning. The sidecut radius is about 11 meters and it will turn fairly tight turns as long as I'm constantly driving hard turns. My advice to you is get to know your board a little longer. If you have the money, Volkl makes a great slalom board called the Renn Tiger. I have a 153. This is a great board to ride for smaller resorts.

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Thanks for all of the input. I am going to tend to stay away from the Physics based info because my head still hurts from grad school classes. I get the feeling as I ride more on the Volant that I will become more confident in guiding it where it should go and I can say that it does like to have it's edge set and pushed through the turn. I havent gotten a work out on a board like this since a 28" dump (snow that is) I had at Bridger Bowl, MT in '97. I will keep all of the other input in mind for a future purchase. but getting the feedback is making me want to continue riding the Volant and pushing it to what it can do.



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