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What makes an EC board?


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Completely out of curiosity... what makes an extreme carve board an EC board? I have a general understanding how SL and GS boards compare to freeride boards as well as all mountain, but what is different in an EC? Flex profile? Sidecut? I guess width might be expected to be wider on an EC board as I've noticed a trend with shallower angles, but what else?

Could an EC board be treated as a freecarve board if one were to remain more upright/ instead of using extreme carving technique use "bomber" or angulation? How would it ride comparatively?

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I've ridden a Swoard EC Pro 2 as my EC board for the past year - so my opinion here is based on observations about how it behaves vs. my other boards.

Main EC priorities:

  • Fat waist - allows for less severe angles without boot-out.
  • Torsional rigidity - but longitudinal flex. You want to be confident in the edge and balance - but the board needs to de-camber (especially on stiffer terrain) and flex consistently at nose and tail.
  • Large constant-radius side-cut. Long stable turns.

There are certain properties in the board I'm not sure are necessarily "EC" - but I very much enjoy. For example I don't feel like I need to load the tail too quickly - whereas on my Prior 4WD I needed to slam my weight to the rear almost immediately in a turn. I'm not sure what makes this difference (something about center position or flex?) - but it's quite a noticeable difference.

I ride it exclusively now for hard gear... it feels amazing in every (reasonable) condition. You can absolutely ride it upright. I switch between styles depending on the terrain. EC is fantastic on steeper terrain because it's extremely smooth/stable and capable of controlling your speed. On flatter terrain I'll ride more upright "race style" to jump into the turns and load the board/pop-out of carves for speed and then use more EC style to shed speed and alternate as needed.

There is one caveat... it's not a "fast" board at all. It's design to set an edge aggressively... not to go straight. On very flat terrain or traverses it has a tendency to drag the tail - due to the long contact points, side-cut, and shape - and it's the first board I've owned that does it. I couldn't care less - because at that point I'm just trying to get to the steeper terrain or lift or whatever - but it's slightly annoying.

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Probably the best EC’er I’ve ridden with (shout out to b.free) rides a Kessler 185 with a k plate. So while certain characteristics of a swoard or other EC specific board might tune it better for those types of turns, I think it’s more the rider that makes it happen. Unless of course you try to EC an MK or something similar. That might break your legs. 

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One key feature is a nose that doesn't aggressively turn under you when tipped at high edge angles. They don't scrub as much speed because of this, as the rest of the EC style tends to scrub enough speed as it is without the board helping. 

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Good question! Waist, length, torsional stiffness, flex patern and sidecut all play a roll but a big part of succes in EC is technique. It's a great challenge if you like the style but it's worth the effort. It's very versatile too, using push-pull and rotation help alot in gaining lot's of control and power! Now I can carve aggressively almost anywhere and I adapt my style on the fly depending on snow conditions, speed and how it's crowded. It even help me alot in powder (on soft freeride board), now I use alot more range of motion from my legs, knees hips and shoulders to control the board and my body.    

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