Usually, I will race NASTAR on my snowboard, and I am fairly decent on a freeriding snowboard with soft boots. However, I see many people that have around a 27 handicap while I'm at a 59. I am wondering if they are using alpine snowboards or just have better techniques and better lines. Basically, How much faster could I go on an alpine snowboard and hard boots rather than a freeriding snowboard and soft boots? Also, how could I possibly improve my time without any equipment upgrade?
There are some very good softboot racers out there but making the switch to a hardboot setup will increase anyone's chances of lowering their handicaps. Other factors than just equipment have to be taken into consideration. Are you picking the proper line for negotiating the gates?Usually, I will race NASTAR on my snowboard, and I am fairly decent on a freeriding snowboard with soft boots. However, I see many people that have around a 27 handicap while I'm at a 59. I am wondering if they are using alpine snowboards or just have better techniques and better lines. Basically, How much faster could I go on an alpine snowboard and hard boots rather than a freeriding snowboard and soft boots? Also, how could I possibly improve my time without any equipment upgrade?[/b]
I have to run - appt with the knee doctor but I'll write more later.
Back again. Alpine Snowboard gear is tough to come by. We carry a few items in our shop but they are pricey.
How tall are you and how much do you weigh? I have a 1997 Hot Shine alpine board in a 154 cm length that I'd sell for $99 plus shipping. If you can wear size 10 boots I have a pair of Raichle 324 alpine boots that are well used but still have a lot of life left in them. I'd want $50 for them plus shipping. Bindings are another matter. I don't have any spares but you might find some good deals in the Buy/Sell section of the forum at bomberonline.com. That forum is a great place for guidance on any subject involving alpine gear.
Your riding technique is going to change considerably and you might actually lose time until you get used to it.
Best of luck to you!
Thank you very much for your offers, but i'll try the shop you mentioned and some local ski shops for any deals. I'm 5'9", 151 pounds, ride a 159 cm board, and I cannot fit in a size 10 shoe. I do feel that I'm taking a good line on the course since I don't skid too much except for when I come across an ice patch. Usually when I go around the gates, I sometimes try to run along the birm created by skiiers along the gates. Would you have any other suggustions if there is a better way to approach the gates?
Sounds like you're going about things the right way. I've never been to Boyne. Do you have something solid to push off with both hands when coming out of the starting gate? Is the pitch to the first few gates fairly gentle? Skiers have the ability to pole and skate. You're at the mercy of your wax. Speaking of wax, that can certainly be a factor as well.
Bear in mind you're also having to negotiate ski gates instead of snowboard-specific gates. Having to give them a wide berth will cost you some time.
If you can get to the course just as they open, you might take advantage of better conditions and not have to take the line established by folks ahead of you. Above all else, focus on having fun! The improved times will come.
Rytyfe, going to a hardboot setup should improve your times on a GS course. But it may take awhile. Hardbooting requires a different technique and has a different feel than soft. The boots are mounted on taller plate bindings, your binding angles will have your feet pointed more toward the axis of the board, and you will be taking a more agressive, lower stance. Basically, you are trying to carve your turns more than skidding them. At first this will be very disconcerting, as your rig tends to lock into turns more readily, and you may have trouble finding the brakes. It is harder on your legs, too, so get in shape. My first time out was a glorious disaster. Even after three full seasons I'm still not that good at it.
Still, carving can be addictive and fun. On a good day, with good snow, nothing beats it.
Once you can carve, hardboot RACING is a sub-technique that requires you to still be able to skid your board to scrub off speed quickly.
The equipment is expensive, and getting lessons is just about impossible. Even if you go for it, don't give up your softboot rig. I have watched guys run them down a NASTAR course faster than all but the best hardbooters. Even after three plus years of hardbooting, I can still get my old Burton 159 Supermodel through the gates nearly as quickly as I can my Donek alpine board!
I have a couple of questions that might shed some light on the answer to your question. First had you had the opportunity to ride an alpine board/hard boots? Two what are your current binding angles on your softboot setup? Although I have seen some people carve well in soft boots, binding angles will affect your quickness from edge to edge. If you haven't had the opportunity to ride and alpine board i believe one or two rides will answer some questions. No doubt about it. I'm 50 and ride mostly with people my age and the alpine setup is the way to go (my opinion). Good Luck.
Thanks Pat. I'm hoping to, but I'm a FT Student at 50 and we'll just have to see how the schedule pans out. Mark and Arden have been lobbying me, and I keep telling them I'm willing and it's early enough in the semester where I might be able to shave some time off my homework scores. And I do know your son-in-law and it's a pleasure hanging out with him. It appears (as a father of 6 kids, 3 and 3) that you have scored with him, but you'll have to give me the dirt later.
As a note I have a 16 year old daughter who has an adrenalin problem, gravity seems to be her best friend and she wants to ride an alpine board. Quick convert. I spoke with Arden and she said she has the "shine" now. (saw your previous post) so if something comes your way let me know. She's almost 6' and pretty aggressive. Anyway keep me on the radar.
My evolution in racing (2 years)...starter with my old burton....rarely got medal, bought a donek sabre for soft boots have gotten medal in every race since, mostly bronze...thinking of an alpine board next....
Will be angling my stance more down hill next race...what angles do most of you use?