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Has anyone tried a plate on a Contra


bigwavedave
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Just wondering how Bruce's "mid-tight" sidecut works with a plate. Gecko style or whatever. I didn't really like the way Gecko's changed the feel of a Thirst ride. I liked them much more on my traditional sidecut boards. Wondering if it's simply the mid-tight sidecut or something to do with the Thirst asym core structure.

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3 hours ago, lowrider said:

You don't want Bruce hearing about plates and his boards. Puts you on the naughty list . Now a plate on an older high camber virus Skwal is like putting on a seatbelt it just help you survive.  

Geckos work great on my Coiler Rev, really great. Love it when I want to keep riding in rough chop. Feels like they were made for each other. And Bruce did endorse using Geckos on a Coiler on their website. You know, he made that board to pair with them.

But, I know you're just kidding. New knees aren't cheap

 

I'm sure someone here is going to try putting a plate on one. Just curious to hear some actual feedback.

4 hours ago, Mr.E said:

Tried an Apex on my Contra. It was fine, but better suited for race style progressives in my opinion.

How did it change the ride? Does it pair better with your SG?

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My thinking was that with the tight part of the sidecut being in the middle that the Geckos are going to modify the mid flex of the board making it more difficult to tighten up your turns. That's what it felt like to me. Whereas on a regular sidecut board I didn't notice much change other than the muting of rough terrain.

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The other issue is that the Contras are designed so that the sidecut/flex works in harmony with the weight under your feet.  That is why it feels like on firmer snow that the edges really engage under your feet and as you power it up,  you feel the edge pressure radiate out in all directions.  I suspect a plate might be detrimental to this effect.  With that being said, a sidecut and flex pattern could be designed to maximize the effectiveness for a plate/board design and still reap the benefits of a Contra design.  

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15 minutes ago, dredman said:

The other issue is that the Contras are designed so that the sidecut/flex works in harmony with the weight under your feet.  That is why it feels like on firmer snow that the edges really engage under your feet and as you power it up,  you feel the edge pressure radiate out in all directions.  I suspect a plate might be detrimental to this effect.  With that being said, a sidecut and flex pattern could be designed to maximize the effectiveness for a plate/board design and still reap the benefits of a Contra design.  

As you know, that's the way a Thirst works too. And like you suspected that it might have the same effect on a Contra that I experienced with my Thirst.

As we all know the nuts that hang out here will put a plate on anything. @JRAZZ 

I do have a couple of Contra AT's I suppose I could try with the Geckos. It's just too friggin' cold out right now. 

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33 minutes ago, dredman said:

The other issue is that the Contras are designed so that the sidecut/flex works in harmony with the weight under your feet.

That's really interesting. I've found that I had to move my bindings back in order for the board to track nicely. This might have more to do with how I ride than the board itself but for me I feel I have to really stomp on the tail and then it hooks up nicely.

 

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Hello

I agree, you don't 'NEED' a plate on a Coiler Contra with all the rubber, metal and secret sauce Bruce builds into his boards.  

When you say 'plate' do you mean a full isolation plate or just a Gecko riser?  I have only tried the original Apex Duck Bill full plate, it worked fantastic but for me the decoupled 'spin completely around' when trying to stop or slarve was a deal breaker.

The Geckos with all the fingers also work great, but I didn't want mess around with the boards' flex via the fingers and bumpers.  I did, however, LOVE the buttery smooth feeling the riser and soft bumpers gave on ice.  I guess you also don't 'need' metal in a board on ice, glass boards work just fine.  The risers make ice feel like buttery smooth perfect Western hero cord; makes crappy conditions even more fun with a metal coiler.

Years ago, when Fin was developing the new TD bindings with Bob, I wrote to Bob and Fin to ask how much movement the TD urethane ring would permit; I was hoping for the SideWinder before it was developed.  What I found interesting was Bobs' explanation to me around the idea that micro-vibrations create feedback that a rider gets from ice, which causes a ride to unconsciously 'tense up' their muscles resulting in a rougher ride.  He went on to explained to me that the purpose of the TD urethane ring was to absorb these vibrations, which helped the rider to relax, which gives the rider a real or imagined feeling of more grip.

For a few of seasons now I have used the fingerless Gecko Stealth soft boot plate/riser on my Coiler Contra and Nirvana with F2 Titaniflex bindings.  When the conditions are good, I don't think the plates do anything to improve or hurt the ride.  The softest bumpers, I feel, give the binding a smaller foot print.  When the conditions suck, Global Warming Western Rain and Ice in Feb, I love the added height to help reduce boot out with flatter stance angles.  The real treat is the even smoother Coiler ride, ice feels like buttery cord.  I'm too lazy to take them on and off, so I just leave them on and don't worry about what conditions I might encounter.

The next question for me, to anyone who might be able to help, is why are the Gecko's made from Carbon?  Seems to me that a Stealth Shaped Coiler riser plate made of wood, rubber, metal and Bruces' secret sauce would make the super fun and versatile Contra ride go from amazing to unreal.

Cheers

Rob

Edited by RCrobar
clarity of thought
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Thanks @RCrobar

Yes, the purpose in asking is for ridding crappy snow. I've got old knees that are maybe a bit more sensitive to it. I'm more interested in the Gecko style plate, but any firsthand reports of a plate on Contra might be useful info.

