2015 Salomon Skis Sneak Peek

SIA 2014 Reveals Salomon’s Next Big Thing

The 2014 SnowSports Industries of America Trade Show was a whirlwind event held in Denver at the tail end of January, just as Colorful Colorado was at the beginning of a storm cycle that has lasted into the Spring, creating one of the deepest winters in recent history. SIA 2014 was abuzz with excitement and powder fever. The Denver Convention Center was filled to the brim with all of next years latest and greatest gear. The SnowShow was an intimate look behind the curtain with every ski company in the biz. For me, Salomon was one of the show’s standouts. That had nothing to do with the exceptionally weird and progressively more raunchy introductory conversation with the Hard Handshaking Bonecrushin’ Hilary (Salomon PR). Don’t worry Hil, most interactions I have with women have similar chitchatting about a possible “Junk Punch” or knee to the groin. Nor did Salomon’s appeal have anything to do me running into a long lost college friend who I last saw at a foam party, Lax House sausage fest, or grinding (it was kinda like twerking in the olden days –circa ’02) on the dance floor at Sigma Chi. Go Dawgs! I didn’t fall in love with Salomon’s 2015 line because of Handsome Joe, Salomon’s Tech Expert, though one can get lost in his eyes and he does smell of licorice and unicorn farts. No, I was intrigued with Salomon’s gear for next year because of innovative technology, refinement of design, and a palpable level of stoke for the skiing lifestyle that permeated throughout every person connected to the brand.

Bobby Brown Pro Model – Salomon NFX

2015 Salomon Rocker2

The 2015 New Quest Series

The 2015 Quest Pro 130 Ski Boot

The New Guardian Binding

Types of Wakesurf Board

Wakesurf Board Construction:

There are two basic Wakesurf Boards construction styles: compression molded and composite surf style boards.

  • Compression Molded Wakesurf Boards
    1. Built the same as a wakeboard
    2. Heavier and more durable (better for beginners)
    3. Usually thinner and shorter
    4. Typically more budget friendly
  • Composite Style Wakesurf Boards
    1. Surfboard style construction- foam core with hand layed glass
    2. Lighter, more buoyant and more fragile (handle with care)
    3. Performs well in smaller ,”mushier” waves
    4. Better for airs and surf style riding

Style:

Examples of three different types of wakesurf board styles:

Surf Style–  Great for bigger guys who are looking for that surfing feel. Characterized by bigger boards, surf-style wake surfing utilizes the whole wave with snaps, carves, ollies and aerials. Normally surf-style wakesurf boards have bigger fins and are longer than skim style wakesurf boards. Typical they have a fin size that is greater than 2.5” and board length of  5’2” or longer.

Hybrid or Freestyle Twin– The newest addition to wake surfing is a blend of the Surf and Skim style wakesurf board designs. The end goal is to make a board that combines the playfulness of a skim board with the feel and responsiveness of a surf-style board.

Skim Style– Typically, but not always, skim board style wakesurf boards are compression molded. They are a little wider, shorter and thinner than a traditional wakesurf board. Skim style riding includes more surface oriented tricks like spinning and shove-it maneuvers.  A Skim style wakesurf board typically has less rocker and fins that are under 2.5 inches.

Directional Vs. Twin Tip Wakesurf Boards:

Unlike twin tip boards directional boards (i.e. single tip) are more difficult to ride switch (the opposite of riding naturally facing forward). Advanced riders who are looking to improve their bag-of-tricks out on the waves may prefer twin tip boards.

Twin tip boards such as the O’Brien Alias TT Wake surf board and the CWB Blackjack Wake surf board are designed to ride both ways. This allows for an increase in the boards versatility creating a more skate inspired surf session. A lot of hybrid boards are directionally shaped with a front fin to help increase stability when riding switch.

