NS New Setup Review
Hit Castle yesterday, snow conditions were outstanding, tons of deep snow everywhere. Unfortunaltley the wind was so extreme they shut down both Blue and Red chairs. Rode haig all afternoon and there was still tons of deep stuff to be found!
Coming off a 167 Canyon with driver X step ins. I loved the burton step ins and feeling I got from putting the board on edge with the bottom of my boot as opposed to the top which you get from a strap binding. I have been resisting getting new equipment as I prefer the feel of the step ins.
Hopped onto a 169 NS Raptor X with last years flow M11 and new driver X boots. I ride a 24" stance and this took me to the outermost insersts on the board, so if there are any big guys who ride a wider stance than this it may be an issue. I cant beleive how light the whole setup is compared to my antique gear of yesteryear.
The Boards edges were razor sharp which I love, I didnt de-tune em. Of course with all the snow the float of the 169 was great, never once did I have a nose dive issue. The board also rode way shorter than a 169, it felt shorter than my old 167 and much more playful. Turn initiation and exit were really simple and fast in comparison to my last board. The flex of the board was bang on for a 240# guy, it felt like flexxed just right in the turns and sprung back into shape as I exited. When I rode a groomer, the boarded carved really well which may be becasue of the sharp edges, it felt like it always wanted to carve turns instead of sliding them around. The board loved being on edge and was exptremely responsive to all of the direction I gave. In flat out straight line it had a slight wander but nothing un-manageable.
The M11 bindings - Really wanted a step in so I went ahead with the Flow bining, did some adjusting thorughout the day until I got em dialed in. For sure you do not need to have flows clamed down supertight on your foot, you almost need to ride them loose. The were a very resposive binding that performed well while riding. You had to be sure that you boot and binding was free of snow each time you strapped in otherwise you would end up with an in-consistent feeling from run to run. I also found it difficult for my rear foot to slide out of the binding, for the flow riders how easily should the exit be? Also the highback always wanted to be in the up position, this was a pain when trying to kick my feet in, I think that as the binding break in that the high back should flop down on its own. Last complaint was I found it difficult to get to the high back buckle, Maybe this is becasue I am a big dude and getting down this low to pick the buckle off the snow is cumbersome, I hope as I get the hang of these bindings the technique gets easier.
New Driver X boots - Super light compared to my old step ins, and really comfortable. Had some trouple figuring our the speed straps, as I have never used them before and didnt try the boots on before I got to the hill. Once I figured out there was an lower and upper lacing system I dialed them into a real comfy position. Not much to say on the boots other than, they were warm, light, nice and stiff, responsive and easy to use.