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Sounds like you have some experience with both the Optimistic and UNW8. Do you have a long-term review/comparison of them?
I’ve written a lot of feedback on the Unw8 and the Optimistic on this forum but no direct comparison as these are different boards.

The Optimistic is a short fat with a mid-stiff flex and a super short sidecut. I put my low int friends on it and they enjoyed it. An auto-turn board once you tilt it a bit that I’d put compare to Rome Stalefish, Ride Superpig, Salomon Dancehaul etc. (ofc they differ for power/fs focus within their category). For what it is intended to do it’s pretty much perfect but I don’t like short fats at all anymore for carving (they are fun in powder/fs).

The Unw8 is a super stiff all mountain freeridish board. Completely unforgiving for someone who isn’t a strong carver. It’s a carving/euro carving ATV but if I were to tweak it I’d give it a longer sidecut radius mid 9s and give it a mid longitudal flex point to make it easier to pop without interfering with its torsional stiffness that makes it carve so hard for a board in this category. From the boards I’ve owned/ridden I’d compare it to Amplid Pentaquark and Burton Leaderboard (the 3D raised contact points don’t give the full camber insta grip here though).
 

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First day on my new pentaquark. First impressions…wow, such a fun carver! I rode for 4 hours straight in the morning and covered approximately 15k vertical, which would normally leave my knees pretty sore as an old man. I have no soreness and feel great so I’m a believer that the board has some serious dampening tech.

I’ve become so use to shorter boards that I was worried that a 158 would be tough to control. I had no problems doing short, medium and long carved and was able to make adjustments at speed without a problem (mostly to avoid skiers going straight across the run or thinking they are fast and riding too static to blow by them safely). I didn’t truly get it to fast, my fastest recorded on the ikon resort app was 43 but it doesn’t record in the section I was in most of the time and probably got closer to 50. (I seriously need a better app for recording speed without reliable network GPS on the mountain). It was very responsive to quick corrections and was able to stop quickly when I needed it without chopping out.

I’m still feeling out the best way to carve with it. There were a few times I was really popping out of a carve onto the next one. There were a few times I accelerated out of the carves a lot faster than expected - can’t wait to take advantage of that in the future.

I had some concerns because it was billed as unforgiving. I did a fair share of flat boarding on cat tracks, etc. and didn’t feel nearly as catchy as my Jamie Lynn short wide. Seriously had no problems with it and only fell once on a steep that was total user error.

Since I bought it and took it out the next morning, I didn’t have time to wax it and it showed. I can’t wait to get a few layers of wax on it and send it.

I got it locally at a surf shop in seal beach called inflight surfshop. They are the only US online amplid dealer. Great shop owner, had an hour conversation before leaving with the board. They just got the Pentaquark (only one)..glad I waited for it! They carry amplid and korua so it’s a great shop…give them some business if you are looking for a korua or amplid!
 

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First day on my new pentaquark. First impressions…wow, such a fun carver! I rode for 4 hours straight in the morning and covered approximately 15k vertical, which would normally leave my knees pretty sore as an old man. I have no soreness and feel great so I’m a believer that the board has some serious dampening tech.

I’ve become so use to shorter boards that I was worried that a 158 would be tough to control. I had no problems doing short, medium and long carved and was able to make adjustments at speed without a problem (mostly to avoid skiers going straight across the run or thinking they are fast and riding too static to blow by them safely). I didn’t truly get it to fast, my fastest recorded on the ikon resort app was 43 but it doesn’t record in the section I was in most of the time and probably got closer to 50. (I seriously need a better app for recording speed without reliable network GPS on the mountain). It was very responsive to quick corrections and was able to stop quickly when I needed it without chopping out.

I’m still feeling out the best way to carve with it. There were a few times I was really popping out of a carve onto the next one. There were a few times I accelerated out of the carves a lot faster than expected - can’t wait to take advantage of that in the future.

I had some concerns because it was billed as unforgiving. I did a fair share of flat boarding on cat tracks, etc. and didn’t feel nearly as catchy as my Jamie Lynn short wide. Seriously had no problems with it and only fell once on a steep that was total user error.

Since I bought it and took it out the next morning, I didn’t have time to wax it and it showed. I can’t wait to get a few layers of wax on it and send it.

I got it locally at a surf shop in seal beach called inflight surfshop. They are the only US online amplid dealer. Great shop owner, had an hour conversation before leaving with the board. They just got the Pentaquark (only one)..glad I waited for it! They carry amplid and korua so it’s a great shop…give them some business if you are looking for a korua or amplid!
It really is an amazing board. I think their copy reads that way because it's not an intermediate friendly ride, but if you know what you're doing is totally fine. The UNW8 is way less forgiving imo because of the torsional stiffness/triax glass.

