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Old 04-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi all, apologies for my delayed reply, I've had trouble with my net connection here in Val and getting things like that fixed here seems to move very slowly!

Thanks very much for all your help and suggestions.

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I would also look into the Ride Berzerker. For someone not looking to ride park and wants to do everything else on the mountain it's one of the best boards I've been on.
Thanks Nivek. I have ready that the Berzerker is similar to the Highlife (suggested by neni), though the Highlife is lighter and their "higher end" version. Is this the case? I only ask as I will only buy one board for a while, and am happy to spend a bit extra to get the right one. I have seen some good reviews for this, but have also read its a board that needs to be pushed hard to be fun?

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It'll be a little more surfy in pow but the best powder focused all mountain/freeride deck I rode this year was the K2 UltraDream.
This definitely looks like one to add to the shortlist. Thanks

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Look into some Lib Tech boards as well.
I was looking in to the T. Rice, but once again worried that this is a little too aggressive?

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Any specific reason you don't have the NS Raptor on your list?
I had looked into the Raptor as well (and Jones Flagship for that matter), but from what I have read, it is not a playful board, and hard work to ride slowly. I will be riding with piste-only friends from time to time at lower levels than me, and like to muck around with jumps on and off the piste as well which tend not to be at high speeds, so am a bit worried about boards that have to be ridden hard and fast the whole time to be enjoyable. I would include Highlife/Berzerker and T.Rice in that category as well based only on peoples reviews on sites like this. I also love to ride through the trees so the board does need to be able to turn well (I know an aggressive board doesn't preclude this, but as I understand it as the stiffness does up, it generally gets harder to make the tight turns).

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Also, check out the Nidecker Megalight
Thanks Mpjames, I hadn't heard of that board, but have looked it up, it does seem to get quite a good rap! Will add it to the list. Thanks!

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at your weight i would go a bit shorter than a 171...if you are on a wide anyway i think you can get plenty of float out of a 163-165W and you will find you can whip it around in the pow better, and still not lose hold on the groomed
Thanks for the advice! I know the 172W is definitely too big for me, if only I knew it at the time, learning to board might have been less painful As you said I am looking for something in the 161-165W range depending on the board.

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look at the K2 Slayblade too, as an option..havent ridden it myself, but ive flexed enough boards to tell that thing is badass
I think that may be a little too extreme for what I'm after Thanks though

I was worried about boards being a little too aggressive, but given most of the suggestions here (correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Raptor, Highlife/Berzerker, Jones Flagship are at a similar level of aggression), I'm beginning to think I'm just being too conservative?
@neni: you said it was possible to take it easy on the Raptor, but is it fun, or at least not too much like hard work? It appears the 2014 Raptor is a couple of notches up the stiffness and dampness scale from 2013 as well just to confuse the matter further.
Any comments on the other boards of similar aggression still being fun at slower speeds? Also the ability to get tight in the trees is important.

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If you really want to demo some boards, look out for the Saas-Fee Box (in Valais, Switzerland). Its "only" some hrs drive from Val and I was told that it's one of the biggest demo stations in Europe, Sept-Nov. Lot of major brands will have their 2014 decks in different sizes there. Was told that NS will be there too. Would be a nice season opening on glacier weekend trip. I'll be there, still want to demo a Raven in 157 and the Arbor A-Frame
Wow, a big thanks for that info neni! A long weekend in Switzerland in Oct/Nov really seems like it could be the answer It seems a lot of the brands mentioned in this thread so far will be in attendance except unfortunately YES and Jones, (NS is not listed either, though hopefully will be added once the site is updated next year?). I guess there is really no better way to inform myself than ride these bad boys, and it seems there is actually a place to do that in Europe! I'll make sure to add the Ultradream and Megalight to my list to test... now if only I had the patience to wait 6 months
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dammit, just found a Raptor 165X 30% off, Jones Flagship 164 18% Off, and a Nidecker Megalight 163XL for 38% off (still the most expensive though!) at a UK site. The temptation is killing me!

