The Reverse Camber Revolution might have taken center stage as the most amazing advancement in technology since, well since ever, but there’s been a quiet revolution lurking in the wings. One that most people haven’t paid too much attention too. Now as the new snow season is about to hit us it’s time to look at what’s going on with the bottom shape of our boards.Playing around with base shapes isn’t anything new, the most publicized model from back in the day was the Morrow Spoon with its scooped out nose and tail. But if you look even further back I’m sure you’ll probably find something from Winterstick or Barfoot that had some kind of shape tweak to it as well. So what’s the newest technology on the block as we move into the second decade of the 21st century?
Burtons Scoop Tech isn’t anything that hasn’t been done it just plays on what Morrow started with the Spoon in the 90’s. By making the tip and tail base bowl up (like a spoon) so the edges at the contact points are elevated it allows for you to roll in and out of turns easier without the edge bite. Playing on what they’ve done with their Scoop Tech they’ve created the Mid Spoon. This center spoon raises up the edges between the bindings giving you less edge catch when sliding on a jib and changes how you lock in on a carve.
Bataleon Snowboards got their start on their design a little bit differently as evidenced by this video.
The concept is sound, raise the edges up at the tip and tail so you change the arc of the carve but keep the center flat when charging. It does roll on edge a lot easier than a regular flat cambered board, but one thing to note is that depending on the amount of TBT you can get a drag factor when skidding a turn or on different snow conditions. When jibbing catching your edge on a rail or box becomes diminished because the contact points are off the snow, this also reduces drag when flat basing.
Utilizing their own concept to raise your edge is Omatic with their B.S. (Bowed Surface) Technology. Running the full contact length of the board and starting one inch in from the edge and beveling up. This gives the board a wider flat spot but with a shorter amount of side to side rocker that lets it get up on edge. Railing turns turns becomes effortless due to you can steer right from underfoot and roll it over. Edge catching also becomes a thing of the past.
Nitro’s concept is called the Drifter Base. It started I want to say with the T1 Youth Brigade or something in that time frame. What it does is raise the edge up minimally starting one inch in, but instead of using an abrupt straight angle like TBT or B.S. Tech it’s more subtle and slowly contours up. Riding you’re not really going to notice it when on edge, but jibbing it’s just enough to give you a little bonus when going through a kink.
Everyone should be familiar with Lib Techs Banana Technology. Pretty much the greatest marketing campaign to ever save snowboarding. What most people don’t know is that it’s actually not a plush rocker, the sides do bevel up slightly. Whether it’s a result of the mold or done on purpose I don’t know. But it does fit into the idea that the boards really are banana shaped in every essence.
Going with a different blend of technologies is Forum with their Combo Platter and Butter Cups. Combo Platter sits right under your foot by the inserts and raises the edges up like a TBT or B.S. Tech. This gives less edge catch when buttering or jibbing around but on edge still allows it to grip or so Forum says, honestly I don’t believe this. As for Butter Cups those are in the nose and tail and provide a lifted flat surface almost hull like effect that raise the contact points off the ground and give it a more buttery feel. But like combo platter I haven’t seen it work 100% as it says it does, although in pow it might be amazing.
Now one that doesn’t get much mention is the old boat hull design. Original Sin/Dynastar had this on the 4807 model and I’ve seen it pop up on various other swallow tails over the years. But much like the front end of your wakeboard boat that’s what this looks like. Cutting through deep pow it would plow a wake of snow like no other, other that I honestly didn’t notice any real benefits like other designs.
Tweaking the shapes of bases while nothing new is just going to get more interesting as this rocker/scoop trend continues because I fully believe they’re tied hand in hand. Everyone that I’ve mentioned has it’s pros and cons. They also change the way we’ve learned to believe a board rides. But I say fuck it throw some caution to the wind and check things out.