What binding angles are you running? It really shines with high positive angles.
 

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Funny you should ask, I have always used a duck 15 -12/-15, but decided to go with a positive stance for the first time ever - 21 6. I was surprised that I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable in the new stance and there was no added fatigue from it. I didn’t try to ride switch at all so that will be interesting if I do try next time.

I also have a very narrow stance at 20.5 (I’m 5’6” and knees hurt when I go wider) so I’m on the inner screws on both sides.

I’m riding cleavers with it but kind of want to try Now O-drives or jones apollos
 

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I will definitely play with the forward settings next time. Unfortunately, the Pentaquark's shortest settings are 20.5 - its the only drawback for this board. I almost grabbed the cafe racer just for that reason but really wanted the Pentaquark for its tech and stiffness.
 

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I will definitely play with the forward settings next time. Unfortunately, the Pentaquark's shortest settings are 20.5 - its the only drawback for this board. I almost grabbed the cafe racer just for that reason but really wanted the Pentaquark for its tech and stiffness.
Too bad, but you're probably fine. I have the older 156 version of the board. I do wish they came in two sizes. Unfortunately, a lot of the Amplid boards are really made for bigger riders.

I'm considering picking up the Singular 154 for that reason... I know it's missing antiphase and some of the centrifugal tech, but it may be the right board for my 5'9" 155lb 8.5 us boot self.
 

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Interesting this conversation pops up right now as I’ve again taken my Penta out recently and am afraid have to confirm my conclusion from last year that I don’t really like the board.

it might well be me not being capable of riding the penta but I simply am not able to generate and edgehold/ pressure. The board feels completely loose and I don’t trust it so wouldn’t fully lean into carves. I’ve been on other stiff boards like the bullet train or the unw8 which were much more fun for me to ride (despite the unw8 being a bit too narrow for my liking with my 10.5 boots).

today in some more or less icy conditions the Surfari had much better grip than the penta. And both boards had a fresh service from the same shop…so will probably sell the penta
 

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Interesting this conversation pops up right now as I’ve again taken my Penta out recently and am afraid have to confirm my conclusion from last year that I don’t really like the board.

it might well be me not being capable of riding the penta but I simply am not able to generate and edgehold/ pressure. The board feels completely loose and I don’t trust it so wouldn’t fully lean into carves. I’ve been on other stiff boards like the bullet train or the unw8 which were much more fun for me to ride (despite the unw8 being a bit too narrow for my liking with my 10.5 boots).

today in some more or less icy conditions the Surfari had much better grip than the penta. And both boards had a fresh service from the same shop…so will probably sell the penta
That's so strange, I feel like I'm glued to the slope on the Penta (and all the centrifugals). Then again, it's not often icy here in Utah.
 

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That's so strange, I feel like I'm glued to the slope on the Penta (and all the centrifugals). Then again, it's not often icy here in Utah.
I mean it wasn’t like crazy icy, nothing I wouldn’t expect in the alps on a normal day.

questioning myself if my technique is so off but I’m fine on other advanced boards so no idea what’s going on…as said same with me with the unw8 and the surfari, simply not with the penta🤨
 

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The board feels completely loose and I don’t trust it so wouldn’t fully lean into carves.
That's really interesting. I wonder what's going on with that. My older 160 Penta is very confidence inspiring for me. It's a little bigger and softer than what's manufactured now. I do ride my Surfari more, but I love my Penta for those groomer days.
 

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Check the camber on your Penta. Might be that yours is abnormally high. That coupled with a stiff board and low body weight (never said how much you weighed) could lead to low edge angles necessary to keep the edge fully engaged. Low edge angles mean skidding. Increasing the edge angle will require more speed and power to flex the center to the snow.

When someone says a board is too much for them, it usually just boils down to body weight and board flex. Not that they're weak or anything like that.
 

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Interesting this conversation pops up right now as I’ve again taken my Penta out recently and am afraid have to confirm my conclusion from last year that I don’t really like the board.

it might well be me not being capable of riding the penta but I simply am not able to generate and edgehold/ pressure. The board feels completely loose and I don’t trust it so wouldn’t fully lean into carves. I’ve been on other stiff boards like the bullet train or the unw8 which were much more fun for me to ride (despite the unw8 being a bit too narrow for my liking with my 10.5 boots).

today in some more or less icy conditions the Surfari had much better grip than the penta. And both boards had a fresh service from the same shop…so will probably sell the penta
Have you tried adjusting your bindings: angles. stance width, placement on the sidecut? What you're experiencing sounds really unusual
 

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First day on my new pentaquark. First impressions…wow, such a fun carver! I rode for 4 hours straight in the morning and covered approximately 15k vertical, which would normally leave my knees pretty sore as an old man. I have no soreness and feel great so I’m a believer that the board has some serious dampening tech.

