• *** THE Snowboard FAQ *** (1/2)

    From steel.yoga@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Mark Wallace on Tue Nov 28 06:40:03 2017
    On Tuesday, November 14, 1995 at 8:00:00 AM UTC, Mark Wallace wrote:
    ----------- The Snowboarding FAQ - Revision Oct 4, 1995 -----------

    * ------------------------------------- *
    * The rec.skiing.snowboard FAQ is a compendium of *
    * questions and answers that frequently appear on *
    * rec.skiing.snowboard. Neither the contributors *
    * to the FAQ, the posters of the FAQ, nor their *
    * employers make any claim whatsoever regarding the *
    * accuracy or safety of ANYTHING in the FAQ. Any *
    * item that may appear to be offering either *
    * medical or legal advice is doing neither. *
    * *

    The snowboarding panel is provided courtesy of Mark Wallace (mwallace@nyx10.cs.du.edu). It is written by people who primarily are
    from North America so some of the information does not apply to other
    areas of the world. Don't hesitate to send any additions, corrections,
    or comments, or better yet just go boarding.

    NOTE 1: New and revised sections since the previous revision are marked
    with 3 asterisks (***).

    NOTE 2: The FAQ is available on the World Wide Web, it can be
    accessed directly at URL:


    8.00)........ Welcome, Disclaimers, and Rules
    8.00.01)..... So what's the obligatory disclaimers?
    8.00.02)..... How dangerous is snowboarding?
    8.00.03)..... What's this skier's responsibility code thing?
    8.01)........ Hey! Why don't we start a separate snowboarding
    newsgroup, and why is it called REC.SKIING.SNOWBOARD?

    8.02)........ What is snowboarding?
    8.03)........ What is snowboard skiing?
    8.04)***..... What is the history of snowboarding?
    8.05)........ What kinds of equipment are there?
    8.06)........ What is the right stance for me (regular or goofy,
    stance width and angles)?

    8.07)........ As a snowboarder newbie, can you give me a set of
    general guidelines to narrow my purchasing decisions on boots,
    bindings, and a board?

    8.08)........ What is all this weird talk I hear from boarders?
    8.09)***..... Where is snowboarding not allowed?
    8.10)........ How does one learn to snowboard?
    8.11)........ Is it true that a snowboarder is less likely to get
    injured than a skier?

    8.12)........ I always see snowboarders laying around on the snow, why
    are they such wimps that they can't even stand up?

    8.13)........ Why don't those damn snowboarders just go home and leave
    the skiers alone?

    8.14)........ I got a C+ in wood shop and I want to build my own
    board, how do I do it?

    8.15)........ Can I become a snowboard patroller?
    8.16)........ Why do ski areas make snowboarders wear a leash?
    8.17)........ What is "Old School" and "New School"?
    8.18)........ What is an extruded base, what is a sintered base and
    how do you repair them?

    8.19)........ How do I tune my snowboard and can I use a blow torch to
    do it?

    8.20)***..... Has the Holy Asymmetric Empire fallen?
    8.21)........ Why Snowboard?


    8.00) Welcome, Disclaimers, and Rules

    Welcome to rec.skiing.snowboard. This group is a forum for the
    discussion of snowboarding and related topics. If you're new to the
    net, or even just new to rec.skiing.snowboard please take a
    couple of minutes to read the FAQ... it will save you a lot of grief
    in the long run!

    If you're *brand* new to the net, please check out the group news.announce.newusers for general information about usenet.

    Here are a few rules of thumb that will help you get around in
    rec.skiing.snowboard (and even some other places) without firmly
    inserting your foot in your mouth.

    - Don't quote entire articles. Only quote what is absolutely
    necessary in order to make your point clear. Anytime you
    are quoting more than you're writing you should question

    - Avoid long signature files. They may look cool the first time
    you see one but they get real old real quick.

    - Limit lines to 80 characters *max*, preferably 68-72 chars.
    If you don't, whatever you write will be very difficult for
    alot of people to read because the lines will get broken-up
    and segmented.

    - You're probably better off if you avoid telling everybody what
    a radical snowboarder you are.

    - rec.skiing.snowboard is populated by some "unique" individuals.
    You'll notice a lot of people making fun of various ski areas,
    various techniques, and various other people. Don't go taking
    all of this seriously! For the most part there are a lot of
    tongues firmly inserted in cheeks.

