old school vs new school slalom ?

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Mike Lapsley
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old school vs new school slalom ?

Post by Mike Lapsley » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:45 am

I'm just getting back into this after some 20+ yrs, and though I've searched this forum, I can find all kinds of info about peoples setups,......... what I can't find is why ??

My last slalom board was a 27" G&S Fibreflex cutaway / full trackers / OJ slaloms. Everything about that setup versus the setups I see today, is wrong. People are running flat decks / w kicktails / narrow trucks / and larger diameter wheels.

As far as stance and technique, it all seems the same. I never used a parrallel stance, but more of a modified surf stance, with my feet at an angle towards the front. (my biggest problem back then was that my toes would clip cones, thus the angled stance) We pumped a board, same as it seems today, though it looks as if the trucks are doing more of the work nowadays. Back then the flex of the deck made up for the lack of trucks turning ratio. Wheels had offset bearings, square lips, and alot of grip (for then) but way smaller diameter.

So, what exactly happened ? Or more importantly, is there a thread that explains WHY folks are setting up like this now ? Thanks !

(I posted this on Silverfish and got nothing)

Pelle Gustafsson
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Welcome back!

Post by Pelle Gustafsson » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:57 am

smaller wheels accelerate fastrer, easier in tighter corses. stiff board and other setups on the trucks make the truck work harder. these days we ride faster then ever. the kicktail make your foot stand better and puts more pressure on the back truck and it helps you avoid slides at the back. get me some mail if you want more help
regards pelleplast

pelleplast2@hotmail.com
Last edited by Pelle Gustafsson on Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Donald Campbell
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Post by Donald Campbell » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:44 am

back then people thought you get pump out of flex.
times changed as peel already described.pump is generated with the body,of course,and with the proper truck setup too.boards are concave these day(this really helps control the board)they have kicktails and so on.
hook up with a few guys for a session and see it there.
this topic has never really been covered anywhere as far as i can remember.

Andrea Bonetti
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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:03 pm

No guys! No mails please!

Let all of us (that are probably almost 40 years old today??) understand the differences!


Mike: do you mind to post some pictures of your skate?

// Andrea

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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:45 pm

to my opinion it was clear even 20 years ago that a stiff (rigid) board was helping in pumping, as a flexible board absorbs your movement instead of creating centripetal acceleration that is "converted" in longitudinal one when you do not turn anymore.
You can pump with a bycicle if you want, and you see that if you have shock absorbers it is much harder.

But it is much nicer to skate with a flex board, that's clear. And flexibilty might help in "finding the rythm" (if cones are not too tight), or in turning more because the trucks are too large (that's also my case: too large trucks, fiberglass board :-) ).

Consider "our" time: fiberglass was a "new material" for "consumers". It was cool to have it!
"Large" was better than "small" (do you remember our snow-skis how long they were? ). I don't think there was a lot of engineering on skateboarding, at our times. Slalom and free-style was the only thinks we could do. Now there are a lot of different branches in skating, so somebody has to think about the differences and motivate them.

I would like to try some stiff concave boards, different wheels, and narrower trucks and see if I can manage something better.. That's why i would like to join you guys in Stockholm one day...

Somebody mentioned that today we are slaloming faster than 20 (also 25) years ago... I believe it (like in everything..), but who has some figures on that?

And regarding the so called "concave" boards. I saw them in some shops in Switzerland, and dint't believe in the idea. You are convincing me more and more guy.

Welcome back to all of you!

// Andrea

Vincent Berruchon
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Post by Vincent Berruchon » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:21 pm

quickly, my 2 cents from my personal experience:

I've started slalom on a Turner GS Hybrid.
Perhaps some won't like that but for me, it was a modern board but based on old principles
I still love this board but one day I decided I had to changed if I wanna skate faster and safer.

flex is good to learn to pump. And it procures nice feelings and smooth ride style.
but when you are going fast through cones you want a really fast reaction time
my own experience is that flex is quite good when you have some regular rythm slalom course
you'll keep the rythm and give it to the board
but with more tricky course, it's harder to anticipate rhythm changes when you have too much flex: it's first flex an after it react
No flex or nearly no flex board will react immediately

For what I've seen, slalom skaters are using narrow trucks for a long time. Am I wrong on that?
One again: narrow hangers are way more reactive.
Of course offset and geometrical enhancement are also great when it give you more traction, agility...

