So today I got the chance to demo a Bataleon Evil Twin at Bear Mountain.
I originally emailed the Bataleon sales rep, and he put me in contact with Alex, who worked at the Bear shop. The demo price was $30, and the Bataleon rep couldn't get me a free demo, so Alex was nice enough to hook me up with an employee discount, which was $15. So basically I walked out of the shop with a brand new Evil Twin with Flux Titans.
They weren't allowed to use my personal bindings (Rome 390s) but Alex said the Titans were the closest thing that they had, so I guess I'll review that as well, as I've never been in those bindings before.
My usual setup:
Rome Agent 156
Bataleon Evil Twin 151
5/10 - - I usually charge the blacks at Mammoth, just learned how to ride pow, starting to ride switch, can do small-medium jumps, boxes, ollies and nollies.
I just cruised around, trying to see how the TBT worked. At speed, this thing is just as stable, if not even more stable than my Agent! All the little imperfections, the little bumps and iceballs here and there, the TBT handled it very well. I'm guessing the TBT just pushed the iceballs aside like a boat going through an icefield. I normally get sketched out on those things. Turning is effortless, and actually a lot smoother. In a straight line, the board still tracks straight and true.
A little side note about the bindings. The Flux Titan straps are really hard to buckle. You really have to push them in to get the ratchet to catch. Unstrapping is also a little difficult because the release lever is actually two small bits instead of one long lever on the 390. However once in, my feet felt solid.
Second run - end of the day:
Alex told me not to jib on it because it's a brand new board. It really was. He took it off the shelf and detuned it right in front of me. If I wanted to jib, I'd have to take out last season's ET. I don't really jib, since I'm deathly afraid of rails. I'll do boxes, but no rails, no HVAC tubes, etc.
I did a lot of switch practice on the ET. Because the edges almost never catch, it gave me a lot more confidence. I'm able to link a few turns in switch, but no charging down runs yet. Definitely easier on this board than on the Agent.
On boxes, I've actually never tried any presses, but I was able to do a slight nosepress on and nollie off. Haven't tried spinning on the box yet, so maybe when I try it again I'll let you guys know. The board felt really stable on the box. It didn't want to rock to either side.
I love this board for ollies. I've never tried any sort of reverse/zero camber, so I can't compare, but the board is really poppy and ollies/nollies well. Combine the pop with jumps and catch-free TBT landing, this board is freakin' legit. I landed all the kicker jumps today. Landed a little sketch on some of them, but rode out anyway. I really wanted to grow some balls and try a backside 180, which I only learned late last season, but decided it was too early in the season to try and do something stupid. I still should have tried though. The only times that I ate it during landing was when I tried jumping off hips. Those will forever be the death of me.
The only con I can think of:
My legs are a little longer, so I run a 23.5" stance, but the ET couldn't do it. I think it was either 23" or 24". 23.5 would have to be set back a bit. I got used to it rather quickly though.
The hype is true. All the reviews, advertisements, articles, and videos are 100% correct. The board made my day just so much more fun. Cruising, charging, jumping, boxes. It does it all and then some. For us SoCal riders that do not see powder that often, it's a fantastic park board that excels at riding the whole hill. I think the giant shit-eating grin I had at the end of the first run said it all. I want this board. I don't care if it's a 151 because I don't really ride anything big unless I go to Mammoth or Tahoe, which is just a handful of times a year. Unfortunately it's priced at $400+ and I'm going to be unemployed at the end of next week, so I probably shouldn't pick one up...not right now at least.
Before I buy a funstick though, I would like to demo Reverse/Zero camber boards, as well as regular camber park boards to really make an accurate comparison.
Thanks for reading, here's a picture for your troubles: