Conditions: Jay Peak- The Jet. It's all that was open and we booked the trip months ago but like everyone, they got skunked. Ugh, crap. True ice in the middle with a dusting of snow packed down in places. Left side wasn't completely track up and had a bit more snow. Moguls on the right side with plenty of granular powder. Deep troughs and peaks, grade approaching 100% in some areas. Not my area of expertise. Some crappy but deeper pow stew at the bottom mixed in with brush, dirt and leaves; very heavy stew.
So first off, I tackled this terrain way too fast starting out. After getting the speed dialed back and figuring out how to play with the Grip-Tech, things started picking up. First of all, the weakest area of this board (damping) came out. Now, good board feel is critical to jibbing and some park riding, so maybe this isn't really leveling a criticism but more just pointing out intended use versus actual use. It didn't like this terrain too much. You felt everything and it bucked you like a wild bull. Once you get it under thumb and understood the limits, it worked, just not as well as something with a bit more damping. Oh well, you do what you can.
Once I got dialed in, I realized playing in the moguls was pretty damned fun but quite challenging. Here, the boards shortness really helped but the longer effective edge (116.9cm) kind of hurt the maneuverability for what you'd expect in a short, short board. Like a GSXR 1000 through a cone slalom compared to a Aprilia 250R; you still feel very nimble and athletic but it just didn't snap around stuff. It's more of a feel thing that an actual limiting riding - the board's edge is still short in the scheme of things and you can still thread the needle quite easily but it feels just a bit longer than a typical 150. This is a board you'd have no problem taking through stuff like this or tight trees, provided you are surfing it and not trying to plow through poo poo. You'll definitely need a beefier board for that because you'd get bucked right off course with the Westmark.
Once I got dialed in on the moguls, I started throwing some backsie 1's while traversing out of the troughs. Stomping down felt satisfying and fun and each one let me get more and more confident with popping harder and airing it more. Nothing surprising here.
I rode over some exposure, big ass rocks, clumps of dirt and whatever else the base held up like a champ. I'm impressed with this Rocket Base. A fresh waxing Friday night gave it some serious speed near the bottom where you can really let the throttle loose.
There was some crap stew of granular gun powder, sticks, leaves, twigs, berries and probably a body or two at the bottom that was pleasantly free of any real hazards like rocks. Float here was good as to be expected with a center parabolic rocker shape. Not a very good test of the powder capabilities of this board, but that can't be helped. My instincts tell me it'd be a little above average, only being hurt because of the blunted shape, non-directional design and shorter length. Again, not really criticisms considering our POU, but worth mentioning.
I want one really good pow day to wring it out and another day or two to hammer it at Carinthia but my overall impressions of the board aren't really diminished. It's very good at what it purports to be and doesn't make any bones about not being exceptional (but not necessarily bad, either) at the rest.