    - There *will* be flame wars from time to time. Try not to take
    these too seriously either; they rarely get hot enough to
    actually melt the snow.

    Some other groups that you might find interesting are:

    rec.skiing.announce Moderated group for general rec.skiing stuff
    rec.skiing.marketplace For Sale ads, etc.
    rec.sport.waterski waterskiing and skurfing
    rec.boats more waterskiing stuff

    8.00.01) So what's the obligatory disclaimers?

    Thanks for asking. This FAQ is a compilation of many frequently
    asked questions and their frequently posted responses. As such it
    is merely a compression of information from many sources. Neither
    the persons maintaining and posting this list nor their employers
    make any claims about the safety or even the accuracy of the
    information in the list.

    You're on your own. Make informed decisions. Only take the risks
    that you feel comfortable taking. Don't board alone. Stay warm. Don't
    get caught in an avalanche. Use appropriate equipment. Don't board in closed areas. And for gawds sake, LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!

    Have some respect. Respect the other people on the slopes. Respect
    the mountains... they can bite. Respect the weather, it can change.
    Respect your limitations, exceed them and you'll hurt yourself.
    Respect the setting... littering is for morons.

    8.00.02) How dangerous is snowboarding?

    It's about as safe or as dangerous as you want it to be. While there
    is always some inherent danger in the sport most problems are due to
    "pilot error". Pay attention to posted signs... they're there for a
    reason. Board in control. Don't Board in closed areas.

    The injury rate for skiing has been fairly level at about 3 injuries
    per thousand skier-days. These injuries include everything from
    minor bruises and lacerations to broken necks. The most common
    injuries are thumb and knee injuries. Snowboarders experience about
    the same injury rate as skiers but the injuries tend to be to the
    wrist, ankle, and neck (refer to the injury section of this FAQ
    (8.11) for more info).

    You *can* kill yourself snowboarding. You can also kill somebody
    else. Stay in control. That being said it should also be mentioned
    that you're probably more likely to slip and fall in the parking

    8.00.03) What's this skier's responsibility code thing?

    Well, rather than saying much *about* it, we'll just include it
    here. And while it is called the "Skier's Responsibility Code"
    everyone of these codes is applicable to snowboarding.

    Note: This code is widely accepted in the United States... other
    countries may have similar codes. One netter reports that
    this code is similar to what's posted in New Zealand.

    The Skier's Responsibility Code

    1. Ski under control and in such a manner that you can stop or
    avoid other skiers or objects.
    Excessive speed is dangerous.

    2. When skiing downhill or overtaking another skier,
    you must avoid the skier below you.

    3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not
    visible from above.

    4. When entering a trail or starting downhill,
    yield to other skiers.

    5. All skiers shall use devices to prevent runaway skis.

    6. You shall keep off closed trails and posted areas and
    observe all posted signs.

    The Skier's Responsibility Code is endorsed by The American Ski
    Federation, National Ski Patrol, United States Ski Industries
    Association, Professional Ski Instructors of America, Cross Country
    Ski Areas Association, United States Ski Association, Ski Coach's
    Association, and other organizations.

    The European countries have the FIS-rules (Federation International de
    Ski). They are a basis for courtroom decisions but are not laws.
    The FIS-rules are:

    The FIS-rules

    1. Consideration of the other Skiers
    Every skier has to behave in a way he or she doesn't endanger
    or damage any other.

    2. Controlling of speed and way of skiing
    Every skier has to ski on sight. He has to adapt his speed
    and way of skiing to his abilities and the conditions of the
    terrain, the snow and the weather as to the traffic density.

    3. Choice of track
    The skier coming from behind another has to choose his track
    so that skiers before him won't be endangered.

    4. Overtaking
    Overtaking is allowed from above or below, from right or left
    but always with a distance so that the skier being overtaken
    has space enough for all his movements.

    5. Entering and restarting
    Every skier entering a trail or starting after a halt has to
    assure himself uphill and downhill of the fact that he can do
    so without danger for himself and others.

    6. Stopping
    Every skier has to avoid stopping at small or blind places of
    a trail without need. A fallen skier has to free such a place
    as quick as possible.