Concave and shape:
The GS hybrid have a dolphin shape. Nice, it's also look like a formula 1 car.
But hey... no much space where to put my feet
and with the convex (or fla, my feet were slipping too much when during tight slalom or intense puming.
so concave block my feet and give me more power, faster and direct reaction
( \__/ = two turning pedals to level the board in the direction I want directly)

Wider board: so I'm not fear to put my feet on the wheels but they stick where I want
(but yeah I can hit cones easily, but I waiting to test new Pavel cbark/Jet for that)

Tail: block your foot, help to find quickly where to put it without looking
Personally the tail also help me to distribute more precisely the pressure on my rear foot.

There's another point I've asked to Donald for my Pavel boards at the beginning (but he ever knew it) :
I prefer light board, they are easier to drive (still the same: reactivity/agility!) and foam/composite are good for that.

Even if some will not find the same things in some of these evolutions, I hope it will give you a few ideas about the "why" ;)
[ www.pavel-skates.com ] [ www.riderz.net ]
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Mike Lapsley
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Post by Mike Lapsley » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:03 pm

Thanks for the response guys !

It's starting to make a bit more sense to me. I can see I'm going to have to get on one of these "new school boards" and try it before the light bulb pops on. I do seem to remember the old Fibreflex tail "kicking out" on hard turns, which I why we probably ran the wider trucks. With a stiffer board you can run narrower trucks, and with todays advancements in truck design, you get better turning radius without sacrificing traction/stability.

I don't think I'll ever get used to the kicktail idea though. Again, maybe it's something I need to experience firsthand, but it just sounds like a recipe for dissaster. In my old brain, a kicktail was something on a pool/park/ramp board, and we used it to lift the front trucks up over the lip/coping. It just sounds so foreign.

Andrea: As for pictures, if your refering to the G&S Fibreflex, that board is long gone unfortunately. The only boards I have at the moment are a 42" Gravity Hyper Carve, and an old 32" McGill pool board. I'm just trying to understand the new slalom setups before I run out to buy one.

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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:18 pm

"... I'm just trying to understand the new slalom setups before I run out to buy one....."

me too!

So guys, help us!

To my opinion there is only one chance: get a group of skaters and test all combinations..

// Andrea
Last edited by Andrea Bonetti on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pelle Gustafsson
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board

Post by Pelle Gustafsson » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:30 pm

I tried new Pavel cbark/Jet at the Paris world cup and that board was the best board so far i ride on, that board whith g.o.g truck or radikal culd be so fucking nice with a set of cambrias on! lovely!!!

Andrea Bonetti
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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:22 pm

I'll write this now, before I get used to it and won't see the differences anymore.
40 years old, I used to skate almost every day when I was 12 ... 16. After that I never stopped to ride the skate, but slalom.. no. THERE WAS NO SLALOM ANYMORE. Finished. Closed.
Untill today, with Pelle in Stockholm. I tried his board and he said: "you ride like in the 70's" and he was right. Since 25 years ago I have never skated through cones!

So, my fixed points up to this morning:

- flex board (bossibly convex on its length)
- center of rotation on the axis passing between the two tracks (like a car turning with 4 wheels)
- stance almost in the middle of the board.

It took some time to get used to Pelle's skate (and still I'm not fully) but now I am definitely convinced that the direction to follow is this one:

- rigid (stiff) board, concave
- front truck loose, rear truck tight (center of rotation on the axis passing the rear wheels, like a "normal car).
- stance: one foot on the front truck, another on the rear truck (changed from Pelle's suggestion: actually a little bit behind the front truck is better otherwise when you turn much the wheels ar going under and behind your fot and that makes your board "dive" and slow you down...).

The difference in performances is like when you pass from the old skis to the "new" carving ones, that almost turn by themselves. A DIFFERENT THING.
Diffocult to explain in words. As I said: just get out and try.



Thanks PELLE!

// Andrea
Last edited by Andrea Bonetti on Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

Mike Lapsley
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Post by Mike Lapsley » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:15 pm

Andrea Bonetti wrote: - flex board (bossibly convex on its length)
- center of rotation on the axis passing between the two tracks (like a car turning with 4 wheels)
- stance almost in the middle of the board.

It took some time to get used to Pelle's skate (and still I'm not fully) but now I am definitely convinced that the direction to follow is this one:

- rigid (stiff) board, concave
- front truck loose, rear truck tight (center of rotation on the axis passing the rear wheels, like a "normal car).
- stance: one foot on the front truck, another on the rear truck.
Thats what I needed to hear ! The car analogy makes sense, instead of "pushing" the board through the turns the way we used to do, (using the flex to snap it out) we've moved to "steering" through the turn. A more rigid deck is akin to a car with a rigid chassis yet a more responsive suspension. And foot placement makes sense, since the weight over the wheels directs the energy to the trucks, instead of to the middle of the board, where the flex absorbs it.

