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What is important for ICE grip?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 19th 05, 04:59 PM
Andrej
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Default What is important for ICE grip?

What is the most imprtant factor for the snowboard to hold the edge on ice?
Stiffness, length, edge type...
Can a softer FS board hold the edge like a FR board?


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  #2  
Old February 21st 05, 12:56 AM
Mike T
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What is the most imprtant factor for the snowboard to hold the edge on
ice? Stiffness, length, edge type...


Before I discuss my opinions on "edge hold on ice" I would like to qualify
then by saying that IMHO, a discussion of edge hold on ice only makes sense
within the context of carved turns, i.e., turns where all points on the edge
go through the same thin track in the snow (except at the moemnt of edge
change, and still you are not sliding) rather than "slide" or "skidded"
turns. Reason being, edges don't *grip* when you are sliding. Also
please acknowledge that a board with better edge grip may be harder to
slide, skid, and jump turn; I am limiting my response to "what grips best on
ice" and not "what's easiest to ride to get down a steep narrow icy slope".

Now having said all that... a combination of the following seems to help me
the most on ice:

1) Dampness. With a damp board, you feel less vibration and it "feels less
icy" than on a more lively board. This tends to lead to more confidence on
ice.

2) Effective edge length. Up to a certain point, I find longer boards grip
ice better. And that point is a *lot longer* than most people think.
Longer edges that are engaged in a carve tend to stay that way and that's
exactly what you need on ice. Of course you need to be skilled enough to
get the board on edge in the first place. Which itsef is a lot easier if
you have a....

3) Soft enough flex. Yes, the board needs to be stiff enough to support
the rider's weight, but within the range that is appropraite for one's
weight, softer boards are generally easier to ride on ice. The reason is
simple - a softer board is easier to bend into an arc without riding
aggressivley. And most of us prefer to use finesse more than muscle on
ice, since finesse leads to fewer painful falls.

4) Things like flex pattern, sidecut shape, and construction make it all
come together. The key is to get the right mix, some boardmakers seem to
have this dialed better than others. I've got boards with circular,
elliptical and quadratic sidecuts that all hold a mean edge because flex
pattern complements that sidecut shape.

Can a softer FS board hold the edge like a FR board?


Absolutely. As long as the flex is right for your weight and it's not
*too* short you should be fine! In fact a well-designed freestyle board
needs to have plenty of edge grip, as halfpipes are often icy as all hell.


BTW: I definitely find hardboots are easier on ice, because it's easier to
get the board high on edge. With regards to length: for freeride boards,
I really like to have at least 130cm of effective edge for ice, preferably
more; that's a 170+ in most brands. For alpine boards, about 155 cm of
effective edge is where it starts for me. (Also 170+ for most brands).
My two best ice boards are a Madd 170 and a Coiler PR 188. Both boards are
very, very damp, have a flex pattern that is easy in the mid-section, and
they grip like demons. For soft boots, my old, worn-out Donek Incline 168
gets the call; it's got the length and the flex has softened due to use and
it works great.

Now back to my 1st paragraph...

Longer boards will hold an edge easier but you need to have the skills and
gumption, not to mention the room on the trail, to keep it on edge on ice.
Longer boards are harder to skid, and harder to jump-turn, and for
all-mountain riding you *need* these tools! If you want to practice carving
on ice, the place to do it is on a nice long wide beginner run, where you
can get some speed going and carve across the hill to bleed it off.
Unfortunately, budding carvers need to go fast enough to not tip over and
this is *very unnerving* on ice as you tend to pick up speed very easily.
Remember to *breathe and stay loose* as you practice.

I hope this helps. Some of it may be counter-intuitive at first, but keep
and open mind and it hopefully starts to make sense.


Mike T




  #3  
Old February 21st 05, 04:16 PM
Andrej
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Thank you very much.
This is the most helpful answer I got on a newsgorup ever!


  #4  
Old February 22nd 05, 08:04 PM
todd
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You may also want to check out the new "magne-traction" shapes that
lib-tech has;
http://www.lib-tech.com/tech/magneTr...eTraction.html

If you haven't seen them, the board edge is wavey, not the traditional
sidecut straight edge.

I was riding with a guy last week who was demoing one of these. It was
a pretty icy night and he was very impressed with the edge hold. Then
again, most brand new boards have pretty darn good edge hold before you
muck them up on rocks...anyway, worth looking into.

-t

  #5  
Old February 22nd 05, 08:14 PM
bri719
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todd wrote:

You may also want to check out the new "magne-traction" shapes that
lib-tech has;
http://www.lib-tech.com/tech/magneTr...eTraction.html

If you haven't seen them, the board edge is wavey, not the traditional
sidecut straight edge.



it sounds like an interesting gimmick, might work too...but doesn't Lib
mostly make park boards?

Palmer has some interesting sidecuts on their top-end boards like the
Crown and others....it's supposed to have 'continuously' different
radii, probably thanks to some computer / mathematical design. it's a
new feature, supposed to be a notch above tri-radial sidecuts they
usually offer.

I have yet to try it out but should be getting it on my next board if I
go with one of theirs, so we'll see if I notice any difference.....I
think the point is better carving and snap out of turns, not necessarily
for better edgehold on ice, but that might result as well.

bri

--

* enjoying the karma *
remove LKJSDFJSD from address to email


  #6  
Old February 25th 05, 02:23 AM
Sean Martin
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Torsional stiffness is probably the most important thing in generating good
edge hold in a turn. Put the board between your feet and try to twist it
with you hands. You'll get an idea for a stiff board and a soft one
quickly.

Next would be an even flex pattern. Grab the tip of the board and push near
one of the insert patterns while looking down the board. If the board has
dramatic bends or kinks when bent like this, it's not likely to hold well on
ice. If the stffness falls off rapidly towards the tip and tail you'll
loose a lot in edge hold as your weight will be distributed over a very
short portion of the edge.

Edge hold and stability at higher speeds will be improved as overall
stiffness increases.

The above all cover board characteristics. The biggest problem I see is a
lack of tuning. Maintaining a good sharp edge is terribly important.

--
Sean Martin
Donek Snowboards Inc.

http://www.donek.com/
phone:877-53-DONEK

"Andrej" wrote in message
...
What is the most imprtant factor for the snowboard to hold the edge on

ice?
Stiffness, length, edge type...
Can a softer FS board hold the edge like a FR board?




  #7  
Old February 25th 05, 11:14 PM
Dean
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Sean Martin wrote:

Torsional stiffness is probably the most important thing in generating good
edge hold in a turn. Put the board between your feet and try to twist it
with you hands. You'll get an idea for a stiff board and a soft one
quickly.



That explains why my Donek hugs the ice while my old board would (flex
and) slide out from under me. I stopped fearing ice almost immediately
after starting to use my Wide.

We have lots of ice in the midwest, at least in my area. Rarely any
powder. Even rarer is dry powder. And because we are shy folk we ride it
in the dark! :-) Most resorts in my area open in the evening during the
week. So, just about when the sun sets and the hills set into ice is
when I can get on them.

Dean
 




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