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Experience with downsized boards

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Should have got the flying V :)

I know, I'm regretting not picking it up now but one more year won't kill me.

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I may or may not have only just noticed your actual question:


Downsizing rides entirely contingent on what youre downsizing for.


Simple logic = the following:


Take two boards that are the same. One is 5 or 6 cm longer than the other... actually, hell, lets take three boards. One thats your goldilocks board. One thats about 4-8cm longer, and one thats 4-8cm shorter.


Lets pretend that this goldilocks board has the right pop, the right edge hold, the right energy, the right turn initiation, the right spring, the right balance, the right arc length in yoru turn, the right flex and the right everything else.


Now lets size up:


This board now has two important actual changes: 1 - the nose to tail and are further away. And 2: the waist width of the board is very likely longer. I mention these two because theyre unequivocal. Flex, float, all that jazz is personal, but length is physical. The board is going to be longer and very probably a little wider.


Well, lets hyper exaggerate (tubby is right, much of this is just more than often imperceptible - most people have their size preferences entirely because thats what they first felt comfortable riding on and wont deviate even if their weight fluctuates - im 156-158 regardless of whether im 75 or 85kg. Any number over 158 feel like im riding a surfboard, any number below it feels like im riding a skateboard). So with that massive caveat in mind and playing total pretend. Heres some ridiculous over exaggerated issues you may or may not have at all:


1. Youre likely gonna get more float. More board area, less pressure...more float? Theres a tonne of powder nazis now scowling at me. But Bill Bye the Science Guy says so!

2. Youre going to probably have longer arcs in your turns. Turn radius is gonna be longer. Math. :)

3. Flex will be more erratic. And in many cases will be poorly distributed. That sweet spot will now require a bit more of a lean than youre used to since to get to the same point on the board, youre gonna have to lean over it. Turning forces tell you.

4. More than likely the board is going to feel stiffer because of this.

5. Torsional flex is goig t also feel a little stiffer. Twisting the board is going to feel a bit harder due to the increased area, extra flex, and of course the fact your little feets are now running something closer to a wide board.

6. Turn initiation is going to feel smooth as butter in some turns because that slower edge to edge coupled to the slight extra kick in float, and effective edge increase, and longer turning arc just means that your turns at a decent speed are just gonna glide. You aint gonna get half as much digging.

7. On edge youre going to feel super smooth.

8. But you might be a little wider in your stance than youd prefer.

9. Which of course makes the whole leaning over those yum sweet spots a little less comfortable.

10. Ummm, thats it?



Physics and math spods can come correct my wild claims but really youre dealing with simple stuff. And a quick search in history corresponds. People took longer boards not just for the float they offered, but also because this came with a lot of ancillary benefits that helped out in the terrain youd ride. Youd be hitting pow and steeps so you get these nice affects that help with float, but also give you more stability and a bit smoother initiations and movement through the arc. Throw in a progressive sidecut on a directional board with a setback and you have the master of the universe ride! You have that gorgeous soft initiation into the turn arc, then a nice long stable edge giving you a massive turn raidus (my ex boss once tried to see how many edge changes he could pull on a near top to bottow suginohara run - he did it in 4 if memory serves right - not entirely relevant, but a fun random bit of trivia), and then with the setback and a real sharp arc at the bottom of the board, you have that explosive pop at the end to really bounce your edge changes - best design ever! Just as a thing of pure logic, I love progressive sidecuts. Twins can suck it). So the point is that the logic fits with the reason why people used to do exactly this (and perhaps still do with their pow stick - though bazillions of variations exist to alter this basic idea now - though lets pretend they dont exist yet - i might actually mention reverse camber though in the next bit because its a common misnomer that always has me just screaming at people offering advice through my keyboard).


Actually lets deal with it right now because it annoys me and i need to get it out of my system: If you size down in a reverse camber, you get nice float compared to your regular size camber or flat stick, but you get less effective edge and no contacts. This = loose and playful, and less edge hold. The end. I bring it up here just to make sure i dont bring it into the next bit by mistake and suddenly start waffling about a completely different deck from our goldilocks board above.


That being said: lets flip all that around and donwsize.


1, Less effective edge. Yay! Straight away, couldnt help myself. Less effective edge means very likely less stability.

