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Old    Ryan Page (gryanpage)      Join Date: May 2014       05-25-2014, 7:02 AM Reply   
Alright, so this post feels kind of weird because there are a ton of factors potentially playing a role, but, at the end of the day, I just need some advice. I recently made the switch from a traditionally constructed wakeboard ('04 Hyperlite Murray DNA) to something with a flex construction ('12 Slingshot Newton). The switch came after taking a year off for ACL reconstruction/rehabilitation, and I moved to slingshot for a number of reasons (spending a lot more time on cable than I used to, trying to protect my knees, old board falling apart, etc). I've loved the SS on the cable. It's really allowed me to adapt my riding to something that meshes pretty well with a wakepark. That said, I'm finally getting back behind the boat, but I'm finding I've lost a lot of the pop off the wake I used to have. I get that time off the water will force you to relearn a thing or two, but I can't shake the feeling that I still don't have the hang of riding a board with more flex behind the boat. That said, everything I've read tells me that I may need to "adjust" my riding style when switching to the new board, but I can't find anything that tells me what this adjustment looks like. Should I be taking more of a snowboard influenced ollie off the wake? Should I be loading the line differently? When I cut in at the wake like I would have on the Murray, I find myself with a lot of speed and very little vertical lift. Basically, has anyone on these forums made a similar transition, and if so, what did you change to get the most out of your new board? Thanks for taking the time to read. I appreciate any and all help!
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       05-25-2014, 8:53 AM Reply   
For me the best thing to think about when I switched was sticking to my fundamentals. I came off of a hyperlite marek and rode the 2013 Newton and felt right at home, but I didn't think about riding it any differently. I can feel the snap that slingshots have when you pop, especially on certain tricks, but overall I still think about taking a progressive edge, coming in with my knees bent and standing tall at the wake. I'm not sure if this is the case for you, but having seen some friends go through ACL reconstruction it seems like there were certain aspects of riding that they had to relearn completely. Break down what you're trying to do in your head and I know that board will treat you right! Hope this helps.
Old    Ryan Page (gryanpage)      Join Date: May 2014       05-25-2014, 10:00 AM Reply   
Thanks Ttime, I think you're definitely right on focusing on fundamentals. That said, I spent some time behind the boat again today, and things started to click a ton more. For anyone that finds themself having similar problems to me, here is some of the best advice I can offer to make the transition a bit easier:

1. Close your stance up a bit. I kept hearing about how these boards ride like snowboards than traditionally pressed boards. Those reviews are right. See on a more traditional board, the pop seems to come from te center of the board whereas flex boards tend to snap off of the tail. I grew up being taught by tons of great riders that wide stances are great for added board control, and that's totally true IF you're on a traditional board. If you're on a flex board and looking to get some snap out of it, that wickedly wide stance you've been rocking since '03 is making it way harder to load up the board before releasing off the wake. Think about it, we're seeing narrower stances all over the sport lately, I'm thinking it's so you can use flex to its full potential.

2. Use what you've got as far as wake. Admittedly, the past few days I was riding with no ballast in the boat, meaning my technique was going to have to be on-point to get the maximum pop. Between time off and a new set-up, that's probably unrealistic. If you can get access to a bigger wake, spend some time on it before you ride a smaller one (unless you have the opportunity to always ride big wakes. If that's the case, you are one seriously lucky dude/woman). Big wakes give you a little more time to get a feel for pop, and are far less likely to be totally absorbed if your technique is off.

3. Progressive edging. We've been hearing about it since the original release of Shaun Murray's old Detention videos, and it still rings true. If you're only focus is hauling into the wake, you're sacrificing some serious pop. Keep your edges progressive. Everybody likes seeing someone send it to the flats, but if you're not getting the full pop, you look less like Randall Harris and more like an airborne slalom skier.

4. Be patient (in more than one respect). It might take a few cuts at the wake to get a feel for how the board is going to release from the wake. Take your time, and don't let yourself get frustrated if it doesn't come instantly. Also, I found that since the board was snapping off the tail rather than the board's center, I had to wait a few fractions of a second longer before the board really gave that "kick" feeling of a good pop. But when I waited, it was definitely there.