    7. Mounting and descend
    A skier mounting or descending by feet has to use the border of
    the trail.

    8. Pay attention to signs
    Every skier has to pay attention to the marks and signs.

    9. Behavior in case of accidents
    In case of accidents every skier has to help.

    10. Duty of proving identity
    Every skier whether witness or involved, whether responsible or
    not has to prove his identity in case of an accident.

    8.01) Hey! Why don't we start a separate snowboarding newsgroup, and
    why is it called REC.SKIING.SNOWBOARD?

    Hey! We already did. There is another snowboard newsgroup called rec.sport.snowboarding but its not a legal group and is not
    propagated very well. And why, you ask, is it called REC.SKIING.
    snowboard? Because it was more technically feasible to do it that
    way when rec.skiing was split up. Its the way it is and it would
    take a lot of work to change it, so unless you're willing to do the
    work don't even suggest it.

    8.02) What is snowboarding?

    Snowboarding is the relatively new sport which can be visually
    compared to skateboarding and surfing except done on snow. The
    rider stands on the board with his/her left or right foot forward,
    facing one side of the board. The feet are attached to the board
    via high-back or plate bindings which are non-releasable. Although
    there is at least one manufacturer of releasable bindings, they are
    not widely used. The sport is distinct from monoskiing. In
    monoskiing both feet are side by side on a single ski and the skier
    faces forward.

    Some sports which have overlap in skills to snowboarding include:
    skurfing, skateboarding, surfing, water skiing and certainly snow
    skiing. In the following sections many comparisons are made to
    skiing because of its widespread familiarity. If unfamiliar with snowboarding terminology the reader should first refer to the What
    Is All This Weird Talk? section.

    8.03) What is snowboard skiing?

    Simply put, it is the legal name for snowboarding. Probably
    contrived by the lawyers and the insurance companies sometime in the
    80's. The PSIA also refers to snowboarding as snowboard skiing.
    This means it has all the privileges and liabilities of alpine
    skiing. Legally speaking there is no technical difference between
    any form of skiing, including: telemark, cross-country, mono,
    downhill, snowboard, boot-skiing. Thus to discriminate or prejudice
    between them may actually be illegal. One day a court might decide
    about the legality of a particular descent devices' right to be on a
    skihill or not. Lets get along and police ourselves, before big
    brother and lawyers get involved and drive up ticket prices.

    8.04)*** What is the history of snowboarding?

    Snowboarding became popular only in the last 10 years. It was
    pioneered in the late 70's by a small group including Jake Burton
    Carpenter, Chuck Barfoot, and Tom Sims. All now, or have headed,
    snowboard companies with Burton being the largest snowboard manufacturer
    in the world. Burton gets most of the media's credit for having
    incorporated the first high-back bindings, metal edges and snowboard
    boots into his line.

    The roots really start with the snurfer, that sled hill toy you use to
    ride, shaped like a small water ski with a rope tied to the nose and a
    rough surface for traction from the center to the back where you stood. Sherman Poppin was the inventor of the snurfer which first appeared in
    the 1960s. As it turns out Jake Burton was involved in snurfer racing,
    a gag event put on by a group of bored college students. Well, he got
    the bright idea to put a foot retention device (little more than a
    strap at first) on his boards and began to win these events hands

    At about this same time several other people were busy inventing the
    sport. Jeff Grell is credited with designing the first highback
    binding. Demetre Malovich started Winterstick, which didn't make
    it financially. He introduced several important factors early on in
    the sport like swallowtail designs, and laminated construction.

    Boots evolved from Sorels (TM) or Sno-pac type boots. Early "snowboard" boots were Sorel shells with ski boot type bladders. It was obvious
    that these early boots did not supply adequate support for the ankle
    and inhibited control of the boards. The first hard-shell "snowboard"
    boots were in fact ski boots. It didn't take long for the first true hard-shell boot to be produced before the end of the eighties.

