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GS or SL?


Guest Vern
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I am about to buy my first carving board. I have a chance to buy last year's Volkl Rentiger (brand new). GS 173.

I am 6 foot 155. Is this too much board?

Should I start with a SL board? Something shorter?

(I snowboard now, but want to lay troughs!)

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Others may disagree, but I think a longer board "encourages" better form from the start, so go for it. SL sticks are too easy to skid around or lose a carve through poor body position. This board will tell you what it wants, and when it's locked in will be much more difficult to lose the carve.

Let the flames begin!

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Perhaps your best bet is to start on neither a GS nor an SL board. I started on a SL board and it was just too jittery. I couldn't get it locked in. I went to a freecarve board with a sidecut that split the difference betwwen an SL and a GS and had a much better time of it. A typical FC will have a shallower sidecut and more length than a typical SL, but a deper sidecut and less length than a typical GS.

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The RT GS 173 would be a great board to learn on. From what most say, its not that stiff, it has a good sidecut which means you won't be gaining to much speed, and its width is good. Seems like a great choice to me.

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Guest Randy S.

I'd go with the above consensus. Pick the 173 GS. I have the 163 SL board and only ride it for tight SL races, almost never for freecarving. As Mike T pointed out above, Donek's Freecarve boards are in my opinion a great compromise between GS and SL. If you are getting a great deal on the Volkl though, get it. FWIW, I'm 5'10" and 200lbs.

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I'm 5'7 and 165 lbs and I own a RT173 ('02), basically the same board. The Renntiger is a step above an average freecarve board. Not having ridden anything in the Donek/Colier line I cannot compare it in relation to them. Once you get used to this board you will like it. It is most likely a lot stiffer than any production freeride board than you've been on, but the nose is very forgiving and it won't beat you up like a real stiff board would. Good edge hold in ice and a real fast base, too. You will find you can turn it real quick once you get the hang of it. I'm looking forward to SES so I can do some comparisons to other boards, though, and fear a real case of board lust after February!

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i have the renntiger 168 and 178, i have to say the 168 is one of the downright most fun boards you can ride - snappy, quick, able to handle everything from groomers to bumps to moderate powder (only board i had at the house during the 24" of new snow this weekend). the 178 rides like that as well, just more edge for more speed.

buy the 173...you won't regret it.

cheers!

steve

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I haven't read everyones responses so I might be repeating what someone else has already said, but here is my take. Go for the G.S. board you actually have more room for error on a G.S. board. Slalom board are really twitchy and are easy to get thrown around on. Since a G.S. is somewhat longer the sweet spot is bigger so your pressure dosen't have to be as spot on, what I mean is you can move more for/aft and play around with different body positions without the board throwing you off. And since the turns are longer you have more time in each turn to think about how you should be positioned, but with this longer turn comes more speed so watch out for the woods.

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Originally posted by Matt D

T From what most say, its not that stiff, it has a good sidecut which means you won't be gaining to much speed,...

Since when sidecut decides about speed? You probably mean carving speed. Other than that sidecut will not limit the speed. It depends how you will ride the board. You can reach 40-50mph even on boards shorter than 160 that have sidcut about 8m. Just ask some of us on this forum who actually did that. Of course, it was not carve, but rather more straight line or skidded turn. But you may always want to add that it limits CARVING speed - not the total speed.

My carving speed calculator for speed "limit" (based on Jack Michaud's article on this site) is here:

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze44bga/CarvingCalculator1.html

Just make sure you have Java 1.4 installed on your computer and have fun calculating.

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I can't believe that anyone hasn't brought up the issue of the TERRAIN. One thing I think you need to take into account how narrow the trails are, how steep the majority of the mountain is, and how many people are on the slopes when you ride. Yes, the GS boards are fun and the slower transitions between carves make it easier to set each turn up, but, how are you going to navigate the people while learning on a 13m- 16m sidecut. A SL board with a smaller sidecut can allow you to easily carve a turn uphill to control speed but like many others have said, they can be less forgiving if your technique is not dialed.

I suggest a free carve board with whatever sidecut is comfortable to you- do you want fast sweeping turns or quick short turns with the possibility of uphill speed checks (I found that most usefull for myself). Do you have many people to nagotiate or a vertically challenged resort where you know big sweeping turns would be fun. Also, most freecarve board have a flex that is more forgiving to learn on.

Eddie

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Well Maciek, as we all know that if you want to go fast and turn, you must carve. Since he's a beginner, the sidecut has a lot to do with speed. Since the tighter sidecut will minimize his time in the fall line, and allow him to complete (i.e. finish the turn going across) his turns a little easier. My sims 162 that I learned on has a 9.9m sidecut, which is too short at times. The Volkl's ~11m sidecut is tight enough to make sl turns, but long enough to have a lot of fun on.

The 173 & 178 have almost the same sidecut (its withing .5m if i remember correctly) and the 178 rides nice, but might just be too much board to learn on.

GET the 173. You won't be sorry.

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