Are you ready?
Winter is coming. Looking out of the window and seeing a bright sunny day it is hard to believe that we are in the middle of October. Step out into that sunshine though and you will feel the harsh bite of winter building up and if reports are to be believed, and this does turn out to be the coldest winter in 20 years we are in for a treat. Ullr has spoken and has decreed upon us a second La Nina winter in a row, what does this mean? Well put simply lower than average temperatures, and at this point they are saying at least 5 degrees celcius lower than normal, and above average precipitation. Think last year on steroids and you are beginning to get the idea of what Mother Nature has in store for us.
With this in mind and with the amount of fist pumping excitement this is generating, we at AG are going to help you decipher the world of snow technology to help you make the most of what could turn out to be the best winter Vancouver Island has ever seen. First up is the industries biggest talking point right now, camber.
Camber can be broken down into three main categories with then slight variations on these themes.
Positive Camber – The original. This shape allows the rider to bend the board to create pop and rebound and to allow the board to be deformed. When a rider stands on a positive camber board they will feel it flatten onto the snow putting 90% of the board in contact with the ground. With positive camber when we bend the board to a certain point the board will push back to regain its original shape. This push back can either be the effect produced when bending it along its length in an ollie i.e. pop or when twisting it torsionally when turning i.e. rebound. When riding a board in powder because we are not on edge we need to bend the board torsionally again, this time without the pressure of pushing against the hill on an edge the board is deforming and therefore banking against snow to create the turn and float.
Best uses for this shape are: Pipe, groomers, freeriding, park riding.
Key features for this shape are: Stable at speed and on landings for jumps, tons of pop, lots of rider feedback.
AG top picks – Bataleon Evil Twin and Goliath
Reverse Camber – The New Kid. This shape takes everything surfing has been preaching and brings it to the snow. Reverse Camber or Rocker has been a game changer in the sport. With Reverse Camber a rider’s balance point transfers from outside of the feet to between the feet. The ends of the board both angle up and the contact points (where the board comes into contact with the snow) are determined by the rider’s stance. With this shape the board will turn and respond very quickly. With less board touching the snow and the feet determining where the contacts points are any movement of the body will transfer directly to the board. For a rider this means the board will be easier to rider on steeps, in trees and in icy conditions where riders want the quickest response possible. It will also be easy to butter and press on both the snow and park features and be easy to spin. Possibly the best use of reverse camber is float in powder. With the nose of the board pointing up and the curvature of the rocker the board allows the rider to stay afloat with less effort and a more centred stance.
Best uses for this shape: Powder, rails and boxes, learning to ride, butters, moguls and chop.
Key features for this shape are: Easy to turn, lots of float, effortless feel to ride and super playful
AG top picks – Lib Tech Skate Banana, Forum Manual and Aura, Rome Artifact
Hybrid Camber – Mustache, Mountain Pop, Flying V, Easy V, C2…. This shape is the possible best of both worlds. It is a combination of cambers. Positive camber under the feet to retain all the advantages positive camber brings and reverse camber between the feet to utilize the positive effects this brings to a board.
Best uses for this shape are: Anything!!!
Key features for this shape are: farts
AG top picks – Burton Custom, Rome Agent, Lib Tech Travis Rice, Gnu Riders Choice, Forum Destroyer
We have a great selection of all these styles in the shop right now and will be able to work out with you which one best suits your needs. Check back next week to see how height and weight affect your board choice and to find out more about what bindings there are on offer, and how they will help you have more fun, shred harder and make the most of your time on the mountain… AG