Some simple rules you should follow while wakesurfing

  1. Only surf behind inboard motors. You could end up losing or dramatically disfiguring one of your limbs. (Warning, do not click hyperlink if you have a weak stomach. May not be appropriate for children.)
  2. Respect others and know your surrounding effects- When your boat is weighted correctly you can turn a glassy lake into a gnarly wave pool.
  3. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning, if you start getting a headache or feeling light headed TAKE A BREAK! To learn more visit Boating Safety Resource Center

2014 K2 Skis: Tradition of Tech

k2

Innovation Refined

K2 Skis burst onto the scene in 1962, gaining notoriety for their innovative use of fiberglass construction. Their skis were lighter, more responsive, and livelier than the competition. In 1968, K2 became the first American Ski Company to have a First Place finish in Giant Slalom at a World Cup Race. Since then, the K2 name has been synonymous with creativity, cutting edge technology, and performance. This tradition is exemplified by the skis offered in the 2014 line.

The park, all mountain, backcountry, and big mountain freeride genres are reaping the benefits of the progressive K2 design. “Rocker” is an industry term that has become the most talked about “buzz” topic in the last few seasons. This has spawned a sensational and misguided concept of rockered skis. Todays skier is most concerned with the rocker profile of the ski yet is very misinformed or under-informed. In 2014, K2 offers three different rocker types that feed performance and enjoyment rather than sensationalism and “pop” concepts.

 

Powder Rocker:  featured ski–> the Annex 118 (Seth Morrison Pro Model), the Shreditor 120 (Sean Pettit Pro Model)

powder-rocker

This even 50/50 split of rocker and traditional camber is featured in K2’s big boy, big day, big line powder planks. The tip of the ski has the most rise of the three rocker types as well as the longest rocker from the toe piece of the binding to the nose of the ski. This allows the thick waisted skis the utmost flotation. Traditional camber underfoot provides confident edge hold on groomers and variable snow. More notably, in powder as the stiffer waist sinks it drives the tip and tail rocker to an extreme flex, much like when an archer pulls back on his bow. This provides a surfy ski experience in the turn initiation as well as great pop, rebound, and spring into the next turn. Powder Rocker yields some of the most rewarding powder turning experiences. It is easy, forgiving, and responsive. The ski almost switches to auto pilot. In powder, where these skis were born to live; wide smiles, barbaric yulps, and deep snow performance awaits.

 

All-Terrain Rocker:   featured ski–>the Shreditor 102 and 112, the Annex 98 and 108, the Sight

allterrain-rocker

A longer section of traditional camber runs underfoot and the tip rise is reduced. 30% rocker in the tip transitions smoothly to 70% camber from the forebody to the heal of the ski. These skis have a smaller waist than powder specific skis. However, this does not make them any less of a performer. Rather, skis in which All-Terrain Rocker is featured have arguably the widest range of performance. The geometry of the profile makes them a full quiver ski; a jack of all trades. The reduction of waist and elongated camber section allow for more edge control on groomers and in variable crud. The rocker in the tip still provides for flotation. The heal through the waist sink in deep snow while the tip is flexed toward the surface. Rather than skiing in the backseat to drive the tips up, the skier is able to stand confidently over their boots and aggressively attack turns. The dynamics of the plane drive the ski at speed. It feels as if the skis are undulating or porpoising. On the groomer the All-Terrain Rocker provides a forgiving ski experience. Skiers can suck bumps up, roll the ski over on edge easier, and drive through the turn. These skis have extreme all mountain versatility. Skis featuring All-Terrain Rocker are meant to explore the entire mountain in any snow condition. They can honestly do it all.

 

Jib Rocker:  featured ski–> the Domain, the Press

jib-rocker

The most subdued profile of the three types, 20% tip and tail rocker transitions into an 80% flat contact with the snow. This profile gives unmatched park and slopestyle performance. The slight flare of tip and tail in combination with zero camber through the majority of the ski provide the freestyle skier with extremely easy ollie ability. With just the right amount of rocker in the tip and tail, presses can be held longer and more confidently. The flat contact sits neatly on the snow and maintains a predictable pop and solid edge hold. Surface switch ups and set ups for booters are effortless. Skis that feature Jib Rocker are playful, stomp-able, and lively. Park and slopestyle performance is maintained through rigorous repetition. Jib Rocker delivers the same response and drive every time. Predictable entry, performance during, and confident exit from tricky riding can be expected. Simply put, Jib Rocker makes park/slopestyle skis extremely fun.