All advice aside, I'm definitely starting to understand the hype of flex boards. They press beautifully, felt way softer on the landing, and once I figured out how to get the right pop, that snap felt damn good. I love that wakeboarding allows room for different riding styles, and by no means do I think that everyone should be riding flex boards, but, if you're trying to save your knees or wallet (by not having multiple board for multiple riding scenarios), slingshot puts out a great product.

I hope this helps someone out, but right now it's a beautiful day, so I'm getting back out on the lake.
Happy Shredding.
Old    Wakeboard Persons (Wakebd)      Join Date: Nov 2012       05-27-2014, 7:48 AM Reply   
You need a recoil for behind the boat!!!
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-27-2014, 9:52 AM Reply   
I rode a couple of different slingshot boards (A Recoil and a Response) for an entire season and liked them behind the boat and felt like the flex aspect of the boards was a bit novel and fun. I didn't notice any loss of pop at the time. Then I went back to a conventional board and realized what I was missing. I was shocked at how much harder the wake hit and how much higher I was going (As were people in the boat). It's been about 3 years and I haven't gone back to a flex board since my first ride on a CWB Trancend.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-27-2014, 9:58 AM Reply   
Oh and the Slingshot boards definitely landed softer than my old school hard board but I also noticed soft landings with the CWB Trancend. So, there are rigid boards that land comparably soft to flex boards. I'd imagine flex boards land soft compared to relatively flat, rigid boards. However, it seems that if a rigid board has a well designed and 3 stage rocker, aggressive center spine and molded fins it will transition back into the water at a comparable level of "softness" to a flex board.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       05-27-2014, 3:59 PM Reply   
What Jeff said.....

Look at the top 10 riders go-big boat riders, and your top 10 competitive riders. None of them are on flex except for maybe Scott Stewart.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-27-2014, 5:09 PM Reply   
I don't know, maybe riding a flex board improved my technique and then I just went that much higher when going back to a ridgid board. I was totally sold on the whole Slingshot/flex board thing until somebody showed up on my boat with a new CWB Trancend. I had been borrowing a Slingshot Recoil up until that point but the guy had asked for it back just before that outing. My only guest with bindings I could fit in was the guy with the CWB. The rest is history.

