Early Season Board Testing in Europe

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philwi
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Early Season Board Testing in Europe

Post by philwi » Sunday 22 August 2010, 19:12

I was thinking of buying a new piste board this season. It's hard for me to find time to test piste boards in winter.

I was thinking of driving over to the Alps sometime in the autumn to see if I could find a glacier where I can test a board or two. Then I can buy a board before I head for the hard-boot desert of North America.

I had a look here but can't find precisely what I'm after, which is some ideas for places/ dealers where I can test boards. You might understand that I'm less concerned about testing lots of boards (a "horizontal test") as testing two or three boards of the same model but different sizes. Getting a board of the right size is more important than getting any specific board.

So can anyone help there - where would be a good place to hook up with a few boards for a bit of board testing and purchasing in the Alps, early season?
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971804976.jpg
Big White last season. I was kind of thinking of testing metal, but one of these would be interesting also.
971804976.jpg (120.69 KiB) Viewed 4661 times

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Transistor Rhythm
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Post by Transistor Rhythm » Sunday 22 August 2010, 22:00

http://www.soelden.com/main/EN/SD/WI/Ev ... index.html

But I'm not sure about any other alpine brand participating other than Virus. The shops in the village also have quite a lot alpine gear for rental and on sale.
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Post by philwi » Tuesday 24 August 2010, 21:12

Thanks - I'll try that if nothing else works out.
Virus.. kind of narrow for my tastes, but maybe they do something wide enough.

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Post by Zanci » Tuesday 24 August 2010, 22:17

If you go with virus, go narrow.
Otherwise, I'd go with a coiler/swoard.
I prefer pure race boards (oxess,kessler,sense)thought.
Try one of those too, bit more expensive, but if you got the skill, much better :)

I also have a brand new 169 prior WCR Metal 2011.
I'd part with it 600+ shipping from slovenia if you're interested.
Great titanal easy ride, especially if you dont have much stamina (or not a pro racer )

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Post by joemzl » Tuesday 24 August 2010, 22:30

At the last weekend of October, there will be many hardbooters in Sölden.
Maybe there is no official testing, but the shops have a lot of alpine gear for rent.
And maybe there is something more on the glacier than ice - snow 8O
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Post by skywalker » Tuesday 24 August 2010, 22:32

Usually there are some Kesslers and some V Vampires available for testing in Sölden, sometimes also some SGs.

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Post by philwi » Wednesday 25 August 2010, 16:47

Thanks.... I'm not a huge fan of very narrow boards, been there, done that, hence Virus isn't high on my list. The other boards mentioned sound more like it.

I like SL race boards. I'm less convinced by the Swoard concept as I don't go for diving at the snow. But I'd test one and prepare to be convinced should I be able to find out where.

I only ride piste boards on down days, but I still get enough days in not to be afraid of riding anything in production, at precisely the correct size of course.

Prior... I can test those at the factory shop in Whistler so those I can pick up, although I'm not a huge Prior fan (I hate having to fight for warranty issues), hence I was looking to Europe.

If I can find a dealer in Solden who'll rent some early season stock with a view to a sale then it sounds like that's my best shot.

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Post by koldo » Wednesday 25 August 2010, 23:33

http://www.oxess.ch/events/index.php

here are couple events, where oxess will demo their boards.

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Post by Transistor Rhythm » Thursday 26 August 2010, 11:05

A lot of high end boards are reserved weeks before, maybe you should call the rental places as soon as you've booked your trip to make sure you can test any board you would like to.
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tomppa
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F2 WC SL

Post by tomppa » Friday 27 August 2010, 9:49

Hi

If you like SL boards try F2 WorldCup edition. I bought last spring on ebay new F2 SL WC 09/10 and like it a lot. When I first time ride it remind me Mad 158 but not so lively, and sidecut is longer also multiradius like at Mad. F2 SL WC is not damp like some metal boards it is springy and if you push it it gives you respond, but you don’t have to ride it agressiv, I am not competitor I bough it to use carving short/icy slopes. It has decambered nose and tail maybe that’s why it is not so lively as Mad was.

see www.ebay.de and shop funsport_one has lots of them for sale, make them offer. Don’t know if they have shop in Deutchland, maybe locos can help with that.

Also found review here and and they compare also it to Mad http://hardbooter.net/blog/ :)

Specs http://www.f2-snow.com/boards/boards.php
year 09/10 and 10/11 seem to have same specs, I also have older SL WC and RS WC 07/08 version but they felt totally different so don’t go older models IMHO.

Br Tom
by Tomppa

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Post by Schneewurm » Friday 27 August 2010, 18:30

Well, Early Season is o.k. - but for hiking now and nothing else!
I was out in the higher mountains from early Tuesday morning to Yesterday late Thursday evening. It's a great time now, holidays ends and the mountaineering huts are just near to empty. If anyone can go there midweek at such nice and amazing clear air, without any dust down to the bottom of country - exceptional bright sight weather - it's highly recommended.

@philwi
I think it's now to early to get proper informations for testing.

There is also a continous test-base in Sölden.
It's called the Box. http://www.snowboardbox.ch (only in German and French language)
Unfortunatly there must be payed a fee for the test pool (sometimes special offers with skipass).
Beside all major snowboards for softboots (300-400 boards), You will find usualy following piste board brands: F2 / Nidecker
For to get special boards / boards of Your desire You can make reservations (Phone-nummbers -> see "Kontakt" on the page). They start at October 9. Yet they haven't accurate informations which board they will have. It depends on the brands what they bring-in. Please ask them (by e-mail / phone) around October 9. what they will have for testing.

