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The Andorra 2020/21 Skiboarding Report

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    Our season has now come to an end. Easter Monday is traditionally the last day that the resorts are open, but I decided to end it today on Easter Sunday. I spent the day on SIIs at the Arcalis resort with a number of snowboarder friends. The SIIs was great on the hard groomers in the morning and even more fun as the groomers mutated into slush as the day progressed.

    This, as everywhere else, was a strange season, but we are fortunate that we got 3 months of decent lift-assisted skiing. Not all of the trails were open and there were no mass tourists. I was fortunate to have a couple of days with two other skiboarders this season and this was it. I did spot some people on blades during the season, but was not always in the position to catch-up with them for a chat.

    I spent the afternoon removing Spruce Risers from the skiboards and then filing off any chips on the top sheets. All the boards are now packaged up to go for a service and wax at the local ski shop, before they are stored away in a cool area until next season. The ski clothes have now been mostly packed away to make space for spring and summer walking activities. I skiboard in the winter to keep my legs in shape for summer mountain walking and I walk in the summer to get my legs ready for winter skiboarding

    I'm still keeping the Invertigos out with a pair of touring bindings in case of some skitouring - there will be some fresh snow. This season has been good for experimentation. Next season I might direct-mount some Fritschi Tecton bindings on the Invertigos, but I have a summer to think about that. I might even experiment with the same non-release setup that Jack came up with this winter.

    So here is hoping for a better 2021/2022 season.

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    Finally the Sticky Ickys arrived. For some reason the USPS package ent to Madrid, then to Portugal where it got stuck in some 'cleaning' center. Then back to Madrid again, before finally making its way to my feet.

    I've spent a couple of days riding them and for fun I ran a head-to-head comparison with the Crossbows. It's a bit silly, because I know they are quite different, but I thought the differences were a great way to review the applicability of both.

    I am impressed with the SIIs. They feel like a skiboard. They feel like they are just an extension of my feet. Unlike a number of other people I did not like them setback. I felt that the tail became too short for me and dealing with bumps at speed required far more work than my normal lazy stance.

    One thing I did notice was how much faster I could ride through crud and off-piste stuff on the Crossbows than with the SIIs.

    OTOH I liked how the SIIs dealt with ice. I ordered them specifically for the icy conditions we encounter in the Pyrenees. On the pistes I specifically sought out the icy parts because it was so much fun.


    In the pic is one of red runs at the Pal ski resort that can get quite icy. The pic does not give justice as to how steep it gets in places. The SIIs were made for this kind of terrain.

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    After that dust dump on the snow we luckily had two small dumps of snow again, so the brown was pretty much gone and I could make a short test of the newly configured Invertigos. I went to Arinsal, which is closed for lift-assisted skiing, but is being used for touring. Snow conditions were ankle-deep powder on top of hardpack. I found the climbing to be fine on the soft sections and where ski tracks already existed. I also tried to find some angled traverses. I found that like the Slingshots, the Invertigos did not deal very well with this condition. There was a lot of side slippage. I am not sure at this point because it was due to the lightweight nature of the snow, of whether the edges did not properly engage. I'll go out in a couple of days to find some icy slopes and see.

    Unfortunately I did not get a chance to test the Invertigos with crampons yet.

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    Skiboarding back was interesting. The tails sank through the powder and hit the hardpack below. This had the negative effect on the tips and I had to work a bit harder to keep the tips up and it told in my quadriceps. Besides that the ride was quite good, and you see from the track coming down the hill that the Invertigos did a good job. I do, however, believe the Slingshots would have had the better experience coming downhill

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    It was time to take the Invertigos on its first touring test. For this I had to modify the exisiting flat riser that I had so that it could find the 4x4 on the Invertigos. A got a friend who has all the tools to do this for me.

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    Luckily the existing skins that I had made for the Crossbows/Slingshots fitted, so there was no extra layout of cash.

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    I also checked whether the Skeats crampons fitted. This is just a strap-on crampon that goes in front of the binding. Thanks jjue for the reference.

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  • newbie2011
    replied
    Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
    We woke up Saturday morning to an unwelcome present from North Africa. Sahara sand sucked into the atmosphere, carried over the Mediterranean Sea and then dumped in a number of places in Europe, including here in the Pyrenees Alps.
    I was looking yesterday at some webcams from the rest of the Alps and several had this yellowish/brownish tint, I was wondering what happened...

