Buzzwords and hype always seem to attach themselves to any new technology that has the potential to be the real deal. If you look at the alternate camber revolution this reigns true, but what often gets over looked is the revolution in sidecuts that’s taken place. Much like camber there’s been a huge progression in what’s going on with sidecuts.
The way to look at all these advancements in sidecuts is they either push outward or inward. This meaning that rather than a standard looking sidecut that just bends in at the waist and back out at the tips you either have an indentation creating a kink or an outward bend creating a bump in the sidecut. Visually you can notice these sometimes by looking right at the board or by putting it on its edge and looking down the sidecut.
Now unless you’ve been under a rock you’ve noticed the hype behind Mervins Magne-Traction with claims that it turns ice into powder. You can even go so far as to say that they’re the creators of this current revolution. Now if you’ve ever been drunk and retarded you’ve probably tried to cut steak or something similar with a butter knife and we all know how well that worked, right? Then you grabbed a real steak knife and it cut through the meat with no problems because of the serrations. Same concept with Magnetraction by creating more contact points it digs in and cuts through ice/hard packed just like the steak knife. There’s various options of this some with more contact points and others with less. Smokin and Rossignol Snowboards have a license from Mervin to use this technology but Smokins design is different and can be seen in the style of the serration used. Humanity Snowboards follows suit with the C6 sidecut that utilizes 6 contact points in various important areas to help with edge grip.
Arbors concept for better edge grip was unblending a tri-radial sidecut so that instead of being a continuous arc making up three radi it would bulge outward right under-foot creating 2 additional contact points.
Burtons method does the same as what Arbor is doing with pushing out the edge underfoot to create two extra contact points. The big difference is in how defined it is, as it’s very minimal you have to look a lot closer to see it.
There’s one other brand that does a single bump in the middle of the sidecut that I can’t remember who it is, but same concept as those above.
Nidecker which also makes Jones, Yes, and Antti Autti’s special projects decks has their own variation. Instead of actually turning the sidecut itself into a giant serrated steak knife they cut grooves into the actual edge. This makes a serration inside of a traditional sidecut that lets you cut through ice.
Never Summer goes the opposite route with having indentations in their sidecut. By having a deeper radius into a shallower radius which finally goes into a straight line these create the indentations or kinks. It’s a very similar concept to what Salomon created with their Equalizer sidecut, the only difference is that Salomon uses straight lines through the whole sidecut and has a few more kinks.