2007/01/03

Does Magne-Traction really work?



After checking the weather forecast yesterday, I decided to go snowboarding. Warm temperatures and rain might be back so I thought I wouldn't get the chance to ride for a while. It was icy. Very hard, slick ice almost everywhere, not the best conditions to ride. A lot of people falling on their asses. Beginners must have had a hard time. A positive about the conditions: I got to test the Magne-Traction sidecut of my board.

In short, it works. Magne-Traction and ice work like fries and ketchup! I wouldn't go as far as Lib Tech and say it turns ice into powder though, but who would believe that really?

At first I thought it was not much better than a regular board but I think it was just in my head. I could hear other boards and skis around me making the horrible sound of the edges scraping the ice so my mind got in the ice-riding setting automatically: just go with it, go fast, go with the flow without trying to turn abruptly!

Then I remembered my edges were slightly detuned... Hummm, and it still rides as good as a freshly sharpened board with conventional edges so I thought the Mag was indeed doing something. As the night progressed, I pushed it more, and more, and more until I eventually found out I could control the board very well, I could make nice carves on huge, slick, hard patches of ice, eventually carving enough to make the edge/ice sound almost completely a thing of the past.

Riding switch on ice is something I wouldn't do much usually but I could almost slalom like an old school racer, switch, on ice... People with freshly sharpened boards were losing their edges quite often and I saw many ice-caused falls during the night... Lucky for them, I could turn to avoid them just fine. I didn't fall once (not counting the falls not related to ice but because I was fooling around). Was it the board? My ice riding abilities or both? Of course, as years of experience pile on, I can deal with ice on standard boards but the Mag makes riding on ice much more enjoyable. I wonder how it would do if I were to sharpen the edges, I would probably split the whole ice box that is the resort in half! Magne-Traction technology is quite impressive.

So the board gets two big thumbs up. Great on groomed snow, great on hard snow and great on ice. Now I just need to test it in deep powder... but I doubt I will be able to do so over here this year, so far, we are having the worst winter I can remember of.

The bindings are still great... only one negative point. The buckles. Every once in a while, the buckles of the ankle straps don't engage when tightening them... they just go in neutral. I have to crank with a slight angle relative to their axis so they can bite and crank the strap. Weird and annoying. They also can be hard to unthighten sometimes, they don't always unlock as they should and once they do, the straps get off all the way out. Not practical when I just want to ease the pressure to get on the chairlift.

The bindings get one thumb up. They still are light, responsive, comfortable and good lookin'.

1 comment:

DC said...

I'm riding the Ride Beta MVMNT bindings and have been hating on them. I rode the Ride Teams from two season ago (before the convertible cap strap made its debut) and those ratchets are way better than the Beta's. 90% of the time, the damn ratchets get stuck and it takes me forever and a lot of energy to unstrap. Ditto what you said about 'loosening' them for the lift... pain in the butt. I should have gone for the Rome 390s...