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    We woke up Saturday morning to an unwelcome present from North Africa. Sahara sand sucked into the atmosphere, carried over the Mediterranean Sea and then dumped in a number of places in Europe, including here in the Pyrenees Alps. The snow is brown at the moment

    https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...resorts-cities

    Leave a comment:


  • ysb33r
    replied
    Yesterday was Invertigo day. Today was Slingshot day - on the same sector as yesterday. I experienced an amazing performance on the Slingshots though that I want to mention. There is this one piste that has not been groomed at all the whole season. Normally it would be, but only a minimum number of pistes are maintained. It doe this three times today. this first was earlier in the morning and it was hard work as it was really crusty. I was the only one riding it at this point.

    About 90min later I returned to it. My one ski buddy and a really good off-piste skier, quit on it and took another route. He said he did not like the conditions. I was quite surprised to hear it from him. It happened to also be the same piste that other skiers struggled with the previous day, but now the conditions were better

    Now here's the thing - I did these two subsequent runs in a near non-stop fashion as the Slingshots seemingly dealt with it better than skis. I passed a group of skiers that were mid-way down and they were all over the place. I then caught up with two from that group again on my second run as they were still struggling down. I also caught up and passed another group of skiers. I just got great flow and the Slinghots just turned through the spring-like snow, bounced over the crud and carried on. I think the Slingshots were made for this kind of snow.

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  • ysb33r
    replied
    Summit Invertigos have arrived. I had them sent via UPS rather than USPS as all my packages via USPS are seeing big delays. As an example, my SIIs from Greco have been 40 days+ on the road !

    I am planning to compare the Slingshots and Invertigos head-to-head (another thread) in the coming weeks.

    Sent from my Mi Note 10 Pro using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • ysb33r
    replied
    They don't check residency when people buy day passes. And we have seen tourists here including from France & Spain.

    The problem is getting here and not to be seen with downhill skis on the way here or back. It is totally valid to come with touring skis or snowshoes. I'll leave that to your creative mind...

    For most people it is easier to stay put and not run the risk.

    Sent from my Mi Note 10 Pro using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • newbie2011
    replied
    Originally posted by jjue View Post
    Try your Blunt xls with the Spruce riser on the rear inserts. That should cure tip dive and be loads of fun in pow!
    Will do that at the first opportunity I'll get and report back

    Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
    That's why riding with other skiboarders is an immense help. Now if there was not this thing called COVID...
    After your latest recent reports and videos I was looking again into Arcalis, Grandvalira, very nice but it looks like it's open only for residents Anyway France will probably go into some sort of lockdown any day now ... very frustrating winter... please keep posting your skiboarding reports !

    Leave a comment:


  • ysb33r
    replied
    Originally posted by newbie2011 View Post

    Many thanks for your thoughts jjue , very useful insights !

    Completely agree about the back seat, when there's a little bit it's manageable, but I was that much that it didn't felt I have much control over the boards. XLs center mount feel short to me, I'm tip diving almost immediately, I'm probably too forward for their short length, that's why I went to the other extreme with the Ospreys. Looks like they're too much board for my current skills, I could tell they are great, as they were sliding so easily though powder that I couldn't even think about getting to a straight position, I had to somehow just hang on to the beast's tail Hope the Condors will be the Goldilocks, not too long, not too short.
    So far I used only Spruce risers center mount, interesting that you mention non-release, I have a pair of Snowjam's that I don't use since I got the risers, certainly worth a try and would provide even some extra fine tuning fore/aft on the XLs for instance. Never thought about that, but beside the extra setback possible, do non-release feel better in powder because of them getting you lower, closer to the boards ? Maybe even having a slightly faster reaction to weight changes ?
    That's why riding with other skiboarders is an immense help. Now if there was not this thing called COVID...

    Leave a comment:


  • jjue
    replied
    Try your Blunt xls with the Spruce riser on the rear inserts. That should cure tip dive and be loads of fun in pow!