    Burton set up shop at Stratton Mountain in Vermont and by 1985 had incorporated steel edges and high-back bindings into his designs.
    The metal edges allowed use at regular ski resorts and the rest is hiss-toe-ree. In 1985 only 7 percent of U.S. ski areas allowed
    snowboards; today more than 95 percent do and over half have half
    pipes. In the 94/95 season 13% of lift tickets sold were to boarders.
    In the U.S. 80 percent of boarders are male with an average
    age of about 21 years. The average boarder is single and
    normally day trips instead of staying overnight and he rides 15 days
    a year which is 3 times that of the average skier. Some resorts
    report averaging 25 percent ticket sales to boarders. The growth rate
    in number of snowboarder daily visits rose 11% between the 93/94 and
    94/95 seasons. (Numbers compiled from various snowboard and ski
    publications for U.S. resorts only, Fall 94 and Fall 95).

    8.05) What kinds of equipment are there?

    The history of the snowboarding industry is brief but the equipment
    evolution has been explosive. The boards, boots and binding styles
    sold in 85-86 aren't even available today. Gone are the split
    tails, center fins, bolt-on metal edges, wide short bullet-shaped
    boards and non-supportive boots. Today there are no less than 65
    snowboard equipment manufacturers (boards, boots, and bindings)
    including these large ski and boot companies: Rossignol, Atomic,
    Dynastar, K2, Nordica, Raichle and Sorel. In the 91-92 season
    230,000 boards were manufactured with half of these being purchased
    by Americans. In the 92-93 season 124,000 boards were purchased in
    the U.S.. These were from 29 snowboard companies, last year
    (1993-94) at least 57 were selling boards. The cost of snowboard
    equipment is very comparable to ski equipment with a wide range of
    costs and types.


    Boards are categorized into one of four groups: race, alpine, all-around/free-riding and half-pipe/free-style. They range in
    lengths from under 100 cm to over 200 cm. Their construction is
    nearly identical to skis; a board has metal edges, side-cut and
    camber. All of the same materials are used. The real differences
    are in the shapes and flex patterns.

    The term symmetry is used extensively in any discussion of boards.
    Because a board is ridden with one foot forward the turn dynamics
    are obviously different from a ski. A board can be symmetrical
    front to back and/or symmetrical side to side. Normally a ski is asymmetrical front to back and symmetrical side to side. Most
    boards have symmetry like skis. Reasons for different symmetry configurations include:

    Front to back symmetry:
    Usually found in free-style and half-pipe designs. A
    board like this can be ridden in either direction with
    equal control and often has a centered stance.

    Asymmetrical and/or shifted side-cuts:
    Refers to asymmetry about the longitudinal centerline
    of the board. The side-cut shift is on the order of a
    few inches. The toe edge is shifted forward relative
    to the heel edge and accounts for the fact that the
    rider's toes are nearer to the nose of the board than
    his/her heels. Because the toes are nearer the nose,
    the center of pressure (C.P.) applied to the edge is
    farther forward than the heel side C.P.. Additionally
    the side-cuts can be of different radii and the flex
    patterns can be asymmetrical. Boards with these
    characteristics are predominantly found in the race and
    alpine categories. An asymmetrical board is made to be
    ridden either goofy footed or regular footed therefore
    any board of this type comes in two shapes, one the
    mirror image of the other.

    This is a rough schematic of a goofy footed asymmetrical
    snowboard with shifted side-cuts:

    toe edge

    /------------------------------------\ n
    t / / / / / | o
    a / / L / / R / | s
    i / \__/ \__/ / e
    l ----------------------------------------/

    heel edge

    These boards are used for downhill, GS and slalom
    racing. They tend to be stiff, narrow and long.
    They are designed for high speed use with long
    effective edges for carving turns.

    These boards tend to target crossover skiers. The
    design of these boards reflects that of a ski with
    many of the same characteristics and many even
    look like fat skis.

    This type of board is sometimes called all-terrain
    or all-mountain. They are designed for use in all
    snow conditions and most can even be ridden in the
    half-pipe very successfully. 80% of all boards sold
    in the U.S. are of this type.

    These are boards designed for use in the half-pipe and
    for jibbing, bonking, and general freestyle moves.
    They tend to be more flexible with wider foot stances
    more centered on the board. The board probably has
    more nose and tail area and less effective edge than a
    board from the other categories. Boards in this
    category generally do not have good all-around utility
    because of their inability to hold an edge on hard snow
    and steep slopes. The board is generally more
    difficult to control due to the stance configuration.


