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8 hours ago, Jack M said:

People have been saying this sport is dying for 30 years, but here we are.  The gear keeps getting better.  WC racing is very healthy.  Fin used to tell me how he would sell slightly more bindings each year than the previous.  I'm confident I will never have a problem finding awesome new gear to buy, ever in my lifetime.

 

Why don't we say it is evolving, the reasons being, the adaptation of Racing design Sticks and Stances, by SB riders with a Smile, after realizing how fun Carving is, this means the General Snowboarding Market is now open and growing to Carving...why is it so hard to believe that SB racing of Gates, is far behind? and no, not against HB racers, rather SB racing of Gates limited to SB, certainly the numbers of available people would be exponential compared to what we see now? Different Equipment does not mean no Racing... 

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Why would one limit racing the gates to SB, in any race? 🤪 If somone wanted to race on inferior equipment, he's welcome, but why ban the ones that know better? 

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An interesting idea.  It kind of already exists in Boardercross and Banked Slalom. Hardboots are not excluded there, but they're not an advantage in BX.  I'm told they're not as good for recovery and for mixing it up with other racers, and I'll believe it.

I would have said hardboots are not an advantage in BS, but my own personal experiment suggests that whichever equipment you're better on you will be better on in BS.  You race against the clock and there are no jumps.  In 2018 I won my age group for the second time on hardboots at the Sugarloaf Banked Slalom, but I didn't feel like they were giving me any advantage as the course was not carvey.  So last year I did it in softboots and got 8th.  Granted some serious riders had aged into the group (40-49) but still, I was disappointed.  Was going to switch back to hardboots this year, but... the rona.  One year the course was really smooth and carvey, and I took 3rd overall.  Some people grumbled about my unfair gear.  That was fun.

 

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I would say, let's allow whatever equipment the racer wants. If they think they can make up the recovery with their carving ability, let them try. It follows the same thread in Automobile racing where many for the longest time wanted to ban multi-port fuel injection as a system that cheats. Lets let technology evolve as it makes it better for all of us. 

Lets say some hard boot manufacturer could design a boot to absorb the shock in an banked slalom or BX race.  Would this not benefit the community at large? Would not the individual looking for that superior carve who wants to pop off the side of the mountain not benefit? 

We need to allow the evolution of the hardware and stop looking to keep it pristine. If we want to keep it pristine, I have an Oxygen Proton we can use for GS and pray we can turn it in time to make the gate.

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99% of Snowboarders are wearing SB, I was simply responding to Jacks comment and referring to Threads that have appeared here through the years about Growing the Alpine side of the Sport...I thought, the Alpine side of the sport was Racing...Carving is growing on the SB side with advances and adaptations in equipment crossing over from the HB side to the SB side, look at Deluxe, actually making a HB sole on a SB as an example...so rather than be trite with the HB are for Racing, nobody races in SB, I was projecting a means for the masses who will be Carving 😱 in SB, to be able to Race... 

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No need to ban anything. Let those who waned, to race on whatever snowboard gear they wanted to use. Courses can actually be set to give advantage to soft boots, like BX, or banked slalom, currently. Or simply set a course way to tight and steep for a carved turn, and some very technical sliding turns would be required. 

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super tight gates would not eliminate HB usage, but just make the boards shorter and the side cut smaller..... the boots stiffness gives the advantage in the turns, as anyone who wanted could run SB on an alpine board if they wanted, but don't as it gives no advantage in gates.

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Could be man.... All I know is I have seen some people, on HB and Softies, who can do moves that seem to defy the laws of physics man.... There is some serious talent out there man, far more than I. I just would never want to limit the choice of equipment as I see magic on a board and would never want that to he hindered.

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I would kill for any sort of softboot/hardboot slalom racing scene here in the uk at the momment im just that freak that turns up and asks if i can run the ski slalom from time to time lol. I dont really know if id be that much faster if at all riding hards vs softs it would be probably be somewhat course dependant.

ytOVVJW.jpg

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Great form! ^ 

2 hours ago, TVR said:

I just would never want to limit the choice of equipment as I see magic on a board and would never want that to he hindered.