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • newbie2011
    replied
    Originally posted by jjue View Post
    Hi Newbie2011, I'll chime in a bit . I am defintely a heavier guy then Ysb33r. For me , I hate to be in the back seat on boards , they are more difficult to control for me in that position and as you say contribute to thigh burn. I like to set up boards so that I am always upright or leaning forward in pow and not riding them sitting back . How I set up boards depends on the board and how much support you have on the tails running your binding set back. On the Osprey I ride them center mount and in an upright stance, if I feel like I am going into the back seat , I concentrate on riding with my shins right up against my ski boot tongues and get upright . Even at my weight over 200lbs I can float the Ospreys in a center mount position and not be in the back seat . I do find that the Ospreys are fast and ride higher for me and are a bit more difficult to control in variable powder and crust then a board that sinks a bit and slows me a down a bit like the Blunt Xl or Rockered Condors. The most error tolerant position for me is on traditionally cambered or Rockered Cambered boards with set back bindings or the Blunt Xl which has enough tail support to also be ridden on the rear inserts. Examples or Spliffs on the set back inserts or set back on a non releaser, or the Sherpa on the rear inserts . I tried the Ospreys on the rear inserts but I found that in difficult Crusty snow I did not have enough tail support to break through on the tails and control the board and tended to fall backwards. For the regular Condors in deep pow , I ride them with a non releaser set back as far as I can get them , for example I use a zero pro non releaser that gets be back 4cm with my boot size . When these boards are set back I can remain upright or leaning forward and not get thigh burn and do not have to lean back to keep the tips up . Just my 2 cents.
    Many thanks for your thoughts jjue , very useful insights !

    Completely agree about the back seat, when there's a little bit it's manageable, but I was that much that it didn't felt I have much control over the boards. XLs center mount feel short to me, I'm tip diving almost immediately, I'm probably too forward for their short length, that's why I went to the other extreme with the Ospreys. Looks like they're too much board for my current skills, I could tell they are great, as they were sliding so easily though powder that I couldn't even think about getting to a straight position, I had to somehow just hang on to the beast's tail Hope the Condors will be the Goldilocks, not too long, not too short.
    So far I used only Spruce risers center mount, interesting that you mention non-release, I have a pair of Snowjam's that I don't use since I got the risers, certainly worth a try and would provide even some extra fine tuning fore/aft on the XLs for instance. Never thought about that, but beside the extra setback possible, do non-release feel better in powder because of them getting you lower, closer to the boards ? Maybe even having a slightly faster reaction to weight changes ?

    Leave a comment:


  • jjue
    replied
    Hi Newbie2011, I'll chime in a bit . I am defintely a heavier guy then Ysb33r. For me , I hate to be in the back seat on boards , they are more difficult to control for me in that position and as you say contribute to thigh burn. I like to set up boards so that I am always upright or leaning forward in pow and not riding them sitting back . How I set up boards depends on the board and how much support you have on the tails running your binding set back. On the Osprey I ride them center mount and in an upright stance, if I feel like I am going into the back seat , I concentrate on riding with my shins right up against my ski boot tongues and get upright . Even at my weight over 200lbs I can float the Ospreys in a center mount position and not be in the back seat . I do find that the Ospreys are fast and ride higher for me and are a bit more difficult to control in variable powder and crust then a board that sinks a bit and slows me a down a bit like the Blunt Xl or Rockered Condors. The most error tolerant position for me is on traditionally cambered or Rockered Cambered boards with set back bindings or the Blunt Xl which has enough tail support to also be ridden on the rear inserts. Examples or Spliffs on the set back inserts or set back on a non releaser, or the Sherpa on the rear inserts . I tried the Ospreys on the rear inserts but I found that in difficult Crusty snow I did not have enough tail support to break through on the tails and control the board and tended to fall backwards. For the regular Condors in deep pow , I ride them with a non releaser set back as far as I can get them , for example I use a zero pro non releaser that gets be back 4cm with my boot size . When these boards are set back I can remain upright or leaning forward and not get thigh burn and do not have to lean back to keep the tips up . Just my 2 cents.

    Leave a comment:


  • newbie2011
    replied
    Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
    newbie2011 I've been out twice on Ospreys this week. I kept your posting in the back of my mind and tried to pay attention to how I ride. I did notice that an upright stance do work better for the soft snow - even sitting a bit in the back saddle will work well. You just have to keep an eye out for when the terrain changes to harder conditions.

    This morning I lost my balance when I hooked a tail in rain-crusted snow. The technique does differ when turning in conditions like that. Later in the day though I was filming other skiers on-piste and there I noticed leaning forward gave me more speed to keep up with them. You really have to have different styles depending on the terrain.
    Big thanks for the feedback ysb33r ! On hardpack I'm usually quite forward leaning, so steering them was not a problem, but in powder I could not get to the upright stance that you're describing, I was immediately backseat and kind of playing catch up with the boards. Guess I need to work my skills up before I'll be able to master the Ospreys... I'll be getting some Condors, at 110cm they should be easier to learn to ride powder on them. For now I'm reading all the powder posts that I can find on the forum, too bad there aren't some skiboards powder teaching videos

    Leave a comment:

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