I may have seen the light !!

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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:23 pm

Mike... just try with BOTH. You will simply see that with the "new" technique, you can do something you can't with the old one.
For instance, I don't remember I was able to "pump-up" so easily up to the slope.

But you need to get used to the new car under your feet. and it takes some hours.

// Andrea
Last edited by Andrea Bonetti on Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pelle Gustafsson
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flex...

Post by Pelle Gustafsson » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:17 pm

before we use flexy board to push our board foward,now days we use right kinde od bushings that make the truck do the working insted. that makes the board more "exactly" in the turns and it is YOU that decied how the board will turn.Thanx andrea for a good time today!! abaute the front fot you dont shuld stand right over the front truck... a little bit behinde is better otherwise when you turn much the wheels ar going under and behinde your fot and that makes your board "dive" and slow you down....i help you to fix a board that make you feel soo good!



sorry for my bad english but hope you all anderstand somthing anyway ;)

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Post by Mike Lapsley » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:40 pm

Pelle: Your english is very good my friend !

Andrea: I think your right, I'm going to need to just get out and try both setups to feel the difference.

Mike

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Post by Tod Oles » Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:19 am

Mike,

Here's a setup with some kick, concave and camber...

Image

I just want to make sure you are seeing how the kick is used on a racing deck...
NO KICK TURNS ALLOWED ;-) truck right under the tail...

Glad you're interested in slalom again!! I've had a blast these last 4 years skating again
after a 20yr. Rip Van winkle session
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Post by Rick Floyd » Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:15 am

Mike - do it man! I just started skating again at age 45 after 22 years away...what a GAS! Come to the Slalom Worlds in Statesville, NC at the end of September if you can - even if you don't race. You'll leave with 100 times as much knowledge as you arrived with, and probably a new setup or two. I am having SO much fun and EVERYONE is helpful and friendly. You'll find the "people" you used to know are still here - in spirit if not in body...we're your tribe!! :-)
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Pelle Gustafsson
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tod

Post by Pelle Gustafsson » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:01 am

what a lovley board!!! exelent setup! and i totaly agree to skate whit all old AND new friens make life worth living to i am 150 years!!!

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Post by Mike Lapsley » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:29 am

Tod Oles wrote:Mike,

Here's a setup with some kick, concave and camber...

Image

I just want to make sure you are seeing how the kick is used on a racing deck...
NO KICK TURNS ALLOWED ;-) truck right under the tail...

Glad you're interested in slalom again!! I've had a blast these last 4 years skating again
after a 20yr. Rip Van winkle session
Dude thats impressive to say the least. I see now the whole wedge/de-wedge approach. I still can't get over the kicktail tho. If you setup the rear truck on the kick, but de-wedge it back to standard geometry (or close) then the whole idea of the kicktail just escapes me. It basically just becomes a place to park your rear foot, correct ?

Like I said, I'm gonna have to ride one of them puppies before I "get it". :)

Andrea Bonetti
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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:56 am

I'm here now.
Pelle is the cameraman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtdCmif43Ho

// Andrea

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Post by Holger Kindler » Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:05 pm

hey Mike,

when you are riding a kick tail on a slalomboard
you need to dewedge your back truck again. the angle of the king pin defines the turning of your board, like more angle of the king pin = more turny, but less accelaration (see hear the idea of the adjustable GOG back truck).

using a back tail is personal choice. it supports your back foot comfort and it also gives you the possibility to push harder in the back, you are just able to push more aggressive. even better when the tail is combined wit concave
so it makes sense.

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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:03 pm

It could be interesting to have a sort of dynamic comparison between the two techniques (simplifying them a bit).
The first issue, I would say, is the "instantaneous center of rotation".
It is now perpendicular to the board, on the line passing by the rear truck (like a car, supposing the rear truck not rotating at all), and before it was perpendicular to the board, but passing by the center point of the board (supposing the two trucks rotating the same way).

What is this affecting? The trajectory? Who has "invented" it and when?