That's my exact point! Set the course, let them use whatever they want, as long as it's a snowboard. 

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I don't think super tight gates are fun for anybody.  The beer league I did for several years would run a tight slalom once a season.  I don't think you could carve it even with an MK.  So you skid and pivot and swim and it's just not a fun way to snowboard.  This is probably why this race format doesn't exist already.  I'm also reminded about how there are no snowboard mogul competitions anymore.  Not enough people really enjoyed it.

14 minutes ago, BlueB said:

That's my exact point! Set the course, let them use whatever they want, as long as it's a snowboard. 

Right but if carving is involved, softbooters wouldn't be competitive, at least not at high levels.  At the USASA or beer league level, sure.

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5 hours ago, Jack M said:

 

Right but if carving is involved, softbooters wouldn't be competitive, at least not at high levels.  At the USASA or beer league level, sure.

Jack, Remember when Craig beat Jose? then again Jose DNF 🙂

Anyway, you get to Race in HB, where SB can't be competitive...so what is the problem with SB folks having their own Gig? 

Anyone, You, Blue, whoever, go race in your HB, I am talking about SB here, HB are the Bomb, they do the Purest Carves,You guys Rule, again whatever, go Race in HB, I would like to see a different course alignment as well...having a thread about SB racing means if you are talking about HB here...Well? 

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6 hours ago, softbootsurfer said:

Jack, Remember when Craig beat Jose? then again Jose DNF 🙂

Anyway, you get to Race in HB, where SB can't be competitive...so what is the problem with SB folks having their own Gig? 

Anyone, You, Blue, whoever, go race in your HB, I am talking about SB here, HB are the Bomb, they do the Purest Carves,You guys Rule, again whatever, go Race in HB, I would like to see a different course alignment as well...having a thread about SB racing means if you are talking about HB here...Well? 

Huh, I thought that I posted this, but lost it somehow... Trying again. 

Problem is that you are trying to exclude people. That's not how it's done. On amateur level, one can set the course in a fashion that equalizes the gear, or favors softies, problem solved. On pro level, banning HB would be an indirect (or not so indirect?) attempt to eliminate them all together... 

Edited by BlueB
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11 hours ago, Jack M said:

I don't think super tight gates are fun for anybody.  The beer league I did for several years would run a tight slalom once a season.  I don't think you could carve it even with an MK.  So you skid and pivot and swim and it's just not a fun way to snowboard.  This is probably why this race format doesn't exist already.  I'm also reminded about how there are no snowboard mogul competitions anymore.  Not enough people really enjoyed it.

Right but if carving is involved, softbooters wouldn't be competitive, at least not at high levels.  At the USASA or beer league level, sure.

Sliding turns are not necessarily skids and can be highly technical. Here's an illustration, less then 1" of fresh on ice makes it highly visible. Apex to apex width is just about, or less then, 2 board width. 

ilfSkzPj_o.jpg

One could set a course that includes "flush" sections like this, both steep and flat, then some carvey sections too, and you have a situation where both HB and SB have some advantages. 

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1 hour ago, BlueB said:

 

Problem is that you are trying to exclude people. 

That is Exactly what I am saying ...

I would like to see the Majority, around 99 % of the people who Snowboard use SB,. would have Races, where HB are not Used, sorry you don't like that Idea...really has nothing to do with HB, nor does it take away from the current HB racing circuits...never going to happen, ...it is just a thought, since Carving in SB has progressed to a point, that enough people running Nastar courses, may want to progress to a Racing circuit of some kind, in the future...

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So if you can't beat them, exclude them? Really sad... If the SB are really that good now, then go ahead, man up and beat those HBooters. Or, as I said, set the course that favours the SB, like it was done with BX, effectively phasing the HB out. 

