Burton AM Series and Demo Tour came to Seven Springs over the weekend.
Halfpipe and Slopestyle, and NASTAR slolem racing. Busy, busy, busy weekend. While I was there Sunday, I demoed a number of Burton boards and bindings. I'm no pro, but I've been riding for about 10 years now. I know the basics- ollies, nollies, and tail presses, but I prefer the giant moving slolem (aka dodge the noobs and ski school), trees, and just blasting straight down everything. I can even survive moguls
The last few weeks have been the best snow I've ever seen. I put on at least 5 runs per board. I would have tried more, but ran out of time. They ran from 9-3:30. So, here it is, just my impression of a few new toys...
Cool- about 30 degrees
Foggy- maybe 30 feet visibility in the morning, that burned off by about 1pm. Winds started picking up around 3 and it was like being sandblasted
Powder/mogels/drifts- about a foot of new snow overnight, on top of the storm total from the last few weeks. No man-made stuff
Me: About 185lbs, 6'2", wearing old size 12 Lamar Justice boots- like comfy house slippers
Setup: 22", +15/-12 regular
First up- Custom X Wide 162 with L/XL C60.
It took three runs to get the bindings set up for my boot, fiddling with the straps and highback lean. The L/XL is just too big for my boots, I don't care what anybody says. There was 3/8" space on both sides and I had to take the straps all the way to the last hole to get them tight. After all that, the C60s are very nice bindings- very responsive. I dialed in a little too much angle, and it created a pressure point on my calf. Backed it off, and all was good. I like the spinner highback adjuster, they're solid and don't freeze, and the cap strap is a good thing! I loved having the toe strap suck my boot back into the heelcup, but there's a fine line with it between "too loose" "just right" and "shit, my toes!"
The C60s are a perfect match to the Custom X. Stiff and responsive. Too bad it was the wrong board for the conditions. This combination would kick ass on hardpack. I didn't get to try it in the pipe, but the reps said it would hug the wall like nobody's business. My ride centered mainly on not slicing the nose or edge into a powder pile. Half the time that happened, the board was fine, but it dove so deep that my boots snowplowed and I had snow halfway to my knees. Then, I came to an abrupt stop. I was manhandling the board, and it felt too much like work. Give it to me on a normal resort day, and I'm sure my opinion would be different. I wouldn't want this one as my only board.
Next up- Malolo 158 with M Exiles
The Exiles are definitely a softer, cheaper binding. A good fit for the Malolo and the conditions where you don't need instant feedback and telepathic edge change. The highback adjustment sucks though. I had to blow in the dumb thing for 10 minutes before it thawed enough to move. The medium is a MUCH better fit for my boot. No more slewing around when I tightened the cap strap. The ratchets absolutely BLOW. There was no getting them too tight- barely tight enough. They just skipped after a point and wouldn't go any more. The release is horrible too. The EST/ICS/Channel/whatever screws came loose after two runs and the rear binding went from -12 to +15. Not a good feeling.
The Malolo was FUN!@ Skimmed right over everything. Felt like you could hit snow, sand, pine needles, or water and still stay afloat. Really surfy and loose. No energy at all to maneuver. And this from a board 4cm shorter than my norm! Took no time to get used to the S-rocker, even after the monster camber on the Custom X. It was a relief to just hop on and go. No worries!
Piece of cake to slide right over the flats, and down through the trees, and even in a mogul field. That was surprising, with the gigantic nose! 2" of setback makes it look bizarre and I wouldn't try to right it switch. Don't know how it handles on hardpack, but I might consider this for an only- if I lived in CO.