I’ve become so use to shorter boards that I was worried that a 158 would be tough to control. I had no problems doing short, medium and long carved and was able to make adjustments at speed without a problem (mostly to avoid skiers going straight across the run or thinking they are fast and riding too static to blow by them safely). I didn’t truly get it to fast, my fastest recorded on the ikon resort app was 43 but it doesn’t record in the section I was in most of the time and probably got closer to 50. (I seriously need a better app for recording speed without reliable network GPS on the mountain). It was very responsive to quick corrections and was able to stop quickly when I needed it without chopping out.

I’m still feeling out the best way to carve with it. There were a few times I was really popping out of a carve onto the next one. There were a few times I accelerated out of the carves a lot faster than expected - can’t wait to take advantage of that in the future.

I had some concerns because it was billed as unforgiving. I did a fair share of flat boarding on cat tracks, etc. and didn’t feel nearly as catchy as my Jamie Lynn short wide. Seriously had no problems with it and only fell once on a steep that was total user error.

Since I bought it and took it out the next morning, I didn’t have time to wax it and it showed. I can’t wait to get a few layers of wax on it and send it.

I got it locally at a surf shop in seal beach called inflight surfshop. They are the only US online amplid dealer. Great shop owner, had an hour conversation before leaving with the board. They just got the Pentaquark (only one)..glad I waited for it! They carry amplid and korua so it’s a great shop…give them some business if you are looking for a korua or amplid!
Good to know about inflight, I’m in Huntington and never knew! Been wanting to a hands on feel for amplid and Korua but have never been able to. I was surprised how many Korua’s I saw at Mammoth the other week.
 

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That's really interesting. I wonder what's going on with that. My older 160 Penta is very confidence inspiring for me. It's a little bigger and softer than what's manufactured now. I do ride my Surfari more, but I love my Penta for those groomer days.
Yeah that's what I had expected from the board tbh. Messaged the guys from Amplid and they only said that the board has to be ridden with at least 40km/h and actively pushing it. Well, I'd say I do both and yet no traction.

Check the camber on your Penta. Might be that yours is abnormally high. That coupled with a stiff board and low body weight (never said how much you weighed) could lead to low edge angles necessary to keep the edge fully engaged. Low edge angles mean skidding. Increasing the edge angle will require more speed and power to flex the center to the snow.

When someone says a board is too much for them, it usually just boils down to body weight and board flex. Not that they're weak or anything like that.
Thanks mate, I will measure that later when I get back home and post the measurements, keen to see what your boards show. For reference my specs are 165lbs and 10.5 boot.

Have you tried adjusting your bindings: angles. stance width, placement on the sidecut? What you're experiencing sounds really unusual
Yep, tried playing around a bit at least. I wanted to give it one last try but conditions at the moment are too good not to take a board I know I love riding. Will probably do another test next week but have always started from the ref stance. When you say placement on the sidecut you mean moving the bindings back and forth in parallel creating more or less setback?
 

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Mine is over 1 cm and grips very well for its limited effective edge (hello size 158 on a carving board…).
This is something wrong with the edge tuning since you didn’t have problems with the Unw8 that is more demanding (had both).
I would really double check the edge angles, it is not unusual that a service tunes boards differently.
Add to this some inconsistent factory detuning from Amplid.
 

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Mine is over 1 cm and grips very well for its limited effective edge (hello size 158 on a carving board…).
This is something wrong with the edge tuning since you didn’t have problems with the Unw8 that is more demanding (had both).
I would really double check the edge angles, it is not unusual that a service tunes boards differently.
Add to this some inconsistent factory detuning from Amplid.
You mean the same shop is tuning one board this way and the other board another way? Certainly can give the shop a call and ask what they usually do. Also can bring it to another shop and get the edges done once more.

what angle do you usually go with on the penta? 89?
 

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You mean the same shop is tuning one board this way and the other board another way? Certainly can give the shop a call and ask what they usually do. Also can bring it to another shop and get the edges done once more.

what angle do you usually go with on the penta? 89?
I didn’t change the angles, 90/0 on all the Amplids I’ve ridden and if sharpened they gripped very well.
 
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