That said I still want a flex board for the cable park.
Old    Eric Scott (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-27-2014, 7:41 PM Reply   
After years of wanting a Slingshot, I finally got one this offseason - a 2014 Recoil with 2013 rad boots. I rode it for my first ride of the year back in April, and haven't taken it out since. I was just terrible on it. I don't know if it was the weather (the water was in the mid 40s and the air was in the low 50s), the boots (which are much stiffer than my Reliks), or the board (I've been riding a Viva for 2 years), but I couldn't do a thing that day. I've heard that it takes a few sets to get used to a flex board, and will probably try again next week now that it's warmer and I can ride multiple sets in a day. I want to like it, especially because I've already had one knee worked on and my other one's painful by midseason, but I just don't know if it'll ever happen.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-28-2014, 8:16 AM Reply   
I am riding the O'Brien Bruce. For those unfamiliar with the Bruce its a stiffer flex board, stiff thru the center with butter tip and tail. Prior to this I was riding the Paradigm, before that a traditional foam core, O'Brien Decade. The main things I noticed in the switch is that the flex boards ride a bit deeper in the water and that makes the pop a bit later than a foam board. For me it was more relearning the muscle memory of when the board would pop versus changing my overall riding style.
Old    M-Dizzle (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-28-2014, 9:37 AM Reply   
I agree with Jeff and J-Rod. I too have tried flex behind the boat. I gave it several sets and said "nope, not for me". What I found comical was talking to a few of the top guys who were getting extra stiff layups for their foam boards behind the boat. Here the marketing industry is pushing flex like crazy and the top guys are asking for STIFFER boards behind the boat...go figure. haha.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       05-28-2014, 10:03 AM Reply   
CIE Evan rode the CWB Vibe behind the boat for two years. Thought is was awesome. Last year he borrowed my Pure (standard foam board) and was blown away by the difference. He's forgot what he was missing. He started popping bigger than ever and learned 3 new tricks last year. He hasn't touched his flex board since.
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       05-28-2014, 10:26 AM Reply   
You guys are crazy. I love my Slingshot. I guess I am one of the few that noticed more pop when I switched to Slingshot and the softer landings were money.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-28-2014, 10:31 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dezul View Post
You guys are crazy. I love my Slingshot. I guess I am one of the few that noticed more pop when I switched to Slingshot and the softer landings were money.
Have you tried going back just to see how it feels? If you had asked me I would have responded just like you at the end of the 2012 season.
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       05-28-2014, 11:17 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
Have you tried going back just to see how it feels? If you had asked me I would have responded just like you at the end of the 2012 season.
Yep. I didn't like the feel of it and the landings were still as rough as I remembered. The board is a 2012 Watson Classic. I ride it every now and then. The problem I find myself running into also is I can't find a board that is loose enough for me. I picked up the 2014 Lyman (which is one of the stiffest in the Slingshot lineup) and it tracks too much for me with the regular fins. I switched it to some smaller fins and it fixed the only issue I had with it. My previous board was a 2012 Shane Hybrid. I hated that board after riding my buddy's Recoil. I sucked it up through the end of last summer and picked up the Lyman and Choice boards this year. The Choice is my favorite so far. If you can't tell, I am a board whore. I will try just about every board that people will allow me to try.
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       05-28-2014, 11:29 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dezul View Post
Yep. I didn't like the feel of it and the landings were still as rough as I remembered. The board is a 2012 Watson Classic. I ride it every now and then. The problem I find myself running into also is I can't find a board that is loose enough for me. I picked up the 2014 Lyman (which is one of the stiffest in the Slingshot lineup) and it tracks too much for me with the regular fins. I switched it to some smaller fins and it fixed the only issue I had with it. My previous board was a 2012 Shane Hybrid. I hated that board after riding my buddy's Recoil. I sucked it up through the end of last summer and picked up the Lyman and Choice boards this year. The Choice is my favorite so far. If you can't tell, I am a board whore. I will try just about every board that people will allow me to try.
I'm with you Tim. I've gone back to a traditional board a few times since switching and its just not the same. Landings are harder (board was a hyperlite marek), pop was pretty equal if not less on the foam board, and overall I just didn't have as much fun. If you ride your board properly, flex certainly does not hold you back on your pop. Heck, there are certain tricks that my slingshot will send me to the moon on like no other if I load the tail right. I guess everyone should ride a board that gets them stoked and they can have fun on, but for me right now its a slingshot and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       05-28-2014, 11:43 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttime41 View Post
I'm with you Tim. I've gone back to a traditional board a few times since switching and its just not the same. Landings are harder (board was a hyperlite marek), pop was pretty equal if not less on the foam board, and overall I just didn't have as much fun. If you ride your board properly, flex certainly does not hold you back on your pop. Heck, there are certain tricks that my slingshot will send me to the moon on like no other if I load the tail right. I guess everyone should ride a board that gets them stoked and they can have fun on, but for me right now its a slingshot and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Well spoken. Different folks, different strokes. If someone rides better on a stiff board, then they should ride it.
Old    Spencer Coon (spencercoon)      Join Date: Mar 2011       05-28-2014, 12:10 PM Reply   
I'm no physics expert but flex boards seem to be working against you when it comes to building line tension. My thoughts are that once you release off the wake the board rebounds to its original shape. That "rebound" would be helpful in generating pop if it occurred right at the moment before lift off but I don't see that happening.

I've ridden multiple brands "flex" boards and have always found them to be slow to get to speed and lacking in "pop".

The landings are also interesting. During the landing I would feel the board flex (softening the initial impact) but then when the board would rebound I would get a shock of force up my legs. Anyone else notice this???
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       05-28-2014, 1:50 PM Reply   
Maybe the landings were harder because you were going bigger. :-)
Old    Spencer Coon (spencercoon)      Join Date: Mar 2011       05-28-2014, 2:35 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod View Post
Maybe the landings were harder because you were going bigger. :-)
Ha ha that's got to be it Just to clarify though, I wasn't saying the landings were harder, just that it seems that the impact of the landing is delayed.

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