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.
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?
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
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?
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).
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!
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.
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
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.
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