Yeah I'm thinking either Pencil or Apollo. But it depends on when Fullbag releases that 160 Lifer, also which board(s) I retire for next season. I'm at a point where I need to sell/retire 1 or 2 boards before getting any other one.....
Final verdict for my Pencil Plus is that it's a great powder board that you can take all over the mountain.
It's ok even for a second season rider like me. I've taken it down black diamond pistes and similar open powder faces, both wide and narrow. It's very easy to move around on steep slopes but it also feels stable just letting it go at higher speeds in powder. After a few days on it I felt confident taking it through denser alpine birch trees and it's nimble enough for a bigger rider at least. It also has great float.
The edge hold on windswept icy surfaces off piste is ok but not fantastic (note that I'm only comparing this with my experiences as a skier and one other snowboard, so maybe it's actually great.... or lousy).
It's great fun carving it but the tail is a little washy for me and I think the board is a bit chattery on icy pistes and not great in choppy resort snow. On fresh corduroy it's really fun and you can turn it however you want. I think the washy tail might also be a bit of a problem with my inexperience and that I like to shift my weight back on the tail as the turn progresses. One funny thing that I've experienced with this board is that if I'm too enthusiastic when I initiate a carve in softer snow the front part of the sidecut will dig into the snow too much resulting in a a nice faceplant. Also perhaps because of my inexperience.
As for riding with the family it's good in the sense that it lets you have fun on the side of the piste without having to change board. It's nimble enough to chase around the narrow forrest trails with the kids even if it would be easier if it was a bit softer.
I love this board, and they will pry it out of my dead frozen fingers before I let it go. Not sure this can be my only board though... I might need a couple of new ones for the next season. Maybe that Cafe Racer... and something to ride with the family. :wink: