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Neil Gendzwill

Soft board stiffness

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So I am now shopping around for boards to ride with my new soft boots and unsure what to get. How stiff are some of these boards? Say a Custom X for example? Is it going to be a noodle or is my hard booter bias showing and it will be too stiff for an old man to bend with softies?  For reference my current boards are Coiler Nirvana and AMT so on the soft side. 

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you will do fine with a custom X (great all arounder).  Wide version is stiffer than normal width, I would recommend the wide be the only consideration due to alpine rider tendencies to actually know how to achieve large angulation.  Pending where you are, these are available sometimes for demo.  You might want to try a variety of boards to dial in your preference for soft boot stiffness, afterwards, you could always pick up a off the shelf from a major manufacturer or go with a Coiler, Donek, Jasey Jay, Prior and so forth.  For the custom route, in terms of all around total mountain boards, I think Prior is the best option (and less so if you primarily want to only carve).

mitch

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Actually I don't want a carve-specific setup.  If I want to go carving, I'll use my hard boots.  I want more of a directional all-mountain freeride board.  So I am looking at things like the Jones Flagship, Prior MFR etc.  Looking at Jones website, they compare the Flagship and Carbon Flagship and say that the Carbon model is for a very limited group of people.  Being that I haven't played with softie gear in a very long time, I don't want to end up with something unrideable.  I need it to carve well if I have to but I also want to be able to move it around in the trees.

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Try looking at the "short fatty" types. They are surprisingly fun!

I have an Arbor Cask (150cm, 6.5m SCR) which is super turny but is also surprisingly stable and damp. 

Other boards that might fit your need: Lib Tech Orca, Yes Pick Your line, Yes Optimistic

 

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Love my Donek Flux for soft boot carving. Don't know how stiff it is compared to others. Sean at Donek will tailor it to your weight and riding style. 

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I'd suggest trying a Winterstick -and if you're going to the Montucky session, I believe some rides will be available. Some great options like Volare, Roundtail, Westcott, ST and they introduced a baby swallowtail that looks fun.

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I rode my friends new Custom X when i tried his burton step on set up. The board stiffness is what id describe as supportive on the 1-10 scale somewhere around the 6-7 mark stiff but not so stiff you cant manipulate it also the flex is fairly uniform along the the entire length. The step ons well......

3 hours ago, JRAZZ said:

Other boards that might fit your need: Lib Tech Orca, Yes Pick Your line, Yes Optimistic

The lib tech orca is very very over hyped in my opinion its a good board but if your used to riding full camber the center rocker might not be a pleasant experience, I presonally would never ride one for anything other than powder and i do like some center rocker boards... Oh and its fairly soft from my recollection 4-5 directional flex softer nose stiffer tail.

Yes optimistic I really like, it rides me a bit of how my SG soul held an edge but obviously not quite as good. The flex is probably around 7ish softer nose to a stiffer tail. if i was looking for a board to ride powder and do a bit of carving it would be on my list

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I don’t disagree. The orca is extremely overhyped. 
That being said, it is a fun board for pow and trees. Definitely worth a test ride IMHO. 
 

I eventually ended up with the Cask not because it’s better but because it was $300 😄

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Been riding SG's, Donek's and a Kessler race board for the last few years on hards. This has been interspaced with the odd day on softs (Burton driver X) on old boards, the favourite being an old Salomon Burner 172. 

Last season a friend hooked me up with a Jones Ultracraft 156. The conditions were sunny and hardpack. All I can say is wow, I am even contemplating ditching all my alpine kit. The board was a revelation, carving at speeds I thought were unrealistic on a soft board especially a 156. Unfortunately there was no freshies to be had, but I could just tell by its shape and characteristics that it would be amazing off piste.

If you can get a test ride, you will not be disappointed. 

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My opinion:  boards that are going to be used with soft boots can be significantly softer that with hard boots.  The lack of sideways stiffness in the boots will limit how much fore-aft stiffness you will need.  The wider stances will allow you to balance a little more deftly from front to back as well.  You don't want to go too far down this road, as there are lots of boards you will find pretty easy to "push" the nose and understeer the front of the board leading to a pretty surprising lowside stuff.  The boards mentioned are in the "stiffer" zone of the softboot world.  The carbon Flagship is stiff, but probably you would not find it too crazy, coming from hardboot boards, but you don't have to go there.  Remember, you are riding different stuff, and the old ideas are going to shift a bit....

Attaching a photo of a 163 all mountain board, 26.5 cm waist.  Really nice ride for softboots as is.  I tried it out last spring and even though it is pretty soft (for my 100 kilo fat ass) it carves lovely turns, and is easy in the bumps and trees, soft and hard snow.  I make em in all sorts of lengths, (usually about 5cm increments:  158;  163;  168;  173;  178;  etc.) and do whatever width you want.  Flexes are adjusted to your weight/riding style.  Feel free to use with plates or softies - the board has all the binding zone reinforcements included.

 

20191123_150442.jpg

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Burton "Flight Attendant" is a very good All Mountain Stick IMO, I am on my second one, with a new one in the closet, for mid season change over, only because I buy new Sticks every year, even though the old ones are like brand new... 😱👽

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Deepends on the stiffness you want.

