I haven't seen a snowkite board up close, so please take my questions and comments with a grain of salt... Can someone tell me what the differences are between a typical snowboard and a snowkite board? From what I have gathered on this forum, some snowkite boards have delamination issues and other problems that the snowboard industry has already perfected. With snowboards built to fit every type of rider and condition, I am curious why the need for a 'new type' of board. Seems to me that it would be a rider preference; soft and flexy, or stiff and snappy. I would think the type of snow you ride on would dictate what type of board you want to ride on(and the rider size of course).
If you are wanting to get into the sport, and don't have a board already, that would be one thing. Are other snowboarders purchasing a board specific for kiting?
I will never buy a snowkite board, just because I go through a board every 2 years. Im from wisconsin, and constantly riding on frozen lakes will depreciate your board quite a bit. You can ride just fine on a regular snowboard without spending over $500 on a snowkite board. I also choose wider boards, it keeps you really stable in gusty conditions, or lulls. Plus, you can ride the slopes on days it isn't windy. Can you even do that with a kite specific board?
I think its mostly a bunch of hype. Ive always rode a snowboard. Mostly a burton terje 152 that has some rude sidecut. Never had a problem. Some "kite specific" boards lose the side cut in essence not letting the board turn when on edge. Then how do you turn?? I like flipping toeside and dropping a tight carve around to the other way. If i loose the ability to turn how do i do this? Some are built like regular kiteboards, positive rocker and positive sidecut. I get the idea and im sure it works in powder but what happens when you get on hardpack??? What i need 2 boards one for powder days and one for the hardpack? Marketing HYPE thats all it is. There might be little gains in rideability in some conditions but for all around a good twin tip snowboard works. Even if its not quite a twin, if you can get your stance pretty centered your good to go. And i dont get how these guys are shredding their edges, How do you edge that hard on an icy lake? I cant get my edges that sharp to even hold an edge that good. And just can see it happening on hardpack.
In good snow conditions (utah) a kite specific board makes a difference. In Crap snow conditions, any board will work, because the conditions suck, no matter what board. For me, a true twin tip is the most important thing for snowkiting. But, if you can't feel the difference, that is OK also.
It's just like at a resort, boards are all personal preference. If a shit board feels good to you, thats great. If you have a little better feel for boards, there are tons of options to try.
Marty, Thanks for the reply. I get the sense that you are a fan of the kite specific snowboards. Can you explain the differences, or what sold you on the specific boards? Loads of freestyle snowboards and all mountain boards are twin tip, or twin-ish, as some call them. What turns you off about them? I grew up in Northern Lower Michigan, moved to Northern California, then Alaska, and now The Adirondacks in New York. I consider myself pretty well versed in the different types of snow conditions, and what my personal preferences are as far as boards go. I am just curious as to what the rest of you think? Or better yet, how do the kite snowboard companies plan on selling boards to those of us who have regular snowboards? What's the pitch? Those of us who did 'drink the coolaide' why the switch? I really appreciate all the comments, it's enlightening!
I've ridden the Twisted board for ~ 2 years now. I've ridden it doing gravity turns as well as kiting. I don't snowboard(gravity) from chairlifts - its all backcountry where you hike up then ride down.
As said above - for kiting a true twintip is essential, centered stance & roughly equal ducked out stance. A twintip with sidecut offers that. The Twisted & a couple of others have reverse sidecut and continuous rocker.
Pros of the Twisted: Kiting - rides great in pretty much all conditions. In powder the rocker shape helps helps the board float well. I haven't noticed any issues in hardpack conditions that I wouldn't have with any twintip. In doing gravity turns the twisted shape & design is super surfy & super fun in good powder or spring corn conditions. The rocker shape while hiking up(split into 2 skis) makes it the easiest board to break trail with I've ever used.
Cons: For kiting - I haven't really found any. The shape and rocker seems to serve well in about all conditions. For doing backcountry gravity turns - this board hates hardpack conditions. Whether hiking up an established skin track or riding down boiler plate or anything less than powder/soft snow conditions it just sucks.
So - you can ride a "kite specific" snowboard for kiting or riding under the right conditions. You can also ride a twintip for both and a twintip is maybe a little more versatile if you're riding chairs or hardpack circumstances for gravity turns.
With some of the newer rocker shapes with a flatter profile in the center and twintip design - I think these boards will be even more versatile and offer more multi-purpose options. As to using a cheap board because you destroy it BS - quality lasts. There's some really high quality board builders out there. Venture & Never Summer will last and the tech & design options are wide open.
I like my kite snow board because it has less side cut, nice perfectly centered stance, way more stance options (all nicely centered on the board), has the same flex/rocker on both ends. The board is easier to handle, more comfy to ride, and consistent in both directions. My old snow board definitely favored one tack over the other which bugged me and way to much side cut, seemed I was skidding more than carving. The kiteboard seems to track straighter and easier.
I could have stuck with my old snowboard, it worked ok but the kiteboard works better for me and I'm glad I got one. I don't go to the hills any more so it made sense for me to get a kiteboard and sell my old snow board. I've never tried my kiteboard on the hills though.
Check out my "new" bindings Just put them on last week and looking forward to trying them out this year. It's a rough prototype right now. I used my old LF straps. I'm hoping to use my regular winter boots. Tired of rigid boots and bindings. I'd like my knees and lower legs to be able to move a bit, like they can on water so that's what prompted this idea. I hope it works.
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Last edited by frankm1960 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.