Rode at Silver Mt yesterday with 'officially' 6" of new but much more on Wardner Peak and wind blown in areas. I'm soooo impressed with this board it's hard to put into words. Early in the morning I was lapping a medium to tight mostly untracked tree area and was finding myself actually seeking out the tightest lines because I could turn and whip this thing around like a ninja. This area was about 10-12" of fresh.
Before lunch and since my legs were still going strong I wanted to do the Wardner Peak hike, it's about 15 min pretty steep but it's groomed so not too bad. Definitely worth it especially for snowboarders since the wardner traverse is skiers only and you gain about 200 yards elevation. Anyway, I met up with my expert ski buddy and we hiked... We were greeted by 24" of light untracked pow mixed trees, open sections and STEEPS... I was never once wishing I had my Lib Mullet... I'm seriously wondering how deep I can ride this thing and I'm still centered on the inserts.
Can't wait to read your review! I'm thinking of picking up one these boards too. I'm about 5'9", 175 lbs, 9.5 boots, and intermediate-advanced rider. Looking to shred some big lines and to slay some powder with the raptor. I'm torn between the 156 and 159. Demoed a 158 heritage last month and loved it. Just looking for something that handles the powder better and can bomb with.
How was the 156 raptor compared to your 158 heritage? What size would you suggest for me? Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
This is the 156 Raptor for 2014 and it`s ability to hold an edge on steep, variable terrain is uncanny. This is the base of Chute 225 and the snow conditions today consisted of widespread ice patches (freezing rain crust), wind packed powder and sastrugi. The pitch here is about 50. I was able to make consistent short radius very dynamic skidded turns all the way down this. I traversed over to the next canyon (Clark) and had similar conditions although there were much larger ice sheets to cross and with a light touch, I was able to navigate across them and drom into the wind packed powder. The board is stiff (in a good way) and amazingly damp yet it is not a dead plank with no torsional flex. I was able to easily twist this board effectively for very tight short radius turns which you need on this terrain.
I let my friend who is now the night operations manager at Meadows ride it for about 4 hours while I rode the Proto HD to coach on. He used the Raptor to rove all over the mountain and at the end of the night his first comment to me was, "So, when I can buy this board?" I have let several coworkers ride it including a friend in Ski Patrol and everyone was stoked about the way it handles aggressive terrain and technique....
Yeah, 'aggressive' is the one word synopsis for this board... When is your AK trip? I'm thinking the Raptor won't suck up there
Can you compare the Raptor to the Burton Custom X?
I demoed a 156 Custom X and really, really loved it. It is probably the closest board to the Raptor that I demo'd and have a feel for. Thanks!
To be honest, you could better compare to a board with an S-Rocker, because from what I'm reading on NS' website, its got a camber up front with a rocker in back, which is similar to Burton's S-Rocker. Problem is, all the S-Rocker boards are to different in shape to compare to the Raptor.
Oh! I see! Thanks Snowolf. Anyway, the shape (Wide, blunt nose, more slim and longer tail) kind of reminds me of a Morrow Radium, though that was one heavy freaking board, and from what I'm reading, this board is nice and light.