2012/2013 Lobster Park Board
I'll start off by saying I'm really new to snowboarding... So this review will really only be beneficial to the beginner/intermediate rider. I've been skateboarding for 16 years, and quit skiing in my early teenage years. I'd started skiing at a really young age. A family member was an instructor, so I got to ski for free and got a ton of days in every season... I was really good at it, but it didn't really inspire me to be very creative, and I always thought the snow was too out of the way to really be a good time...
This all changed this winter, after so many of my friends (including my girl, who is really good at both snowboarding and surfing...) have been pressuring me to go ride, and finally - the discovery of some amazing videos/riders/riding styes that made be become almost instantly obsessed with snowboarding.
I learned to ride on a standard camber board; a big brand, well known board. It was super fun on my first day, and with the help of my frustrated girlfriend (GET UP, STOP BEING A PUSSY!), I learned to link turns within a few minutes, and by the middle of the day was riding the whole mountain. (Keep reading, I'm telling you all of this for a reason..)
On that day, I ate shit so many times and really beat myself up. I learned what "Catching an edge" meant, MANY TIMES. I thought I broke my tailbone for sure. I'm sure you all went through this, it's actually pretty funny.
Anyhow - I was so hyped after this first day, that I wanted to buy a board and ride all the time. I did a lot of research, and decided I wanted a park/flat focused board, and that TBT looked like the best shape option for me. I thought reverse camber boards were cool too, but I'd never ridden one, so I decided to stick with what little I knew at the time. I checked out Bataleon/Lobster, and decided to go with a Lobster basically cause I like the name and graphics better, and the boards are super simple in terms of deciding what you want to use them for. "Jib," "Park," "Freestyle." Come on. It's easy. These looked like boards that were very to the point and would take some abuse.
I took the park board up for my second day of riding, and was a little weary because I heard TBT takes a bit to get used to etc... I was thinking I was going to wash out, or have a hard time turning. This was not the case in the least... It's so quick edge to edge, and it's really consistent in terms of edge hold. It's really easy to carve on. Even on ice, you have less grip of course, but it's not shaky or hard to predict. I can kind of compare it to a good set of skateboard wheels, it grips nice all the time, and when you're on the super slippery stuff, it's even fun to slide around on and get a little loose!
I wanted to wait to write this review until I had ridden the board more, and in different conditions. I've taken it up quite a bit in the last month, so here is a rundown of things I've noticed with it since I got it:
This is the category I felt that I couldn't answer quite accurately in the beginning, but I've definitely taken it pretty fast down the mountain the last few times I've gone up. At any speed, the board handles whatever you want to throw at it. Get swervy and have fun, or lean more into your turns and really get an edge. Although I can't compare it to anything other than standard camber (I also recently picked up a 2007 Never Summer SL for $25... I like it for other reasons), TBT is amazing, and I don't think I will be switching to a reverse camber board unless something really blows my mind. On powder day (singular, lol), it was really fun. The steeper hills were like a dream, the not-so-steep were still really fun, but maybe a little back leg burn. I'd stick to trees/steeps in pow. If you are on less steep resort runs, maybe try and set the stance back a bit if it's deep? But really, it's probably not needed.
It's a true twin, and it really feels like it. I basically took a few runs to learn basic skidded turns switch, and it came super easy. A few times i would over-correct or catch a track in the snow off balance... and somehow avoided falling by just keeping the board under me, and the TBT would basically save me from eating shit.
Like I said, I'm still new to snowboarding, but I can say that I can ollie/nollie this thing damn high. Once I got more comfortable with the turning aspect of riding on snow rather than asphalt, the 180s (on flat or small bumps) came super easy too. The board seems to spring my body into where ever my shoulders lead, and after setting aside a bit of the day to practice them, I easily picked up 180s (on flat, or small stuff) in every direction.
I haven't done anything off of anything bigger than a little roller/bump on a run, or a knuckle at the top where the run drops off or merges, but I have learned what they mean by "forgiving" when they describe TBT/Rocker/Any-Thing-But-Camber. I know some people say that this develops bad habits, but I'd have to counter with the fact that it saved me from smashing myself on the hard snow this spring more than a few times. If you land off center, you know it. It's not like you can't get up there again and try to get your form right... In fact, knowing that you have a little room for error with rotation can give you a little confidence to go faster and higher. Which are two of my favorite things!
It's super fast. I rode in the slush a couple days, and passed by all the people on flats walking their boards. I know most sintered bases are supposed to be faster, but something about the TBT angles on this just seeming to push all the other peoples' tracks out of the way like a spoon or something. This spring had a lot of rocks/logs/debris to avoid sticking out of the snow, and a handful of them took a shot at the base. None of them got more than a scratch out of it. A few of them are pretty big scratches, but nothing deep. I am impressed, I thought I'd shred it to pieces on one particular day, but it really held up nicely.
Pretty tough, scuffs a bit in the lift line, but after having a few dozen first time skier kids railing over it during spring break, it looks pretty new still! I thought I'd get a few chips or de-lam corners or something a few of the times from other riders, but it held it together.
Again, some really rough spring conditions, and no real kinks or burrs on the edges. They are still super sharp, and flush with the level of the base with no warping or anything.
A lot of people ask about this board. Everyone seems to love it, or at least wonder what the hell lobster means (or loser, haha). What's not to love about Lobsters? One last detail is about catwalks... If they are tracked out and you ride flat bottom, the board will kind of drift on these. Not in a severe way, but it may take a bit to get comfortable with not being locked in. Or just keep an edge on them and you'll be fine.
I love this board, and would recommend it to anyone who comes from street skateboarding, or likes to have fun and be creative when they ride.
Last edited by stan_darsh; 08-27-2013 at 12:20 AM.