2. A softer flex than anticipated. The board will become incredibly maleable compared to a similar ride in a larger size.

3. Same torsionally, much easier to twist about.

4. Smaller waist width --> boot drag. No one needs that.

5. Its going to wash a **** load more unless you compensate.

6. Narrower mid stance, it might feel good, it might feel awful. Who knows!

7. Turn radius is going to be far shorter. This is gonna gimp your speed a bit.

8. Turn initiation is going to feel a bit more diggy and catchy. Again, not smooth.

9. But easier turn initiation at slower speeds due to the 'feel' of the flex and the ease to lean back a little and let that front pop up a bit. So er, more skidded turns. :p

10. Huge and easy to hit sweet spot. Screw technique, youre probably sat over it just from stance width and size. Add in that its effortless to lean over it if you arent already because you almost have to do nothing, and you get to doink about a bit and just enjoy it rather than have to worry about loading and popping and other bullshit.

11. Because your pop is DEAD anyway. And you dont want pop because thats why you bought a board thats smaller than one with pop.

12. Spinning around is going to feel a bit quicker. Which might matter a lot if swing weight is a big deal to you.


So you can kind of see some key effects, Youre going to have a board thats more maleable and easier to just butter about on. Float is gonna suck of course, but thats not really what youre after. Youre not really going to get a lot of speed out of it either, i mean you can... 90/10 etc etc. But its just as i say exaggerating the differences a bit to help tease out the ideas rather than tell you how youre going to get on riding a downsized board.


Which of course is why i wrote my answer to your main question at the start. Its kinda contingent on why youre downsizing. If its because you want a board you can throw about a bit, feel a little more playful and loose, and just twist and mash about buttering the hill or hitting the street features in the park (and some of the more moderate hits) then it would work for what you want... itll do all those things. But as with everything its going to have those trade offs. When you sort of understand the bigger and smaller sizes you can balance them out and decide if its worth the pay off or whether youd just be better off with a different camber profile/flex/tip shape etc. So many ways to tweak your perfect ride. Size does a crap load to it, but id personally only be sizing down if i couldnt get what i wanted through just checking out another line of decks, or if my main motivation was that lower swing weight and easier to hit flex sweet spot.


It probably doesnt give you a satisfying answer, or more than likely, its shit you already are comfortable with but hope it gave you at least something to jump from in that case in your (now future) decisions :)

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Your replies are always appreciated Ippy. My current ride basically fulfills the Goldilocks criteria for a board that you were describing. Its stiff, camber and with a sidecut in the 80 mms so it does everything I want out of a free ride board so my reasons for grabbing one of these reduced sized boards is solely because I want the opposite of what I currently have just for variety's sake. What really tipped the scales for me are the videos of Dave Downing talking about how much he likes them and how he prefers the Nug for resort riding.

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Nug is special. Its actually designed FULLY to reproduce a standard sized ride with its longer effective edge and slightly wider than normal waist width. Its really not downsized at all in a weird bizarre way :)





(oh god! please tell me you werent talking about a nug all this time! im gonna feel like an idiot :p


Confirmed! idiot ahoy!


ETA: really want a fishcuit)

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What is the difference? Burton wise - for the average joe. Is the nug a shorter board mainly making resort/ piste riding more fun but handles powder due to reverse camber? (As Ippy suggests - quiver killer) Lets say your optimum board length is similar to Ippy at 156-158. But the fishcuit aimed at being a short powder specific board / s profile, setback, etc and possibly downsized from 156-158 , more at tree riding off piste (more responsive due to size rather than upsizing to a standard / stiff fish which would bomb deep powder days but due to stiffness, could be less manoeuvrable in trees )

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The reason I got one was maneuverability to be able to turn fast I am a bit cautious riding steeps so should be able to turn fast and slow down if need.

So yes Rucky that is my thought process

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I see that Jones have brought out an old school style snurfer.....a 146cm (roughly) powder no-board-like fun board. No bindings as such but there are detachable hooks that you wedge ur feet under for control. Looks like fun.....then I saw the price....$345!! You could buy a new powder board for that!!

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I've always wondered how hard can it be to build a snurfer. But I guess its just as easy to pick up a no-board somewhere but 345 bucks seems a bit pricey for something that is essentially a curved plank.

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