 

Not just the profile but the entirety of the ski shape has been readdressed in 2014. K2 has divided their freeride skis into two categories: Directional and Bi-Directional. Directional Freeride skis, like the Annex Series, are hard charging fall line crushers. The nose of the Directional ski is wider than the heal. These skis can ski switch but the shape of the turn will not be the same as a turn facing forward. Bi-Directional Freeride skis, like the Shreditor series, are a playful and slarvy ski. The tip is only the slightest bit wider than the tail, allowing for a symmetric turn shape in the forward and switch positions. The Tapered Tip and Tail design lends the ski predictability and reduces deflection. The rocker is less extreme and the widest points of contact have been gently and gradually drawn back resulting in a smooth line from boot to end points. Powder Tip is a similar feature. This tech point is highlighted in the big boards and combines with the tip and tail taper to smooth the transition into the sidecut of the ski. The Progressive Sidecut of the 2014 K2 skis allows for varied turn shapes and maneuverability. By engineering the wider skis with multiple radii they feel like a narrower ski while on hardpack and become livelier in deep snow. K2 has calmed the geometry of the ski. Smoother lines equal smoother lines. The expanse of versatility in K2 skis is as endless as the creativity of the rider. Limitations are therefore practically nonexistent.

To ensure the bounty of versatility the innards of 2014 K2 skis have been doctored to walk the line between playfulness and performance. The Core differs from ski to ski but is made up of combinations of Aspen, Paulownia, Fir, and Maple. All four are lightweight and lively woods while simultaneously being rather strong. Using different combinations allows the ski to be built for specific use; drawing on the depth of flavor and character from each wood. The finest points from each are utilized to target flex, drive, and rebound. K2 then wraps the core in a Triaxial Braid, which is a patented process of weaving a pattern of fiberglass around the core.  This allows the wood to speak yet maintains torsional integrity. The playfulness/”poppiness” of the wood works in concert with the rigidity of the weave. The ski is then as lively as it is torsionally stiff. A beautiful combination that allows for an energetic and powerful ski experience. Expert skis in which the Metal Laminate, interspersing layers of fiberglass and titanal sandwiched around the core, is used have a stiff integrity as well as being very damp or having low vibrations. Carbon Web is featured in K2’s backcountry specific skis, like the Coomback and the Backdrop. In order to give these skis the same lively performance with confident torsional stiffness but an extremely low weight, carbon strands are woven and attached to the core at specific angles. This allows the ski to be extremely light, which is paramount for touring, without disregarding its downhill performance. The vast amount of technical refinement in the skis is a campaign of enjoyment. The internal mechanics drive the soul of the ski and enrich the soul of the skier.

The readdressed technology in this season’s line is an odyssey of the skiing spirit. A reinforcement of the stoke. K2 has been an industry leader since the production of their first ski. Their tradition of excellence in performance and creativity is in full bounty this season. Nothing can whet the appetite of a ravenous powder hound except for that which is endlessly sought. Ski films, articles, last seasons pictures can stave off the incessant desire but only for so long. That day comes when the beast must be let out to rip mountain crumbling slashes and send powder clouds into his face. The monster must be fed. In 2014, K2 has the tools to get the goods and perform. Whether pure powder, all mountain versatility, or park trickery; the 2014 K2 Ski line is a refined set. Cutting edge technology. Cutting edge performance. Pure enjoyment.

By: Paddy O’Connell

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Rossignol Ski Technology

rossi ski

Poetry In Motion

At the close of the 19th century, Europe sat in the oily puddle of the Industrial Revolution. London and Paris were overcrowded, mechanized, smog-filled; dreary. Earth-shattering advancements had forever changed the course of humanity and the human condition; but at what cost? It is arguable a great disservice was executed upon the human spirit. A disconnection with the natural world and one’s fellows arose through the machine of modernization. French art and literature had an emotional reaction which spawned Romanticism, the Decadent Movement, and the Fin de Siècle. Over the course of 100 years, these movements tried to grasp that which was not present: “freedom” (in its many definitions), a call to nature, emotions, vitality; spirit.

