Today’s reader question:
I’m looking at a snowboard that has the edge of a longer snowboard, but with the tips cut off to make it shorter. They say it’ll ride like a longer snowboard, but have the advantages of a smaller snowboard, is this true?
Yes and no.
The theory (aka what they say it does):
Well, the claim is that by keeping the edge of a longer snowboard, let’s say a 158 sized snowboard for example, and cutting off the tips to make it 153 cm, it will have the stability of a 158 snowboard, but have the lighter swing weight and other advantages of a 153 snowboard.
What I’ve found from riding one of these:
I actually owned one of these types of snowboards in the past. It was a 153 K2 Jibpan that was meant to ride like a 158 snowboard because it had shorter tips. For me, it rode just like any other 153 snowboard.
I talked to some riders on the K2 team who had ridden the same snowboard and they had the same experience. For all of guys I talked to, they felt like it was just any other shorter snowboard and couldn’t really notice the difference of the shorter tips.
There was one instance when I thought it felt more stable. That was when I was cruising down runs and carving at speed. The longer edge did feel a little more stable.
However, in terms of stability on big park features, it honestly still felt like I had the stability of a 153 snowboard even though it had the edge of a 158 snowboard.
Overall, I can understand the science behind how cutting off the tips would produce a smaller and more stable park snowboard, but I think in practice I’m not sure it always works, at least not for park riding.
I wouldn’t say the technology is a gimmick, but I’ve yet to be totally convinced that it works yet. At least not 100%.
That said, don’t let that make you think a snowboard it bad or good because it has shorter tips. Even though I didn’t feel much difference in the shorter tips, the K2 Jibpan is still the best snowboard I’ve ever ridden and if I could, I would totally buy up 50 of them so I never have to change snowboards again.