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I had an Explorer 159 cm. My understanding is that when they replaced the Explorer with the Frontier they actually changed the construction as well (but not the various numerical specs and profile). What I can say is that I enjoy the Stratos 156 cm more at my current weight than I did the Explorer 159 cm at my previous weight.

With the Stratos you get more nimble handling, better float (even without factoring in the pow inserts) and good edge hold, but in what's overall a more directional package. I'm on a bit of a directional kick right now so all of that works for me. The only place where I find myself wanting more is trying to rail really tight turns at high-speeds (which, really, I have no good reason to do, but it's fun).

It's the most fun board I have right now (and I have a lot of fun boards), and I was never able to say that about the Explorer. That said, the Explorer was a really good board. The Stratos is just better for the way I ride.
 

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It's a very playful board. I rode a 156 cm Stratos today and yesterday and compared it with the Burton Flight Attendant 152 cm, Gnu Antigravity 156 cm and Yes Optimistic 151 cm in powder, tracked out powder and on really nice groomers. At 165 lbs I'm in the upper end of the weight range for the 156 Stratos. I would have been closer to the middle of the range on a 159 cm Stratos, but this is my post-Christmas/New Year's weight, though, and I hope to be back down to ~160 lbs fairly soon.

The Stratos is very, very playful. The nose is large and soft. It does roll nicely from edge to edge and loves tight turns. It's ridiculously easy to toss around. It glided easily through powder without any leaning back so I had to consciously not bother to lean back. In the chop it rode through and held or changed lines very well -- it didn't throw me around but also didn't try to fold. The maneuverability was similar to the Yes Optimistic, but I'd say the Stratos was quicker edge-to-edge and actually had better float.

I didn't come across any significant icy sections so I can't speak to edge hold on really firm/icy stuff, but in 'normal' conditions and in the fluffy stuff I really enjoyed it.

Overall this is another great board. I could definitely see it as a daily driver, and it'll probably be one of my boards of choice for tight/technical terrain going forward.

Camber profile shots included because I haven't seen any online, yet.

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What is your height and weight? I am VERY interested in this board in 156Cm as my pow day fun board (trees, side hits, groomers). I wouldn't use it as All Mountain on medium to hard snow, but it may fit my quiver as the agile fun board. I already have a Mind Expander in 158CM for deep powder only and don't want overlap.
 

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What is your height and weight? I am VERY interested in this board in 156Cm as my pow day fun board (trees, side hits, groomers). I wouldn't use it as All Mountain on medium to hard snow, but it may fit my quiver as the agile fun board. I already have a Mind Expander in 158CM for deep powder only and don't want overlap.
I'm 5'8", 160 to 165 lbs, so in the top end of the weight range for the 156 cm.
 

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It's a very playful board. I rode a 156 cm Stratos today and yesterday and compared it with the Burton Flight Attendant 152 cm, Gnu Antigravity 156 cm and Yes Optimistic 151 cm in powder, tracked out powder and on really nice groomers. At 165 lbs I'm in the upper end of the weight range for the 156 Stratos. I would have been closer to the middle of the range on a 159 cm Stratos, but this is my post-Christmas/New Year's weight, though, and I hope to be back down to ~160 lbs fairly soon.

The Stratos is very, very playful. The nose is large and soft. It does roll nicely from edge to edge and loves tight turns. It's ridiculously easy to toss around. It glided easily through powder without any leaning back so I had to consciously not bother to lean back. In the chop it rode through and held or changed lines very well -- it didn't throw me around but also didn't try to fold. The maneuverability was similar to the Yes Optimistic, but I'd say the Stratos was quicker edge-to-edge and actually had better float.

I didn't come across any significant icy sections so I can't speak to edge hold on really firm/icy stuff, but in 'normal' conditions and in the fluffy stuff I really enjoyed it.

Overall this is another great board. I could definitely see it as a daily driver, and it'll probably be one of my boards of choice for tight/technical terrain going forward.

Camber profile shots included because I haven't seen any online, yet.

View attachment 152150 View attachment 152152

View attachment 152156 View attachment 152157
How did the Stratos stack up against the FA?
 