At the same time, skiing in France was being reexamined. Traditionally seen as a means of transportation in snowbound regions and a winter tool for soldiers and hunters; skiing was transforming into sport and recreation. Mirroring the artistic movement for connectedness, skiing brought inclusive synergy to the disjointed and dispirited masses. In 1907,  a young carpenter and skier named Abel Rossignol created a pair of wooden skis with a light varnish which changed the course of the ski industry and culture forever. The underlying current which permeated the stream of European culture was overly pessimistic and bored. Lethargy, apathy, and spiritual inactivity ruled the day. Rossignol aimed to dam the river and begin anew, to reconnect with the natural world and the soul.

In French, Rossignol translates to nightingale; a bird which is a hallmark of influence on art and poetry. Not only has the nightingale  been a long standing subject of poetry, it has served as its muse as well.

“A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.” Shelley, “A Defense of Poetry

The songbird has a seemingly spontaneous and creative ballad, amplified by and in the cogs of the urban environment. The males sing at night and again in the hour before dawn. The trills build to crescendo, signifying an end with a celebratory recognition of a future. It is an anthem. This inventive hymn echoed within the creative genius of Abel Rossignol in the early 1900’s and continues to resonate in the annals of permutation in the Rossignol Ski Company in 2014. It is the banner which waves in the winds of Rossignol’s innovation. Rossignol, as ski company, has continued the Nightingale-esque creative imagination with their 2014 line of skis. They have branded themselves as an “icon of the past and a symbol of the future.” This mountain lifestyle brand has worked tirelessly to create perhaps the most innovative skis for the 2014 Season.

The ski tech in this years line serves as Rossignol’s Fin de Siècle, “the end of an era,” of tired and unrefined flash-in-the-pan concepts. Rocker technology has revolutionized the ski industry, improving flotation and turn initiation while reducing fatigue. Yet it has only half delivered on its promise of the best ride of one’s skiing life. As Proust lamented “we love only what we do not wholly possess,” a skier is in constant search of the untracked, perfect powder line. Rockered skis have been touted as the ultimate powder tool; yet the technology in design has birthed geometric harshness with drastic ill effects. A skier will know this as “noodling,” “chattering,” “bulldozing,” “a heavy push,”et cetera, depending on what one is skiing on or in. However, and as Proust points out: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Rossignol has redefined the technology and offers two different types that serve as quintessence of rocker.

“True alchemy lies in this formula: ‘Your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse’.” Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations

Rossignol’s Auto Turn Rocker is a re-imagining of the traditional ski profile. A gradual 30% tip and tail rocker smoothly progresses into the 70% cambered body of the ski. The result is unmatched precision and edge hold while on-piste with versatile performance and floatation when off-piste (The Experience 88 & 98 ). Auto Turn skis are among the most versatile for front side carving, mogul performance, with the ability to float in light powder.

The true genius of Rossignol’s call back to the creative spirit which burns deep within every skier is Powder Turn Rocker, most notably featured in the award winning 7-Series ( S7 Pro, Sin 7, Smash 7, Soul 7, Super 7, Squad 7).  Powder Turn Rocker is a 50/50 split of traditional camber underfoot with tip and tail rocker which has a modest rise in profile from the binding heal and toe pieces toward the ends of the ski. Rossignol ski designers have worked with athletes and drawn upon their own skiing experience to remove the excessive and extreme silhouette but protract the brilliant flavor in the rocker recipe. The 7-Series features thick waists but the profile has modest, elongated geometry. A lengthened rocker shape allows the ski to plane within the deep snow rather than push itself on top. The turn therefore exists within the natural line, joined to to it in a surfy interconnection. It is the ultimate turning experience; the ultimate bond and soul enriching sensation within the natural medium.

“A thousand dreams within me softly burn” Rimbaud, Evening Prayer.

Rossignol’s ski construction tech in 2014 offers the answer to the ever-present desire for a ski which is torsionally rigid and performance-based, yet lightweight, playful, and allowing for freedom in ride. It is through Rossignol’s beautiful combination of function and creativity which provides such versatility, such skiing boldness. The newly developed and patented Air Tip Technology is a honeycomb construction which drastically cuts both the total weight of the ski as wells as its swing weight. This provides for the utmost maneuverability and quickness. A construction that eliminates material seems it would therefore lose strength. In fact the contrary exists. The tip and tail of skis featuring Air Tip are torsionally rigid and extremely tough.

