Board design of the TOM BURT 172
Years, and years of trying all kinds of different boards with different sidecuts, nose shapes, flexes, stances, and constructions in all types of conditions from ice to powder, flats to steeps has led to the design this board. I started my design process in 1985 with the first boards to incorporate camber, sidecut and taper instead of rocker, sidecut, and taper. I have been designing and testing boards since then and my years of experience in design has put this board, the TOM BURT 172, into production. Here are the features and concepts behind it, which sets this board apart from others and why you should ride one.
Taper: I have been a backer of taper since I started snowboarding. If you look at the Wintersticks of the past, the swallow and roundtails they were all about taper for the ability to ride powder and still be able to weight your front foot. The taper also helped with tracking and finishing turns with the board still pointing down the hill. These features I incorporated into my board. My board is designed with 4mm of taper. This amount of taper allows my board to track well on hard pack as well as powder, but at the same time it allows it to finish a turn with the board pointing down the hill. The reason you want this to happen is that it takes less energy, effort, and force to get from one turn to the next, and it will help keep your upper body stable and still. Taper will also let the back of the board sink in powder and thus more weight can be applied to the front of the board enabling turns to be done with more control because you are not leaning back (a position you never want to be in when you ride). Taper also shifts the center of sidecut toward the back of the board. This allows the riders stance to be shifted to the back of the board but still be over the sidecut. Giving great control due to a positive edge. The best way to feel what taper does is to ride a board with taper then go back to a board without it. You should feel the difference. A board without taper will want to finish its turn across the fall line not down the fall line, won’t let the tail sink in powder unless your weight is shifted back, and will catch edges easily when tracking straight.
Sidecut: I use a 11.0 meter radial sidecut. Why such a straight sidecut compared to most boards? Two reasons: the ability to do large to small carving turns, and control at speed. For turning sidecut dictates the carve. If a board has a small sidecut, say 8 meters, a carve with this radius is the biggest turn it can make. If you try to do a longer turn you will have to release your edge and slide to do a longer turn, thus losing edge control during the turn. Where as starting with a straighter sidecut will allow a long turn while carving. Of course smaller turns while carving are possible by flexing the board during a turn. Depending on the amount of force to bend the board will dictate how small of a carve can be made. A board with a 11.0 meter sidecut can be bent to carve a 8 meter turn but a board with an 8 meter sidecut can never carve an 11.0 meter turn, only eight or smaller. Control at speed is a big factor of a larger sidecut.
Flex: I put a stiff progressive flex on my board. This stiff flex is designed into the core with a longer softer flex in the front of the board and a shorter stiffer flex in the tail. The front of the board thus initiates turns easily but will not fold or over flex during a turn. The tail being stiffer will hold, not over flex, out of the turn where the most power of the turn is happening, and this will power you into the next turn. Being a stiff board, a rider will have to put more energy into a turn at slow speeds, but as the speed increases the flex will allow you to relax more because the speed creates the energy needed to flex the board. Thus the flex gives you control, and power.
Construction: I chose a full length, white aspen wood core and trapezoidal UHMW sidewalls for my construction along with the Winterstick carbon matrix system, Durajet high carbon race base and oversized full raped edges and dampening foils. Why these features? The wood core is the heart and sole of the board, giving it its flex and life. From the core UHMW sidewalls are added which are incredibly damp and chatter free, especially at speed. The carbon systems are added to increase torsional rigidity, strength, and dampening. Then the dampening foils are added to reduce chatter and harmonic vibration. The base and edges with the sidewalls are bomber to punishment of hard riding. Putting it all together the features give the board a damp, strong, chatter-free ride, which gives great control at speed and in all types of terrain.
Nose and Tail shape: I designed the nose and tail for overall riding. The nose is 23cm long with a long flat rocker, which is great for lift in powder and crud; this allows for weight to be shifted forward while initiating a turn, giving edge control throughout the turn. Also the nose shape leaves the effective edge fairly straight for 10cm or so thus forcing the nose to help initiate turns especially on steeper terrain. The tail is 17cm with similar rocker to the nose. It is there to ride fakie, and to extend the tail length to give stability to landing airs.
Put all these features together and that is the Tom Burt 172. Aboard that is designed for speed and control. Try it and compare it to your current board to feel the difference of the design of the Tom Burt 172.
Enjoy the ride!!