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Is my board the right one for me? Coiler VSR180


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Hi everybody, a quick intro...I'm on my second season on plates (after 10yrs or softbooting), spent only 2 days last season and 5 days this season on the slopes with my alpine setup. I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Italian alps, made an investment and spent hours of training with a great Alpine Snowboard instructor that took me from 0 to a decent level (see below, that was my 5th day on plates!)

I'm 6'2", 220 lbs. My current setup:

-Coiler VSR180 (12/15/14 radius, Stiffness 6.7 + 8)

-Bomber TD3 SI, blue rings, 3 deg inward cants. I ride 60 degrees front, 60 back and it's the limit before booting out

-Track 325 (29.5MP) w/ FINTEC & BTS (blue springs)

I'm mildly interested in extremecarving, I like riding all terrains but I love the steeps, mostly in the alps (narrow, sometimes icy,sometimes crud) and I'm trying to perfect my style to be able to really push clean and narrow carves in those conditions.

My problem: the board seems very long and radius feels wide, I always find myself on the edge of the steeps, with minimal margin of error. When riding behind the instructor (he was on a Nidecker Proto) I couldn't cope with his radius, even when my carves were semi-decent.

Any thoughts? What would you suggest me to do? Keep this board and learn more or do you think a shorter/different shape board would work better and help me progress faster?



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I have no suggestions... sorry.... but curious where in the Italian Alps. I moved to the US from Torino 8 years ago .... ;)

Ha! I'm originally from Friuli. I did a similar move...aside from Colorado, I always try to travel back to Italy and enjoy the resorts in my region, Tarvisio has the best runs for hardbooting.

It's a completely different terrain compared to what I saw in US, much more difficult...or maybe I'm too inexperienced

Edited by andy82
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This one is easy. Get a board with a tighter radius or softer. Either will help bring the board around faster.

At your weight , most standard boards should seem on the softer side for you. Plenty of good used boards around to try the theory on. Save your current board for when you skills are up to it and or you are at a big wide open western resort?


The photo doesn't do allot for me, only to say you are in a more leaned "Euro" type stance reaching for the snow. Video is much prefered.

More time on the snow. Have fun!!

PS. You did a really , REALLY nice job of posing the question. Well done!!

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Smart, taking alpine instructor! It probably saved you hours of frustration...

Nothing alpine will turn as tight as Proto, I know, I have one :) You'd be too heavy for it, though.

Narrow, steep, busy runs = slalom board, or a tight radiused freecarver. I'd still keep the 180 for perfect days and you'll get even more aggressive, for sure.

At 220lbs, a stock SL 160+ board should feel nice and giving.

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I got almost the same experience as you. Shortly: Keep riding :)

When I started on a Prior 4WD 179 with 10.5 radius I got same small margin from going freeride :)

My next year I can go as wide as half of that slope without a problem. Or a bit wider but faster, whatever I want.

This season I changed to Coiler ECVC with 14/18 radius and I'm going same slopes with pretty much margin.

What really helped me is plates. I've used a Burton evelator plates(13mm of lift), and they helps getting on enge and initiating a turn. You can also look at Palmer PLS risers, same idea. Or even make your own risers(10-20mm will be fine I think).

Next thing you can try is to put binders a bit closer, even 1cm makes a difference. It's pretty obvious physics: the closer to the center you put your binder the more your board bend. I'm 6ft3 and riding a a 50cm stance with no cants. You can try 48cm stance - and then tune after some rides.

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Work on technique, the tighter radius turns will come. The VSRs tend to ride their shovel sidecut once they are on edge. Get that board cranked over and you're riding a 12m sidecut. The 15/14m will just follow the track the nose layed out. I've got a VSR 11.5/14/13.2 that I can make wiggle as tight as anyone I've seen on a slalom board when I'm in form (ok, maybe not as tight as *Ace* on his Thias:o). I'm thinking of going to a larger sidecut so I have more time to get my body inside the turn before the board tries to hook in. At 220, unless that board is a crazy stiff plank, you should be able to get it to come around.

Edited by dingbat
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Thanks a lot to all of you for all these inputs! I will try all of them, I guess it comes with experience and more hours of riding...I'm lucky enough to have some PLS risers laying around...then I will also need to sell off my softboot boards, which will give me a chance to get another used, inexpensive alpine board to add to my quiver...maybe a shorter, tighter radius SL board (or a virus rocket I just found) so I can try it out on the steeps and use it late in the season to preserve the Coiler...hitting two birds with one stone :)

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to go back to this thread and really thank you all for your suggestions. Following you advice, I bought a used Virus Rocket 162 Team Edition (got it for a steal) and rode it last weekend in narrow steeps in Italy, in soft spring snow...it handled it perfectly, I never had this much fun!

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A short board is best for the Italian Alps. I was just in Cervinia for the first time last weekend and found the conditions exactly as you said: Glare ice near the top, especially early in the day, narrow trails, and mushy near the bottom. I brought one board, an all-mountain Donek Axess 162 with me from the US and could barely edge it on the ice, but did fine in the softer stuff later in the afternoon. The 9m turning radius still needed some skidding on the narrower trails, though.

God, that place is huge.

Gotta love those Italians. They have excellent restaurants with good wine at the top of most of the lifts, and they don't hesitate to fire up cigarettes, even above 3000 m.

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Glad you got it going. If you hang around here you'll hear a lot of talk about huge boards, but you'll also hear those people talk about places or slopes which are "good for carving". Short boards are way more fun if you don't want to be restricted to the motorways.

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