If I were to get a Raptor, would you recommend the 161X or the 165X given my stats (6"6/198cm, 210 pounds/95kg, Size US12 (29.5cm) boot)
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if it were me, the 161, since its a W anyway you'll still float good enough, snappier for the chutes and such...close call though, personally id want the maneuverability over float
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 33AndAThird View Post
Thanks Nivek. I have ready that the Berzerker is similar to the Highlife (suggested by neni), though the Highlife is lighter and their "higher end" version. Is this the case? I only ask as I will only buy one board for a while, and am happy to spend a bit extra to get the right one. I have seen some good reviews for this, but have also read its a board that needs to be pushed hard to be fun?
Berzerker and Highlife have very similar shaper, but ride quite differently because of the difference in flex. Highlife is much stiffer and much less fun and playful. Berzerker does not need to be ridden nearly as aggressively and will do better in tree and when messing around.
Extra technology in the Highlife makes no discernible difference. Berzerker is just the better board all around - it does pretty much everything the Highlife does and a bunch of things the Highlife does not (or not well). It is more than enough board for 99.0% of people - it is not Jake Blauvelt's pro-model for nothing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The Highlife seems to me to be a real turd. My buddy has one....I don't even think HE likes it.... 2 stage rocker and he has to move his bindings back all crazy just to float in pow...

My tiny Proto floats my fattass in deep ass poo center stance. Get something that works!
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I got myself a Salomon Sabotage, and my son a Nitro Demand.

Seem like pretty decent all-around boards for freeriding and park, and some pow?
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 33AndAThird View Post
Dammit, just found a Raptor 165X 30% off, Jones Flagship 164 18% Off, and a Nidecker Megalight 163XL for 38% off (still the most expensive though!) at a UK site. The temptation is killing me!

If I were to get a Raptor, would you recommend the 161X or the 165X given my stats (6"6/198cm, 210 pounds/95kg, Size US12 (29.5cm) boot)
Dont take the Flagship. This is no playful board, its more fun the faster you go. But the Raptor 2013 offers some playfulness and the dampening allows to take it easy. I see hubby riding it switch through moguls (those moments when I'm torn between admiration and hate ) hitting natural jumps and slashing tight turns in trees. Hes 85kg and floats fine with the 164 through the deep (been to 40cm).
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Berzerker and Highlife have very similar shaper, but ride quite differently because of the difference in flex. Highlife is much stiffer and much less fun and playful. Berzerker does not need to be ridden nearly as aggressively and will do better in tree and when messing around.
Extra technology in the Highlife makes no discernible difference. Berzerker is just the better board all around - it does pretty much everything the Highlife does and a bunch of things the Highlife does not (or not well). It is more than enough board for 99.0% of people - it is not Jake Blauvelt's pro-model for nothing.
Thanks for the info hktrdr, looks like the Berzerker would be more the board I'd be after over the highlife after all.

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Dont take the Flagship. This is no playful board, its more fun the faster you go. But the Raptor 2013 offers some playfulness and the dampening allows to take it easy. I see hubby riding it switch through moguls (those moments when I'm torn between admiration and hate ) hitting natural jumps and slashing tight turns in trees. Hes 85kg and floats fine with the 164 through the deep (been to 40cm).
neni, you are seriously making me consider grabbing this 2013 Raptor! I worry that with the changes to 2014 it will be too aggressive, but from your comments the 2013 sounds the business!
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That Raptor on sale sounds perfect for you, it really is a great board. Everyone that owns one loves it. After the Mega, the Raptor would be my choice. You are already a experienced rider, you will be able to grow into the Raptors full abilities . Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 33AndAThird View Post
I was worried about boards being a little too aggressive, but given most of the suggestions here (correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Raptor, Highlife/Berzerker, Jones Flagship are at a similar level of aggression), I'm beginning to think I'm just being too conservative?
Sorry, I missed this question... Yes, the Raptor is an aggressive board, but not in the same class as the Highlife and Flagship. Husband and me were both riding these three boards (can't comment on the other models mentioned). We are agreed that the later two are significantly stiffer and big fun to carve on perfect groomers but absolutely no fun in moguls. You can blame me for being too light or not experienced enough to ride such boards in such terrain, but he's an expert and had the right weight for these lengths.
Since he has ridden my Flagship he was torn to get one too, for it being more aggressive than the Raptor. But after riding his Raptor this weekend in spring mogul runs lasting 1000 vertical meters, he was again very stoked with his Raptor for being so easy to turn tightly in such condituons.
When I was on the Raptor, I really could take it easy = ride straight over all the afternoon chopped up groomer with almost straight legs. The dampening of the board swallowed most of the unevenness. Never possible with the Flagship. It would buck you off. You can take it easy on the Flagship if you straight line or in pow
If I'd be into RC profiles (I'm not!), I would have got a small Raptor for me.
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