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Equipment


You will find on this page all the information about the equipment we advise to lay down the turns efficiently, with ease, and to link them.

Let it be clear! It isn't possible to do extreme carving efficiently with all equipment! Try to forget the freestyle and freeride boards, as well as the soft boots! We don't pretend that it is impossible to lay down a turn with this kind of equipment, but the needed efforts are enormous and the riding speeds are miserable. This neutralizes the feeling that is available with good equipment. Frustration is guaranteed!

In addition, the narrow alpine boards are not appropriate either: they are often too rigid, but especially the feet touch snow in the full laid turns. Of course it is possible to lay down a turn totally with any board... but only one turn... while stopping (as we can see it on many pictures of the Web). We propose much more here. The goal is to link the totally laid turns, frontside and backside, with ease, fluidity and style.



Board

We recommend of course the model from SWOARD snowboards. In 2002-2003, our brand created the first real extremecarving board of the market, especially developed in conjunction with the extremecarving technique, which is explained on this Web site. Now the 4th generation is continuing the success. Some manufacturers have followed the "wide boards" trend that we have (re)launched. and that was however criticized at the beginning. But an extremecarving board is not only a wide board! Nor an assembly of good materials. It must be much more than this! There is a whole technological know-how as well as specific constraints and new things related to this discipline, that only a very experienced shaper-extremecarver can feel.

The SWOARD team, specialist and inventor of the extremecarving, unceasingly continues the developments on snow! It is a very long experience which started in the years 1990-1994 when our shaper-guru Jacques Rilliet already developed models of legend for the brand WILD DUCK.


   

Our extremecarving boards: 1st generation (3 sizes) and 3rd generation (here in size 168)



Specifications :

  • A long contact length: stability and grip is needed at high speed.
  • Waist width: if you want to ride on the edge with the board inclined at nearly 90 degrees, your feet must not raise beyond the board! To meet this condition with the today alpine boards whose waist widths are about 190 mm, it is necessary to have high angulation (more than 60 degrees). Unfortunately, this position makes the rider's body stiff and disturbs him toward his board mobility: it is difficult to go down on the knees without going back and furthermore, the rotation turn is more difficult to do. That's why the snowboard must be wide. Look at the "Settings" page for our boards specifications.
  • A middle longitudinal stiffness: too soft boards ride usualy well on hard snow, but can't stand the strenght of soft snow push. They are furthermore weak. With a too stiff board, it's difficult to push on the edge and get good grip on hard snow. But it works very well in soft snow.
    So it is necessary to find a good compromise to get a healthy behavior in most conditions.
  • Torsional stiffness: this a very important parameter, which is neglected by most of the manufacturers because of its difficulty to realize in an economical way.
    Torsional stiffness allow the rider to transmit the power to the whole edge and not only to the zone placed under the feet. The more torsionaly stiff a snowboard is, the more the whole edge length is felt by the rider. He gets a superior control and can bring the board to extreme edge canting, push and reactive situations, which are impossible with most soft torsion boards (most of them!).
    But it is very important to take care of the torsional stiffness distribution (in the same way than for the longitudinal stiffness).
    We created, years ago, an exclusive secret process that allows total torsional control which is totally independent from the longitudinal stiffness.
  • Internal damping: a snowboard has the same mecanical properties as a spring. To avoid that it becomes an oscillator, it is necessary to incorporate an internal damping system (like on the car suspensions). Most flobby snowboards of the market don't need such system, but when the torsional stiffness is increased, the snowboard may be so reactive and may have so much grip, that when it begins to vibrate, it is impossible to keep control.
    We add to our boards constuction an inner damping system which also brings a superior grip on ice by elimination of local edge microvibrations and more comfort because the snow seems to be softer.
  • The edges: no competition edges if you want to keep your snowboard more than half a saison! These edges are made for skis and their very little contact suface. In snowboard, we haven't noticed any sliding difference between 1 or 2 mm edges width. But having only one edge accelerates the wear and requires to sharpen frequently (with 90 degrees).
  • The sole: we use P-TEX 4000 ELEKTRA which has an incredible gliding power. It must be well polished (certainly not with stone, but with an old worn 150 glasspaper belt) and waxed. Curiously, with this sole, there is no gliding difference between basic or special graphit wax...
  • The sides: In extreme carving, you are sliding half of the time on the sides! So, they must be polished and waxed.
    Be careful to the monoshell sides with varying angles!...


Extremecarving board versus race board



Boots

Difficult to find really high-performance hardboots today. They are either too soft, either too hard, because the ankle joint is controlled by a totaly primitive system (usually free or blocked). The own material of the shell must bend itself (like with freestyle boots) and so, this doesn't allow a rigorous ankle rotation control.

A Brand (Nothwave) had understood it and put on the market in 1997 or 1998, two fabulous models (man and woman). The very stiff shell had an ankle joint controlled with an ingenious springs system with a lot of tuning possibilities. The foot, very well hold in a very comfortable inner shoe, was perfectly controlled thanks to the help of the springs which worked as calf muscle reinforcement. On the piste, the feeling was a bit like in the powder where the calf power is sufficient to vary the ankle canting while feeling totally safe, because the shell is stiff enough to prevent overbending.


Northwave boot



Unfortunately, the decrease of the alpine market forced this manufacturer to stop its production...

Those who follow the ISF Worldcup noticed perhaps that a lot of racers still use them, even the champions like the Schoch brothers (the yellow boots with black tong).
We take care of ours with love an devotion...

If you know a really high-performance hard-boot, please tell us, sothat we could test and advise it. The brand Deeluxe is not excellent but it has the merit to exist. We recommand rather the HEAD Stratos Pro, provided you modifiy and soften them. See the articles about the shoes in the FAQ of the Forum.



Bindings

Very important! They are the interface between you and your snowboard. They must be strong, light, stiff, have an angle setting of 1 degree of precision, be reactive and able to absorb chocs and vibrations. And of course they must not project beyond the board.

Because of their stiffness, step-ins are to be avoided in extremecarving. The board bends tremendously during each turn and needs an articulation under each foot. Without the articulation, the rider's legs must follow the movement, which translate into large movements of the knees- tight together or even crossing each others during turns and spreading out during transitions. That stiffness not only interferes with the natural flex of the board, but also produces very large amount of stress just in front of the bindings which potentially can break the snowboard! Another undesired effect is the transmission of unwanted vibration from the board to the feet because of the stiff boots/board bindings interface.



Clothes

During a laid turn, the entire body is touching the snow and of course disturbs the gliding. So it is good to get the clothes in a gliding cloth, but be aware that in case of fall it becomes very difficult to stop yourself!...
Gloves must be very, very, very, very strong! they wear out incredibly quickly. Use kevlar models. We stick to the palm of ours a pad in P-TEX 2000 (snowboard sole) to increase the gliding and reduce the wear.


Gloves with P-Tex pads (yellow)



Protect your head and eyes! In extreme carving, the head may brush the snow and get projectiles continually. So wear a cap or better, a helmet as well as goggles (keep your sun glasses for the skilift and the restaurant!).






Turns


Extreme Carving


In summary

Equipment


Settings


Piste


Safety





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