BEHIND THE BRAND - BATALEON
BEHIND THE BRAND - BATALEON
We caught up with Dennis Dusseldorp (pic right) & Danny Kiebert (pic left) who are the driving force behind Bataleon snowboards. We picked their brains about the brand, their tech and what we will see on the shelves this coming season.
Let’s start at the beginning, where did the idea for TBT (Triple Based Technology) come from?
Dennis: TBT solved the problem of trigger happy edges at the widest points of the board. By lifting the edges between the bindings and the boards widest points, we made snowboards more forgiving and more fun to ride. The best part about it is that it doesn't have any negative influences on your riding, only positives: Float in powder, stability on edges, ease of landing jumps, you name it. These day you would describe TBT boards as having rocker profiles along the edges of the board, with full tip to tail camber down the centre. The funny thing is that TBT was invented way before Rocker became popular. And now that people are returning to plain camber, or at least exploring rocker camber combos, they are discovering that TBT has always been the perfect hybrid camber solution.Don't believe us though! Those who have tried it know it works and if you haven't, it is about time that you did.
Is there anything new in the line for 13/14 that you are particularly stoked about?
Danny: Graphic wise I am super hyped on the new Evil Twin but you have to actually see the board because print or screen viewing simply does not do it justice. I also love seeing people figure out the new Whatever series graphics. Even if they don't get it, the board still looks great.
Dennis: The new Boss really kills it. We basically gave the ET a GW treatment with targeted carbon reinforcements. These are crossed carbon beams under the bindings, which increase torsional stiffness for solid landings and high speed blasting. They also store up elastic energy and magnify pop, so the Boss rides super nice. We expect this one to be a new team favourite.
Any new tech additions we should look out for in the range next season?
Dennis: Whatever technical wizadry we bring to the table we always feel that having TBT on the boards already enhances every board to a higher level of riding performance and versatility that no technical trickery can touch. The Boss has crossed carbon beams under the bindings for pop magnification and torsional reinforcement. The GW has edge to edge (non crossed) carbon beams under the bindings for snappy pop. Straight line carbon and kevlar stringers in the nose and tail of the Jam make it super responsive without becoming torsionally twitchy between your feet. The POW TBT on the Camel Toe is the most directional TBT ever! With a deep spoon shape on the nose that makes sinking practically an impossibility, you can ride through the deepest snow with neutral weight. The tail has a flatter and narrower TBT profile. This gives your turns a 'gas peddle' effect, powering out of carves and throwing up huge sprays.
Graphically what is your favourite board in the line?
Danny: I made most of them and stand behind all of them!
Dennis: This year for me it's the Boss, which features a mash up of old school science fiction horror mythology done by Danny!
Why is TBT the best camber profile, in your opinion of course?
Dennis: It is the best camber profile, hands down, and here is why: Traditionally all boards had regular camber along their lengths. This profile lifts the whole board off the floor between the bindings. When riding such boards, the weight of the rider 'loads' the camber, pushing the edges down into the snow. The profile ensures that this force is focussed at the board's widest points, well outside the bindings, causing its edges in this region to dig in the furthest and sometimes even catch. For many years this made such snowboarding rites of passage as straight lining along a flat cat track scary and sketchy. When on a toe or heel edge there are even more forces acting on the board, tending to torsionally distort it. On hard snow and icy traverses, this can cause the board to chatter, as it seeks to regain its 'unloaded' shape.
Rocker boards alleviate this issue by reversing the camber. This lifts the widest points of the board out of the snow and in return, places the region between the bindings firmly on the ground. While this indeed solves the problem of the widest points digging in and catching when riding on a flat base or initiating a turn, the fact that the board no longer has a camber profile introduces its own difficulties: Without the weight of the rider 'loading' the camber, rocker boards are far less responsive generally and stable on their edges. While rocker boards have found uses riding rails and powder, they simply do not perform well enough on groomed resort runs and in parks. This has become more widely accepted and has lead to the confusing explosion of 'flat' and '3D' base shapes over the last few seasons. These all try to remove the issues of the rocker profile, without re-introducing the issues of the traditional camber boards.
TBT arrived on the scene even before reverse camber became popular and certainly before the advent of the 3D bases. It was born out of a specific idea: To press a snowboard that is shaped like a regular camber board, but when that board is in motion: Under pressure and on an edge. To do this, every TBT board is split into three regions along its length. Down the centre, there is a tip to tail traditional camber profile. Similarly on the side base sections, between the bindings there is also a traditional camber profile to keep the control region where it belongs - between your feet. Outside the bindings, the side base sections possess a rocker profile, bending in the same way that pressure would force a traditional board to. This means when travelling, the board is no longer subject to those torsional forces and this keeps it way more forgiving and fun, because the board no longer needs to be stiffened to allow for them.
This combination ensures that a TBT board retains all the responsiveness and stability at speed that a traditional board has, but the side base uplift reduces edge catches on cat tracks, makes carve initiation smoother and keeps the board more stable during traversing. It also has other benefits such as better powder float, less edge catches on rails, easier kicker landings and smoother transition riding.
The amount of camber and the amount of TBT side base uplift is determined by the TBT profile: Going from flatter cambers and smaller side base uplifts on our jib and park boards to deep camber concaves and large side base uplifts on our all mountain and powder boards. We even have TBT profiles that are directional as well as ones that are optimised for ladies' smaller feet and lighter weights.
With ten years experience building snowboards with TBT, we can confidently state that the concept has been proven not only to work, but work better than any other camber profile.
Finally, what board do you ride?
Danny: I ride the Whatever most of the time since I like to do everything on a board. If it's a slushy park only day I will get out an ET or a GW. When it gets serious with big mountain stuff I will go for an Omni and when its stupid deep I will go for a CAMEL TOE. If I am travelling I usually just pack my Whatever and my Camel Toe just in case.
Dennis: I use the GW 154 for general riding and park and the CAMEL TOE 158 whenever conditions allow!
Posted by: Shannon
Tagged as: Bataleon