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@coloradodirtbag The Stratos is more playful -- it really wants to (and is ready to) go anywhere and everywhere until you lock it in on edge. On really firm, icy terrain the FA has more immediate bite; you get what you're going to get relatively quickly. The Stratos has a bit of a 'later' bite, then bites hard...and my impression is that it bites harder than the FA. That said, though, the Stratos has a longer EE than the FA as well. I had it out after freezing rain at the end of the day and it held like nobody's business. It's playful until you tell it you're serious, then it locks in and holds.

Edge-to-edge the FA is quicker, but the Stratos didn't feel far behind.

Float-wise the Stratos was better.

The FA is stiffer (in every direction), even despite the smaller size. If you like the stiffness and pop of the FA and wouldn't want anything less then the Stratos isn't the sled you're looking for.

You can take either board anywhere, but you won't work as hard on the Stratos.
 

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@coloradodirtbag The Stratos is more playful -- it really wants to (and is ready to) go anywhere and everywhere until you lock it in on edge. On really firm, icy terrain the FA has more immediate bite; you get what you're going to get relatively quickly. The Stratos has a bit of a 'later' bite, then bites hard...and my impression is that it bites harder than the FA. That said, though, the Stratos has a longer EE than the FA as well. I had it out after freezing rain at the end of the day and it held like nobody's business. It's playful until you tell it you're serious, then it locks in and holds.

Edge-to-edge the FA is quicker, but the Stratos didn't feel far behind.

Float-wise the Stratos was better.

The FA is stiffer (in every direction), even despite the smaller size. If you like the stiffness and pop of the FA and wouldn't want anything less then the Stratos isn't the sled you're looking for.

You can take either board anywhere, but you won't work as hard on the Stratos.
And how does the Stratos compare to the Antigravity in your testing overall
? I'm considering a Antigravity for my next board. How would you compare the Stratos camrock to the gnu c3 profile?
 

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@SoCalBoarder1 I think you already touched on the biggest difference. The Antigravity rides like a camber board (not C3, just camber). On some C3 boards I definitely notice the centre rocker at times. I don't notice it at all on my particular Antigravity or the demo one that I rode last season.

The Stratos rides like a (really good) camrock board. It's quicker edge-to-edge and feels much more nimble when you're taking it easy, but still bites hard on edge when you ask it to do so. The Antigravity is more eager to grab and hold a line.

The closest comparison I can come up with to describe the playful/nimble feel of the Stratos is the Endeavor BOD. With the lifted contacts it's really easy to move around, but when you make a conscious effort to engage the sidecut it grips and holds -- and that gap between playful and serious is small; doesn't take a ton of energy/effort to transition from loose to grippy and vice-versa. It's a smaller/quicker transition than on the BOD, IMO.

If you're considering the Antigravity (and/or Stratos) then I'd suggest also having a look at the Signal Yup. It doesn't have special edge tech, but it still holds really, really well, goes edge-to-edge quickly, has the channel (which I happen to like a lot), rides switch incredibly well and is just another really fun directional all-mountain/freeride board.
 

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@SoCalBoarder1 I think you already touched on the biggest difference. The Antigravity rides like a camber board (not C3, just camber). On some C3 boards I definitely notice the centre rocker at times. I don't notice it at all on my particular Antigravity or the demo one that I rode last season.

The Stratos rides like a (really good) camrock board. It's quicker edge-to-edge and feels much more nimble when you're taking it easy, but still bites hard on edge when you ask it to do so. The Antigravity is more eager to grab and hold a line.

The closest comparison I can come up with to describe the playful/nimble feel of the Stratos is the Endeavor BOD. With the lifted contacts it's really easy to move around, but when you make a conscious effort to engage the sidecut it grips and holds -- and that gap between playful and serious is small; doesn't take a ton of energy/effort to transition from loose to grippy and vice-versa. It's a smaller/quicker transition than on the BOD, IMO.

If you're considering the Antigravity (and/or Stratos) then I'd suggest also having a look at the Signal Yup. It doesn't have special edge tech, but it still holds really, really well, goes edge-to-edge quickly, has the channel (which I happen to like a lot), rides switch incredibly well and is just another really fun directional all-mountain/freeride board.
Thanks for the detailed response. Will try to do a demo or 2 to see what works ?
 

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@SoCalBoarder1 I think you already touched on the biggest difference. The Antigravity rides like a camber board (not C3, just camber). On some C3 boards I definitely notice the centre rocker at times. I don't notice it at all on my particular Antigravity or the demo one that I rode last season.

