A quickie on a few Boards
These are more or less early impressions as it wasn't much more than a few runs in early season. But I know some of you have been begging for input on some of these so I thought I'd share a quick run through. If you want a bit more input on a specific deck just ask.
Gnu Pickle 153
In general it was a decent ride. I still don't think its quite worth the near $500 you pay full retail and I'm still not a fan of BTX. It just makes you ride too centered and I like to move my weight around on the deck more than it comfortably allowed. And I don't think their asym is working. They're using a softer wood just past the inserts from tip to tip on the heelside to make turns easier to initiate. The deeper sidecut was enough, using the softer wood just made it less meaty and I couldn't dig in right.
Gnu Impossible 155
I'm not a big fan of EC2. It just doesn't load like C2 or the other rocker/camber styles out there. Decent in a skate pop but I wasn't impressed overall. I felt like the deck ran into the same issue as the Pickle, that softer heelside core just doesn't do it for me. Other than that the theory of shorter and deeper is sound. It's the future of twins in my opinion. Also with mellow mag out there now, if you've liked the way Mervins ride but don't like Mange, something with mellow mag is the answer. Its only noticable in gnar conditions.
Lib TRS 154
This is by far the best Mervin I've ridden. Everything was easy on it. It didn't provide a ton of energy when I drove into it, but that's what made it predictable. You could load the tips a bit but if you really gave it some muscle it smushed out a bit. I still don't like Magne, but it does makes things easy to ride. You really don't worry about edge control much when on it.
K2 Ultra Dream 161
Tank. With a good splash of playfulness. It didn't really feel like I was lugging around a 161. Very stable at speed, very good edge hold, and the right amount of give in the tips to make it fun outside the pow. I REALLY look forward to this in deep snow, power surfing?
K2 Happy Hour 151
Stable, more drawn out turns, a bit of playfulness in the tips but not much. Its got stabby tips. There's been a very angry debate on these so I just wont go into it. The way it rode seems to me like its going to be just better in deeper snow than anywhere else. Tweekend wasn't overly noticable aside from a very smooth entry and exit with turns. It should give a more effective base area for deeper snow and something softer that you can get out on the tips more with will make more use of it.
Flow Rush 153
Super stable, agile, and snappy. This is now one of my new favorite decks. I will be riding one this year. Its a fantastic all mountain twin. The rocker and camber are very mellow. It rides similar to a flat board but when you would want the benefits of a center rockered board, they're there. Nice turn initiation and fantastic edgehold. Load it and snap, it has boost. ABT, didn't really feel it for the most part. Land bolts off a jump or off a step down rail and you'll notice it.
Flow Maverick 160
AK mountain stick for sure. It's not the most damp of board, but in AK you don't necessarily need it. Or want it. You get decent board feel which for navigating steeps and whatnot I can actually see that being very useful. Its a rocket. It feels a bit strange at slower speeds, but point it and after like 25mph or so (random rough guess) it comes alive and was really a blast to just mach with and make huge turns. It didn't feel as big and cumbersome as an average cambered 160 either. ABT again wasn't there much unless you were flat basing or landing bolts.
Yes Jackpot 154
I was told they are moving production to Elan and/or GST by two different people. One is the regional rep who told me GST. Its a good move as far as I can tell. The Jackpot is supposed to be their softer more jib oriented board as I was told, but it made a great softer all mountain twin freestyle board and would make a pretty good park stick. Good enough snap off edge, still some great play in the tips. Just a fun predictable energetic ride. The camrock has been tweaked a bit, its a little longer camber zone and less rocker. It made a huge difference. Color it endorsed.
Salomon Sabotage 152
Flat between the feet, camber under foot. I wanted to see this back in '08 when everyone was rushing rockers. Ride sorta did it, but this is closer to what I envisioned. It was amazing. I want one, and will be doing whatever I can to get one. Snappy, jibby, solid edge hold (I am becoming a fan of Equalizer), and smooth. This is one of the boards that I can ride every day no matter the condition or my mood. One of the best all mountain capable park decks I've been on.
Capita DOA 156
I was really looking forward to this one and was not disappointed. It was not the most lively of decks, or the grippiest, or the smoothest, but it was a fun ride. This is why I've liked Capitas in the past. They're fun rides. Snappy enough, damp enough, good enough edgehold, and agile enough. If you're aiming for a do everything freestyle stick from Capita, this is a great option.
Burton Parkitect 150
Asym Squeezebox is money. I did something similar to my Angry Signal and it works. It gives you more meat right under you back foot and allows you to drive into a heelside turn a little harder. So even though you don't have the deeper heelside to compensate for biomechanics, the extra girth does a decent job at making up for it. As a jib board I think the cambered needs to be mellowed out a bit in the tips. It just had the hookiness of full camber and with the way we can profile the camber in the tips now it just makes more sense for a jib stick.
Ride Machete GT 151
All the crazy tech you could ask for. Tons of pop when you could get at it. I just felt like it was too hard to get to. You really had to load into it. Just making it a smidge softer would make it effectively snappier. Very smooth through a turn and decent for long drawn out ones, but I wish it was deeper sidecut for snappy quick turns. Smooth on edge, Slimewalls are great for that, and cut through crud very well.
Flow Era 153
Stable in a turn, grippiest non bumpy sidecut I've been on, rolled base between the feet for smoothy edge transition and catch free front boards, load it and SNAP... A fantastic do everything twin. As at home as an all mountain freestyle stick as a do anything park board. One of my favorites.
Ride Berzerker 155
Powerful in a turn, nimble, smooth in and out of turns, snappy off edge, fast, likes to be up on edge. This is definitely a great board for someone that doesn't ride park and only wants one board for everything else. Nimble enough for the trees and stable and powerful enough for steeps.
What would be your pick now of the TRS vs Sabotage vs DOA? I was looking at getting one of those 3 and they all seem to be going for similar $ on ebay. I want a true twin that's more fun and playful for next year to improve my freestyle skills and switch riding. Not big into jibbing yet but I love going off natural and park jumps. Leaning towards the Sabotage because I have a Billy Goat and wanted to try out camber. I was also considering the T Rice Pro, from what I've read it's stiffer than those 3 but is a better all conditions kinda ride.
Well, hmmm. Hard to pick between the DOA and the Sabotage. The Sabo is a super fun board but a little soft and a bit better for jibbing than jumping. The DOA is just the opposite. Honestly the go between is the Jackpot out of what I rode that day or the Salomon Villain which I rode about 2 months ago and happends to be one of the top 10 boards I've ever ridden.
So really, none of those? I'd see if you can find a Jackpot or a Villain if you wanna try 'camber'.
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