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Freestyle Skiboarding Tutorial - Equipment

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  • Freestyle Skiboarding Tutorial - Equipment

    This is the long awaited second post in a series that is going to be about the fundamentals of park riding. This is somewhat of a prequel to the first post for beginners. If you have been curious about the park, but worried about your equipment, read this!

    Audience: This tutorial is designed for anyone who has questions or is worried about what equipment to use for park riding.

    Goals: The goal of this tutorial is to teach you what equipment you should have before venturing into the park.

    Prerequisites: None.

    Skiboarding Equipment

    If you are thinking of giving park a shot, one of the questions that people seem to have a lot is what equipment is best. At the highest level, the best skiboards for the park are the ones that you feel the most comfortable on. If you are comfortable riding your boards on the entire mountain, you should be able to use them in the park regardless of how long/short, skinny/fat, release/non-release, soft/stiff, etc. they are. The single most important thing is just to have a pair that you are comfortable riding. You want to be able to predict what they are going to do in different situations, so being comfortable on them is the most important single aspect.

    Now quit reading this, skip to the beginners tutorial, and go ride the park!

    Ok, I guess I wasn't fully convincing if you're still reading. I'll go over some of the finer details, but I do want to stress that any pair of boards that you are comfortable on can be used in the park.

    Board Length: Longer boards will provide more stable landings off big jumps, while shorter boards are easier to manage in the air and on rails. The tradeoffs are kind of similar to what you get in all mountain riding where shorter boards are easier to turn and longer boards are more stable. Longer boards will also tend to give you a bit more speed, which may be good or bad depending on what you are trying to hit and how comfortable you are approaching features with speed.

    Board Width: In virtually every park circumstance I have ever been in, fatter boards have outperformed skinny boards. Fatter boards are a easier to balance on rails, carry more speed, and are more stable on landings. Ride what you are most comfortable on, but if you are comfortable on several pairs of boards, I would lean towards the wider ones.

    Stiffness: Stiffer boards make your landings more stable, and they are more forgiving if you land tip or tail heavy. Softer boards allow you to spin and turn on the snow easier and more playfully, but this doesn't really come into play in the park. You pretty much aim straight at your feature, do your trick, then ride away.

    Camber/Rocker: Traditional cambered boards are more stable on landings, and they grip better when doing rail tricks that require you to change your spinning momentum (these are more advanced). Rockered boards are going to be a bit easier to slide rails and boxes since the tips won't grip the surface. This allows your boards to slide more freely. The downside is that they are going to be less stable on landings. The mild rocker on the Blunts isn't much of an issue, but the Rockered Condors have a much more extreme rocker that makes landings substantially more difficult.

    Release vs. Non-Release Bindings: In theory, a release binding with a high enough DIN setting should perform nearly identically to a non-release binding. I only ride non-release in the park because I NEVER want a board to pop off my foot by surprise. If you ride release bindings, I would just make sure that they are properly adjusted and the DIN is high enough that it won't release by surprise on landings.

    Skiboard Tuning: For basic park stuff, you don't have to worry about any special tuning. When you are hitting big jumps, you will want to make sure that you have reasonably fresh wax for the conditions you are riding. Some park riders like to detune their edges so they have less grip on rails, but this isn't necessary. I never detune my edges, so it definitely isn't something to worry about when first starting.

    Now quit reading, go grab your favorite boards, and go ride some park! Equipment differences will have a negligible effect while you learn the basics, so it will be most helpful to focus on improving technique instead tweaking your equipment.

  • #2
    I'm thinking about getting the Spruce 2015 Pro Sport Risers & Release Binding with the Blunt XLs just because they're on sale to pre-order for $199 right now.

    I've never rode on risers before though. I'm worried the extra weight and height, and chance of bindings coming out will fuck me over.
    I'm not very worried about the chance of twisting my foot or anything with the non-release, I've had one scare before, but it was nothing at all, just a little rest and I was back to the jumps.

    What's your opinion on this?

    I never see you guys with release bindings in the junk show.
    Makes me think risers ain't all that good.


    • #3
      So I bought them anyway. I'll tell you guys how it goes during the season. Hopefully I have no problems.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Synn View Post
        So I bought them anyway. I'll tell you guys how it goes during the season. Hopefully I have no problems.
        How did it go?
        Twoowt Lions RVL8 Rockered Condor-Revel8 SlapDash "Crayon"-Spuce Mountain "Sherpa" 130 Red Plaid-"125 LE" White Boards-120 "Chair Lift"-Summit Boards "Marauder 125SE"-"Rocker Inverigo 118"-"Custom 110"-"Nomad 99""Jade 87"-2014 Spruce Mountain "Pro Sport Riser" Tyrolia SL 100 Bindings (2 sets-325mm & 295mm settings)-Line FF Pro & FF Cam None Release Bindings-2013/14 Nordica "13/14 Cruise 80 & 60" ski boot