    Two types of bindings are used in snowboarding: the high-back and
    the plate. The high-back is characterized by a vertical plastic
    back piece which is used to apply pressure to the heel-side of the
    board and with two straps which go over the foot. One strap holds
    the heel down and the other the toe. Some high-backs also have a
    third strap on the vertical back piece called a shin strap which
    gives additional support and aids in toe side turns.

    The plate or step-in binding is used with a hard shell boot much
    like a ski binding except it is non-releasable.

    Boots are categorized into 3 groups: soft, hard and hybrid. Soft
    boots evolved from Sorel and Sno-pac type boots and generally have
    lace up bladders and shells. The more flexible a boot the easier it
    is to perform contorted free-style maneuvers but ankle support and
    edge hold are compromised. The shells are made of rubber, leather
    and/or plastic and the bladders are similar to ski bladders except
    normally lace-up.

    Hard boots are like, but designed distinctly from, ski boots. They
    are used predominantly with race and alpine type boards and afford
    support and edge hold at the expense of flexibility. Ski boots
    don't work well as snowboard boots because boarding puts drastically different pressures on the feet and hence the boots than skiing;
    lateral flex is desirable in snowboarding but to be avoided at all
    costs with skiing.

    Hybrids are those boots between the two extremes. They may have an
    all plastic shell where the plastic is thinner than on the hard boot
    and may be lace up vice buckles.


    There is a lot of clothing designed just for snowboarding. It tends
    to be reinforced in the knees, butt, shoulders, elbows, palms and
    fingers. Some clothing is even padded in the stress areas with foam
    or plastic. Considerations here should include these facts: a
    beginner spends a lot of time on his/her knees and butt,
    snowboarding will wear out a cheap pair of gloves in a few days due
    to the abuse, because of the bending down/sitting/falling, the
    clothes should not be binding, and the pants should be waterproof.

    8.06) What is the right stance for me (regular or goofy, stance width
    and angles)?

    (Following written by Crispin Cowan (crispin@cse.ogi.edu)
    It answers the question: Am I regular or goofy footed?)

    It's my observation that correlations between which way one snowboards
    and other handedness tendencies are weak at best. This is why there
    are so many "tests" for which way one should ride, and they all
    inevitably fail for some people.

    I prefer the "linoleum" test: in stocking feet, run towards your
    kitchen and skid across the linoleum floor. Observe which foot goes
    forward. Put that foot forward on your snowboard. This test can also
    be administered hillside by directing the student to the nearest icy sidewalk.

    Unlike other tests (shoving, jumping, kicking, baseball batting,
    cartwheels, etc.) this one *directly* tests you for your preferred
    stance in a balance sport (balance sport: something where you stand
    sideways on a deck, e.g. snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, etc.).

    Editor: Footedness is inevitably a trial and error decision when you
    start snowboarding. Unless you are not sure what the right stance
    is for you then try it both ways. Even if a "test" suggests
    one way you may end up being more comfortable the other. There are
    5 or 6 tests which could be listed here but some would show you
    should be regular and some would show you should be goofy.


    (Following compliments of Pete James
    It addresses stance angles and widths.)

    First off, there are about 20 schools of thought and one needs to
    figure out which is for them, try something close, then dial it in.
    A newer board with the Burton 3 hole or F2 4x4 hole patterns or some
    types of adjustable step-ins make it real easy to adjust stances;
    these allow for maximum and easy stance changes.

    From Transworld Snowboarding here are the average stances of pro
    riders from different snowboarding disciplines:

    stance front rear center board notes
    width angle angle length

    Half-pipe: 20.7" 17 2 0.5" back 152.5 cm - some
    boarders use negative rear angles (duck-stance)

    Freeride : 21.1" 22 7 1.7" back 170 cm

    Slalom : 17" 49.2 47.2 0.4" back 156.8 cm

    GS : 17" 49.6 47.6 0.44"back 164.9 cm

    Super G : 17.16" 49.4 47.4 0.45"back 170.5 cm

    SlopeStyle: 21.3" 12 0 1" back 152.9 cm - 0 rear on
    all riders (also known as freestyle)

    - Angles are measured from 0 degrees being straight across.

    - Center is the distance back from the center of the board to
    the center of the stance.

    8.07) As a snowboarder newbie, can you give me a set of general
    guidelines to narrow my purchasing decisions on boots, bindings, and a

    Why, yes. And here it is.

