Originally Posted by LeeD
Back in the mid '90's, lots of guys rode powder, skiing moguls, and thru trees on plate bindings, raceboards, and hard boots. A good rider can ride with almost anything.
At SierraTahoe, the best mogul riders were using hard boots and shorter slalom boards, for the quickness and turn initiation.
I seriously DON'T believe the new stuff is sooo much better. A hair better, yes. Because I went thru the evolution of surfing, motocross, waterskiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding (both race boards and freeride sticks) for at least 12 years on most, and some sports, over 29 years.
I ride my mid '90's sticks as well as anyone not pro/expert or living up there for 4 season's, in most terrain, except I don't do jump parks anymores. Halfpipes, I still get 4' above the sides on a pro pipe, and that was maybe a hair better than in '99.
I guess I'm not enamored by all the new hype and marketing of the new gear....whether it's tennis or windsurfing, or any other sport. If you can do the sport back 20 years ago on that old gear, you're still amongst the best out there with that old gear today. I prove it day after day in windsurfing and surfing.
And of course, if you sucked at it back then, but practiced lots and got better NOW, the old gear seems flawed compared to the new gear.
Lee, trust me on this one. Developments in race snowboard tech over last 10 years are not marketing hype. Just look at the absolute dominance that Schoch brothers had in World Cup, while they still had exclusivity with Kessler and other manufacturers hadn't figured it out yet... Then Apex came up with (then) secret sub-plate system and Canadian team did a clear sweep in the season leading up to the Vancouver Olympics. The field has leveled a bit since, as everyone is on the new tech now.
I have over 50 boards (mostly hard boots specific), dating from late 80', to latest stuff. New gear is definitely easier and better to ride. I often go back and forth with boards, just for fun and always make the same conclusion.
If you are ever in Vancouver BC, I invite you to try several boards back to back and judge for yourself.
Otherwise, to make a tennis analogy , yes, good player can play good with an old wooden racquet, but he would loose to a player of equivalent skill with modern gear. For a sucky amateur (like me), it is just plain easier to play with a modern one.