 

Rode 3 days on the Nitro Pantera SC 166 and my god it surprised me a lot.

Lots of camber.

Ultralight as in carbon. And 100$ to boot . Maybe a bit stiff for trees. 

Loved the Fullbag Diamond blade 

The blunt diamond would be another good one. More nimble and less stiff. Canadian to boot.

 

Honorable mention:

Kessler the Ride

Rossignol XV magtek 

Dupraz D1

Moss PQ60

 

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Anyone else tried the Amplid Pentaquark 161?  It has been my first foray back to soft boots.  I was a little worried when the reviews all said the board was very stiff.  These guys must ride egg noodles for boards...

Without the stiffness and support of hard boots and bindings I found the ability to shift edge weight front and back a new experience when carving.  Back to surfing style.  The extra width slows down the edge transfer a bit.  It took me a few runs to find the optimal front foot placement but once my stance was set I was 18  years old again.  Carving the groomers, butters when needed,  and launching off any hip that presented itself.

WIll it replace my trusty hard boots and quiver of "rut cutters"? Never...  It's just a new way to have fun, and my kids appreciate getting air with Dad.

That Endeavor Hamerhead in the classifieds is calling to me.  Just need some snow on the local hills.

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As I said before I am not trying to get a sb carver. I have hard boots for that, I want a different rig. But I know I’m not going to be happy with a rockered noodle either. On reddit I got recommendations for the Burton Deep Thinker which seems like the spiritual successor to the Kelly Air.  Anyone here tried one?

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The latest all-mountain soft boot designs appear to have gone back to a board that can carve when wanted.  Yet won't hold you back in bumps, deep, or trees.

The Jones Hovercraft looks like a true all-mountain machine.  As noted earlier, the Prior MFR is another do it all board.

Carlito's board posted above may be what you're looking for.  (and supporting a small local Canadian company)

You may need to try a few boards to decide what you really want, or need.  Demo season is coming soon...

 

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I definitely add my vote for the Yes Optimistic, great soft boot carver, and outstanding in powder. It has a super tight sidecut so wants to carve with very little encouragement, and that also makes it super maneuverable in trees. Designed to be ridden short, it’s a mid-wide, so plenty of surface area to keep it floating.

 A definite quiver killer, a no-brainer for my Japan trip last winter, handled everything thrown at it!

#shortfattiesrule

55D5689B-42A9-4887-8CAC-7CBED99E5455.jpeg

Edited by Emdee406
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Latest Jones ultracraft are not so good for carving, buy 2018 year or older, I wanted to buy it for my girlfriend new 2019 model was 270 eur, but then got new F2 Eliminator WC WOOD for 250 eur 

Who said snowboarding is expensive 😉

Edited by Lifeform
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1 hour ago, Lifeform said:

Latest Jones ultracraft are not so good for carving, buy 2018 year or older

I'm pretty sure 2019 is when they started spooning tip and tail to the start of the contact points on there whole line 😭

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9 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

As I said before I am not trying to get a sb carver. I have hard boots for that

Very reasonable approach.  I should have thought of this before, I have a Winterstick Wescott 164 for sale that I haven't listed yet.  It's a do-everything, directional board that actually carves well with softies.  They call it full camber but it actually has nose rocker of course.  26cm waist.  It has a great shape for powder and trees and if you pop out onto some corduroy you'll have fun there too.  Birdseye maple topsheet.  Purchased new in December 2016, rode for 2 seasons.  I stopped using it after I got a custom BX from them at the beginning of last season.

In my experience the stiffness of most softboot boards simply doesn't compare even to freecarve boards.  I got to try one of Seth's world cup/olympic Kessler Cross's and I was stunned at how soft it was.  I love handing my alpine board to any softbooter, even ones in the industry, and telling them to flex it.  Smoke comes out their ears.  They don't even think it would be rideable.

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I switched from a Burton Custom X to a Donek Flux for everyday riding.  Best decision I ever made.  Don't think you can go wrong with that board, I've tried it in everything except heavy/deep powder.  I believe there is one for sale here on the forum.

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On ‎11‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 10:12 AM, Neil Gendzwill said:

I need it to carve well if I have to but I also want to be able to move it around in the trees.

Both of these will cover your needs and have a stiffer flex than most boards of their type. Designed and made in Canada.

Fullbag Blunt Diamond:

https://fullbag.com/collections/snowsurfs/products/blunt-diamond-156-l

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5RamTdpLBh/?igshid=5nu992plweqi

Fullbag Supernaut:

https://fullbag.com/collections/snowsurfs/products/supernaut

 

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4 hours ago, scottishsurfer said:

I'm pretty sure 2019 is when they started spooning tip and tail to the start of the contact points on there whole line 😭

Yep!

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I don't think I would be happy with a rockered design.  "Hybrid camber" as they call it would be fine, that's just a decambered nose and tail in alpine-speak I think.

Not sure how I would deal with something so squirrelly as the 6.5 m radius on that Yes board either.

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