    Board length:

    Some rental shops use the rule of thumb that a board should touch
    between the beginner's chin and nose. Every board feels different
    when you ride it. You might like a 155 of one model and a 165 of
    another. Like everything else, there are no hard and fast rules.

    Morrow snowboard company has developed a method for determining
    recommended board length. It is called the THAW (Terrain, Height,
    Ability, Weight) chart and it is reproduced here. These recommendations
    are for average riders on average or all-around boards. Note: Its copyrighted.

    Length(cm) Terrain Height(ft'in) Ability Weight(lbs)
    124-140 All Around 3'-4' Begin-Inter 40-70
    140-150 All Around 4'-5'8 Begin-Inter 60-90
    150-160 All Around 4'2-6' Begin-Inter 70-185
    160-165 All Around 5'4-6'7 Begin-Inter 100+
    165-175 All Around 5'4-6'7 Begin-Inter 120+

    Now obviously if you are an average male (5'8, 150 lbs) then according
    to this chart you could ride a 150 all the way up to a 175. Well, that
    is correct. This is because there are other factors involved. This
    chart doesn't speak to effective edge length or swing weight or several
    other factors. Rent to begin with and try to demo your equipment before
    you buy.

    (The following was provided by Crispin Cowen, crispin@cse.ogi.edu)

    The stock newbie advice: suitable for most new riders who don't yet
    know whether they want to specialize in some particular area, and
    who don't have knowledgeable friends at hand to help them.

    Brands: since you (presumably) don't know anything about the
    manufacturers, stick to the large, reputable ones: Burton, Sims,
    Nitro. They've been making quality product for ever, so you wont'
    get screwed.

    Style: Buy a freeriding style board (e.g. Burton Air), soft boots,
    and soft bindings.

    Setup: set your stance to 20" wide, 1" back from center, 30 degrees
    on the front, 15 degrees on the back. Learn to ride, then play with
    the stance to see what works for you.

    New or Used: You can save a bundle with a used board. Buy one that
    isn't too old (it has inserts in it instead of drilled bindings),
    isn't too beat up (the base and edges look ok), and hasn't been
    pounded to death (it still has camber).

    Learning to ride: take a lesson. Really. I don't care how good
    your friend is, or what kind of wicked shit they can pull. They're
    not trained in giving lessons. Save yourself some bruises, invest
    $20, and have a MUCH better time on your first day.

    Disclaimer: Yeah, it's a boring old-school setup. Guess why? It
    works. It's not optimal for jibbing, or racing, or whatever, but it
    works great for learning. If I didn't mention your fav' brand, this
    is not intended to be a complete list, just a simple and reliable
    list. If you buy a Burton, Sims, or Nitro, it may or may not be the
    absolute best board possible (give or take taste) but it will NOT
    suck, and it will hold it's resale value so you can sell it and buy
    something specialized later.


    8.08) What is all this weird talk I hear from boarders?

    This topic can be separated out into 2 categories: first, common
    sport specific terminology which can be used at school or the office
    without embarrassment and second the slang which is that part of the
    language used by boarders to form a group identity. Listed here are
    terms mainly from the first category:

    ABS: Acrylonitrite Butadiene Styrene (Plastic used as snowboard

    Aerial maneuvers: method, stale fish, japan, ollie, revert,
    sidekick, heel/toe-edge grab, mute, crail, nose/tail grab,
    nuclear, rocket, 180-to-fakie, roast beef, slob air, canadian
    bacon, alley oop, two/one handed invert, j-tear,...

    All-around, All-mountain, All-terrain, Free-riding, Free-
    style, Alpine, Race, Half-pipe - Types of equipment and
    riding styles, see the board equipment section for

    Base: The P-tex bottom of the board.

    Baseless Binding: A type of high-back binding which has no base.
    The rider's boots contact the board directly on the top sheet.
    The bindings are secured via holes on the outside of the
    binding, not under the feet. Some advantages might be lighter
    weight, more natural board flex, and less distance between
    the rider's feet and the board. Predominately used by
    freestyle riders.

    Bevel Plate/Wedge: A shim placed under the binding to raise
    the heel relative to the toe.

    Bladder and shell: most ski and snowboard boots are made of
    a supportive exterior shell and a removable interior
    bladder. The shell is closed with buckles or laces.

    [continued in next message]

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