If You can, take some days on midweek. At weekends hundred's of sporting-good-stores from Germany and Switzerland goes to Sölden.

November 6./7. 2010 (I think is to late for You) there is the big Glacier opening Sölden from TOP-20 dealers from West-Germany (a groupe of retailer). They have everytime alpine boards there.
Gliding on Snowboards,
like Pogo, Kessler, Virus, Hot, Nidecker and others,
from 151 up to 183 cm and 14 to 27.4 cm width,
covering any kind of shapes with
any kind of boots and bindings.

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István
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Post by István » Friday 27 August 2010, 19:54

I typically kick off the season on the weekend closest to Nov 1 in Sölden, and there are always many brands for testing (Oxess, Virus, etc)

Later

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Post by Schneewurm » Saturday 28 August 2010, 14:06

István makes the goal, he turns to later time, to November!

@philwi
You know we have some serious snow problems now in Europe on early seasons.
I saw Your nice picture with all-white snow. For that I recommend to go higher then Sölden 10500 ft, e.g. to Zermatt Switzerland 12500 ft.

Because of the change of world climate, it's no more sure to have nice snow in October on many glaciers in Europe. There can be good snow, but the last couple of Years it was worse to go on Glaciers on September, or October. Starting at early November will be much better.

It doesn't help if Glacier resorts have artifical snow. Most time temperatures are to high for to produce artifical snow on lower Glacier areas. For to get imagination of this watch the two pictures below.
On upper row of each You can see snow-conditions on the Year 2005.
On lower row the snow-condition of last autumn 2009.
After the first week of October 2005 there was the FIS Worldcup snowboard GS, season opening of WC-races. It's now no more possible to do that. They turned to a snow-hall in the Nederlands for this.

Please watch again the 2nd picture, lower range showing the upper part of Sölden Rettenbach 2009 (same slope and lift like on upper part 2005). The surface is grey to black. Thats totaly the opposite of what we can see on Your great picture.
This grey to black surface comes out of accumulation of all contaminations from the last couple of Centurys. The color comes from countless bubbles of black mud. If You touch it, it's a smearing nasty mud.
On early season like You can see on the picture, the Ratrac mix it with new snow or artifical snow. If there is not more than about 60-100 cm of new snow in autumn, snow never will be realy clean, it's just a kind of grey. Any other Glacier in Europe, where snowhigh doesn't fall below 2 ft, 50/60 cm at any point of slope during whole Year, will be good.

You shouldn't go for diving at that snow! Thats allright for early Glacier rides. If You whatch riders on slope e.g. midweek on raceboards, nobody does it. Racers take care to clean their boards and boots strictly every day after trainings on snow.

It's good to know this mud comes out of containing contaminations of PCB, DDT and radioactive particles. This elements are known for to found cancer. There are some serious researches in Austria about it:
http://www.anisa.at/index-2.htm
http://www.anisa.at/dachstein_gletscher.htm (2006 / also in English)
http://www.anisa.at/Gletscherzustandsbericht%202009.htm (2009 / German language only)

Well, on weekends usualy diving to this kind of snow, turns to a way other importance. On weekends many of carvers which like to ride the very narrow boards, are on slope at Soelden. There can be seen, how some of them tend to come closer to the ground on full body, then anyone else on slope want to do it than. That can be for to show to people how they can carve and for to present their new boards. This way they perhaps are happy to collect as much possible contaminations as they can. And it can hapen, they enjoy the spray of this grey snow and ice particles around the face. After this, they are able to prowdly drink beer at the snow-bar on their fallout exposed snowboard suits and theire gloves on the table. - Thats just the difference to what can be seen during the week on Glaciers.
Attachments
Soelden_Rettenbach_early_season_upper_section.gif
Comparing Sölden 2005 to 2009
upper section Schwarze Schneid II
same slope / same skilift,
at same time around October 10.
Soelden_Rettenbach_early_season_upper_section.gif (79.15 KiB) Viewed 4285 times
Soelden_Rettenbach_early_season_lower_section.gif
Comparing Sölden 2005 to 2009
lower section Schwarze Schneid I
2005: no snow-makers at all
2009: with snowmaker installations,
but too warm to let spend them snow
Soelden_Rettenbach_early_season_lower_section.gif (92.88 KiB) Viewed 4285 times
Gliding on Snowboards,
like Pogo, Kessler, Virus, Hot, Nidecker and others,
from 151 up to 183 cm and 14 to 27.4 cm width,
covering any kind of shapes with
any kind of boots and bindings.

philwi
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Post by philwi » Saturday 28 August 2010, 17:39

thanks all - some good advice there. I can wait until a little later and of course I should check the snow reports too.

I'm not sure if I want "damp" - I like boards which kick back, hence I think I should demo some stuff. I have an 08/09 F2 SL which rocks, but that was before the recent tech changes.

Midweek is my favoured time... cheaper rates and fewer people.

November 6./7. 2010 ... there is the big Glacier opening Sölden from TOP-20 dealers from West-Germany (a groupe of retailer). They have everytime alpine boards there.
That is probably perfect; a little later, so there's a better chance of decent snow.

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Post by joemzl » Sunday 29 August 2010, 14:53

philwi wrote:If I can find a dealer in Solden who'll rent some early season stock with a view to a sale then it sounds like that's my best shot.
The following dealers should have what you are looking for.
They are all located on the main street. Riml additionally all over the ski area.
http://www.sport4you.at/
http://www.sport.riml.com/
http://www.glanzer.at/
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