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Plate Test Part 2


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Coming this winter... a bevy of Allflex plates courtesy of @i-carve.com

Top two are aluminum, bottom two Carve and Carve Pro are plastic.  The Carve model has non-adjustable elastomers in place of springs.  The Carve Pro has springs.  Big thanks to http://i-carve.com for supplying these new plates for demo.

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1 hour ago, rjnakata said:

I'm looking forward to it.  Would you share a link to Plate test part 1?

I still need to write it down, but most of it ended up being spilled in this thread:

https://forums.alpinesnowboarder.com/topic/47464-plates-effect-on-board/

I tested the Apex X-Plate, Donek AF, Vist Vistflex, and Allflex GS longitudinal cut on two Kessler 168s with UPM and Allflex inserts.  The wind was taken out of my sails by Apex apparently going out of business, and the UPM pattern going obsolete along with it.  But I do have some findings that I'd like to share, like weight and height and riding impressions.

Incomplete and super condensed Cliff's Notes version:

Best all around: Apex X-Plate

Best edge hold: Donek AF

Most comfort: Vistflex

Lightest: Apex, Donek AF (tie)

Lowest: Apex

Highest: Donek AF

Heaviest: Vistflex

Most adjustable: Vistflex

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I'm late to the plate party and have only been dabbling for the last couple of years, but it has certainly opened my eyes to the "diverse" conditions we experience here in the northeast. I got pretty excited when I saw the release of the Carve and Carve Pro, but alas my current stable of boards is a bit "allflex challenged" and not an option that doesn't involve a significant refresh.  I get it.  It's a boutique industry. Seems most builders here are evolving to build an experience into the board itself, which is a good thing, but here conditions deteriorate by the minute of the first chair reaching the top.  I really wish Sean would make another run on the AF in 4x4 or Walker tweaking the BP2. But the reality is most of these were run in 2013ish and took 5+ years to sell off the inventory so it's not gonna happen. Even SG dropped their plate. Guess I'm just sour-graping and wish there were more options for 4x4.  Or perhaps I shell out $3,250 for Virus Phantom Zylon Electron... 😲 

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7 minutes ago, Kneel said:

Guess I'm just sour-graping and wish there were more options for 4x4

Donek AF 4x4 are out of stock, but I suppose you could ask them to make one.  I recommend it.  Donek F plate works with 4x4, but it's like the original Vist (not Vistflex), so it works much differently than the AF.  Apex X-Plate was available with 4x4 hardware, but you'd have to find a used one.  I like both the AF and X better than the 5mm original BP I had because the X is significantly lower, and both are lighter, and have better flex.  5mm BP had basically no flex.

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I would throw in Jasey's new plate design (center hinges).  I have two, and they are amazingly adjustable... Would take me many, many seasons to go through all the options.  Similar to AllFlex, which Jasey says is better on flats whereas his is superior on medium to steep slop.  From my own experience, I would agree.  

Significantly cheaper too.  No 4x4.

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8 hours ago, Jack M said:

Donek AF 4x4 are out of stock, but I suppose you could ask them to make one.  I recommend it.  Donek F plate works with 4x4, but it's like the original Vist (not Vistflex), so it works much differently than the AF.  Apex X-Plate was available with 4x4 hardware, but you'd have to find a used one.  I like both the AF and X better than the 5mm original BP I had because the X is significantly lower, and both are lighter, and have better flex.  5mm BP had basically no flex.

 

Yeah, I asked Sean over a year and a half ago when he'd have them in stock again.  It's not happenin'.  The hardware is not the issue.  Ordering a low number run of molded carbon fiber decks IS..  I DO like the 4mm Lite BP2, but what I don't like is that I can feel that there is a plate there, not to mention it feels a little too flexy for 6'1" 200lbs, so I always have that in my head when I hammer it. The regular 4mm I'd probably lie better. I picked up a 5mm recently, but haven't had the opportunity to try it and yes it feels sturdy. That's why I thought the AF would be a home run.  I'm sure one will show up in the FS forum one of these days...

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Ultimate plate setup, rear half fixed, centre hinged and swivels, front half slides i made two. Mr. Sutherland has one for his collection the other I ride on occasion to remind myself how awesome my wife is to have allowed me to spend weeks developing something no one understands. 

