Reviews. Flow, K2, Arbor, Flux, YES, Union
We'll start off with my stats.
5'8, 145lbs, 9.5 K2 T1's.
Flow Era 155 with M9's: 22in 15/-15
I was looking forward to riding a lot of the Flow stuff. They are using a camber design similar to Gullwing, so rocker in between and minimal camber in the tips. It has a blended 5 radial sidecut. Very mellow outside the feet, tighter under foot, and a little mellow between the feet. The sidecut worked very well and did what I wanted it to when I wanted it to. Smooth and lazy when needed, but I could definitely lay a trench when I wanted to. And something about the board, probably the sidecut, led to the board tracking through its turns very smoothly and didn't let out of the turn before you wanted to. The initiation and release were both still very smooth as well. Quite enjoyable. It was also a really stable board and flat based very comfortably. I never really got rocker flap while bombing and felt very in control of the board the whole time. It didn't have a ton of pop but enough to get the job done. Rocker, so it pressed well and buttered well, not too special here either but good enough to have fun. I liked the bindings a lot. They provided all the performance I need out of a binding but better comfort and the obvious, fast in/out. The performance wasn't anything super, but in my experience as long as the binding isn't too stiff or too soft for the board its on, solid construction and comfort are my only other concerns. The M9s were definitely comfortable. They have all aluminum micro adjusts and the frame and highback are both nylon/fiberglass plastic, standard plastic in the industry. Really no complaints with them and I will probably be either owning them or Quattro's this year.
I would recommend it to someone looking for their "one" board, or someone looking for a very stable park stick a little more focused on jumps than jibs. Funnest park deck I rode that day.
YES Dudes Einstein 154 with Union Contact Pros: 22in 15/-15
Camrock with a "serrated" edge. Not serrated in an MTX fashion, kinda hard to explain really. Bindings are a tweaked Contact. The pros have different densitys of EVA bushings providing a stiffer side to side flex. The camrock does ride well around the mountian. Nothing to shout about or that made me think woah, but did what I needed. Personally I didn't feel the edge. I had typical edgehold for the conditions, couldn't lay down a trench with it without paying good attention and really driving through the turn with my back foot. Basically how I would have to ride a radial or dual progressive sidecut with no edge tech. Pop. The pop on this board was odd. I'm used to popping rocker boards and have had tons of year on camber so I figured it would be too hard to figure out the subtleties of YES camrock. I actually had to consciously focus on popping this board. It is really right behind your foot. It does have better than average pop but I just couldn't get used to how it initiated. I have posted reviews of the Contacts before, and the Pros are all that but a little stiffer side to side. Very highly recommended to someone looking for a little bit softer park binding or something to match well with a softer pow board.
Not my kind of ride, felt blah to me. I would say that if you have always felt that the pop zone was too far from your foot, this would probably be a good bet for an all mountain freestyly kinda ride. Edge tech didn't do anything though.
Arbor Draft 153 with Flux RK30's: 22in 15/-15
Bronze edges, griptech, parabolic rocker, soft. I had ridden to mid-stiff boards already and wanted something to play around on and get buttery. I like the parabolic rocker, it give the looseness that people like from banana but not the squirly sketchiness. Typical chatter and "mind of its own" that you'll get out of a softer board with rocker at super high speeds, but that not what this was built for. It did however hold a better edge than I expected with it being so soft and bronze. I never actually made it onto jibs, but I have ridden bronze edges before and know that they provide a smooth ride on rails. As far as the lock and press, butters get the idea across. I quite like the way this board pressed and locked. Its continuous rocker and would suggest its easy to go over the handlbars, which is only partially true. You will go over if you're not paying attention but as long as your conscious of your body, it locks really well where you put it. Mild to deep presses both lock well, the sweet-spot felt like the whole tip. Pop was average for a board this soft with rocker, enough that you would be fine getting up onto rails but if you needed to hop a rope or small child you (and the small child) might be getting hurt. I didn't really notice the urethane highback but I did quite like the binding. The toe strap was odd fitting but comfortable and the ankle straps were quite cushy. They matched up really well with the Draft.
Someone learning presses cause the sweetspot is soo huge. Or someone that likes Arbor and wants a killer jib board. It could be my next noodle if we pick up Arbor for next year.
Arbor Coda 157 with DS45: 22in 15/-15
After the jibstick I wanted something fast and stable and able to lay down a euro carve and ride over the chunder comfortably. Smiles. Great pop, really damp ride, smoothy smooth, and fast. It did everything I was hoping it would with ease and was one of the funnest all mountain decks I've ever been on. It did get a little nose flap when pointing it, but all it did was flap. It never effected my stability and didn't really turn into chatter up into my legs. My only grip was that it didn't track a turn like I would have hoped. I'm used to worse and this was better, but I was hoping that the griptech in a board built like the Coda would really hold its line well through crud. On a little smoother conditions it really holds well, and at one point where I expected to loose the board just kept going and powered out nicely. Bindings were great as well. Felt really similar to the RK's but added everything that you'd expect with one thing you wouldn't. The highback on the DS is actually a little softer side to side than the RK's. This gave a little better side to side flex but with the 45 glass base it had better performance toe->heel. I actually liked the slightly softer side to side flex and liked the way it matched up with the Coda really well. Again the straps both worked well, but I'm not too fond of the ratchets. They work fine and I can get the straps as tight as I need, but in my opinion they just take too much effort to keep initiated on the ladder. Not really an "issue" but just something I noticed.
Someone looking for a great all mountain rocker slayer. That setup is a top contender for my next all mountain setup.
Flow Infinie I-rock 156 with M9's: 23.5 15/-15
Not the width I normally ride but in the past 2 years I've gone from 25in to 21 and everywhere in between, so it took me maybe 100yrds to get used to the stance. Same anti-camber as the Era so I expected it to be a little stiffer directional/twin version of the Era without the 5 radial sidecut. Yup, that's what it was. I had just ridden the Coda so that's really what I was comparing it too. It didn't quite hold up. It did however avoid the high speed flap and gave me that edge track I was hoping for from the Coda. It wasn't as poppy or quite as stable through crud as the Coda but definitely still a damp and well done ride. Enough pop to get over anything that you would run into, or want to get over and it initiated easy enough. Like the Era it flatbased very stable and comfortably. Still like the bindings on this board and like them more the more I ride them.
Not really my style. If I'm gonna get an all mountain board I want something that is going to have a ton of pop and will let me get annoyingly fast. Someone looking for a little more mellow all mountain board that will keep its edge well and turn smooth through crud and varying conditions.
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Last edited by Nivek; 11-12-2010 at 12:14 AM.