So, I clicked "order" on dogfunk a couple of weeks ago, and then the excitement wore off. Then it turned into,"Why did I spend 600+ on a board?" Then it arrived. Just laying eyes on it wiped away any mixed feelings I had after the initial sale. I got it home and decided that I couldn't wait to try it out. I live about an hour and a half away from Hakkoda Ropeway in Aomori, Japan. It's argued to be the best lift accessed mountain in the world... I dunno if it is but they do currently have 13 feet of snow making it the perfect place to try out my new toy.
Me : 6'3" 220lbs, 29 years old.
Gear: Lib Tech Birdman 180cm, 2011 Cartel Bindings. Rear binding is all the way back pointed ... 6.. degrees out.. I say that because the way it reads, there's no way to really know on the binding. Front is 15. K2 Darko boots, which I love. I know some of you are like.. what's with all this last year's model crap. Well I still have it because it still works great and new bindings and boots would have meant no 600 dollars for this board.
Birdman next to a 159W Slayblade
Mountain: Hakkoda Ropeway
Before I type a little about how the board performed, I will say that this is not the board for people who don't care for attention from every angle. I got 3 or 4 "SICK BOARD DUDE", or "DAMN WHAT'S THAT and random uncomfortably long stares from Japanese guys with their 115 powder boards.
OK, first run. Immediate first thought... this board is HEAVY. I usually ride a 159 K2 Slayblade which is like a piece of paper so it was a big change. Anyway it's very heavy, and your feet can tell. There is a ton of nose on the board, and turning back and forth on hard pack and jittery surfaces was not incredibly enjoyable. Once I found some powder this thing obviously found its footing. The BTX did its thing and it was smooth sailing essentially for most of the day. In a way it was almost tooooooo easy. I would just stand there and the board was just moving me along powder trails like a conveyor belt. At one point I came to a flat where I wasn't carrying enough speed and I came to a stop (first time on "The Forest Course" at Hakkoda). I shit you not, I just did the little scoot of shame across the top of the powder until I got over the hill and kept going. I spent the day pretty much trying to sink the nose, but it wasn't having it. With that being said I did bail a couple of times to the point of needing to unstrap, so it's not like I was just riding around on some magician's wand, but more often than not you will certainly feel like you are.
I'll update this with some more when I get a better feel for the board. It was my first day today with it so I can't really sit here and break all the finer details down. For now...
-Chicks love big sticks
-Very forgiving on crap conditions
-Heavier than it could be, esp for the price
-Hard to explain but it kinda of has a 'runaway speed'. If you point it downhill, you will suddenly be going way faster than you had ever hoped considering that huge tree in front of you will win the fight against your head. It happened a number of times today. not sure why it does that but it can be unsettling
-Price. I think anything this expensive should be cheaper. haha