Jump to content

Recommended Posts

T174 CONTRA 020 CTB 6.4 +9

Well the season wrapped up quicker than I had hoped but I did get several days on a new 174 Contra. First a little about me. I am 6ft and weigh in around 210lbs. I am 59 years old and have been riding Alpine/Race boards since 1995, road my first snow board in 1984. During my career (ha, I even had to laugh at that), I have had the opportunity to ride many boards from several manufacturers. I talked to Bruce and told him I was looking for a board that was a little more forgiving on my abused body (59 years of bad decisions are catching up with me). I asked for a 174, 11m SCR and 20.5 wide. He said he had just the board for me. He sent me out a beautifully made board with top quality construction and graphics. Based on the way it rides he sprinkled it with a large dose of Bruce Voodoo. If you can decipher Bruce’s code, the flex of this board was perfect for my weight and ability. The last few weeks of the season I only needed one board and the Contra was it. The thing could rip tight turns but also could handle some speed. I could make close to SL board radius arcs, but its natural turn was like a Kessler 168 (I know because I was tracing turns of a friend who was riding one). I let a couple of friends give it a try and they first thing they both said was “that board is grippy” and they both had big grins. When riding stale NH snow that had been through some freeze thaw cycles (with most of the other skiers and riders slipping their way down), the board was sick, it was sticking like glue on a couple of very firm black diamond trails. It gave me a ton of confidence to charge hard. I did get two days of hero conditions; the snow was great, and it gave me a chance to play with the board. Load up the nose and make it slow down on steeps, CHECK, did it well! Hammer on the tail and really force it to finish a turn, CHECK, all good there! Pop out of turns, CHECK, like a boss!  The extra width helped in the crud and didn’t seem to give a big lag in edge to edge transitions. This board CHECKs a lot of boxes for me. All in all, it is a keeper, if you get a chance give one a try. If you see me out riding most likely I will be on it. Tip it and Rip it!

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just keep reading about how much people enjoy this board that I figured I'd better get one soon. It will be interesting to see how it compares to my 170, 20.5 Coiler Nirvana.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll love it.  The Contra will stay hooked up on icy snow better.  I have a few early Nirvanas and a couple early Contras, and the Contras were by far my favorites this year.  My Nirvanas hold well as long as the center of the board is trenching into the snow around an inch or more.  The Contras hold on even when there's only 1 or 2 cm of bite to be had.  It's really noticeable when you switch back and forth.  If it weren't for hero snow, the rest of my quiver would be obsolete now.

I think the 11 will be a popular size.  I spent a lot of time on a 178 x 10.5 and a 178 x 12.  The 12 was my favorite on good days, but on the hardest, fastest snow or flat light days I used the 10.5 a lot as the 12 often wanted to go faster than I did.  Although these sidcuts may sound tight, Contras only ride corresponding tight in hero snow; they feel longer than that in firmer snow (in my opinion).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, johnasmo said:

You'll love it.  The Contra will stay hooked up on icy snow better.  I have a few early Nirvanas and a couple early Contras, and the Contras were by far my favorites this year.  My Nirvanas hold well as long as the center of the board is trenching into the snow around an inch or more.  The Contras hold on even when there's only 1 or 2 cm of bite to be had.  It's really noticeable when you switch back and forth.  If it weren't for hero snow, the rest of my quiver would be obsolete now.

John, I remember you and/or @dredman posting pics of your older boards with pretty rounded edges. Was that a joke, or have you taken to sharpening your edges. Just thinking untuned edges can't compare to the super sharp edges of a new board  .

Seems my last board from Bruce (the Contra AT) didn't have the usual 90°, but had a .5° base and maybe 1 or 2 degree side bevel.

8 hours ago, johnasmo said:

I think the 11 will be a popular size.  I spent a lot of time on a 178 x 10.5 and a 178 x 12.  The 12 was my favorite on good days, but on the hardest, fastest snow or flat light days I used the 10.5 a lot as the 12 often wanted to go faster than I did.  Although these sidcuts may sound tight, Contras only ride corresponding tight in hero snow; they feel longer than that in firmer snow (in my opinion).

