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Hooger Booger Grinder, first run


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We finally received some snow around Vancouver, and Grouse Mountain reopened (limited runs).

So this old Hooger finally had its first run, after all these years collecting dust on the shop shelves. Here's the comments and some comparing to my old Limited (all-round "soft" board, but ridden with plates).

First, the stance: I just transferred the bindings from Ltd with cant/lift as used before. The shallowest angles I could set without apparent overhang (ski boots) were 57/57 (compared to 45/39 on Ltd). Later I changed it to 60/57 and it was a bit better. I used 44cm centre to centre, like before. There's only another 2.5cm left to extend the stance, on the rear foot, as the insert layout is a bit shorter and further back than on modern boards. I still have to play with this to see what really works for me on this board.

Some pain on the rear ancle, and blister on rear heel. Maybe due to the fact that I rode without my nice footbeds (left them in other ski boots, stupid). Or I need more cant on the rear foot?

Conditions: Green run with some steeper portions, relatively narrow. Spring conditions - not really slush, but hard pack beginning to melt at first, later on with patches of mash and soiled snow (aaarrrgh), with small bumps beginning to form, starting to freeze in the evening. No real ice.

The ride: Immediately noticed, even without the right wax (just a thin coat of old wax, as it came out of the shop) this board is faster than Ltd. Also stiffer, but not much. Nicer edge hold and easier to get it higher on the edge. I really enjoyed steeper binding angles - it encouraged me to get really low (stance) and without "sitting" on the heel turns. Also much easier to get shoulders square to the direction of the board. It was a bit more difficult to initiate the toe turn, but a bit of concentration sorted it out. Much hookier than Ltd! 2 or 3 times it railed me of to the side of the trail, more often on the heel side. I hardly noticed any unwanted slip, but again - no ice to try it.

Toe side turns felt really nice, at one moment while carving uphill I had feeling that I could do a 360 turn with a bit of speed.

Hill side turns felt infinitely better than on Ltd, with steep angles preventing "sitting". Also on heel carves I had some nose chatter, as opposed to the tail chatter usually experienced with Ltd. Pressing the tip more helped, and changing the front angle to 60, as well. I did not experience the overpowering of the tip, but again, I didn't really force it - I rode it pretty much "centred".

11.5m radius was making me nervous before I rode it (switch from 9m scr on Ltd), but it turned out just right! Good at long/medium turns (still to be tried on steeper runs) and can be pushed into short slalom turns, especially with cross-under. It handled small moguls easily.

The base: It was cruel from me to take this old lady for her first run ever, on the slope with only thin snow cover and few small rocks showing, but I could not resist the very first chance to try it out. As the result, I concluded that the base is a bit softer than on Ltd (that one is very resistant to scratches, I must say).

In general: Very happy with this purchase! I'm sure this would be a very good learning board. The way it handled the mixed stuff today, and with its pointy longer tip, upturned tail and moderate waist, it will make good all-mountain board.

Specs, for those who didn't read my previous post:

L: 167 cm

CL: 143 cm

SCR: ~ 11.5m

Tip: 25.5 cm

Waist: 20.8 cm

Tail: 25 cm

All comments regarding few issues I mentioned are welcome. Especially from those who have ridden this board in the past, if any.


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