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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on my first freeride board

Current boards Arbor Element Camber NS Evo RC 158s... Much more a fan of the NS tech, was toying with the idea of adding a dedicated freeride board (the Evo is really fun, but at that size and flex speed is really not an option).

Here's what I'm wondering... looking to stay with NS, basically trying to decide between the Heritage, Premier F1, and Raptor, as well as proper board length. I wouldn't say a 158 is too short, but I have no trouble controlling a board that size. That said, what do you ladies and gents recommend as far as these boards go?

Heritage
Directional twin (I think), so easier to ride switch than the other two
Damp 7
Flex 5.5
Carbonium/laminate

Premier F1
Setback stance/directional/non-twin?
Damp 8.5!!! (This is the main thing I'm looking to differentiate from the Evo)
Flex 6
No carbonium/laminate (old tech, or is there a reason it's omitted from this board?)

Raptor
Setback stance/directional/non-twin
Damp 7
Flex 6.5
Carbonium laminate

Based on what I've read, I'm leaning towards a NS deck with Carbonium... my Evo doesn't have it so I'd just like something different -- I bought the Evo because it would be different than the Arbor and I prefer the RC tech as well as the centered stance -- which the Heritage keeps, I believe as the only one of the three. But please, talk me into whatever you recommend, looking for some input quickly, as prices and inventory still look good. Also, sizewise? Weightwise I'll never realistically drop below 180lbs, but I'm really not looking for a board that rides me. That said, I want something longer than what I ride now. Go 160-161, or 163-164? If the board is more flexible, like the Heritage, is longer less of an issue? Basically I'm trying to get something still all-mountain, but I'll know my boards apart blindfolded, if that makes sense? Or if I'm looking to maximize dampness, is the Premier what I'll want, even if it's directional?

My gut says go with a 162 Heritage (or 160? Gaaah!), but interested in getting 2 cents from others. Thanks!

Mike

2010 Arbor Element
2010 Rome Targa
2011 NS Evo
2011 Rome 390 Boss
2009 Salomon F22
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 06:43 PM
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For pure freeride I'd stick with the Premier or Raptor. If you want an all mountain freeride/freestyle combo get the Heritage. The Premier is heavier and has elastomeric stabilizers to add dampness. Basically strips of rubber under the inserts. A good analogy might be that the Premier is like a Dodge Viper, big, heavy, stable and built to haul ass. The Raptor is more like a Porsche where the ride might not be as damp but it will be a little more nimble. From what I hear the Raptor is still exceptionally damp though.

Also depends on how good of a rider you are, both those decks are for an upper-intermediate to advanced rider. The Heritage can accommodate a little wider variety of riders.

If I were you I'd get the Premier 161, but the size and board are gonna depend on your preference. Everything you mentioned will work great and you'll probably be happy on any of them.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Experience is the X factor. I've ridden 30+ days on boards. What specific skills do I want prior to stepping into a premier or raptor? And I can get a 163 for less.. Too long?
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For pure freeride I'd stick with the Premier or Raptor. If you want an all mountain freeride/freestyle combo get the Heritage. The Premier is heavier and has elastomeric stabilizers to add dampness. Basically strips of rubber under the inserts. A good analogy might be that the Premier is like a Dodge Viper, big, heavy, stable and built to haul ass. The Raptor is more like a Porsche where the ride might not be as damp but it will be a little more nimble. From what I hear the Raptor is still exceptionally damp though.

Also depends on how good of a rider you are, both those decks are for an upper-intermediate to advanced rider. The Heritage can accommodate a little wider variety of riders.

If I were you I'd get the Premier 161, but the size and board are gonna depend on your preference. Everything you mentioned will work great and you'll probably be happy on any of them.

Mike

2010 Arbor Element
2010 Rome Targa
2011 NS Evo
2011 Rome 390 Boss
2009 Salomon F22
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 07:06 PM
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Do you want a damp, fast , free ride board with great edge hold that will outperform almost anything off piste?

Get a Venture - zephyr, odin or Zelix... I own an Odin, Zelix and skylar special.

They're flat with raised tips and are blazing fast + they're made in Silverton.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mwl001 View Post
Experience is the X factor. I've ridden 30+ days on boards. What specific skills do I want prior to stepping into a premier or raptor? And I can get a 163 for less.. Too long?
i'm 5'8" / 175 lbs and i have the 156 Raptor.. suits my needs because im all freeride/speed.. the whole mountain was all slushed up with bumps pretty much all around, but the board performed well.. no chatter in any of my runs and real stable during my charge sessions
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 08:58 PM
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If you want to freestyle while you're out freeriding, then the Heritage is an excellent choice. I currently have the 2014 Heritage X in a 163 and I can say that it's super stable at speed and still knows how to handle jumps and spins. It's plenty damp for me, and it busts crud quite well. I prefer it over my Proto HDX when the conditions are chopped up crap or crazy hardpack. That being said, if you have no plans to freestyle while freeriding, then go with the Raptor or F1. Although, even those can be used for some freestyle, but definitely not what they were built for.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 09:44 PM
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Go with your gut

I have owned a Premier and I currently ride a Heritage. I am mostly freeride and strongly prefer the Heritage due to the fact that it is much more playful and fun to ride IMO. They both are damp and handle everything (non-park) extremely well, the Premier rides faster but I like the maneuverability of the Heritage through trees and messing around. I like to carve and bomb runs which both boards can do but I feel I have to be much more on my game all the time with the Premier while the Heritage has allowed me to be a bit more sloppy at the end of the day. Both are great boards so can't go wrong.

In terms of size I am 175 lbs and had a 161 Premier and downsized to a 155 with the Heritage. In hindsight I wish I would have gone 158 with the Heritage and will likely upgrade once I am back riding (recently tore my Achilles playing soccer).

Good luck and enjoy.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:07 PM
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I just switched from an F1 to a Cobra. It's not that the F1 is faster...the cobra will go just as fast. It's that the F1 is ore stable at speed, meaning pushing 50 oh or more. The cobra is much quicker edge to edge, makes a shorter turn easier, but doesn't seem to hold a very long radius very fast line as well.

What hasn't been mentioned is edge hold. I was quite surprised at how much better the cobra is on ice and hard packed. It just doesn't let go.

I'm a confirmed groomer speed freak. Love it. But, the cobra is just way better in trees and moguls. I'm happy I changed, wouldn't go back.

If you want haul ass all the time, f1 or raptor (haven't been on one though). If you still want tree and mogul fun, heritage or cobra.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I definitely better understand the difference between these boards now -- I think I'm between the F1 and Heritage... what I'm wondering is, can I "buy" a little extra stability going longer on the more flexible Heritage, without losing some of the better low speed maneuverability that board would have? Or is that a direct tradeoff -- maneuverability vs speed (gained from length)? I'd like to keep the Heritage versatility, but not if that board won't feel like a freeride board. I demo'd a Heritage a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, ended up buying the Evo that year (no Heritages left).

Thanks.

Mike

2010 Arbor Element
2010 Rome Targa
2011 NS Evo
2011 Rome 390 Boss
2009 Salomon F22
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Bumping!!!!

Mike

2010 Arbor Element
2010 Rome Targa
2011 NS Evo
2011 Rome 390 Boss
2009 Salomon F22
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