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Old 12-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Virus Avalanche FLP AFT: Initial thoughts

I've got to get back to cleaning, and I want to properly break in the board before I give a full review. I'll aim to do a full review sometime in the new year after getting it on all types of terrain. But I wanted to give those who are curious a "first impression" review of the board...

This is from an e-mail I typed to other members of my group buy:


As to the break in period: It already feels amazing after a couple days so far on the FLP AFT. The effective edge is MASSIVE compared to any traditional shaped freeride board I've ever been on. There is also significantly more surface area and the upturned nose should make it float more in fresh powder than my old board. The only time I think I'm going to have to work more is in the trees when I'm trying to manhandle the board around. I'm used to jump turning for short quick turns anyway, so it may become natural once I'm used to it. At this point I see it as significantly better than my old board at carving, likely to be significantly better in deep powder, and likely more work in tighter trees. As I do a fair amount of my riding in the trees, we'll see how this plays out in the future. I will say one thing, I have never been so excited to ride a board! Buying my T7 was a blast a few years ago but riding this makes me want to ride more and more...

Just measured my current Burton T7 159, the Virus Avalanche FLP 156 , and the FLP AFT 160:

Measurement (cm) - T7 159 - FLP 156 - AFT 160
Length - 157.3 - 153.0 - 158.0
Effective Edge - 124.5 - 123.0 - 141.0
Nose Width - 29.1 - 30.0 - 29.5
Waist Width - 24.8 - 25.2 - 25.0
Tail Width - 29.2 - 30.0 - 27.8
Weight - 11.4 lb - 7.2 lb - 11.4 lb (measured AFT at 7.0 lb w/o bindings, both my boards had Burton C60 bindings on them)

So the FLP is very similar in to a Burton T7 in general. Slightly wider waist, significantly wider tip and tail, almost the same effective edge despite the board being 4+ cm shorter. Should have the carving ability of a longer board but the playfulness of a mid-150 cm board.

The AFT is more similar in raw dimensions to my T7 than it seems when you look at it. It FELT lighter to me, but it's not significantly lighter. The glaring difference is the effective edge, and the fact that the AFT has taper while the T7 does not.

Where the specs really paint the picture is when you realize the tip and tail are the same widths but MUCH closer to the ends of the board. The sidecut radius is longer, and when first riding it I felt like it wanted to run straighter than the T7.

Judging from the available sizes for the FLP (150, 156 162, 168) vs. the AFT (160, 168, 176) I think it's safe to assume that Frank intended the FLP as a stiffer, exotic traditional shape board, and the AFT as a sort of hybrid between a freeride boards width, and a carving boards effective edge and length. I think it's aimed at a softboot carving market whether on-piste or off... Can't wait to full flex it's muscle!!!

Riding impressions:

First run it felt significantly different than the T7 underfoot... The T7 sidecut means that I could flick the board around under my hips and make quick sharp carves. The AFT feels like it wants more dramatic input to get it really turning.

Once I had a few runs on it, I started leaning over harder and getting my edge up more. The board HOOKS. I had it on hardpack and it HOOKED. I started to gain trust in it's edgehold and started to lean more and more. Finally I was flying along with my upper body a couple feet from the snow on my toeside, and I was able to run my hand on the snow without having to reach out for it during a turn. Remember that the T7 is no slouch in the carving department, but this board is clearly on another planet.

I did get into trouble a few times when I asked it to do something and it didn't. It isn't any stiffer than the T7, I expect it to be slightly softer once broken in, and it's got almost the same amount of camber when unloaded. But the shape had me guessing a few times.

I tried it in a little two week old powder at Lake Louise but there wasn't enough snow or sunlight for me to really let loose. It felt okay on the soft stuff, but uneasy again as it's not a shape I'm used to. I'm heading to Fernie this week and depending on the amount of cover I may ride this board there. I'm not going to kill it on rocks on it's 3rd and 4th day out. I'll probably explore the mountain on my now rock veteran T7 and if all's clear I'll take the Avalanche AFT out for a spin in the powder and trees. Don't want to rush it but it's a VERY rewarding board to carve on, so I can't wait to see if it's the quiver killer I'm hoping for...

From the board porn thread:



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Old 12-15-2012, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking forward to seeing your thoughts after you get some time in the trees and powder.

The K-Ride shipped today, so I should have some time on it next weekend.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So, you got 2 fancy-pantsers?

Searching for Avalanche FLP 156 , and the FLP AFT 160 brings up pictures of the same board. Or it appears that way to me.

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Old 12-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bseracka View Post
Looking forward to seeing your thoughts after you get some time in the trees and powder.

The K-Ride shipped today, so I should have some time on it next weekend.
SWEET! I still feel like e-mailing them to see if they have a 158 left... Can't wait to hear what you think of the Kessler!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmytard View Post
So, you got 2 fancy-pantsers?

Searching for Avalanche FLP 156 , and the FLP AFT 160 brings up pictures of the same board. Or it appears that way to me.
Come on Timmy I couldn't get two fancy pantsers or you'd have to get 14 Palmers! I got all the group buy boards sent to my house, so at the moment I've got two FLP AFT 160s, one FLP 156, and one Tantalus II Evo III under my roof.

Here's the difference between the FLP (left) and the FLP AFT (middle): You can see the FLP has a traditional twin tip "hourglass" type shape, while the FLP AFT has a much more square boardercross type shape. Both boards are cambered, with the contact points about the same, but the effective edge on the AFT is almost 20 cm longer... It'll be a very different ride.



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Old 12-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I feel like we just went back to 1988 in this thread.. Did the delivery guy drop those off in a nuclear powered Delorean?
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Any links to manufacturer, where to buy, price?

Looking for a competition board for my sons BX races.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorpedoVegas View Post
I feel like we just went back to 1988 in this thread.. Did the delivery guy drop those off in a nuclear powered Delorean?
Lol man when I hit 88 MPH on that board, watch out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argo View Post
Any links to manufacturer, where to buy, price?
Looking for a competition board for my sons BX races.
Crap I just had a group buy last month, was 30% off the going rates. Here's the link to the manufacturer. I think their best BX board is the UFC.

virus

They're not cheap though. That board is 1200 Euro plus about 150 Euro shipping. TLN was saying you can get the German VAT back in the states and that's 19% so you might be able to get it for about 1000 Euro plus shipping.

Also there's a guy that has a couple for sale used/new not used on another forum, I could send you his contact info. I think he's in the Western states somewhere...

From what I've seen, most intense competitors use Oxess or Kessler BX boards which are even more expensive.

Kessler Ski & Snowboards <-those are $1500 CAD or so in Canada, not sure if they have a US distributor anymore.

Snowboardcross <- those are 1600 EURO plus shipping!

I got my Avalanche FLP AFT for $1085 CAD with shipping, plus tax and duty here in Canada, so it came out to about $1240 or so... I think it would make a decent BX board, but it's made with more carbon fibre and kevlar, where the Kesslers and Oxess boards have a metal layer in them methinks. Some say it's better, but others have had delamination and bending issues with the titanal boards.

Another option might be to buy a used BX board from a competitor? Snowboard Canada sells their used boards in the spring, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the US teams do the same thing.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argo View Post
Any links to manufacturer, where to buy, price?

Looking for a competition board for my sons BX races.
What size? I have a brand new Palmer sittin' here & I know for a fact, it wants to come see you!

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Old 12-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He is 5'5" 140 lbs. He rides a 154 to race now but could move a little longer.....
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Which Palmer board is it?
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