This toughness does not give the ski a ride lacking in flavor or liveliness. Rather it adds a layer of confidence and efficiency to the pattern of freedom. The Light Wood Core is made up of Paulownia; a lightweight, low density wood which has an energetic rebound. Rossignol’s Race Department Diago Fiber is placed at specific angles buttressing the core of the ski while simultaneously adding more pop. The fluidity of the turn and travel into the next is strong, playful, and effortless. The Centered and Extended Sidecuts allow these turns to have an endless amount of differing shapes. The result of all this tech is an incredible ski and ski experience which can be pushed to the limits of both the skiers skill level and creative expanse.

Rossignol has produced quite the feat in 2014. The French love affair with skiing is as passionate as the poetry birthed from the grayness of the Industrial Revolution. A call to nature, a call to the brilliance of creative passion existed with both skiing and art under the shadows of industrialization, within the mire of mechanization. Abel Rossignol answered that call in 1907 and Rossignol still answers it today. The songbird sings out in glorious triumph. The 2014 line of skis is its epic, its opus. The technology in ski profile and construction reconnects the skier to the glory of the mountain and amplifies one’s interaction through poetic design and artful conception. Abel was the idealized poet and Rossignol is the creative expressor. In 2014, the skier is allowed poetic license and a bounty of creativity all steeped in performance. The ski is the pen, the line is the verse, the experience is the muse.

By: Paddy O’Connell
auto-turn
powder-turn

 

Top Rated Skis 2014

Click Infographic to Enlarge
Top Rated Skis 2014

 

Super Awesome Radical Skis of 2014

  • Rossignol Soul 7— extremely lightweight, maneuverable, versatile all mountain, great for on or off-piste, is a 4 in 1 ski quiver, can do everything a skier wants to do, rocker in tip for float and turn initiation, thick enough waist for float yet not too thick—can still perform incredibly well on the resort terrain, “jack of all trades”

  • Armada JJ—  has remained almost completely unchanged since it’s inception because “if it ain’t broke ya don’t fix it!!!”, incredibly maneuverable for a ski with such a large waist, lightweight and very turnable and responsive, a set of big sticks that crush powder lines and are fabulous in variable conditions, strong

  • K2 Annex 98— very versatile, handles “crud” snow and rips the groomers, sucks up bumps, floats in powder, it does it all, slight flare in box tail allows power through turn yet is forgiving in its release from the arc, low profile rocker in tip plains beautifully rather than pushing the powder, just an all around swiss army knife ski

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Midwide Snowboards

Snowboard_Heavenly_Lake_Tahoe

Snowboards are available in three different widths – regular, midwide and wide. The purpose of midwide and wide boards is to prevent too much toe overhang for riders with larger feet. There’s nothing fun about toe drag. A midwide snowboard, well, is just a hair wider in the waist than a regular board. Riders with a boot size of 10 – 11.5 should consider a midwide snowboard. With countless options on the market today, there’s no reason to sacrifice toe drag or a board that’s wider than necessary.

What is a Midwide Snowboard?Snowboarding_wallpapers_7

Midwide snowboards have a slightly wider waist width to accommodate riders with larger feet. They’re often a touch stiffer, too. There isn’t an industry standard in terms of sizing, so it can be a little confusing. Check with the manufacturer’s size chart to be sure your boots fit properly. Better yet, strap in at home before hitting the slopes to ensure a seamless match! More times than not, the snowboards will proportionally be wider as the length goes up.

Benefits of Midwide Snowboards

  • Toe Drag Eliminated – More width in the middle of the board allows bigger feet to sit comfortably on the board. Carve has hard as you want without worrying about overhang.
  • Perfectly Sized – Before midwide snowboards hit the market, riders with slightly larger feet than the norm were forced to suck up toe drag on a regular board or deal with extra board of a wide snowboard. Neither scenario is ideal. The midwide market is plenty large to justify. Riders with boot sizes of 10 – 11.5 can now choose from an array of perfectly sized boards.

Who Should Ride Midwide SnowboardsSnowboarder explodes through the fresh powder snow.

