European snowboarding pioneer, Amplid Snowboards co-owner and AK guru Peter Bauer designs snowboards and rides them on the most critical Big Mountain lines and off the gnarliest 50ft cliff drops. Who better to ask about what makes a killer Big Mountain snowboard?
There aren’t many people on this planet that understand snowboard design like Peter Bauer. With an illustrious career in the sport dating back to the early 80s, Peter has rode through the development of the sport. From pushing his Burton Cruiser Swallowtail to the limits around the World Cup slalom courses to pioneering freestyle riding on the first twin tipped Burton Air in a pair of ski liner packed Sorel boots (workmen’s boots reinforced with Gaffa tape!), Peter’s lived through, and been hugely influential to the development of Snowboard equipment.
After years of tinkering around with snowboard design Peter found himself helping his friend (now business partner) Anin with the design of a new ski brand. Experimenting with new materials and resins in the same factory that he’d been in 20 years earlier developing prototypes for Burton, Peter unearthed a burning desire to create a killer snowboard brand. Amplid was born! Peter is in a unique position where his riding ability and the knowledge of design he’s picked up over the years enable him to design boards perfect for riding particular terrain. Who better to ask about what makes a great Big Mountain board than a man who splits his time between riding the gnarliest steeps in Alaska and designing the snowboard he uses to ride them.
“For big open faces in AK or BC, there isn’t really anything which can replace length. When I travel to Atlin or Valdez, all I bring is my Equity 174 and – for tree runs on down days I use the 166, never shorter. I need lots of effective edge for sketchy traverses, or when sliding sideways into an icy channel.
My board’s tail needs to give me enough support in fast run outs while manoeuvring in difficult terrain – so I prefer not to have any rocker in the tail. Imagine you need to outrun an avalanche, so you’ll wanna make sure your shred is stable as hell. Otherwise the consequence is hell!
The nose of the Equity is rockered, well to be exact; it has an early riser, with an elliptic shape upwards. Sometimes you have to go through crusty stuff, or windblown areas. A nose like this is simply more forgiving, and always tends to float above the surface.
Regarding stance – position, distance and angles: The Equity is tapered, which means the tail is 20mm narrower than the nose, this makes the nose stay on top of the snow. This geometry allows my stance position to be only 20mm back, not more; this is the optimum setup for spinning and handling. Stance width is 58cm and front angle is 21°, back is -6°, like on all my boards.”
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