Second issue is probably related to the first. The stance.
We have two feet that we use as "pedals" on the board (tight slalom). Before it was more a ski imitation, if not surf imitation, now instead it looks like a "slalom stance" for a sport with its own dignity and characteristics

Third issue.
Have we gained speed? Any figures avilable (maybe also just movies..)?. Shouldn't somebody try to compare the two techniques by running new and old syle (style and also skateboard set-up) on the same race. It would be interesting to compare!
Last edited by Andrea Bonetti on Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tod Oles » Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:54 pm

Mike,

I slalomed on a Sims 33" Superply back in the day, but that was then.... ;-)
For me, there is no going back to a flat deck... all my flat racing decks have been modified
with foam wedges to build kicktails and also to build up the rails to make faux concave...
it's just flat out proven to be faster, as proven by a stop watch...
Bracing your rear foot into a kicktail and pushing your front against a toe block of some nature
is pretty much a part of the "modern stance" (feet positioned at apprx. 45*) for slalom racing...

Not sure how much $$ you want to commit to a "Racing setup" but you can get the general
feel for the way most racers set up their steering with a Bennett Vector 4.3 front truck
and a Tracker RTS 106 rear truck wedged like the abve deck I posted... Looooose front/ !!TIGHT!!
rear.

James Peter's site,
http://home.comcast.net/~jampet99/rides ... tml#Trucks
is a good resource for seeing pictures of wedging, bushings and such on setups designed
to TURN...

Chixill
Roe
Sk8kings
Fullbag
Pocket Pistol
Pavel

to name just a few brands all make concave/kicktail decks...
put that Bennett 4.3 in front and a RTS 106 on the rear with some 80ish duro racing wheels and you're Golden :-)

Tod

PS, I see you're in NM... Have you checked out the Time Ship Racing (TSR) thread at Ncdsa.com?? Dudes there do it all, Parks/vert to Ditch racing & Downhill
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Post by Mike Lapsley » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:22 pm

Andrea, nice vid and good run. Doesn't look like you lost much after 25yrs !

Tod, the site for James Peter's was very informative, thanks ! Lots of different setups and board styles. I still like the Roe Bottlerocket the best, reminds me of the old days I guess. I've got a set of Manx 69 / 80duro's coming and will probably start off with an RT /S - RT /X
setup for the time being. Chances are I'll build my own board and work from there.

Gonna go check out the TSR thread now.

Mike

Andrea Bonetti
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Post by Andrea Bonetti » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:26 pm

Mike,
Pelle is going to help me in setting up a new skate. May I suggest you to see where I will end-up?

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Post by Chris Ward » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:21 pm

As someone else considering dabbling with slalom again after 30 years or so...reading this topic makes me realise why my old Hobie skatepark rider 'rocker' shaped deck might have been what helped go thru the cones so quickly at the time.

Good job I've still got it! :o)

Got a cheap fibreflex deck too, so gonna set them both up with a Lazer/seismic truck combo and some 68mm Avalons.

What do you guys reckon?
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:05 pm

Chris,

Your rig is certainly adequate to get started on. You should post up where you are from. We'll find a clinic, race, gathering to include you in. That's the best way to draw a bead on what courses and equipment have become.

Welcome back. Feel free to PM me if you would prefer more personal communication.

Joe

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Post by Rick Floyd » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:38 pm

Chris - beware of Joe...he'll sell you good quality equipment at a good price that you can go fast on, and then make you go to slalom races and become totally addicted to the fun and cool people.

:-)

PS - get in touch with Paul Price or Sam Gordon (both on this forum) over there in the UK!

-RF
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Post by Stephen Lavin » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:55 pm

Hang on just a sec... I may be able to help Chris out here from one Hobie vet to another.

Chris, my Hobie brother; ditch the flex and keep the rocker in the closet. I love Joe and do not disagree with him BUT..., times have changed in a big way and if you still have some balance and have skated a bit lately on thos then you're ready to change some gear. Do not get yourself "comfortable" in your old stuff or it will make the transition even harder.

The sooner Rick gets you plugged in with a geo-coded group the better. Meet with them and skate there gear. trust us on this; if it's the right group (LOL) you will be stoked by what you ride and you will want/need to move off what you know so well. You have to do this if you want to be the best you can be these days now that you're older like me.

I did not move off my Hobie for a full season and that was a mistake. I was in my comfort zone and rode what I knew best but was not competitive (well within reason) - at least could not reach my better potential. Current speeds required in slalom racing with safety cannot be met with your gear; just a fact. Ignore all I'm writing if you have no interest in getting better at your age. I am however living proof at 46 that someone can get better, grow from where they've been or left off. Slalom for me now is better than it has ever been.

