Brand: Vaughan Snowboards (www.vaughansnowboards.com
YMM: 22/23 Custom Fish
Size: 154.5cm 9M sidecut on toes, 8.5 on heals, 31.4cm nose, 26cm waist, and 29.6cm tail.
Profile: Dave's W Camber, with a lot of early nose rise and tail rise
Core: Bamboo Core with bamboo topsheets
Flex: Stiffer Nose (8/10) Softer tail and mid section (6-7/10)
Stance: Set back 2.5 inches
Terrain: Cat skiing Park City Powder Cats & riding Park City day after powder
Bindings: Burton Cartel
Boots: Adidas Tact Adv
Recently received and road my custom Vaughan snowboard and I can’t be happier, for those of you with the time and patience to read the whole review on the design and build process, enjoy. For those who don’t I can sum it all up by saying “What an amazing experience, I suggest everyone at least gives Dave a call and talk to him. You would be surprised how affordable a custom board is compared to a high-end Snowboard.”
David Vaughan is an old skool snowboarding Olympian, who spent last 3 seasons as head snowboard coach at Sugar Bowl (Lake Tahoe). Dave builds and sells limited production boards, and full custom builds. This review is for the custom build service Vaughan snowboards offers. Dave is a great communicator during the whole process, on the phone, via email and or text he is very responsive, constantly sending updates.
: Starts by calling and talking to Dave. He is a very very knowledgeable rider and snow board builder. As an engineer it was a real treat to talk to him about the intricacies of snowboard design. Dave asked the standard details I expected, size, weight, stance, boot size…. We then Spent a good amount of time talking about where, how, what and why I snowboard. He even took the time to watch some youtube videos I had posted. Over the course of a couple weeks, we had a handful of great conversations. Dave took the time to get to know me a bit and what the “perfect” board would be for me. I spent some time on his web site and asked about his limited production boards that can be ordered online. He detailed each board and what to expect on different snow. After agreeing that none of his off the shelf board would not be perfect, we began working out the details of the custom board. Once we solidified the design and agreeing on the build to my surprise Dave did not require a deposit.
Dave has 2 profiles to start with, a traditional Camber and what he calls W Camber. After talking with Dave you will agree on all the specific details of the board you are looking. Highly suggest talking to Dave about what you are looking for in a snowboard he will most likely be able to achieve it. If he can’t, he will let you know. Dave is not out the to just grab your money. It is actually a breath of fresh air and surprising. Other custom board builders I spoke with did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Dave was very honest about what he can and can not do, and will not sell you on something if he isn’t confident, you will be happy. Dave is very cost conscious and always trying to satisfy you as affordably as possible.
The bases Dave has vary by performance. I went with the high-end black base. After seeing the Red and Green on IG, Im going get a Red next season. Dave has options for the construction and top sheet based on what you are looking for. Most of his boards the top sheets are wood grain with a small burnt in Logo. Dave can do some graphics on the top if that is important to you and you wanna spend the $, just talk it out with Dave. He keeps his logo small and simple, real professional. I chose to stain the board blue, I am hoping to make a white sticker for it.
: Dave takes all his orders early in the year, orders materials and gets prepped to build so that he can ship the board in October. In early August Dave travels from Lake Tahoe to his shop in New Brunswick Canada. There he begins the building process for all his limited production boards, boards for the few pros who ride for him, his personal boards, and any custom builds. Dave sends a couple pictures of the base you chose with the rough shape cut into it. About a week later he will send a picture of the board in the press and a couple pictures out of the press. Couple days to a week later he will send you another picture of the board after it has been rough cut. Dave then installs the threaded inserts, hand finishes and tunes the board to your needs. He will structure the base or not. Sending a couple pictures as he wraps the board up. He does a great hand wax and either delivers the board if you are in the Tahoe area or ships it to you if you are not.
: The board feels well-built and quality. Top sheet doesn’t feel like traditional Burton or Mervin top sheets. It is super smooth and sleek, the wood grain looks great. Base feels same as any high end ski or snowboard I have encountered. Edges, sidewalls nose and tail look great and well built. Design for Cat riding in BC I first road the board at Park City they day after a good dump on soft groomed snow, chunck poweder and a little left over side pow. The board did great on the groomers, and in the chop. I did miss my tail, couple times I got my weight to far back and lost it. Day 2 I took it out on a cat day at Park City Powder Cats, had a good couple feet of untracked powder. The board performed amazingly. Early rise in the nose and stiffness changes kept the nose afloat, even with a lot of weight forward. Rolled from toe edge to heal edge like a dream. I was able to get down and carve deep, and take short choppy face shot hacks. Overall I am very very happy and can't wait to get it in some more Powder.
Things Id Change
: If I had a time machine I wouldn't have set the board back 2.5 inches, I prob would set it back 2 inches maybe 1.5. EST woulda been nice. As much as I love the fish tail, I would have gone with a "whale" tail or something more similar to the Orca. Other then that I loved the exp and love the board. I look forward to riding this bad boy for a long long time.