Let me start by saying my experience and where I usually ride. I'm local to Taos NM, so that is "my" mountain. Ive been riding for 4 previous seasons (this will be my 5th). Ive been getting progressively more into snowboarding and putting in more days each year. I'm no pro by any means, but not a noob either, if I had to put myself in a group I would consider myself an advanced rider. First year I went maybe 15 days, 2nd year, 30-35 days, 3rd year about 50 days, and 4th year(last year) was my first year as an instructor and I rode about 85+ days, whatever 4 days a week equaled out to. Now the terrain I ride would have to be something like 30%groomer, 30%bumps, 25% hikable, 15% park. Or something along those lines.
Ive been riding a traditional camber board until now, first I learned on a cheap pos airwalk board 155, my first year. Then I moved onto a Ride Yukon 160 (which I loved), and that board lasted me 2 seasons. Last year I rode a sierra Crew 159w which rode out alright, but its a little stiff and not very playful. Also I completely destroyed the board in 1 season, it was probably close to a 90 day season so I guess thats almost expected for such a cheap board(i got it when they were 70% off for around $150, and would recommend it for that price, but not any higher). The top sheet cracked in half along the nose of the board, and the edge looks like a squiggly line now. It would be dangerous to keep riding it.
Now onto the review.
I just rode wolf creek this last weekend and I must say I really love this board so far. Let me start of with its basics.
Flex/dampening: much more flexy than any board ive owned, I've ridden other boards that were more flexible of course. The all mountain rocker profile is great, anyone who says you can't press and jib on this board has not tried doing so on a camber board. Of course its not a park board, but you can still easily do presses full speed down the mountain with it. The flex is playful but serious. It is still stiff/damp enough to charge full speed down choppies. I really like the harshmellow tech, it was amazing how easy it was to mach down some of the stuff I was with absolutely no "oh shit" moments. And mind you this is the first 2 days ridden this season so my legs are weak. I would say the flex/dampening on this board along with its profile make a perfect 1 board quiver if you have to. I cant wait to hit the park with this thing and see how she does off some real booters. I also hiked the peak at Wolf Creek and got some fresh turns in. This would have to be where the board shines, effortless float, effortless turning, and quick edge to edge even though its a wide board.
Weight/profile: This board coupled with my 2 year old Ride Delta MVMNT bindings is so rad. Its a really light setup, I have not weighed it yet or anything, but just on my feet it feels light. Tweak airs and the like are effortless. Spins are also very easy. I'm sure this is a combination of the lightweightness and that its a bit shorter than what i've usually ridden. The all mountain rocker profile is pretty awesome. The board is 70% flat with rocker at the tip and tail. This gave it a predictableness and ease of riding i really enjoyed. I did not catch a single edge all weekend, and there were several times when i should have. When flat riding on the return trails and catwalks, it was so much easier than on a camber board that wants to drift out of a straight line and catch an edge. I really liked how easy it was to ride completely flat footed at full speed.
Carving: The board holds a good edge on the groomers. Its not quite as "locked in" as it feels on a camber board, and actually feels like it requires less effort to get a carve going. I noticed if I dive into a carve as hard as I did on my old camber boards I would end up washing out. I adjusted to this within the first few runs and was doing mostly perfect carves with less effort. I also noticed when riding bumps and steeps I would actually need to stay more centered. On my old camber boards I would literally dive into the turns putting extra weight on my nose. On this board I have to make sure to keep centered or I would fly over the nose due to the rocker profile and the flex. Once I got this figured out I liked it more than my camber board in the bumps/steeps. It honestly just seemed to take less effort to do the same thing. There was no ice, nor do I usually get any ice where I ride so I cannot report on that. Id expect it to be more washy on the ice compared to a camber board, but I wont know until I test that.
Durability: To early to tell at this point, but I definitely was riding in some crazy conditions. Jumping over creeks, huge logs, rocks scattered about. Even hiked some terrain despite the 40 inch base. Many rocks were hit. I didn't even get close to a core shot, after looking at my board today after the trip there are very few scratches and none of them went very deep. I'm happy with this.
Overall/TL;DR: Solid board with effortless feel to it. Great all around from the bumps/steeps to the groomers. Didn't get to test it in the park, as its october
, but the way it presses and jibs around on the groomers I bet it will work fine for kickers and spins, etc. Not sure about boxes/rails though. Those aren't really my thing anyways. Harshmellow works, makes the board feel really damp and able to mach over anything. Carves well with little effort. Seems like a great all around stick.
Sorry for the long winded review, I really like to talk about snowboarding so I might have gotten carried away.