First board

So yesterday I took my weak right knee up with my friends, all on skis (punks) to Keystone for my first day on the slopes this season. I'm usually reluctant to admit going to Keystone. Keystone and A-Basin both got dumped on, but it was a mixed crowd, so Keystone was the better bet for terrain diversity. It was a sweet day on the slopes. For pre-Thanksgiving the snow was quite good, especially on the steep tree runs in the Outback. Susan, Kenny and I did a few such challenging runs, and as usual Susan kicked our asses with her effortless form (A couple of my friends were kind enough to say they didn't want to board if they couldn't do so as elegantly as I do. Well for sure, if I ski I want to be as elegant as Susan). After lunch we were forced on the crowded front face where the snow was more what you'd expect in early season and I wasn't sure whether we were skating or sliding. Hats off again to Donek, who made my board. As usual, the float in deep snow was very stable as was the edge grip on ice. I hadn't had time to wax my board or sharpen the edges, but you wouldn't know that for a moment.

This first trip beat me half to death, though. By the time I got to the bottom my knee (despite the brace) was begging for mercy and I was feeling weak, with chills. Kept my spirits up by chatting with Guy, Susan and Dawn on the road back, but I crashed before 6, as soon as I got home, and I'm just starting to feel better. I wonder whether it's a touch of altitude sickness. Alexandra said she'd suffered the same thing after her first trip last week, but I haven't had altitude sickness since before I lived in Colorado.

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia
3 responses
Are you a hardbooter? Looks like donek makes a bunch of plate boards.

Good to hear there's another boarder representing in the trees, that's my favorite place to go. I'm sure once you get into boarding shape, you'll feel better after a full day, but it's a hell of a workout boarding in the trees.
Hard booter?  No no no no no no :-)

Donek makes five base lines of freestyle/freeride boards.  That's actually a lot because you have much more customization options than with a typical board.  Mine is a Sasquatch, more on the freeride side of things.  I'm about 25% freestyle.  I don't jib rails anymore, but the Sasquatch is fine on funboxes, jumps and the halfpipe.  It's a tad bit heavier than my former board, a Sims Max, but I splurged on super-light Ride bindings to compensate.

As for freeride performance, good night.  This thing is freaking unbelievable.  I've ridden a K2 FatBob, Burton Custom and Sims Max, and this thing blows them all away in float, edge stability, base structure, and overall command of the board.  I can't recommend it enough.  I should say that it was enthusiastic recommendations from other Donek customers that made the sale for me.  The fact that they were close enough for me to drive over to get my board was just gravy.

As for the trees, they're my usual habitat while boarding, so my exhaustion surprised me a bit.  I wasn't even this exhausted after a mid-season day almost exclusively in trees alone with Susan on Copper Mountain, and Susan pushes me harder than anyone else I've ridden with.  I think my exhaustion was partly because I've never ridden so hard on the first day of the season (usually you can't ride hard because there isn't enough snow), and partly because my game knee threw off my form and made the rest of my body have to work extra hard.

Anyway, if you ever come to ski in Colorado, drop me a line.  We'll have to hit the trees together.
I was into jibbing, until I fell and broke my wrist 4 winters ago, then had to drive home alone. Now that I'm playing ultimate pretty seriously, I try to stay out of the air, and I think I like the trees better anyway. I love the focus that comes with knowing that a wrong turn could mean you're done for a season (or worse).

I also love that it slows things down - you get more tired, take more stops, and spend less time on the lift. Finally, much smaller crowds is a nice bonus (especially in Vermont :).

As for equipment, I'm riding a Burton Custom which is a little longer than I'd ride if I was still doing a lot of freestyle. I couldn't be happier with it. I'm a pretty consistent Burton customer, since my cousin used to work for them, but I'm going to look at other boards when I buy my next one.

I've only ridden here in the Northeast, although almost everywhere in the NE. I can't wait to come out to CO, but I'm not sure when I'll get the chance. I'll drop you a line if I do get out there.