Riders with a boot size of 10 – 11.5 should consider a midwide snowboard. Keep in mind that the make of the boot, year of the boot and stance angles might affect whether or not a rider needs a midwide board. Older boots tend to be bulkier, which would definitely warrant a midwide board for sizes 10 – 11.5. Newer boots, especially boots from reputable brands like Burton, Thirty Two, K2 or Vans tend to be on the minimal side – meaning a size 10 or 10.5 could very well fit on a regular board.

Wide Snowboards

locals-appreciation_wolf-creek_snowboard_colorado

Toe drag is a real…drag. If your boots are too big for the width of your snowboard, your toes will hang over the edge of the snowboard. They’ll drag against the snow when you come to an edge on your toe side. Not only is this frustrating, but it can be down right dangerous.

It wasn’t too long ago that large-footed riders had a limited selection of snowboards – and their selection was less than ideal. Snowboarders with wide feet were sort of an outcast in the snowboard community back in the day. Today, nearly every snowboard company offers wide snowboards of all varieties – freestyle, freeride, powder, rocker, camber, hybrid, and of course, entry level snowboards.

What is a Wide Snowboard?

Wide snowboards usually have a waist width of over 260mm. The waist of the snowboard, where the bindings are attached, is wider than that of a regular snowboard. This prevents the toes from dragging over the edge when a toe side turn is initiated.

Wide snowboards can be just as soft, poppy, mellow or aggressive as that of their counterpart. In fact, many snowboard models, like the popular Burton Blunt or Burton Custom Flying V also have a wide option. These days, there’s no reason for snowboarders with large feet to opt out of a wide snowboard.

Benefits of a Wide Snowboard

  • Toe Drag Eliminated – A wide snowboard will prevent the toes from dragging in the snow when freeriding.
  • More Options – Wide snowboards flaunt a larger selection than ever today. There’s a wide option for every style of snowboarding.

Who Should Ride a Wide Snowboard?

Riders with a boot size of 11 (and sometimes 10.5) and larger should ride a wide snowboard. On the other hand, if you’re a strict park rider, toe drag might not be a problem since you won’t be carving in between park features. If that’s the case, any waist width will work. For freeriding where larger turns are the norm, opt for a wide snowboard if you have larger boots.

One more consideration is the make, model and year of your snowboard boots. Older boots tend to be chunkier, which would warrant a wide snowboard for a size 10.5 boot. Mid to higher end boots from reputable brands like Burton and Thirty Two have minimalist designs making for “less boot.” Some boots from these companies even have a footprint that’s a whole size smaller than the actual size of the boot. That would mean that a size 11 boot could easily work on a Midwide board. Look for Burton boots with Shrinkage Technology.

Lastly, if you’re boots are smaller than a 10.5, don’t ride a wide snowboard. A few millimeters might not seem like that much, but that extra board you’ll have to carry beneath your feet is not necessary. The extra board means more weight, which will make it more difficult to handle.

 

Longboards VS Skateboards

To the untrained eye, a person riding a board sideways with four wheels would be considered a skateboarder. And a board with four wheels would be called a skateboard. Looking a bit more closely at how the skateboarder is riding and the shape of the skateboard will determine whether the activity should be called skateboarding or longboarding. Confused? Don’t be. Read on!

What is a Longboard?

Generally speaking, a longboard is, well, longer in length than a skateboard. The cutoff between a longboard and a skateboard is usually 91 cm, or approximately 3 feet in length. Longboards are commonly as long as 130 cm, or 51 inches. The extra length of a longboard gives it more stability and makes it easier to find a comfortable stance. Adding to the fun factor, longboards are designed with transportation in mind. Think cruising to class, rolling to grab a coffee or perhaps bar hopping. Longboarders can cruise for miles and enjoy smooth uninterrupted journeys through cities, paved paths and even the countryside. Longboards can gain momentum by shifting weight back and forth from toe to heel when riding. Unlike a skateboard, this creates a thrusting force without the feet leaving the board. Longboarders can often cruise indefinitely on flat or downhill surfaces with both feet planted solidly on the board.

Arbor MissionLoaded Fattail Flex 2

 What is a Skateboard?

