Snowboard, Wakeboard & Longboard Package Specialists


  • Snowboard Flex, Feel, and Ride Ratings - Oh, No!

    Posted on October 30, 2010 by wiredsport

    Trying to get an accurate idea of how a specific board will flex in comparison to others? Watch out! There is more marketing misinformation and straight out nonsense published about flexibility than about most other elements of snowboard fit. Finding the correct flex (stiffness and feel) is crucial, but it won't be found in a single number printed on a fit chart.

    Let's clear one thing up straight off. There is no industry standard for flex. That is to say, what one company considers a "4" has no direct relation to another company's "4" or "Medium Soft", or "Less Harsh". That's correct, boards that carry the same number may (and usually do) have an entirely different feel.

    OK, so that makes it tricky to compare one brand to another, but what about within a brand? Even here, big problems exist. Most brands are still putting a single flex rating on an entire model. That is to say, this year's Travis White pro model gets a flex rating of "2", but what? It's rated a 2 in both 149 cm and in 163 cm?  Hey now, the chart says that those two sizes are rated for riders separated by 70 lbs, how can the flex rating be the same? Wait, you say, they are rating the overall flex of the model so it could be compared to other models of the same brand of a similar size. The problem there is that board designer’s change the flex of each model at different size breaks to achieve the feel that they are after for that specific model. In other words, the difference in flex between a 149 and a 154 in one model may be far greater than the flex difference between those same sizes in another model. Additionally, many times a rider will be deciding between two sizes of the same model. Does the 157 really have the same flex as the 159? If so, why are the weight ratings for those sizes so different?

    The biggest confusing factor, however, comes from the improvements in flex control technologies that have evolved over the past decade. A board that is designed to have a buttery soft tip and tail with a firm mid section flexes far differently than a constant flex board designed for a similar rider size. It is not that it is necessarily more or less flexible, but that the flex characteristics are entirely different. To get around this issue, certain companies have switched from a flex rating to a feel rating. This is a step from bad to worse. There is simply no way to compare these complex relationships in a single number or term. It would be equal to comparing a tangerine to a pineapple using a fruitiness scale, rated 1 to 10.

    What is the answer? The only way to figure out the flex component is to dig deeper. Getting the info on the core weight range that a model and size were developed for and understanding the flex characteristic of that model is the only way to get the correct flex for your needs.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Bataleon TBT Triple Base Technology

    Posted on August 22, 2010 by wiredsport

    With all the talk about rocker (reverse camber) and its many variations, Bataleon Snowboards has been out reinventing cambered boards.  The have refined a technology that many feel is superior to rocker.  Check out these videos to learn more and then check out the new 2011 Bataleon lineup here.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Slackline Mayhem

    Posted on March 22, 2010 by wiredsport

    Slackline is all the rage, and for a great reason.  There is no better way to improve your balance.  Snowboarders, wakeboarders, surfers and skaters in particular are using this incredible training tool.  Watch out, though!  What starts as a training method can become pretty addictive as a sport of its own.  The new Gibbon Slacklines all include an easy cinch mechanism that anyone can set up in a few minutes without any need for knots, carabiners, etc.  see them here Check it out:

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Snowboard Helmets - Fit, Design and Maintenance.

    Posted on January 25, 2010 by wiredsport

    A current snowboard helmet can be a great way to protect your melon, but there is a lot that you should know about sizing and maintaining a styley new lid.

    First off, it is important to understand how the current generation of snowboard helmets works. They are not designed to deflect hard impact and then rebound (a common misconception), but rather to absorb hard impact by allowing the crushing (and permanent destruction) of the stiff protective foam that makes up the helmet's primary structure. The idea is that the foam is damaged but the head is not. I mention this first, because understanding that this damage to the helmet is the very thing that will protect your head is integral to all of the points that will follow.

    For the helmet to properly absorb impact, it must fit snugly. Buying a helmet with "growth room" will lead to a poor and ineffective fit. When the helmet is on the head it should move as one with the head. Give it a good hard shake. If it moves freely or slides on the head it is too large. The chin strap should be adjusted so that you can slide a single finger between the strap and your chin.

    Once a helmet has taken a hard hit, it should be replaced. Even a single hard hit will cause a crack or a crush in the internal foam. At this point the helmet will no longer have its designed protective value. For that reason, it is crucial that you inspect your helmet frequently for cracks, dents, or loose internal foam.

    It is suggested that you not put stickers on your helmet. Yeah, we know how cool they are, but they also hide cracks and damage and the folks that monitor safety practices suggest that they not be used on your helmet.

    Helmets are more often damaged in transport than they are on the slopes. We suggest that your helmet not be put in with other hard edged gear and never be put in your board bag, even those with a special helmet compartment. Board bags are notorious for helmet damage.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

  • Female Specific Snowboards - Fact or Fiction?

    Posted on November 7, 2009 by wiredsport

    With young female riders being the fastest growing segment of the snowboard market and with almost half of our snowboard sales last year going to women, you can bet we are interested in what is going on in terms of gear and technology for this demographic.  By far, the question we get asked most frequently on this topic is, "is there really any difference between a men's and a women's snowboard?"  The Short answer is Yes, Yes, Yes.

    There was a time when this was not the case.  At first, there were no female specific models.  When you came to our snowboard shop, we sold you a snowboard, not a gender specific model, because there were none yet.  This eventually changed as more gals started checking out the sport, but at first the manufacturers just plopped a girly graphic on a deck that was identical to a "male" model that they were already producing and gave it a pretty name.  This phase lasted for a few years and really tainted the view of female boards.

    Fortunately, however, a few manufacturers recognized the growth potential of the female market.  Sims, Lamar, Morrow, and Burton all jumped in early with Women's pro teams.  They started to experiment with different flex patterns, core thickness, laminates, and profiles for female riders.  Slowly, they began to get this right, and the performance differences leveled the playing field between male and female boarders.  The Women began to rip!

    But that is all distant history, now.  For the past 5-8 years (depending on brand) female specific boards have been notably different from their male counterparts.  The idea that is all about narrower widths and lighter weights is not correct.  Those are elements of certain models and sizes, but it goes far deeper.  Now there are variations for every body type, from small feet and dainty to larger, more powerful female riders.  Women don't come in a single shape and size any more than men do, and the industry has finally recognized that with a huge variety of female specific models.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

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