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Old 03-01-2010, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Burton Demo !

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...

Conditions:
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.



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Old 03-01-2010, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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NEXT! 158 Hero LTD with M Exiles
Again with the same pair of exiles... see above. Screws came loose after three runs. Both times, I made it back down to the tent and they straightened things out. Wanted to try the Inifidels, but they were all out.

The Hero was fun too. First V-rocker I've tried, but it took no time to adjust for easy stuff. Floaty, surfy, but edge hold SUCKS. I was really goofing off on this one. Presses, ollies, nollies, boxes. Once, I started picking the nose up and it kept going, and going, and going...right over the back. It feels like that seal on the topsheet- just a silly fun board. Must be because of the time, but it felt slow. As in, it didn't want to move in the lift line. Not too noticeblae on the slope though. Fresh wax would cure that. Okay for bombing greens, but shit on blues. The scooped tip and tail feel strange, but make it really forgiving on landings. Any camber board I've ridden would catch an edge and dump ya. If I did more park, and a lot less speedy, difficult runs I'd get this for an only. It would definitely be worth having as a second/park/play board.



Saved the best for last- 157 Flying V with M Cartels
The Cartels had some of the nice features of the C60. More solid feel/less cheap- spinner highback adjuster. And some of the Exiles failings- ratchets would skip. Overall a decent binding with a fairly natural feel. A good match for the Flying V.

Best all around board! The Flying V was the slowest board I rode all day, but that was definitely due to the time and all the wax being worn down. I rode it on every type of run I could find. Trees, moguls, steeps, tracked out greens, and jumps in the park. Middling stiffness- somewhere between the Malolo and the Custom X. Very close to my current board. I couldn't find anything wrong with the board- other than the wax. It handled everything well. Better than my board, and a bit lighter. The topsheet is SEXY. I rode my board after the Burton tent closed, and the main difference was a little more damp in the Flying V. Since mine is so old, it gets chatter at high speed. They handle moguls and trees equally well, but the V floats a little better, and is more forgiving on landings. I think it wold be decent on hardpack too. I could definitely live with this one very day



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Old 03-01-2010, 10:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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good reviews.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't care for the EST/ICS/Channel system. I noticed the opposite of the improved feel and whatever other claims they make. The C60 would be almost perfect in a 4x4 binding. Everything in the binding itself felt fine, but the mating system felt...sloppy. It allowed movement in ways I've never seen, and don't like. I like having discrete increments to adjustments. Something that gives a positive hold, instead of letting everything move when one screw gets loose. ONE loose screw on the EST lets your stance width, binding angle, and toe/heel centering change. FOUR loose screws on a 4x4 let ANGLE change. Not width, and not centering. I've never had any problems mounting 4x4 bindings, and they only come loose once. Crank them down after a few runs and they're good. Even the reps were having a tough time getting the screwy Burton binding to stay down, and shit kept misaliging and screws wouldn't go in. I'll pass on that bright idea.

RC technology has me hooked though. The Flying V is a sweet board. Unfortunately, Burton is killing off 4x4 and even 3D in their lines. Guess that leaves Never Summer

Couple pics of the dinosaur...
You'll notice the topsheet is still in good shape. The base has had a few repairs though. The HC250s replaced my original bindings when the highback snapped. The ratchets are far and away better than Burtons. They may be a basic binding, but they have all the adjustments of the top of the line Burtons, and none of the flaws. I'm going to look for a cap strap to make them perfect. I think I'll be able to retain the Rossi ratchet with a little work.

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jules5 View Post
good reviews.
Thanks. I definitely had fun out there. I wish there were more demos available around here.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i missed the demo. i was on northface all day and when i went to look at the demos they were already close. guess ill have to wait to ride something with reverse camber.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyface View Post
i missed the demo. i was on northface all day and when i went to look at the demos they were already close. guess ill have to wait to ride something with reverse camber.
How did you miss the GIANT red tent right outside the lodge? You had to see it if you went anywhere on the front side. You could see it from the top after the fog burned off.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i parked at lost boy and stayed on northface and gunnar until like 330. my friend told me they were giving away drinks and granola bars, but when we went over everything was closing/closed.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i parked at lost boy and stayed on northface and gunnar until like 330. my friend told me they were giving away drinks and granola bars, but when we went over everything was closing/closed.
Sucks to be you. They had Nature Valley granola bars and Activ Water. I'd grab a couple every time I swapped boards.
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