Skateboards have evolved over the years for specific niche activities like skating in skateboard specific parks, riding vertical ramps, pool skating and urban skating. A skateboard is going to be easier to maneuver for tricks like a kick flip or sliding rails. It is propelled by pushing the board with one while the other remains on the board. Skateboarding requires better balancing skills than a longboard.

Girl Brian Anderson Schralper

Terrain

Varying types of terrain defines one of the major differences between longboarding and skateboarding. Unlike a skateboard, a longboard rides quite well on rough asphalt terrain. The softer wheels and extra length add comfort, shock absorption and stability to the ride. Extreme variations of longboarding involve riding downhill at breakneck speeds on courses that are lined with bales of hay. Such longboarders even wear special gloves to lay their hands on the pavement while carving hard. Skateboarders utilize specialized facilities that feature ramps and rails. Many skateboarders perform tricks on urban obstacles such as handrails and stair sets.

Wheels

Both longboard and skateboard wheels are made of urethane, but the diameter is different. Street skateboarders prefer a wheel with a 49- to 54-mm diameter, while ransition riders opt for a slightly larger wheel that has a diameter of 55 to 60 mm. The diameter of a longboard wheel often ranges from 60 to 90 mm. The larger dimensions of the longboard wheel provides increased traction at high speeds.

Bearings

With just a few pushes, the bearings used in longboarding and skateboarding allow riders to increase the speed of the board. Skateboard bearings are often constructed with stainless steel, which is extremely durable making them suitable for high-impact tricks and hitting rails. High-end longboard bearings are made from ceramic materials. Get this – the lightweight ceramic bearings allow you to hit top speeds of over 35 mph! The Annular Bearing Engineers Committee rates skateboard and longboard bearings based on speed capabilities. Skate bearings have a speed rating of 5 or 7 mph, while longboard bearings can go up to ABEC 9. There you have it. There’s a whole lot more going on than the difference in length between longboards and skateboards.

SUP Glossary

Paddle boarding is a fast-growing sport that is a fun, easy way to enjoy a day on the water. It requires minimal equipment and waves are optional. Paddle boards are very functional and can be versatile for sailing or surfing with the right equipment and setup. It may be a bit daunting for a first time buyer to get into this sport. This is because there are many aspects that play a role in making the best buy. And let’s face it, Paddle boards are not cheap, so buying the wrong one could be a disaster. In order to help take away a little stress, below is a list of some helpful information on tech and specs, board types, and techniques for first time riders.

sup glossary

Tech and Specs:

  • The bottom of the board is going to be a very important aspect when looking for a SUP board. Flat-bottom boards are very stable and easy to balance on. However, if you are planning on racing or touring, board bottoms also come with different angles, concaves and contours to suit your needs.

  • Deck Pad: This refers to the soft surface that can be made of foam, rubber, etc. and is meant for traction, foot control and general comfort while riding.

  • Fins: These are used for control and maintaining a straight line on the water. Many boards will come with a single fin of a specified length but some may come with double, triple or integrated molded fins.

  • Handles: A useful tool for most paddle boards is the built in handle, which makes transport much easier. Depending on the board type, these can be located in the nose, tail, or along the rails of the board.

  • Rails: This refers to the sides or edges of the board. The general rule for rails is the fuller and boxier the rails are, the harder it will be to turn but the more stability you will have.

  • Rocker: When you think of rocker, think of a rocking chair. This will make more of a difference in surfing rather than flat-water paddling.

  • Tail: The tail is the rear of the SUP. This will be important when considering how you plan on turning. With a more angular tail, turns will be more square and angular, whereas rounder tails make for more smooth turns.

  • Paddle: Paddles for SUPs are made with an angle or “elbow” in the shaft for efficiency and performance. A paddle should be roughly 6” to 10” taller than you (this is broad because it will depend on your preference).

  • Deck Box: Some boards are equipped with a deck box which makes them compatible with sailing. This can be a great option for those windy days and adds more versatility to your board.

  • D-Rings (Front/Rear): can be used to tie down a board or also used in conjunction with bungie cords to stow gear securely on your board.

  • Leashes: A leash is a great option for those who may have balance issues or just want that security of knowing their board won’t float away in the event of a fall.