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19 minutes ago, Shred Gruumer said:

Why not make a board that doesn't need one...? 

Everyone keeps trying but the minute you put a plate on it especially in adverse conditions the plate proves the board just isn't up to the task'. Nothing wrong with having an extra tool in the tool box !

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1 hour ago, lowrider said:

Everyone keeps trying but the minute you put a plate on it especially in adverse conditions the plate proves the board just isn't up to the task'. Nothing wrong with having an extra tool in the tool box !


The main problem is, so far nobody has been able to build a board that has the same level of benefits of a plate (isolation from undesirable vibrations, superior edge hold and tracking) built into the board without the board losing too much liveliness (return of energy). I posted details about this (Damp vs Lively) several years ago.

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13 hours ago, Shred Gruumer said:

Why not make a board that doesn't need one...? 

I have a few boards that get close, say 8/10ths of the way there. Speaking from a recreational strictly northeast conditions perspective where conditions can run the gamut, changing by the minute, I think there will always be a compromise so the board you "chose" that morning may not have been the one you should have. For me it's a real thing where I reach the point of "ok, I gotta get the F out of here" when conditions go to shit and you're trying to survive the release of the pizza/french-fry contingent in the afternoon. The plate for me mutes my subconscious more that anything, so you're probably correct and I don't really need one at all.  My preference is the natural feel of the board.  I want that. But there too is tangible advantages of a plate.  I want that too WITHOUT it feeling like there is a plate. 👍

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22 hours ago, Shred Gruumer said:

Why not make a board that doesn't need one...? 

Personally I don't use a plate on every board for freecarving.  For me where I find my Apex X plate most useful is on my shortest board (Kessler 168) which I use for early season and icy conditions.  I don't believe a board has ever been built that could compare to that combination for such purposes.

However you raise an interesting point regarding Allflex, because it works totally differently than the Apex style.  According to their own website, the plate only has 6mm of travel away from the board before it locks up, and then it becomes a massive flex modifier.  It bends with the board after the 6mm.  So I think a snowboard could be built to perform as well as a current board with an Allflex.  But apparently that board has never been built either, or it would be used in World Cup.

These things certainly aren't required for freecarving, but I just find them interesting because for now you cannot be serious in World Cup without one. 🤷‍♂️

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1 hour ago, Jack M said:

Personally I don't use a plate on every board for freecarving.  For me where I find my Apex X plate most useful is on my shortest board (Kessler 168) which I use for early season and icy conditions.  I don't believe a board has ever been built that could compare to that combination for such purposes.

...

These things certainly aren't required for freecarving, but I just find them interesting because for now you cannot be serious in World Cup without one. 🤷‍♂️

Interesting you mention that and mental note made to wrestle the K168 back from my son to try with a plate. But the board that got me thinking about this is the Full Carve 170.  For as different in construction as they are, to me they both get really similar in how they ride. NOT how they feel under foot, that is VERY different. But that's what got me experimenting.  The FC170 with the BP2, I just couldn't believe how I could ride through absolutely abysmal conditions that would ordinarily send me packing.

I've experimented with my Thirsts and various plates, but decided they are definitely better without.  Discussed it with Mark and we just chalked it up to the asym sidecut.  It's not particularly bad, but it does seem to limit the board which is contrary to what a plate is supposed to do, right? Crazy.  Though I do like geckos on them, especially the SF, as I feel it quiets the board down in "firm" conditions. Definitely not required, but as mentioned above, just something else in the toolbox. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/10/2020 at 11:18 AM, Kneel said:

I'm late to the plate party and have only been dabbling for the last couple of years, but it has certainly opened my eyes to the "diverse" conditions we experience here in the northeast. I got pretty excited when I saw the release of the Carve and Carve Pro, but alas my current stable of boards is a bit "allflex challenged" and not an option that doesn't involve a significant refresh.  I get it.  It's a boutique industry. Seems most builders here are evolving to build an experience into the board itself, which is a good thing, but here conditions deteriorate by the minute of the first chair reaching the top.  I really wish Sean would make another run on the AF in 4x4 or Walker tweaking the BP2. But the reality is most of these were run in 2013ish and took 5+ years to sell off the inventory so it's not gonna happen. Even SG dropped their plate. Guess I'm just sour-graping and wish there were more options for 4x4.  Or perhaps I shell out $3,250 for Virus Phantom Zylon Electron... 😲 

