Figured this would be right up everyone's alley. Had a chance to demo some of the 2011 Never Summer boards at sunapee today. i had no idea they were hosting a demo day, so when i pulled up and saw their truck and tents i was pretty stoked. demo day on a wednesday, no lines, perfect snow, and 50+ degrees at the summit made for arguably the best day of the season. i quickly laced up, signed my life over, and was getting set up.
I currently ride a 2010 premier f1-r 159 and wanted to try something on the other end of the spectrum so up first was a 153 EVO-R:
this board was FUN!! before i even got to the lift i was pressing and buttering the hell out of it. this amount of flex is something i'm not used to so it was awesome to play around with. once on the lift, i instantly noticed how much lighter this board is than my premier. i was excited to play around on this board, but at the same time nervous that because of its size and flex it wouldn't hold up to the speed that i usually push.
as the first run began, speed was an afterthought. the board was just so flexy, maneuverable, and easy to ride that i found myself finding anything and everything to pop off. the park was closed, but i did hit the halfpipe and some 8-12 ft. table tops. kinda felt like i was cheating to be honest...the board is so smooth. i jumped into the trees for a bit and the board effortlessly cut through the glades.
i tried to push the board at speed and it did fairly well, but you can definitely feel some chatter and instability when compared to my premier. nothing to bad, i just found myself being a little big more cautious at speed and in the chop. the 153 is definitely small for me and i think the 156 would have faired a bit better.
This board lives up to all the hype. the flex and R/C tech make the board so much fun and effortless to ride. you can really let loose and have complete confidence doing whatever you like. Unfortunately, the park lift was out of order so i didn't get to hit any rails or larger kickers...that will have to wait until tomorrow. i knew going in it wouldn't be the most stable board at speed, but i was impressed none the less. if you could only have one board and spend any amount of time in the park the evo would do the job. i like going fast and if i could only have one board this wouldn't be it. however, it would make an AWESOME compliment to my premier and i'm proud to say i just picked one up. should be here in a week.
The demos ran for an hour, so after about 2
(the evo was indescribably fun) i was ready to try out board number two. i immediately asked for the biggest board they had, "we got a 168 Premier F1-R
." "Set it up," i said. As he was transferring my bindings, i was getting nervous. not only is this a good 9 cm longer than my current premier which is already a rocket ship, but i'm coming off a 153.
just lifting the board off the table i could immediately notice this thing is a tank. considerably heavier than my 159 premier... felt like a slab of lead hanging from my foot on the lift. once this thing hit the snow, it wanted to point straight down hill and GO! it didn't matter if i was ready...the board has a mind of its own, i was just along for the ride. and what a ride it was! blazing speed, incredible edge hold, super soft and stable, ridiculously responsive. it took a run to get used to the extra length, but once i did it was incredible. it felt like i was on fresh groomers, even though it was mid-day, choppy, spring conditions.
i honestly couldn't tell if i liked this board more or the evo. its a whole different animal that's for sure. long sweeping carves, floating of kicks and rollers, INCREDIBLE stability, and more speed than i'm comfortable with. it felt like the board was on tracks...just super stable. this is more my style of riding so naturally, i fell in love with this board. i'm sure if i weighed another 50 lbs. i would've no problem popping the board, but it was a tank for my 170 lb. frame. in my opinion, a board this size is definitely for special situations: steep mountains, loads of pow, and trying to break land speed records. that said, I really want to add a big tank to my quiver!! the feeling of going faster than you ever have while feeling super stable is just awesome.
Now that i've tested both extremes, i had enough time to squeak in one more ride. i wanted to go with something in the middle of the spectrum, so naturally i grabbed a 155 SL-R
This board has pop! Absurd amounts of pop! very light, snappy, fun and responsive. everything that an all-mountain board should be. it seems to have about the same flex as the evo tip-to-tail, but definitely stiffer torsionally. this allows the board to still be really fun in the park and small trailside kickers, but still have really good edge hold on the steeps. maneuverability was incredible...probably the fastest edge-to-edge of any board i've ridden.
i was afraid the sl-r would be too soft for my hard charging style, but i was so wrong. its not as fast or stable as my 159 premier and nowhere near the 168, but it is a VERY capable freeride board. it was now towards the end of the day and things were getting iced up, and not once did i feel uncomfortable on the board. This speed and stability combined with the fun flex and just ridiculous amounts of pop (did i mention this board has pop for days
) it makes for an awesome board. The ONLY drawback of this board is that I don't own one.
honestly, the only drawback of today was putting ideas in my head that i bought the wrong board this season. I'm thinking about how much more fun i could've had if i owned an SL-R all year. don't get me wrong i LOVE my premier...best board i've ever owned hands down, but the SL-r can almost
keep up with the premier and its so much more playful.
At the end of the day the evo-r stole the show for me. probably because its so different to what i'm used to riding. i'm super stoked to have one in my quiver next week. i think with the evo-r and the premier f1-r in my quiver i'll have the best of both worlds. however if money was tight and i could only have one board, there is no doubt i would own an SL-R. sorry for the essay, it was an awesome day for me and i have the goggle tan to prove it!!