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Would i benefit from a new snowboard ?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
First post. Sorry if i screw it up the protocols. I have a 2009 Burton Custom 156 with EST and Cartel bindings. I have basically learnt to snowboard on it and it's great. I'm 44 and not doing tricks but riding pistes confidently and quickly but in control. We rarely get side piste powder but when we do the Custom works just fine if i lean back a little. But i'm starting to wonder. At speed (above 40kph) the board is a little skittish and i'd like more pop into the turns with better edge control through the middle of the board. I realize now that all i'm ever going to be is a groomer and there's not going to be park or back country riding so do i have the right board or should i look at something else? Has board tech changed a lot in 8 years? i notice my Custom seems slimmer than most of the newer boards. Any advice welcomed.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
i should add that the 2009 Custom is also really tricky on hard pack and icy conditions which sadly is increasingly common on Alpine pistes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Danz,

I have been boarding for 20 years now (I'm 44Y old too) - for the last 8 years I have been riding a Rome Solution with various binding combinations ...

I feel I have been relatively complacent in recent years though, my riding became a bit lazy and I wasn't particularly enjoying challenging conditions (ice / hard pack / bumps or steep blacks) - the board seemed to struggle with me too ... it felt a bit judderish, unresponsive etc. I tried to mistakenly compensate for all these deficiencies by tightening my boots or bindings more than I should be doing - result was obviously tight feet, restricted blood flow, leg pain etc.

My wife then offered to buy me a new board / bindings for Christmas ... after much deliberation and research I opted for the Salomon Assassin with Union bindings. I've used it for a total of 10 days since - it's been an absolute revelation. It handles European hardpack amazingly well (responsive on the turn, smooth, stable at speed etc) but has also performed very very well in powder (2 weeks ago in Val d'Isere). I love it. And I think it has reinvigorated my love with boarding too.

Have a look at it ...
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks for the tip. Sounds like we have been in a similar space. i've been turning up my Vans boas to maximum to feel an edge at the cost of blood flow ! i will look at the Assassin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Danz, Welcome to SH, and nothing wrong with your first post.

My advice BEFORE you go buying a new board just yet is, firstly, get the thing properly serviced (you don't say if you do get it regularly tuned), particularly if you've not done it in a while.

Second, how much mileage have your boots got on them? Vans are notoriously soft (and I say that as someone whose ridden Vans boots for 12 years until this year) - maybe consider stepping up to a stiffer boot may give you some more of the control and feel you're looking for.

Thirdly, be honest and critical about your riding - when was the last time you had an instructor? We all assemble a rough grab-bag of techniques and bad habits and roll it into our own style and every now and again we can benefit from someone critiquing our riding and shaking that bag up. Mate of mine (who still rides a similar era Custom incidentally) took it to the extreme last year and went on a rider development course (Definitions one) for a week of picking your riding apart and putting it back together and he genuinely is a different rider this year. He did a presentation/potted version/masterclass/whatever of some of the things they went over for the snowboarders on our recent trip and it there were some really good things that I'd never heard of before in nearly 20 years of standing sideways. While a full-on week of pro critique riding might be out of your budget, a morning of one-to-one with a proper (and I really mean PROPER) snowboard instructor to iron out some of the bad habits might really help.

Finally, go buy a new board anyway - something new and shiny always helps. If I was shopping for something like you're looking for, I'd be looking at things like the K2 Raygun or maybe the Salomon Super8 Toofy Grin