^I found the same thing with my Thirsts.^ (supposedly a similar sidecut to the Contra) I have difficulty making them turn as tight on ice as I can on soft snow. I figured it was just because I'm old and afraid to really commit when going fast on ice. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@bigwavedave I wax 1-2 times a year and only put a file on the edges when rocks are discovered.  Most places I ride have enough slope and snow conditions that tuning excessively is not necessary.  I use to be rather OCD many many years ago about wax and tuning.  I just have not found the effort to be equal to the performance upgrade.  

The Contra series is spectacular.  Great edge hold, very forgiving  and super easy to ride.  They take a lot less energy to make them work well.  It is impressive to see our North America board builders and designers making carving boards that are better and better each year.  The Contra’s and Thirst’s are the easiest boards to ride, and have the widest range of conditions that they are super fun to ride on.  We have come a very very long ways from the early 90’s alpine boards.  

When riding snow/icy stuff it seems like technique is a bigger factor than how sharp your edges are, like keeping your CG over the edge, keeping the edge tracking the arc that it is designed to make.

It is not very often we have those icy conditions in MT except with rain on snow events, or freeze thaw cycles.  This year had much more than usual, so it was a great season to test the limits of the Contra’s.  

I am sure that the East Coast riders will have something much different to say about tuning, as they should.  

The best thing for anyone’s riding to improve is, more days on snow and trying lots of different boards.  Each board will teach you something about technique that will carry over to other boards.  Demo every single board you can get your hands on and ride as often and long as possible.  

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2020 at 10:39 AM, dredman said:

@bigwavedave

When riding snow/icy stuff it seems like technique is a bigger factor than how sharp your edges are, like keeping your CG over the edge, keeping the edge tracking the arc that it is designed to make.

It is not very often we have those icy conditions in MT except with rain on snow events, or freeze thaw cycles.  This year had much more than usual, so it was a great season to test the limits of the Contra’s.  

I am sure that the East Coast riders will have something much different to say about tuning, as they should.  

The best thing for anyone’s riding to improve is, more days on snow and trying lots of different boards.  Each board will teach you something about technique that will carry over to other boards.  Demo every single board you can get your hands on and ride as often and long as possible.  

My point was that an impression of how great the edge hold of a new board with sharp edges, compared to an old board with dull edges, is likely misleading. It wasn't meant to criticize your lack of edgyness. I admire that.

Regardless of rider technique, a properly tuned board will perform way better than one that is not. It was an eye opener when I rode one of my daughter's race boards with a fresh professional race tune. It made that Kessler ride better than...a regular Kessler. She actually shipped her boards across the country just to get the tune she liked best. A good board tuner can work magic similar to what custom board builders do. But, that kind of tune is only temporary, and for me not worth the time and money.

I do minimal board maintenance. Even gave up using wax this year (what a waste of time!). But, I do find spending a minute or two maintaining edges with a fine diamond stone worth while. My time ridding deep powder is likely proportional to your time spent on ice. I'll gladly trade.

I'd rather spend more time ridding....only 45+ days this year. You'd think I'd be better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

I have difficulty making them turn as tight on ice as I can on soft snow. 

I find this phenomenon true of the ride characteristics in all boards.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, workshop7 said:

I find this phenomenon true of the ride characteristics in all boards.

Yeah, I was thinking that was probably true and not unique to this sidecut. I just haven't ridden much else lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2020 at 8:48 AM, bigwavedave said:

John, I remember you and/or @dredman posting pics of your older boards with pretty rounded edges. Was that a joke, or have you taken to sharpening your edges. Just thinking untuned edges can't compare to the super sharp edges of a new board  .

I've tuned more this season than most.  I waxed and sharpened everything I brought with me to the MCC, which I think was 8 or 9 boards. 🙂

I had already tuned a few while comparing them to the Contras.  I would get so disappointed at how my old favorites where comparing that I'd go home and sharpen the edges.  To no avail.  There's more to it than just fresh edges when it comes to staying hooked up on firm/icy runs. 

On 3/27/2020 at 8:48 AM, bigwavedave said:

Seems my last board from Bruce (the Contra AT) didn't have the usual 90°, but had a .5° base and maybe 1 or 2 degree side bevel.

AFAIK, Bruce still ships them out with 0 and 90.  But I tune at .25 on the base and 1 degree on edge.  Then hit it with 200, 400, and 600 diamond stones to make it durable.

On 3/27/2020 at 8:48 AM, bigwavedave said:

^I found the same thing with my Thirsts.^ (supposedly a similar sidecut to the Contra) I have difficulty making them turn as tight on ice as I can on soft snow. I figured it was just because I'm old and afraid to really commit when going fast on ice. 

