Little to no info on these boards, so thought I’d chime in after riding mine a bit in a less than ideal environment (east coast, eff all powder, tiny hills).
I’m 5’10”, 180 lbs, size ~11 boots, 25 years of east coast riding (with a max of ~50 days a season at my peak). My favourite terrain to ride is off-piste in the trees. On the east coast this is where the powder is hiding and the trees are tight. My favourite hill for this is Jay Peak in Vermont. I’m riding the 154 Northshore with Burton Cartel X bindings and Rome Libertine boots.
TLDR: I love the Northshore, but it has its quirks.
I was doing a lot of online research for a directional, powder/trees yet still carve-tastic board. I’d narrowed it down to a Korua TF, an Amplid Souly Grail, Niche Pyre and a few others when I stumbled onto the KNWN Northshore.
There were some very intangible reasons why I jumped on the KNWN, but more rationally:
- Shape I was after (on paper)
- 5 year warranty (more on that)
- Made in Canada 🇨🇦
- Minimal aesthetic (yes, how it looks matters to me, sorry not sorry)
The purchase process wasn’t flawless though:
- Despite constant communication with Jason (owner and really nice guy), it took months longer to get the board than promised (but it still arrived before the snow)
- Shipping was supposed to be free according to the site (it wasn’t, but there was some transitioning of their e-com platform, so perhaps that’s what was up)
- The board arrived with a 2 year warranty sticker on it, despite the fact that the site promises 5 years. I intend to hold them to the 5 years as this was what tipped the scales in KNWN’s favour above the more established Koruas, Amplids & K2s at this (relatively high) price point. See screenshot from the site below:
Fast forward to about a dozen days with this thing, and it’s great. I have only had two opportunities to push it in steep and technical trees off piste, and it was magical until I sprained my thrice broken ankle, and thusly went back to taking it very easy as we teach our young kids to ride. But for those two excursions in the tight woods of the east coast, it was an absolute weapon.
Structurally, the camber is minimal and almost flat. KNWN says 3mm, but I’d say it’s closer to 2mm of camber, aka almost flat. The minimal camber makes getting pop off the already short tail not ideal, but there’s still enough to carve.
Coming from my Custom X Wide, this is definitely softer and more damp, but it’s far from a noodle, still stiff enough. Torsional flex turns (is that the term, I dunno) are doable too. Overall stiffness feels just right.
The taper is no joke at 30mm, and this is my first time riding a board with such a contrast nose to tail. It requires a slightly different transfer, edge to edge, than I’m used to, but the side cut still plays nice with little and big carves.
For east coast riding, I wonder if something with a compound edge (like a niche pyre, or some magnatraction-esque tech) would have been more resistant to washing out? I haven’t lost an edge unfairly yet, but I’ve felt that threshold more than on my custom X.
The base from the factory gave up what wax it had FAAST, hoping as it ‘settles’ it doesn’t require quite as much maintenance. We’ll see!
Top sheet is both durable and not. Since it’s matte, the nylon seems to be scratch resistant but it’s an absolute scuff magnet. Despite the scuffs it still looks dope as hell.
Switch riding is actually pretty doable! Because we’re training up my girls, there’s a lot of slow runs on the groomers. This is giving me the opportunity to practice my underdeveloped switch riding. The only issue with riding switch is the taper, which has an inverse effect on the turn acceleration vs riding regular. Definitely doable, but probably the wrong board to learn switch on.
Overall I really like it & and look forward to pushing it a bit harder next season once I build up a bit more strength in my ankle (I’ll get there 💪). The e-commerce/purchasing aspect could have been smoother, and they better honour the 5 year warranty, but I can comfortably recommend this board. The prices went up after I ordered mine, so they’re definitely priced in some competitive territory, but if you’re like me and like to ride something a little different, it might be your jam.
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