Review: Proto CT on Japanese snow
I ordered this some time back and it finally arrived yesterday:thumbsup:. Couldn't wait to try it so I took it out of the box and headed straight to the local hill (no detune or wax). I will be taking it for a proper 3 day trip to Nagano next week and the snow is looking good.
2012 157 Never Summer Proto CT with 2011 cartel bindings.
Rider: 6ft 170~175lbs.Size 11 boots. I would say my level is advanced.
I ride mostly powder and love tree runs through steeps. I also love to hit natural features getting 1s 3s and a variety of grabs. I ride across groomed runs to get to the goods and enjoy short and long carves as well as presses and butters along the way.
I ride mostly excellent conditions in Nozawa onsen Nagano about 30 days a year (will go for 50 next year).
On this occasion I took the board to a local hill which is not that great, but just wanted to try out the board.
Conditions: Was pretty icy with a little dusting of snow on top. In some windblown areas it was solid ice.
Weight: Very light.
Edge hold/carving: This board is my first NS board and I was super impressed with the edge hold. Very solid and confidence inspiring.
I was carving down steep icy runs and as long as its nice and high up on edge it carves like a champ. Short turns and long drawn out carves are very good. Not as good as a set back semi directional freeride board, but for a playful twin board I would say its excellent.
Flex/pop. The pop is superb, as many have said, this is one of the stand out features of this board. The flex is maybe a 5.5 or 6 out of 10 for me. I am used to stiffer free ride boards so it was super easy to press and twist around.
This along with the rocker, also makes turn initiation very easy.
The flex is playful, but when you get it up on edge the camber zones kick in and it feels solid and more stiff through the carve. A really good balance IMO.
Damping: I sold my 2011 ride highlife to buy this board. I enjoyed the highlife a lot, but it was very damp and since I ride mostly good conditions I wanted a little more feedback from the snow. The proto has the damping just right for me.
Its damp enough to absorb chatter that you don't want, but feels lively and gives plenty of feedback from the snow.
Conclusion: The proto is a super playful board that can also lay down a good carve when you want to. Its a really good balance. I don't really do park, I wanted an all mountain twin that can help me progress my freestyle while being good at carving and in powder. I also wanted to ride more switch.
The proto is ticking all my boxes so far.
I will check the powder performance in Nagano and add to this review next week.
Awesome, glad you finally got the board looks like it was the right pick. I was going to get the proto but went with the blacklist and could not be happier. Hope you get a good dump so you know how much it can handle.
that board looks so nice with those cartels....
I like the way the cartels match up with the board both looks and performance wise. Always a bonus because I never had this board in mind when I bought the cartels.
We look set to get a decent dump for next week and I will check the performance in the powder:D. No doubt it should be good in anything up to 30cm though.
I bet you will get a lot of nice looks over there being NS is not around much.
Looking good, this board will slay Nozawa trees very well. Enjoy
Just got back from a trip to Nozawa in Nagano. Spent 3 days on the proto in proper snow so I wanted to add to the review.
Just to give you the idea of the kind of snow here are a few pics.
Day one was 30cm of fluffy white and it stayed cold all day. Day 2 was clear blue skies and the powder from the previous day was still good in the woods, but started to firm up and get heavy towards the end of the day. Was pretty heavy icy chop on the lower part of the mountain.
Day 3 brought 40cm of fresh fluffy powder:D. It was very low visibility though.
Basically I took the proto though a wide range of conditions most of which were good quality powder.
For this board I have settled on a 23" stance centered with +15-15 duck stance.
I am used to riding semi directional boards with a setback in powder, this board just floated through with absolutely minimal effort even in 40cm.
Really happy with this because I ride a lot of powder and with a set back its quite hard to 180 and land switch or even do switch turns because you have to work pretty hard to keep the shorter nose from diving.
Being able to stay centered on the board means you can play around a lot more and ride switch for long sections which I love to do.
Now I have 4 days on the board and a range of conditions I am hugely impressed.
It carves superbly well for a twin. Short or long turns you can set the edge and with a good fore aft movement really lay into a carve.
Popping off jumps is taking some adjusting because it pops of the lip much higher than I am used to. Its really lively in a very good way.
I rode some pretty choppy conditions and it is pretty good. Yes, you will feel quite a bit of chatter but its not bad at all. The plus side of this damping comes in powder.
In the powder the float was great as I said, but you also get great feel from the snow so you can really enjoy each powder turn and each slash. The flex and the rocker also make it very easy to initiate a turn even in quite deep heavyish powder. So much fun in the powder and way more playful than a setback semi directional board.
Powder, butters, jumps, switch, carving this can do it all very very well for such an all round board.
I will be riding it for some time to come on anything other than 40cm plus.
Just wanted to add a note about speed. When absolutely blasting down a groomed run with fairly heavy powder (20cm) you can feel the softish flex and you definitely need to stay focused and with a good solid low stance.
Compared to my stiffer freeride oriented decks this does have a lower speed limit. You can still go very fast, as fast as I would need to, but you can feel its not that stable beyond a certain speed. Of course thats to be expected for this type of board and it also depends on weight. If I were on a 160 I'm sure it would be much more stable at very high speeds.
Don't get me wrong this board can go very very fast, but its not going to be quite as stable as say my old ride highlife was at speed.
Still overall I think this board has a huge range of things it does well and is very versatile and fun.
That board looks great! Happy boarding!
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