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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Magne-Traction and Serrated Edge Skis and Snowboards

     Popularized by Mervin manufacturing companies Lib Tech and GNU, the idea of serrated edge skis and snowboard has gained traction (pun intended) over the last couple of years. Also known as Magne-Traction, serrated edge skis and snowboards are designed to provide additional gripping power for your shred stick(s). The basic premise is that the wavy edge of the board provides additional contact surfaces for the board to grip the surface.

     If you've ever ridden on the east coast, then you've most likely had the unfortunate experience of hitting patches of ice. While sliding out of control on the ice, you have also probably heard the unmistakably sound of chatter that your board makes. What is happening when you board is chattering is that the edge can’t get a solid hold on the ground. Your edge will grab for a split second, break loose, grab again, and then repeat until you’re off the ice.

     A solution to this chattering and grip problem is serrated edges. By adding a serrated edge to your board or skis, it increases the number of contact points your board has with the snow. Normally, your board or ski would make a majority of its contact at the tip and tails, but with serrated edges it will more evenly distribute that load across your edge.

      I am a skeptic by nature, so at first I was hesitant to believe a wavy edge on my snowboard would instantly make all my ice riding issues disappear. To my very pleasant surprise, it works great! Whether it’s on some wind-blown and icy face, or some steep and deep powder, I am always trying to ride my board with serrated edges. I wasn’t able to find any downsides to serrated edges in my personal riding, but a few of my more park-oriented buddies said they don’t prefer it. So unless you’re a rail riding guru, I give my full recommendation to try out a pair of skis or snowboard with serrated edges. Honestly, if Travis Rice does what he does in Alaska with his serrated edge board, what more evidence do you need to know its legit?