March 06, 2012

Here is Ruari's review, yeah warts and all. Poor bugger rode the very first board I ever built (split or solid) so I take this on the chin quite happily eh. Here I put the cards on the table so you can get the honest truth, no bull.....   I obviously only speak for the board I rode, I know colin's had the start of some of the developments I'd recommend.  This will be critical, it doesn't mean its a bad board at all, it is in fact a big montain beast!  Hopefully if i criticise, you can make it constructive.   Firstly, a lighter flex.  Obviously, stiff is always good in NZ b/c but this board was VERY stiff...I could not manual on it at all, prob 1.5 times as stiff as anything I've ever ridden at least.  A little thinner perhaps, and particularly whittled down ech side of the feet to the tips (for increased playfullness for buttering...just a wee bit more though, still want flex relatively smooth transition throughout)... though not right under the widest binding settings, but from slightly outside perhaps... as the outer edge of the bindings is always where I snap boards.    Now,  the board was a good canada width, but too wide for NZ... for my size 10 feet definitely, and thats about av male foot size.  very wide board.    Obviously a good protective varnish or material over sidewalls is good for protection and keep core dry, but maybe not essential.. the main thing is they should be strong and do all they can to preserve the edge, whatever that takes. My urethane edges ride snowboards never get snapped edges, the urethane soaks upmost shocks, lets edge bend temporarily as goes over object. A vert sidewall is fine if this is better.   The tips would look way better and work better in pow if more rounded, modern freestyle board style tips obviously have the best look to most of us as its what we see on good boards... a more gradual curve around, will make boards much more marketable to most ppl, even I'd be influenced by that and I rate function, obviously, over style... and if you make the tips curve up from furthur away up the board, it will ride better particularly in pow and soft snow.  It will redice the effective edge...but this will make brd ride truer to its size, as the effective  edges were so long for length, it felt substantially bigger than its 160cm... and possibly more catchy.  that was, (part from intial wrong binding setup) my biggest issue, that several times on edge transition the board caught, and once or twice made me fall in nasty spots. Felt like it was prob the edge at the tail, going onto toe edge.   My board was also bad at staying together in middle, we did talk about ways to rectify this proper w/ titanium rod... but noticed some other ppls boards, maybe colins not sure, didnt readily split in middle when flexed tosionally or turned... and so would stick together during a turn like a regular board.  That would be very confidence inspiring and I would think contribute to performance. You could experiment with similar, slightly softer flex tip to tail...esp near tips like we discussed higher uphere...but more moderate to stiff flex, rather than super stiff, torsionally.  or maybe vice versa.    Simplified, the riding assessment was board just totally lacked playfulness, but had beast edge control...incredible(other than the magne traction ish edge heh). Best i've ever known I'd say, or maybe custom x used to be similar. The edge control makes it ideal for gnar lines but was compromised by edge catching on transitions (detune near tips before sale would also help this).  I think most important is to thin the board , and give it a more playful flex...but still a generally stiff board, enough to retain that great grip. Reshape the tips, both more rounded and hence to furthur up the board.  This with detune should alleviate edge catch. Bright base would be good, but not vital...topsheet ok as wood, think Colins may have looked best of the two.   Boards seemed to work great skinning.   Yeah he didn't hold back, when you see the story in May 2012 NZ Snowboarder you will get the idea. Boards built for NZ back country, no compromises.

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