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 14-03-17 9:24; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Good advice from @Richard_Sideways here ... I now make sure that I have 1-2-1 sessions or attend development clinics once every 2 years or so. It's amazing what a little bit of fine-tuning can do to how your ride and, more importantly, how much you enjoy riding.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You all make good points on my riding. I am a bit stiff on the board and know i should be trying some tricks like nose and tale presses to build confidence and ability but you know what it's like when you go away with people, you are under pressure to get around the mountain, stay with people, meet for lunch etc so you end up just charging groomers which is also fun. I have had 121s with decent instructors but not really gone away and worked on the stuff which i know i should, i won't improve without practice. i keep my Custom in good nick with annual service. i always thought my Vans were quite stiff with the boas wound up but maybe i should look at stiffer boots - i'm a freak for edge control, probably masking some core ability failings! but the thing is, i love it and i do get a little better every year as the confidence grows, and that's what i'm thinking, would a new board and boot combo help my confidence? has tech changed a lot over 7 years or should i stick with what i have and spend the 500 quid etc on some solid coaching/board camp and accept that i won't be riding with friends for one holiday. i suspect i know what you'll say!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
My view is that on top of what has already been said you should seriously think about investing in a new board, bindings and boots - I didn't try the Assassin before I bought it but I was really reassured by what the TSA (Ells Brigham) in Manchester had to say - maybe I was lucky in that I now own and ride a board that I truly like. If you have a trip coming up you could hire 2-3 boards that suit your requirements and see what they feel like? Salomon have test camps across Europe and North America.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Danz, if you live anywhere near a fridge you might be able to get a demo board from one of the shops (TSA in Tamworth did for me a few years back). Not really a full mountain test, you never really build enough speed (safely) to get what you do outside but you can really feel the difference between boards.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

I am a bit stiff


That'd do it. Stiff legs = Skittish...

Think about walking with a full glass of water. Walk with a stiff, outstretched arm and you'll spill it, because the movement is being transferred straight to the glass - thats what you're doing on your board. Your legs need to be absorbing the shocks and transitions the board is sending upwards to your body and where your centre of mass is. With stiff legs you'll get bounced around all over the place, and that could be causing you to unweight the edge and skip about. Keep things nice and low and loose and the edge'll hold.

*IF* you are able to look at your own riding critically then you can do a LOT of this stuff yourself. *MAYBE* spending a morning with an instructor and go into the session knowing what you want elements you want to work on and you can accelerate that process.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The custom was a good deck in '09 and still is now. The only way it's your board letting you down is if you have let the edges go blunt (or some other form of disrepair) or if you have in your mid-forties put on some weight that is taking you over limit of the board. Evo.com keeps a good directory of the old board specs, I'd guess it will top out about 175lbs.

Otherwise it's technique as others have said. By all means treat yourself to a new deck though! good 'pop' is quite hard to find these days though, all the hybrid camber boards that I have ridden (which admittedly is only a handful) in recent years deliver pretty sh*t pop compared to the good old days of pure camber boards.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
+1 for getting your board serviced and getting yourself some lessons.

I've had a couple of customs over the years and they are good boards. Never had a problem on hard pack or ice. Learning to use your edges will open up a whole new world of riding.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Custom is a great board and the 09 is a camber version. Nothing wrong with this board.

My only tip, rather than lean back in powder, slide your bindings back. That's what the track is for and it takes less than 30 seconds per end.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Certainly move your bindings back in powder (if it's a piste board or even some powder twins), but only if you need to, and as little as you can.

There are no circumstances I can think of where it would be a good idea to "lean back": you need to be balanced.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Good advice everyone, thanks. I think based on your feedback, i'll keep the Custom and Cartels but get it serviced again and maybe look at getting some stiffer boots. My heals slip out in my Vans Fargos which means i can't feel the toe edge so well so maybe i'll look at some double boa boots. i'll also get a bit more 121 coaching and work on some technique and bad habits. (ps on the weight front i'm coming in at 66kgs at 5.10 so heaviness isn't the problem but sketchy technique prob is! but i didn't start till i was 30 and never skated as a kid so i'm not doing too bad)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Danz, wait till you're in yer 60s befor ya start yer whining about fitness etc. Get yer board serviced and I'd agree about stiffer/new boots. It's impossible to make any other equipment suggestions without seeing you ride and I'm horribly out of practice (too busy breaking legs on telemark skis). I think this eosb is gping to be "epic" . . . possibly for all the wrong reasons Twisted Evil
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