Don't you think it's really low to try to deprive that 1% of something they are supposed to excel at? If there are sanctioned races that exclude HB and a new generation of racers grows up in that environment, it wouldn't be very long before someone gets a bright idea that WC doesn't really need the HB in racing either... I think there's enough discrimination agains HB as is, we don't need more. Snowboarding came from a rebellious, individualist culture. What have we come to, excluding those who do not conform to image pushed by the industry? 

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For the past few years I've raced in the Innkeepers Series on Tuesdays at Okemo.  We have a single start wand and a single finish.  Coming out of the start gate you take the ski course on skier's left or the snowboard course (stubbies) on the right.  I started scoring the race as a NASTAR event this year so as the Pacesetter I ran the stubbies on skis to set the par time before switching to my Kessler.  The upper portion of the course has a decent pitch and then it flattens out.

There are two softboot riders (Jerry Tucker and Steve Kelly) and one hardbooter (John Kelly) who are so fast that they sometimes beat my ski times.

At the NASTAR Nationals in Squaw Valley in 2018 and 2019 the pacesetter was Nate Holland on a softboot setup.  No one could come close to his times.  

Use what works for you.  

Here's a short clip of Jerry, Steve and myself (age 73).  I'm sorry I didn't get John whose time was 37.55.

Jerry - 37.13

Steve - 39.54

Me - 43.02

My pacesetting time on skis - 37.56

 

Edited by patmoore
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It is the same as in the pipe Or in freestyle. Are hardboots banned? No.... and someone doing the pipe in an alpine is one hell of a thing to see. But, like many sports, those just aren't the right tools for that, so they are not used. No one had to ban them to remove them, it was done by the aspect of the boarders just have more fun, and are more confident with softies in those sports.

If you look to ban hardboots in any race, you will alienate a percentage of your riders. Even the charity race in Sugarloaf didn't ban anyone and my son and I were 2 out of 3 snowboarders to enter. There would have been more, as I talked to other kids on the Loafs team, but they didn't know it was allowed. 

Long and short was, we had a blast, knew we wouldn't beat the skiers without a pull or anything else, but had a blast all the same, placing in the upper middle of the pack. Now the question is, would the race have been better if had been "pure"?

Edited by TVR
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Fascinating...All I have heard here, since I arrived was, SB suck and HB Rule, that SB are not used on the World Circuits for Gates because they are inferior and can't be competitive, I agree OK?  so, NOW, that SB set ups ( Boot, Bindings and Sticks ) are advanced enough to Carve and Carving has become somewhat fashionable, I simply agree with All of you HB here, they can't compete, at least at the highest levels, so, I believe there could be different Gate sets and competitions for that group, besides Pipe, Slopestyle, BX, Big Air ...How does that diminish HB racing? It doesn't, all it does is give the majority of Snowboarders an opportunity to Be Competitive with each other at running gates...get over it, OK!!  it is never going to Happen anyway...

Analogy?  Indy Car Circuit, Stock car circuit

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SBS, I agree with you that it would be an interesting and worthwhile race, and that it's not going to happen.  At least not in traditional gates.  But don't despair, it IS happening right now, in Banked Slalom.  The format is fun, growing, and it doesn't inherently favor hardboots, so there's no need to ban them.  I think Banked Slalom is what you're wishing for.  Traditional gates become unfun on softies once the course gets rutted or polished.  BS doesn't get shagged in the same way.

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I haven't read through all this, but I'm pretty sure you can ride whatever you want in USASA races. I haven't been in quite a while, but you used to see a lot of competitors racing gates, some placing pretty well and occasionally winning, in softboot set-ups.

These would often be competitors whose "specialty" might have been halfpipe or slopestyle, etc, but they were going for the overall snowboarder award competition. Do they still have that in USASA?

You also used to see alpine boards racing and winning in BX, but I think they banned them along with speed suits and ponytails.

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