I love my Sidewinders on most conditions, although I have one board, a 180 Coiler Rev, set up with geckos for when my 67 yr old knees start complaining about a rough ride. Love how the Geckos work on that board. Really doesn't change how the board handles, just mutes out the bumps and ruts.

Bruce made a plate for my daughter years ago. May have been a one-off prototype, I don't know if he made any others. 

Hoping some of those steak sauce slurping ice-coasters will chime in if conditions ever return to "normal" for them.

 

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3 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

 

How did it change the ride? Does it pair better with your SG?

I thought it was fine (totally ridable), but didn't provide the same level of damping change and isloation I feel on some other boards, and it did (slightly) seem to stiffen the center section. I have several boards (SG, JJA, Virus) that are in the 185 GS ballpark, and I enjoy a plate on those more. I think the Contra in good snow is damp enough, and benefits from being able to use your fee to flex the board more that I find necissary on the GS stuff. On any of them you can just tilt and engage the side cut if you want, too, but on the GS stuff I enjoy the feeling of tip/tail weight shifts that the Coiler seems more indifferent too, and the plate leverage just didn't make a big change for me (albeit on softish conditions).

 

I should note that I mentioned I enjoyed plates on boards in the class (my Contra is a 180 with GS+ type sidecut) and wanted that option. Bruce seemed fine with that, and on his preference we kept it 4x4 rather than add UPM inserts. I find on the boards that preform best with plates, I don't feel a huge difference between UPM or 4x4, so keep the UPM plates on the boards with those inserts. I have another shorter board/ longer side cut on order that I'll also try with a plate, but based on my experience with this one I assume I'll run it bare. Note that I'm riding in CO, and firm conditions here are like powder days in the NE.

Edited by Mr.E
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Ice-coaster here. 😐  @bigwavedave, we've been on this journey together, brother. 4x4 BP2 4MM Lite pretty much neutered the XC.  It just didn't belong there.  Geckos have their place, at the end of the day, but they haven't been on a Thirst since early last season.  Knowing what I know about the Contra, I would expect similar results.  I break it down into two types of riding here.  There is well RIDING, when conditions are good and there is some chance of ice towards the end of the day, but typically at that time I've already been sitting on the couch for an hour after putting in 15-20k of vert.  Then there's SURVIVAL.  Conditions start as shit, progress as shit and end as crud and shit, but you have to ride because you're riding with friends/family or frankly there's nothing else to do because even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.  When I KNOW it's, gonna be one of those survival days, I'm on an SG with a plate.  Which is a shame because the FC170 and the new BLACK 169 are such great boards on their own, but with some isolation they can take on ANYTHING.  They just work.  Outside of that, I ride a Thirst, on sidewinders. No more wandering the American west, Kwai Chang Caine has found his brother Danny. 👍

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34 minutes ago, lowrider said:

Cherry picking west coast riders don't have an appreciation of what east coasters have to ride on or for that matter what we call snow. If it's close to white and half covers the ground we ride it !

Word. 

In all fairness, the last 4 weeks in southern VT has been pretty spectacular. 👍

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27 minutes ago, Kneel said:

Word. 

In all fairness, the last 4 weeks in southern VT has been pretty spectacular. 👍

Yeah, I've been watching the weather. I'm happy for you guys.

It was -25F this morning here. All local ski areas are closed. High temp today was -1. It was sunny, but windy. Even the snow storms are avoiding us.

RE the OP

I guess what I was trying to get at if it's a mid-tight side cut that doesn't work as well with a plate, particularly the Gecko style. 

Guess I'll have to brave the polar vortex and mount them up on my CoilerAT to see for myself. I can hike up the hill to keep warm and do a test ride on the ungroomed leftovers from Saturday. 

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3 hours ago, lowrider said:

I'm thrilled for you . The last season has been non existent in Ontario. Opening on Feb. 16th. for 4 hr. time slots.

Blue? At least you'll get something. Cherish those 4 hour blocks. 👍

Stratton has been a tale of two cities.  Weekdays, when I ride, crowds have been nonexistent, people follow protocol, it's been great.  Weekends I've heard have been a horror show, as usual, but they have been pretty good at dropping the hammer when needed to keep people in check. I honestly didn't think the DPRoVT would even open the border even to secondary home owners so I'm looking at this season as a gift...

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  • 11 months later...

Okay, this took a long ride to get to an answer. I did it myself today and I'll share.

We had a lot of icy days last year and I was wanting a mellower ride. I asked this question last year hoping to get an answer before ordering a 166 "ice" Contra (it's just a softer flex with extra rubber). While my favorite Thirst boards hold a great edge on ice, they did not pair well with Geckos to mute out the harshness of riding on ice. The Geckos actually took all the fun out of the Thirst ride while making the flex stiffer and less able to tighten turns.

While we haven't had the ice days of last year, we've had a lot of subzero days and little new snow, making for very hard groom with some ice chunks mixed in.

After having a great morning riding my Thirst XC, I decided to try the Contra with Gecko Carves. There was enough ice chunky areas and ruts to make it worthwhile. I used td3sw with bp low profile bases. Previously, I've only ridden the Contra with td3 sidewinders on ice or icy groom.  

Long story short is that the Geckos paired really well with the Contra, as if they were made for each other. If anything, it improved how the board rode overall without a noticeable change in board flex and turn radius. I think I will keep the Geckos on there. It will be my turny, icy, rutted up, foggy mountain board.

IMG_7142.jpg.a3158bc7c07f5fc3252790972d3e63b8.jpg

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