 

Board Types:

  • All arounders: These boards are going to be majorly for close to shore paddling and general recreational purposes. They will be longer and thicker and best suited for those looking for an all around board from surfing to fitness for any type of rider.

  • Hybrids: Hybrid boards integrate features from a kayak into the paddleboard. Most include storage and hatches to hold gear and other necessary items. Because hybrids incorporate features from both the SUP and kayak, they may come equipped with seat backs, heel rests, rod holders or other accessories.

  • Racing and Touring Boards: This category is more for speed and efficiency, with longer, sleeker designs and a pointed nose (bow). They will generally be less stable but some are still made to be versatile for recreational or cruising purposes.

 

Techniques: Listed are a few things to think about when using your new paddle board.

  • Mounting your board: Stand on one side in the center of the board and hold board by the rails. You can then lift yourself onto the board in a kneeling position. Once you’ve gotten your balance and a feel for it, you can stand up. If your tip or tail are digging into the water, you should adjust accordingly to make sure your board is level for optimum riding. If you have a paddle, the only difference is that you should set that across the paddle board and hold onto it while getting onto the board to prevent the paddle from going overboard.

  • Stance: In order to maintain the best balance, you should stand with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Move your weight with your hips instead of your head and try not to stare at your feet and instead focus on the beautiful view around you.

  • Strokes: This may seem unnecessary but it is important to know how to paddle in order to get where you want to go. Beginners will want to keep their strokes shorter and close to the side of the board until you get more comfortable. A helpful guide to maintain a straight line is to have about 3-4 strokes on one side then switch to the other side, etc. Also, make sure to switch hand positions when switching sides.

  • Turns:

    • Sidestroke: This refers to paddling on one side in order to turn a desired direction. To go right, you would paddle on the left and to go left, you would paddle on the right.
    • Backpaddle: This will allow you to quickly turn or reverse direction by dragging the paddle or paddle backwards in the water on either side of the board.
    • SEA “C” Stroke: If you plant your paddle in the water towards the front of the board and sweep it back through the water towards the tail, you are doing a sea or sweep stroke.

Stand Up Paddle Board Fishing

paddleboading

Imagine quietly paddling to fish filled pockets of water without having to worry about a dragging rudder or stirring the water too much. Stand up paddle fishing is truly a pristine and magical form of fishing. Also know as extreme fishing or “man on fish,” stand up paddle board fishing has been around since surfing first started (over 3,000 years ago!). Well, it was slightly different since carbon fiber and aluminum paddles hadn’t hit the market, yet. In the prone position (laying on paddle board) the first stand up paddle board fisherman used very long (and unstable) boards. That was all they knew, so determined fisherman certainly made do. With the advent of fiberglass, epoxy, carbon fiber and modern stand up paddle board construction, the game has certainly changed. Wider, more stable and boards specifically designed for standing or kneeling on, stand up paddle board fishing’s popularity isn’t expected to stall anytime soon.

What’s awesome about stand up paddle board fishing is that you can access areas that aren’t possible with a boat. Shallow fishing spots are a prime example. You can also launch a stand up paddle board almost anywhere you can get to on foot. You can get around a lot faster on a stand up paddle board than by surfboard fishing. The paddle makes the sport that much more accessible!

Extreme Paddle Board Fishing

While fishing for smaller fish on a stand up paddle board is most common, the extreme fisherman go for larger fish…and sometimes sharks! Sounds like a job for Steve-O to us. A determined and brave stand up paddle fisherman went for in this clip from La Jolla, California…

Paddle Board Fishing Accessories

I’ll bet your wondering what to do with your catch on a stand up paddle board? Have no fear. Some stand up paddle boards are designed to accommodate fishing equipment. You can mount paddle board specific “fishing boxes” onto tie down points (4 extra leash plugs in a square formation) on the top of an SUP. Stash your gear, hold your paddle and store your catch in these boxes. There are even pole holders on the sides of the box. It’s a pretty cool and raw sport that’s sure to blossom as stand up paddle boards catch on around the world. You really have to earn your catch. It’s sort of like hiking to get powder in the back country!

Check out all our paddle boards at The House.