Posted: 20 March 2012 12:45 AM
I am an experienced freerider that is making a comeback to the mountain after a 5 year break. I used to roam all over the Alps and Scandinavia in search of powder and be all about backcountry and bowls. I had a K2 Fatbob.
Now I find myself in Texas with two small kids. They are just learning to ski/snowboard, so I see a lot of blue and green groomers in my future. The bottom line is, I’m going to have to change my boarding style to be more freestyle oriented to have any fun in the mountain. I like to ride switch and butter and do small natural kickers, but I’m pushing forty and I will not go within 10 feet of a rail or go down a pipe ever again. No big jumps. I need to fun board that allows me to do small tricks, and go down groomers fast. I won’t do pow or even get off piste that much (saying this out loud is hard for me but it’s a fact).
I’m 6 feet, 165-170 pounds, 10.5 foot. I don’t have a big brand preference, but the array of board brands makes my head spin so I’ve mostly been looking at K2 boards since I had a good experience with them back in the day. I’d try to stay away from Burton to maximize my binding choices. Price is not important criterion.
Oh wise ones, tell me what board to get! Or shoudl I get two - one soft and one stiff?
Also, board size recommendations are welcome. I used to ride 162 but that sounds a bit long to me now if I’m going more freestyle. Also, I don’t think I need a wide board, do I?
Posted: 20 March 2012 04:25 AM
I know some fun and playful board maybe the Bataleon Whatever, Or the Bataleon Fun.Kink
These two boards are on the softer flex, with the opposite concave of the TBT this enhances the pop for those fun little natural kickers. The Whatever is an All Mountain board that may suit you. Just something to look into.
As for size, you maybe able to slim down to the 158W Whatever or 157 Fun.Kink, just a little more playful shorter board.
Posted: 20 March 2012 03:07 PM
My b/f has a 156 Never Summer Proto, which he uses for exactly what you are describing you want. It’s a bit of a do-everything board, i.e. it’s soft enough for buttering on piste, but stiff enough to give you stability on natural features. On the plus side, it’s also really fast - we’ve just spent a few days away in the slushy alps, and even after 4 days when the snow had basically stipped both my base and his of wax, he was making it across flats much more quickly than I was with my Burton WFO base. He tells me the edge hold is also really great, which was a lot more than he was expecting from it.
He also had it out in powder conditions and off-piste earlier in the year, and while it will never be a replacement for a proper powder board, it did pretty well compared to other boards he’s owned. The hybrid camber really helps here.
He’s about the same height/weight as you, so I would imagine you could go with the 56 as well.
The more all-mountain board in the Never Summer range is the SL - but being stiffer you lose some of the playfulness.
Posted: 23 March 2012 04:05 PM
Thanks for both replies! Both seem like excellent choices, and I would have never looked at them without you pointing them out to me! They really helped me narrow down my search.
In the end I went with the Bataleon Whatever 156 and K2 Formula bindings. I thought about going 158 wide first, but the guys at evo.com (I spoke with two of them and these guys rock! Talk about great customer service!) convinced me that I should be fine with the regular width - I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one… I’m probably going to go for a mild duck stance to maximize switch riding so probably won’t be doing super deep carves so I’m hoping I’ll be OK. TBT sounds really fun, looking forward to buttering on my new Whatever next season!
Regarding the other choices, I felt like the Fun.Kink was going to be too soft going down groomers. NS Proto had some phenomenal reviews going and I would love to own that board but I could not find a good deal on it anywhere although it’s already late in the season. They probably have a lot of demand for the board at regular price, looking at how excited everyone is about the board - I hope I’m not going to regret being a little cheap here…
Posted: 23 March 2012 07:50 PM
Glad to hear i could help! I know the Whatever is a great choice! You wont regret it! TBT is something different from other brands, and its amazing!
NS is always going to be top price, and there boards are amazing, but being a little cheap can always be a good thing, you found an awesome board without breaking the bank, what more could you ask for.