The Stratos rides like a (really good) camrock board. It's quicker edge-to-edge and feels much more nimble when you're taking it easy, but still bites hard on edge when you ask it to do so. The Antigravity is more eager to grab and hold a line.

The closest comparison I can come up with to describe the playful/nimble feel of the Stratos is the Endeavor BOD. With the lifted contacts it's really easy to move around, but when you make a conscious effort to engage the sidecut it grips and holds -- and that gap between playful and serious is small; doesn't take a ton of energy/effort to transition from loose to grippy and vice-versa. It's a smaller/quicker transition than on the BOD, IMO.

If you're considering the Antigravity (and/or Stratos) then I'd suggest also having a look at the Signal Yup. It doesn't have special edge tech, but it still holds really, really well, goes edge-to-edge quickly, has the channel (which I happen to like a lot), rides switch incredibly well and is just another really fun directional all-mountain/freeride board.
What are your thoughts around the new 3D Contour Base added to the Stratos? Seem's to becoming popular addition now to a range of boards, I think the Mountain Twin which was a hugely popular board has now also had the 3D tech added but maybe not as pronounced as the Stratos. Does this give it an even quicker edge to edge, a little smoother, less edge catch or all of the above?
 

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I haven't ridden the Stratos or the Mountain Twin, but I have ridden 2x Rome PD boards (the pintail, and I currently own the 157 Moon Tail) that have 3D shaping, along with my LJ.

Subtle 3d shaping is fantastic - it works to negate any potential disadvantages of having a wide platform (edge to edge is super natural and smooth, and there's no lag going from edge to edge), and yes it provides just that little bit of forgiveness and playfulness.

I had 2x Bataleons, and in my opinion, a subtle 3D shaping like in my Romes, my Lj, and what you see in the Jones boards, is a better execution of 3d base profiling, than TBT (which is flat, then boom - edges are up off the snow).
 

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What are your thoughts around the new 3D Contour Base added to the Stratos? Seem's to becoming popular addition now to a range of boards, I think the Mountain Twin which was a hugely popular board has now also had the 3D tech added but maybe not as pronounced as the Stratos. Does this give it an even quicker edge to edge, a little smoother, less edge catch or all of the above?
FWIW I target boards with 3D contour base. I think this tech plays a significant part in snowsurfing firm conditions due to it being less catchy. I can tweak my board that much more in a turn on a bank.
 

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What are your thoughts around the new 3D Contour Base added to the Stratos? Seem's to becoming popular addition now to a range of boards, I think the Mountain Twin which was a hugely popular board has now also had the 3D tech added but maybe not as pronounced as the Stratos. Does this give it an even quicker edge to edge, a little smoother, less edge catch or all of the above?
I can't say it's quicker because I don't have a non-3D contoured version to compare it to. It's smooth, though, for sure (less catchy/grabby).
 

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FWIW I target boards with 3D contour base. I think this tech plays a significant part in snowsurfing firm conditions due to it being less catchy. I can tweak my board that much more in a turn on a bank.
NT.Thunder, last season when I was going through my cull, and deciding where to land next, I came to this decision as well - my carving+"freeride"+pow board (one board had to serve all 3 purposes), was to be 25.8cm+ wide at the waist, tapered, directional flex, set back, and have some sort of 3d profiling that wasn't TBT.

Paxford is bang on - it's less catchy, very tweakable mid-turn, and flowy.
 

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NT.Thunder, last season when I was going through my cull, and deciding where to land next, I came to this decision as well - my carving+"freeride"+pow board (one board had to serve all 3 purposes), was to be 25.8cm+ wide at the waist, tapered, directional flex, set back, and have some sort of 3d profiling that wasn't TBT.

Paxford is bang on - it's less catchy, very tweakable mid-turn, and flowy.
Yeah I'm going to keep an eye on the reviews as they drop this year between the Bataleon and Jones ranges. I've actually just ordered the Yup last night and see it's on the way so i think I'm going to find my feet again with these couple of boards, ride a couple more in NZ and possibly pick up something before a Japan/Canada trip next year. I've spoken to Boardertown and they have a good range that should be available.

I'm also conscious that my daughter is improving her skiing very quickly (she's 12) and what we are doing now compared to 12/24mths from now will be very different, so will stick with the Yup and PP for now whilst trialling some others and just enjoy riding with my daughter whilst I still have that. 4 years from now she won't want to riding anywhere near me probably so who knows where I'll be riding :p
 
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