SO i finally got to ride the Bataleon Whatever 156 that I get to demo from Wiredsport, and my first thought is that it's very....different. Not bad different, but not necessarily great different either. For starters, this board is a little undersized for me as an all mountain deck, but a great size as a park deck. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge park guy. That being said, I rode this deck through some of the sloppiest Cascade concrete that Washington has to offer. Seriuosly thick, sticky, chunky, chowdery chunder, with some untouched "pow" to be found around.
TBT is amazing in powder, or at least, what we call "powder" out here in WA.
Seriously though, the TBT makes the nose of the board just want to "plane" up like a boat. Literally, just like a boat. Tail goes in, nose comes up. Tail comes up, nose goes down. I only lost it "OTH" once, and that was my own doing more than the board. If I could have a pow deck with TBT in the nose, I would be on it. It's just that good. I really had a blast smashing this through the untracked spots I could find. It was like riding a boat in the snow. A very responsive, agile boat.
On to Groomers! Um, yeah, so, not really this boards strong suit. Not bad, but definitely not what I wanted. The TBT, while on a groomer, makes you have to literally lean the board over to engage the edge. Once I got it figured out, it was alright, but getting it figured out was a little tricky. It's really weird to me because the camber of the board makes it want to turn, and turn hard, but the TBT makes you have to really "roll" into the turn so-to-speak. It was the rolling part that threw me off. Again, it's not a deal breaker, but it's definitely something that should be considered.
This weekend I am going to bite the bullet and ride some park. I'm not a park guy by any means, but I can get in there and have some fun when necessary. This weekend will be one of those times. The reason I have to take this into the park is because I feel like the TBT will be amazing for it. This board flat bases better than any board I have ever ridden....period. I was putting the base flat while ripping down groomers just because I could. The TBT makes this board almost impossible to catch an edge with. I know because I tried to catch one and couldn't. The flat basing ability of this deck makes me wanna go ride it in the park. It should be awesome.
So, about me, since I didn't open that way. I'm 6'3" and about 195lbs right now. I ride all mountain, and I have large feet. That's about all you need to know. Overall, this deck was fun. I enjoyed riding it, but not as much as I could have I feel. Ideally, I would have a board with TBT that was longer, and stiffer, cause this little 156 is a noodle for me. I'll update this after a park day.
So I took this board out a little more and rode some park and some pretty ideal groomers. My thoughts are this, the board is made for the park. TBT will keep you from killing yourself on a rail or box IF you know what you are doing. Since the Whatever is on the softer end, I could press this thing into the sky. Seriously, it's ridiculous how high I could get the nose up with out ever feeling out of control. It was also hook free on the boxes I rode. I don't ride rails, but I feel it would be the same way. As for jumps, it held up fine, but it was on the noodley end for me. Again, I'm not the target audience for this board I believe.
As for the groomers, well, it handled them fine. They definitely were easier to ride than the first day I was on the Whatever. That comes from knowing how to handle the TBT. I still wouldn't want this to be my everyday ripper board, but it's serviceable for getting you to and from the park. Again, TBT is meant for Parks and Powder IMO. It works on groomers, but it's not what it was made for I feel. Anyway, I stand by original stance. (LoL!) I would use TBT on a stiffer pow deck, but not on an everyday rider.