I was the lucky forum member that ETM sent one of his customs too!
I was staying down in Myoko on Honshu and ETM had taken his boards upto various parts in and around Hokkaido. He had mentioned he would send a board down to me in Myoko.
The Black Cabs delivered the board with 4 days left on my trip. I actually didnt think it was going to make it.
Upon opening the wrapping, I was blown away by the craftsmanship with the build. The wood smelt of forest and the board just had an energy about it. It was sleek, burley where needed but stunning to look at. Pretty much like a Victorias Secret supermodel, except with a bigger sidecut!
Board Stats: 180cm. Yes, 180cm's!!, Swallow tail, very mild camber, an uber fast sintered base and beautiful wood inlay. Smells like forest and Christmas cake.
My Stats: 5'11, 202lbs. Ride Japan once a year, otherwise stuck in Perth Australia breeding kangaroos in the backyard.
I put a pair of Flux SF45's on it and glided down to the chair. First thing I noticed was the way this board moved; smoothly, confidently but lightening quick.
First run I found a large patch of 40cm fresh which is pretty common to find on Japan slopes. The nose just popped up and stayed up. The back leg didnt even need to work. It was like being on the back of the starship enterprise.
In regard to turns, only slight body weight pertubation was needed and the response was magic; very quick and to the point. The board felt absolutely incredible and any myths of lack of response, heavy and dull were ditched. Any back leg burn was non existent.
Given the size of the board I thought I'd try my luck at flat basing it and high speed. No issue. This board laughed past other riders while it made reservations for the grand suite in the Hyatt Regency in Manhatten. The nose just held it solidly and the rest of the board seemed to thrive on going faster. I couldn't achieve speed wobble status as much as I tried. Would I could achieve were enormous rooster tails and a shedload of pow in the face on slight turning.
Not once did I feel a board of this size take over the reigns. In all honesty, I felt happier on this thing than an Arbor Roundhouse 162 which was my go to deck. Actually it was probably a changing moment for me with riding.
I continued to ride this board for the remaining days through various resorts and off-piste areas in the Myoko Kogen precinct. I learned this board had incredible pop at all speeds and had no problems ollieing over small Japanese kids when needed.
The board is stiff. Not Rossi Experience stiff but you wouldn't try and butter or get your freestyle on in the parks.
Probably the most important factor with this board is that it not only excelled in pow but was a beast on the groomer. This thing just held an edge in hardpack, groomed and slush runs. Pretty much a rarity with board design these days. Of course pow was its domain.
The only downside was that I came across a mogul area and realised that a board of this shape and size probably wasn't the idea choice to ride this kind of terrain. To say the least, I got thrown and thrown hard. Still came up laughing my ass off though.
My overall impression of this board was phenomenal and I'm priveledged that ETM trusted me to ride it and send it back across Australia to his home.
This board has changed my take on riding. Just as long as your smiling on the hill, thats all that matters. But if you happen to ride one of ETM's boards, your going to smile a whole lot longer
Be sure to watch ETM's next customs coming. Sure to turn heads in a big way!
I like big boards and I cannot lie...