This is a real effect with both the Thirsts and Contras.  I think the design parameters that make it good when there is little traction make it turn tighter in soft snow.  They have a bit more mid-flex and sidecut that directs more load there, so when the snow allows for some compaction the center will push further than stiffer mid boards would allow.  They don't fold up, but will de-camber a bit more and produce a tighter radius carve.  There's quite a difference in turning radius you can achieve between fast, hard snow and soft snow. 

Getting more than one sidecut size is an option.  Or keep old favorites for the soft days.  I found having a 10.5m and a 12m Contra covered most days, but I'm keeping my older boards for variety on softer days.  The smaller radius Contra's are almost too easy to ride on soft days; keeping others to challenging myself with other styles when the snow allows.  Like Dave said, it's good to try lots of different boards, even if they're all Coilers. 🙂

Edited by johnasmo
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, johnasmo said:

I've tuned more this season than most.  I waxed and sharpened everything I brought with me to the MCC, which I think was 8 or 9 boards. 🙂

I had already tuned a few while comparing them to the Contras.  I would get so disappointed at how my old favorites where comparing that I'd go home and sharpen the edges.  To no avail.  There's more to it than just fresh edges when it comes to staying hooked up on firm/icy runs. 

AFAIK, Bruce still ships them out with 0 and 90.  But I tune at .25 on the base and 1 degree on edge.  Then hit it with 200, 400, and 600 diamond stones to make it durable. 

This is a real effect with both the Thirsts and Contras.  I think the design parameters that make it good when there is little traction make it turn tighter in soft snow.  They have a bit more mid-flex and sidecut that directs more load there, so when the snow allows for some compaction the center will push further than stiffer mid boards would allow.  They don't fold up, but will de-camber a bit more and produce a tighter radius carve.  There's quite a difference in turning radius you can achieve between fast, hard snow and soft snow. 

Getting more than one sidecut size is an option.  Or keep old favorites for the soft days.  I found having a 10.5m and a 12m Contra covered most days, but I'm keeping my older boards for variety on softer days.  The smaller radius Contra's are almost too easy to ride on soft days; keeping others to challenging myself with other styles when the snow allows.  Like Dave said, it's good to try lots of different boards, even if they're all Coilers. 🙂

Thanks for clarifying that. You can see why I thought you Montuky boys just bought a new board when your edges got dull and rounded...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2020 at 5:13 PM, Hollywood 90210 said:

T174 CONTRA 020 CTB 6.4 +9

Well the season wrapped up quicker than I had hoped but I did get several days on a new 174 Contra. First a little about me. I am 6ft and weigh in around 210lbs. I am 59 years old and have been riding Alpine/Race boards since 1995, road my first snow board in 1984. During my career (ha, I even had to laugh at that), I have had the opportunity to ride many boards from several manufacturers. I talked to Bruce and told him I was looking for a board that was a little more forgiving on my abused body (59 years of bad decisions are catching up with me). I asked for a 174, 11m SCR and 20.5 wide. He said he had just the board for me. He sent me out a beautifully made board with top quality construction and graphics. Based on the way it rides he sprinkled it with a large dose of Bruce Voodoo. If you can decipher Bruce’s code, the flex of this board was perfect for my weight and ability. The last few weeks of the season I only needed one board and the Contra was it. The thing could rip tight turns but also could handle some speed. I could make close to SL board radius arcs, but its natural turn was like a Kessler 168 (I know because I was tracing turns of a friend who was riding one). I let a couple of friends give it a try and they first thing they both said was “that board is grippy” and they both had big grins. When riding stale NH snow that had been through some freeze thaw cycles (with most of the other skiers and riders slipping their way down), the board was sick, it was sticking like glue on a couple of very firm black diamond trails. It gave me a ton of confidence to charge hard. I did get two days of hero conditions; the snow was great, and it gave me a chance to play with the board. Load up the nose and make it slow down on steeps, CHECK, did it well! Hammer on the tail and really force it to finish a turn, CHECK, all good there! Pop out of turns, CHECK, like a boss!  The extra width helped in the crud and didn’t seem to give a big lag in edge to edge transitions. This board CHECKs a lot of boxes for me. All in all, it is a keeper, if you get a chance give one a try. If you see me out riding most likely I will be on it. Tip it and Rip it!

Any pics?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...