FYI. I love the Phantom Zylon - but had knee pain on it (riding on crappy icy mess in New England) that disappeared on next run as soon as I jumped on my k168 with a vist Snowplate 07 (that I got with 4x4 mounts). Highly recommend the Snowplate - and its thousands less then the Phantom (Which is Still an amazing board)

 

Edit: @i-carve.comhas vist Snowplates in Stock and was amazing to deal with - plus quick shipping. 

Edited by Tddragon
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On 11/10/2020 at 5:26 PM, Atom Ant said:

I would throw in Jasey's new plate design (center hinges).  I have two, and they are amazingly adjustable... Would take me many, many seasons to go through all the options.  Similar to AllFlex, which Jasey says is better on flats whereas his is superior on medium to steep slop.  From my own experience, I would agree.  

Significantly cheaper too.  No 4x4.

Only upm though? Cost?

On 11/11/2020 at 7:41 PM, Shred Gruumer said:

Why not make a board that doesn't need one...? 

Phantom Zylon gets close to it. But still no comparison to a plate. 

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On 11/10/2020 at 8:36 PM, Kneel said:

I DO like the 4mm Lite BP2, but what I don't like is that I can feel that there is a plate there, not to mention it feels a little too flexy for 6'1" 200lbs

Kneel I don't really notice the plate or height once I get moving but do wonder if I'm over flexing my BP v2 4mm at my petite 230lbs!

On 11/9/2020 at 9:01 PM, Jack M said:

Best all around: Apex X-Plate

Best edge hold: Donek AF

Most comfort: Vistflex

Lightest: Apex, Donek AF (tie)

Lowest: Apex

Highest: Donek AF

Heaviest: Vistflex

Most adjustable: Vistflex

Jack I don't see a Bomber BP version in your condensed cliff notes list.

I've really enjoyed my BP V2 4mm on my K168                                              On your scale where would you place:                                                               1 -  BP V2 4mm                                                                                               2 - V2 4mm Lite                                                                                             3 - Vist  Snowplate 07  

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47 minutes ago, barryj said:

Jack I don't see a Bomber BP version in your condensed cliff notes list.

I only had the original 5mm BBP, unmodified, 4x4 mount.  It was completely rigid, no flex whatsoever in any direction.  I wanted and tried to like it but I just couldn't.  It was not involved in the previous test but if it was it would rank last.  It was Fin's first attempt at reproducing his understanding of what the original Apex plate was doing in the 2010 Olympics, which was top secret.  I haven't ridden any other variations of the BBP.

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5 hours ago, Tddragon said:

Only upm though? Cost?

Similar or exactly the AllFlex pattern.  "Spring hinges" in middle.

Skip boilerplates all together.  I've ridden 5 and 4, and Apex v2 (which I loved).  Apex all day, not even close.  More feel, lighter, assymetric is an option for mounting, and similar dampening.

JJA will customize a plate for customers, FYI.  Best mounting hardware as well for traditional hinges plates that I've seen as well.

My 2 cents.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Atom Ant
Grammar
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2 hours ago, Jack M said:

I haven't ridden any other variations of the BBP.

Roger that.

Do you have any experience with the Vist Snowplate 07 ??

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32 minutes ago, barryj said:

Roger that.

Do you have any experience with the Vist Snowplate 07 ??

I love my Snowplate 07:) but I haven't ridden any other plates except geckos:)

37 minutes ago, Atom Ant said:

Similar or exactly the AllFlex pattern.  "Spring hinges" in middle.

Skip boilerplates all together.  I've ridden 5 and 4, and Apex v2 (which I loved).  Apex all day, not even close.  More feel, lighter, assymetric is an option for mounting, and similar dampening.

JJA will customize a plate for customers, FYI.  Best mounting hardware as well for traditional hinges plates that I've seen as well.

My 2 cents.

 

 

 

 

Cost? Link?

 

Also Confused - you rode they jja plate and loved it? Or just heard about it and love the apex plate?:)

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