REVIEW: Kessler "RIDE" 168 - The Ultimate Snowboard
I Got this board on a great (group buy thingy) deal shipped to door! Was in the market for a true directional free ride stick, so I grabbed it! Heard so much about Kessler boards and I know I'll never get to see one in a demo... so here goes !
To start with, I think (personally) this board has the same techs as the Palmer Platinum LE had before it was discontinued! So, Kessler (who was making it for Palmer) probably decided to use/seize this and make it under their label with a few minor shape and look tweaks.
It's really high end construction board from tip to tail. The ultimate freeride board that I actually used as an all-mountain! For fair comparison, here's a list of boards I owned or been on as demo to give perspective:
Never Summer Titan
Salmon Mans Board
Burton Custom X
Lib Tech Travis Ride
1st and formost, this board grips on ice like nothing I've seen. I have a Travis Rice board with mange-traction (Lib Tech C2 BTX), which I thought was the best there is on ice. Until I got the Kessler Ride into some ice! It literally grips on ice like glue! So much that I initially thought either the use is stick, or my board base is completely burned out of wax! None of the above. :) The KST seems to place the entire board edge into the ice creating the ultimate grip. Once you learn that, you just point the board down and shoot! You can slow down by simply putting the board on a slight (or hard) edge deepening how much you want to slow.
2nd most impressive was how damp this board is! I could be cutting into moguls or charging a double diamond (ice or no ice) and this board just holds steady as a tank though it all. Yet it always feels super light and nimble.
With all that in mind, I thought if this board can do it in the park, we are game! So, I took it for some park jumps and boy was I ever impressed how it takes off and lands. Super steady and very predictable. I ever took into into some boxes (no rails) just for fun! We also have a BX trail at my resort that I will be taking this into next time around if I get the chance.
Although it's a directional, set-back free ride board, I could ride it switch with ease. As a matter of fact I found it it to be a great for my progressing switch riding with the shorter back! Like skies riding switch you could say. Turned and carves easier than my twin. But that's just me... Haven't (and won't) try switching on jumps for the record! But I could drop a 180's off the ground or off pitched sides NP!
The board has an amazing pop of rollers when coasting through the snow. It's a hybrid so it's super easy to ride on catwalks and flat as well as relaxing your feet. It requires MINIMUM effort to manouver and carve into snow. A beast that's super easy to ride.
I also took it into some powder and it floats like a hovercraft on the white stuff! Could carve in and out tree lines and side POW banks with ease. Though turning it at 1st will take a little getting used it at 168 (vs my other board 156-164 max).
Overall, the best snowboard I ever had my hands on to date! In summery:
Ultimate ice grip
Smooth Damp Ride
Rock solid in any condition
Great for jumps & landing
Ultra Hybrid camber (KST)
Rides easy on flats and catwalks
Minimum effort to ride & carve
Floats great in pow
Ride like a tank - point & shoot downhill
ABSOLUTE KILLER BOARD
Nice read! Love that sidecut.
Ah.. I envy you.
Anyway, I have friends who also ride this machine, and they absolutely love it.
They also rides with the binding plate for faster response and better grip.
Damn you!!! Did you get it on that I.Get.It deal for $650 or so shipped? I was so tempted but since I have C60 EST bindings right now I don't want to have to fork out another $400 or so for stiff bindings for it.
I've been bugging the canadian sales rep to try to get them to come out west so I can at least touch the board before buying it (I'd prefer to try) but everyone I've talked to says they're fantastic.
I'm assuming it'd be a worthy replacement to the Burton T7? I love ripping it on the T7 but it's super stiff and cambered and makes me work through the powder. I'd be surprised if anything bombs quite like the metallic T7 though. :D
No plates for now... I love the response as is along with the flex. I may give that a shot down the line though! :D
I'll try and take a video with my GoPro next time out and post here to add to the review.
Thanks for sharing! Would love to try that board as well as some of the others from europe but need a wider stance than 600 mm.
650 shipped for a Kessler! Damn! I've always wondered about these boards. It sounds incredible.
What bindings did you go with? I was debating between the cateks and some Burton C60's or Diodes.
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