Re-Tales: A Tech Glossary Part 1


Brands like to use a lot of fancy words to describe their product, and in reality, most of them are just made to confuse the shit out of people. It’s a classic sales technique. But we want to encourage you to shop smart, so here here are a few of the more-common “tech phrases” you’ll run into while looking for the right snowboard, with what they actually mean.

A term manufacturers put on their boards when they don’t know what else to say. It’s supposed to mean that a board is great for rails, jump lines, powder, and carving. In practice it usually means the board will spend most of it’s time doing falling leaf down a blue run.

Unlike with a motorized vehicle, this is actually only referring to snowy terrain. But it means it’s good for powder, slush, hardback, groomers, and ice. Well, only sharp edges are really good for ice.

You know how when you’re turning toeside and you’re on top of the world, then you go heelside and everything sucks? No? Yeah, me neither, but apparently this is a thing. By shaping the board differently toe vs. heel side, asymmetrical boards claim to be built to work more naturally with how your body weight hits the board. Sounds brilliant on paper, mostly unremarkable in practice. Also known as Pickle, ASS, and Off-Axis

C2 BTX/ !BTX! EC2 BTX/etc.: The only useful information you will get any time you see this logo is that you are looking at a board made by Mervin. The kids that put together Lib Tech, GNU, and Roxy make some amazing boards, but they feel the need to hide that fact using elaborate and confusing naming systems. It will be some variety of hybrid camber, but odds are you won’t be able to figure out what kind.

Camber: The benditure of the board. Can we make up words to describe other boards? Anyway, it can lay flat (flat camber) , bow up in the middle (traditional) or bow down in the middle (reverse).

Extruded (base): The P-Tex is squeezed through a machine, making it perfectly smooth. Cheap to make, hard to break, and slow with or without wax.

Factory De-Tuned: Most boards come out of the box with sharp edges, fresh wax, and ready to shred. Great! Well, maybe. You know how LNP was taking an angle grinder to his edges at the end of The Shred Remains? He was detuning. See, sharp edges are great and all when you’re carving on groomers, but when you’re jibbing it is a quick way to get rid of those pesky front teeth you’ve always taken for granted. Boards with a factory de-tune are ground down before they leave the factory, making them smooth and forgiving on rails, but pretty worthless on hardpack.

Floation: When a board is defined as “floaty” its referring to whether you sink or float on top of powder. If you ride pow, this is a good one to look for.

Hybrid camber: A combination of both traditional camber and reverse camber (rocker). Depending on configuration, they can be floaty in pow yet grippy on hardpack, or loose and easy with lots of pop. Like the majestic liger, these boards may possess magical powers.

Inserts: Another stupid simple one. You know those little metal holes you screw your bindings into? Those are inserts. That’s it.

Kick: Stupid simple that some people just can’t comprehend. It’s the little swoop thing at the nose and tail. Or just the nose if you are a time traveler still rocking a hard booted directional board.

Magnetraction: Another goofy term from Mervin, this one adds extra contact points to your edges, allegedly making for better traction on hardpack and ice. Does not actually involve magnets.

Parabolic-(Rocker or Camber): A specific type of camber. The shape is most pronounced between the feet, gradually reducing in intensity toward the tip and tail, theoretically approaching but never reaching flat just before the kicks. I took a math class once.

Pop: Not the Michael Jackson kind, this refers to the responsiveness of a snowboard when you ollie. In other words, pop is good if you like to leave the ground without much effort. Marketers love to talk about pop.

Rail zone: Where I took your mom last night. HEY-OH!

Seriously though, Rail Zone: A section of the board, usually between the feet, that has been modified to make it less likely to catch on rails. Usually this means a detune, and sometimes it will also include some kinda scoop thingie.

Rocker: Another term for reverse camber. See also Camber.

Scoop: Kind of like TBT, only less pronounced. Usually focused in the tip and tail of a board, and sometimes between the feet in a rail zone. By lifting edges, the board is less likely to catch, and more likely to make you look like you know what you are doing.

Sintered (base): Sintered bases are made up of a bunch of P-Tex bits melted together. Lots of little holes to hold wax. Very slow if you don’t wax it regularly, very fast if you do.

TBT: Triple Base Technology. Instead of looking at the board with the tip on your left and the tail on the right, look straight down the length. Like you’re a chipmunk about to get run the fuck over. Now ignore the kicks … okay. Now take the edges of the board, and like lift them up. No, not just the metal bits, like the whole board. So it is like a bowl. No like a cereal bowl. Yeah… it should surprise no one that this idea came from Amsterdam.

10 replies
  1. Bobo
    Bobo says:

    I thought ‘factory de-tuned’ just meant they smoothed off the contact points at the tip/tail, rather than the whole edge. Small point, but anyway.

    • JermIsMyHomeboy
      JermIsMyHomeboy says:

      @Bobo – I’ve seen it that way too. Part of the confusion with stuff like this is that different manufacturers will use words differently, or even vary within a brand.

  2. weinerhouse
    weinerhouse says:

    as a snowboard shop employee for several years, this is so funny and true, I could talk till I’m blue in the face about the “tech” in the snowboards but bottom line, its a fucking snowboard, go ride it and have fun and stop thinking too hard about the stupidest shit….

  3. d mob
    d mob says:

    why do you keep posting these no one gives a fuck retail is the easiest most boring job on earth and if you need a mediocre snowboard blog to tell you how to stand around stoned folding the same 3 shirts for 4 hours your strugglin and the only real work you do is fitting people for shit so they can buy it online because no ones dumb enough to pay the mark up. (but you should spend more money out of your broke ass wallet to save a ski shop that could in all honesty give a fuck less about you) at this moment i just realized the majority of yobeat readers are between the ages of 12 and 15

Comments are closed.