Also, if it wasn't for the awesome people that welcome me to their events and offer advice to me on all levels then I would be lower still. I know free advice is worth what you pay for it but I think you'll find we are somewhat mutually dependent upon one another's success in a lot of ways.

Also, when you're ready to sell that rocker drop me a line :)

LAVIN
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Post by Ricardo Damborenea » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:11 pm

Agree 100% with Stephen.

I came back to slalom at 45 after -basically- 30 years without practicing. It's amazing how all new material helps you go much faster and safer than before. I got for the first time ever to a final stage in a ISSA race in Grenoble this september and I just can't wait for the next season!!!! If I can do it, you can do it and...it's a lot of fun!!!

My skate buddie JA "Caribbean" who is like 55 went to the Paris Trocadero competition with his old Hobie Flex cuttaway and he had a really rough time, from trying to safely go down those launching ramps, to trying to control the "terminal speed" you get at Trocadero with a small board where you have to put your feet basically in line, one after the other. He got a couple of good "french bacons" out of that!. Next competition (Amsterdam) he got a wider, concave, kicktail board and some zigzags and a different world!

Try it and you will see!
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Post by Chris Favero » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:50 pm

ha!french bacon,i love that one.little nicky at dixie cup got southern fried!any way,in one of the posts somebody brought up are we faster today then 20 years ago.i say yes.look at all the 100 cone world record atempts this year.a lot of people broke the old record.
is pirnack faster than he was 20 years ago?hell yes,fluitt,right on.Richy?all the young talent in places like albaquerqe,colorado,europe,east coast,no question.the list could go on and on.cfav
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Post by Michael Peck » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:40 pm

I agree with Ricardo and CFav.

I was off the boards for about 34 years, and came back to it.
It's kinda addicting.

Back in the day.....it was mostly running straight cones at the Venice Beach boardwalk on an old Turner or.........

Now with all the equpment upgrades and nice places to ride.......it's a whole new ballgame.

Competed at the Dixie this year.
Nice experience!

Claude Regnier
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Stiff vs. Flex

Post by Claude Regnier » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:46 pm

This still comes down to personal tastes and most of all ones own technique. There are a lots of guys ridding stiff boards that still gives them a bit of rebound in their turns for accelerartion. Others are absolutely stiff and the use timming and strict power causes the accelersation For others it is a combination of everything working together that gives them maximum speed.

Test them with a timer. That's how you will know what works best for you. Guessing is not going to help you achieve the best result.

Also you may find that flex on different types of courses may serve you best as well.
Many Happy Pumps!

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Post by Stephen Lavin » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:23 pm

Hey Claude..., what are you doing slackin' and posting out here for! You're supposed to building the best skate park in North America. No holidays for the wicked; back to work!

Happy Birthday you OLD pro. Hehe. We have a Chitown group ready to come party when MBL sends the invites. Tell her not to wait to long I'm thirsty!

Regards to you and family,

Stephen
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Re: Stiff vs. Flex

Post by Rick Floyd » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:56 pm

Claude Regnier wrote:This still comes down to personal tastes and most of all ones own technique. There are a lots of guys ridding stiff boards that still gives them a bit of rebound in their turns for accelerartion. Others are absolutely stiff and the use timming and strict power causes the accelersation For others it is a combination of everything working together that gives them maximum speed.

Test them with a timer. That's how you will know what works best for you. Guessing is not going to help you achieve the best result.

Also you may find that flex on different types of courses may serve you best as well.
Claude's right - whatever works for YOU...determined by trial and error and TESTING in training. Heck there are SOME people in slalom who ride a really narrow-tailed board with what looks like a launch ramp attached to the back - and they ride with their rear heel completely in the air...can you IMAGINE? And it WORKS! ;-)

-RF
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- Jason Mitchell (Criddlezine Interview)

Henry Hester
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Post by Henry Hester » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:28 am

I went to the Sizzler 2010 on a flex cambered board. Ended up riding a kicktail concave nose model. These guys are 100% correct!

Pelle Gustafsson
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yes

Post by Pelle Gustafsson » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:27 pm

Henry Hester wrote:I went to the Sizzler 2010 on a flex cambered board. Ended up riding a kicktail concave nose model. These guys are 100% correct!
it´s 2010 and that's what the boards looks today and both boards and technology are different these days. glad to see you still in the game! you are a great legend!!!!!!!!!!

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