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Autumn freeride

autumn freeride
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Really Fast Mountainboard

Really fast mountainboard
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Fatman with a mullet

Fatman with a mullet
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How to make a Nompa

A Nompa is a hybrid mountainboard made from a Nosno and a Trampa. Mix them together and you get a Nompa, which brings together the best elements of both boards; the stability and toughness of the nosno trucks and the customisability and indestructableness of the Trampa deck.

Why would you want a Nompa?

The answer is ‘Adaptability’. You build your Nompa the way you want it. If you want a downhill board for going really fast on firetracks you build it one way, but if you want a short, agile freeride board for getting between trees you build it another way.

Roger's Nompa

I built mine for exactly that. It’s light, short, has pretty good torsional flex in the deck, and hardly any turn in the trucks. I built it because I needed a board for riding steep singletrack with lots of trees around (and in the dark). It’s probably as far out on the extremes as Nompas get, and yours doesn’t have to be anything like mine.

So, how do you you go about making your Nompa? First thing is to decide what kind of riding you want to do with your Nompa and how you want your board to ride. Then you can select the parts you’ll need to make your Nompa and put them together in the right way for you.

Deck

Nompa’s are made with a Trampa deck. The advantages of the Trampa deck over any other kind of deck are that you can shape it make it ride how you want it to. If you want a stiff board for BoarderX racing you might choose a 17 ply 35 Long deck and only shape the nose and tail, but if you wanted your Nompa for freeriding you might go for a shorter deck and cut loads out from the middle to make the deck twist more.

Your three options for decks are: 35 Long, 35 Short or 15 Short. Let’s look at the 35 degree decks first. Having a 35 degree nose and tail means you’ll get plenty of turn from your Nompa, making these the right decks to choose for most people. The only difference between the Long and the Short is the length of the nose/tail tips. The length of the decks between the creases are the same on both. So, if you know you want the extra ground clearance and increased stiffness that comes with having your trucks closer together, you can get a Short 35 decks. If you want your deck closer to the ground for more stability, or you want to be able to decide which way to have the trucks after you’ve bought the deck, go with a Long 35. Short 15

Trampa Decks are available in 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 ply. The more ply, the stiffer the deck, but also the heavier. You can reduce the weight of the deck by cutting away parts. Trampa Holy Pro decks have holes cut into the footbeds, which is an ok way of reducing weight if you aren’t using snowboard board or nosno soft bindings, or if you figure out where the bolt holes are going before you cut big holes in the wrong place.

Wherever you cut the deck, think about how reducing the weight will affect the ride. If you will be mainly downhilling then you’ll probably want some weight over the wheels to help with traction (of course the nosno trucks will give you most of that weight). If you want to make the board easier to jump you might want to take the weight from the ends and keep the stiffness in the middle of the deck.

Trucks

There are three options for trucks; Nosno Alloy axles, Nosno Composite axles or making your own flexi axles from Trampa deck material.

Nompa

Nosno Alloy axles are the easiest to get, easiest to work with, and the toughest trucks available. Nosno Composite axles provide a nice ride with extra absorption over the rough stuff. They also have the advantage of having an off-centre axle which means you can give you board more or less ground clearance just by turning them around. I haven’t made any Trampa flexi trucks yet, but Brennig has. The hardest thing about them seems to be accounting for the curve in the material and how that affects the wheels (and what direction they point).

Placing the trucks closer together makes the deck stiffer (even if you’ve cut loads out to make the deck have torsional flex) and raises the deck height. Having the trucks mounted as far out on the nose and tail as possible will give the deck more flex, and so more absorption over rough terrain, and put it closer to the ground which will make it more stable at speed. It’s all about adaptability.

Bindings

You can pretty much put whatever bindings you want on your Nompa. Snowboard Bindings, noSno Soft Bindings or even MBS/Trampa/Scrub Ratchet Bindings if you really want to.

Brennig's Nompa

You can set up your bindings however suits you. And you can adjust them to suit how/what you’re riding. For Downhill you might want to set you bindings for getting into a speed tuck, and if you’re freeriding you might want your bindings set duck-feet to make falling leaf and riding switch easier.

Want to make your own?

There are a few Nompas out there in the world, made by people experimenting with building the right boards for the way they want to ride. If you want build a Nompa get in touch and we’ll chat through some ideas about what you want and how you can do it.

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Trampa Speed Demon Review

Review of the Trampa Speed Demon Brakeboard

Finally had a chance to ride the Trampa Speed Demon (as I’m calling it cos it’s black and red) with built-in go-faster stick (that’s a brake for the uninitiated).

trampa-brake-board

My normal everyday freeride-in-the-woods board is a short Trampa, but I also ride a noSno brake board, so I was interested to see how this board fits in between the two. It didn’t disappoint. In fact it made me question what I thought I knew about brake riding.

Normal wisdom for riding with brakes is that you need nine inch tyres, you need to be going really fast down mountains to justify having them, and they need to be on the front. This board has eight inch tyres, I was jumping it around tight mountainbike singletrack in the woods in the dark, and it was set up for goofy which meant the brakes were on the back.

So, does size matter? The majority of mountainboarders ride with eight inch wheels. Having brakes that can be used with eights not only opens up a huge market for selling these boards/kits, but it also makes it an easier step for more mountainboarders to get into the kind of freeriding and downhilling that requires brakes. And with more downhill comps on the horizon, more people are going to want brakes. The other big advantage of riding with eights rather than nines is the weight. I ride my noSno with nines and brakes on the front and eights on the back so I can kick the back end around in tight turns. Riding eights all round makes that so much easier to get it into tight turns and the brakes didn’t add any noticeable weight.

Are brakes for going slower or going faster? There’s a reason we call them go-faster sticks. In fact there are two reasons; one, being able to slow when you need to means you can avoid sliding out, and two, they can give you a bit of confidence to ride a little faster knowing you can stop if you need to. So brakes aren’t just for riding long alpine passes, they can enable more mountainboarders to ride more terrain than they might otherwise. Whether that is mountainbike single track in the woods in the dark (which I can thoroughly recommend) or a middle-aged guy who wants to ride at centres with his son but doesn’t like to idea of getting down into powerslides. Riding with brakes doesn’t have to be all about going fast.

Brakes go on the front, right? The science says so. As you brake your weight goes forward onto the front wheels and so adds traction to the tyres increasing braking performance. But I had the brakes on the back. I rode some tight singletrack and tarmac and didn’t notice any real loss in performance. And maybe for my kind of riding having brakes on the back makes some sense. A lot of my speed control comes from scrubbing (which obviously I do with the back of the board) so adding another speed control technique to the back means I can work them together. If you’ve got brakes I recommend trying them on the front and the back, and seeing what works best for you.

Also, whilst I’m on the subject of traction, the Trampa Speed Demon has Primo Alpha tyres. I’m not usually a fan of these tyres. For my kind of riding I find that they have loads of traction up to a point, and then, when sliding, they lose it all at once with no warning. But when it comes to maximum traction for braking in a straight line I’m betting Alphas are the right choice. Set them up hard on the front and bit softer on the back and don’t slide them into corners (use the brake instead).

To sum up, I loved the Trampa Speed Demon! If you have a Trampa and want brakes, these are for you. If you’re thinking of getting a brakeboard, these are for you. If you want brakes but don’t want loads of extra weight, these are for you. If you’re getting your first proper mountainboard and want brakes for a bit more confidence, these are for you.

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Freeride mountain boarding cable cam

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New Trampa Brakeboard

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