I was up in Whistler yesterday and brought out the Flagship 161 for the first time.
About me: 5’11” - 185lbs - 30yrs old - advanced rider, usually get 35 days or so on the snow each year, been riding since 2004 (started late) - like to charge down runs, search for steep powder, tree lines, chutes bowls… basically whatever interesting terrain I can find. Don’t ride park at all.
Conditions/runs I rode: Mixed - Hard packed groomers, some sketchy windblown steeps, chunky chopped up powder, and some gnarly tight tree-lines with powder covering some nasty rocks an branches. Basically the whole gamut other than deep deep powder runs.
I like to go fast down runs… my first impressions of the Flagship: “holy sh!t, this board is fast!”. At High speeds my Rome Agent would usually get unstable and squirrely before I would get close to speed levels that scared me… When I pointed the Flagship I started getting some serious speed in no time and the board would be totally stable and locked on - its the first board I have ridden where I have backed off because of the speed rather than the lack of control… AWESOME!
I half expected the longer sidecut to make the board a bit hard to maneuver in trees and carving around at slower speeds which was one reason I went for the 161 instead of the 164. I still think the 161 was the right choice for me, however the 164 would not have been a problem in this respect. The board was really easy to whip around in the trees and initiated carves really easily, which I guess was down to the Camrock profile. Once you start to bomb you really appreciate the longer sidecut… the board wants to ride straight down the mountain and was really responsive edge to edge when doing so. All in all the longer side cut combined with the early rise profile seems to be a great combination.
For me, the Mellow Magnetraction is the perfect version of this technology that I have ridden so far. In honesty I have not been a big fan of Magnetraction I have ridden in general - I have found it a bit too catchy, but certainly appreciated its grip on icy terrain. On the Flagship I didnt notice the MellowMag at all for the vast majority of the day (you can barely even see it visually). The one time we ventured down some steep windblown icy/hard packed slopes, I noticed that I still had great edge hold, and had enough confidence to ride pretty much uninhibited down the face. When our group got to the bottom my buddies all commented on how much they were sliding out and losing control on the ice, which hadn’t happened to me at all… So I gotta put that down to the MellowMag despite the fact that I hadn’t really noticed it in the same way that I had when riding regular Magnetraction.
Whenever I did hit powder the board floated really nicely and was really quick to steer… most of the time I was plowing though a lot of chop and the nose really dealt with everything in its way keeping the board really stable, I never felt bucked around despite going over some some pretty chunky terrain.
The last thing I noticed was how tough the base is. I went over some nasty rocks and roots that were hidden under some dusting of powder, and some of them I hit pretty hard (much to my dismay!). I was surprised and happy to find that when i looked at my base at the end of day there was only one superficial scratch on the whole thing…
All in all I am really happy with this board, and it is definitely gonna help me take my riding to another level… It would be really interesting to compare this to some of the Rossi boards that have a similar profile but with more camber between the feet (the Flagship is very nearly flat). I am just gonna have to remember to speed check now and again, now that I dont have my usual signals like crazy chatter and lose of edge control
first time i have done a review, so if you need me to add info or whatever let me know