That also depends on if your riding hardpack or not. Most of our field riding is mostly powder or soft snow. Pond riding is mostly harder surface. I can see problems with trying to edge on a hard packed surface.
i've been snowkiting for four seasons already. first year i started with specialized snow kiteboard with 20m or so radius but soon came to realize that its good for directional riding back and forth but if you want some diversity and go for tricks its not well suited. as some mentioned its also hard to pop with it. i tried this board as a regular snowboard on slopes but it was 'no go' because of big radius you cannot carve normally you basically turn just by sliding out your back foot. so for next year i basically went out on my regular non-TT snowboard with 7.something m radius. for me it was way better than 20m but kind of drawback was that riding one side seemed a bit harder due to offset and board seemed a bit too narrow becaue from time to time my boot tips got caught in grass under snow or ice.
last year i decided to give a try for one of those freestyle oriented specialized snowboards from kiteboard company. I got myself Aboards 158cm standard camber snowkite board. i was pitched by the fact that they make 100% twintips with equal sidecut on toe and heel edge, boards are of wider shape and have sligtly bigger radius than regular snowboards i think about 9-10m. last season i kited with it a lot and should say it was great. compared to 20m boards it turns and pops really good. board is also nice in deeper snow what you get kiting in backcountry terrain.
this year Aboards has come up also with 2 models one of which is regular but other is bannan type which i'm quite curious to try.
I used to go through allot of Snowboards at stores to find what I wanted and Customers asking what will work (Before we had these Aboards) so I decided to get the Aboards Snowboards in last year to make things easier.
There are very good reasons for side cut for performance and carving.
Twin tip rather than using my regular board to try and even out each end for equal stance or try to explain where to get one that work and why.
Last years boards with more regular sidecut was great. Some fun on the 2010 Aboards and my Ozone Frenzy 11m:
Now for 2011 we have 2 options. Stoked to be riding soon and some more Vids!
Reverse Camber Flat mid Section (Help prevent carving to much upwind) Since we're on angle more often than Snowboarding) True Twin Tip Centered Waist Reverse Camber Close Insert (2mm Fine Tuning your stance) Can use regular bindings (Important for many reasons) Improved nose and tail pressing Hybrid for Snowkiting or Snowboarding Strong Wood Core Widened Tips and Tail shape (Gets you up in deeper snow)
2011 Aboards Escape: For those who want all the great features and normal camber.
Many of us also like to have a Kite Snowboard since we're in such a unique Sport!! Sweet option to have.
I was just reading some of the responses about riding , with out bindings, or with hooks and all the "dangers" involed.
I find them very interesting, It seems like everyone is ok with hooking them selves to a great big kite and getting pulled by it. But how they are attached to the board can be more dangerious? One poster even bashed onefooters and stuff just cuz they don't like them, thats cool don't go out and do any, but it should be cool that I want to( I am one of the silly pro's you are refering to)...
Some boards and bindings are easier to ride some harder, thats what makes it fun and challanging, I feel board with bindings some days and like to challange myself. I am glad to see otheres out there doing the same.
Just a personal experance note. it is a lot harder to create edge angle with straps or strapless on snow( a frozen liguid) then water (thawed liguid). also a mountain board or skate board has trucks that create a mechnical advantage so comparing the two, to snowkiteing is just not fair, the best advantage on strapless boards is currently a upper and lower deck like a snowskate, so you can creat leverage, trying to make such leverage on a single deck in anything but soft snow is very hard to do.
I currently have several Alpine snowboards on the market that have much larger radius then 20m these boards work great on groomed snow, I also have had lots of fun on the Best brand snowkite board while resort riding, something that most people think is impossable. so it just proves differnt strokes for different folks
Thanks everyone for chiming in! It's really interesting to see not only what works for some people, but the mechanics into it all as well. I am a visual person, and if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, their is a video that really shows the difference. There is know way in hell I could hold an edge and go that straight on a tack: http://www.stormboarding.com/speedranking1011.html With my twin tip all mountain board, I can carve 'J's' all day long, but I would have to scrub off a ton of speed to hold a line like that! I know this video is all about the speed, but it shows more than just haulin' across the ice. Thanks Rachael for posting and Gary for sharing!
Just out yesterday on the Aboards Reverse 2011 for a sweet session. Doing some lines and a bit of powder, all round riding... I like to mix it up... The Reverse flatter bottom straight lines faster and more control I find.
Shoe wrote:Looks awesome! Please keep us posted how the new bindings work out!
For what it's worth here's the scoop
Tried them for about 2 hours. Conditions were snow covered ice (4-5"). They worked but keeping my feet in the straps was the biggest issue. I added some more grip on the base which helped a bit but it still wasn't enough. Can go back and forth with them but that's about it. Convenient to use and easy on the knees but the lack of control was the back breaker. I switched back to my regular bindings yesterday
I'm toying with the idea of a heel strap but we'll see.
Designed these a few years ago but NSI wasn't interested in selling them at the time. If you are decent rider and want to review them then call NSI and ask for a set. I'll make the plates for free and see about getting NSI to supply the straps & hardware. This is a stick on plate so you can achieve a symmetrical stance on any (old) snow board.