Bluebird to partly cloudy. Light winds and temperatures around 30F.
Powder, wind packed powder, tracked out powder with areas of packed powder and wet corn in sun baked areas that turned to hardpack with intermittent icy patches in the shade of late afternoon and evening.
General all around powder riding
Because the board is on the short side for my weight and riding style, I was a bit concerned about float. One run though put these fears to bed. Just like the NS Heritage, the rider must make use of the rocker between the feet and shift their weight just aft of center to ride the back half of the board when in the deep poo. One thing I like a little better about this board than the Heritage is the camber section is a little bit more gentle and not so close to the nose. As a result, it floats a bit better in the heavy Cascade pow or poo as we call it. I deliberately got a bit forward to see if the nose would dive and send me ass over tea kettle. What I found was that I really had to get kind of stupid to make it dive. When it did, it was like any board and sent my ass tumbling. With a modicum of sensible powder riding skills, this board is very easy to keep “up on plane” and for such a short board does so impressively. Definitely a fun powder stick and it maintains its agility even in the deep poo.
Wow! this is what this board was meant for!. The agility of the board makes tree riding even better. Even in the deep poo, riding aft to utilize the C2 rocker in a surfer stance, this board turns on a freakin dime!. After a few initial runs, I found myself riding faster through tighter trees than I normally would this early in the season until I knocked some rust off the skills.
Finally had some great soft powder to hit the steeps like 3D, O Ring and Rock Garden. Some of these are over 50 degrees and 600 to 700 feet of vertical. Dropping in, I knew this board was going to rock. Using good flexion, extension and fore-aft movements, turns and speed control was almost stupid easy. Again, I actually had to back off and not be quite as aggressive with my movements or this thing would over turn and stop me. I lapped these steeps most of the day with many a face shot from this board.
Like all of the movements on this board, I also had to tone down the fore-aft movements a bit. Several times on turn completion, I shifted too far aft and the edge dug in and just rocketed through the turn, leaving me behind to fall on my ass. You really need to stay ahead of the board in every movement. Same thing about getting forward too soon or too aggressively. The sidecut will dive and send you for a ride.
Soft, medium sized moguls
As a free rider, moguls are something I work on constantly to improve on. This is one area of snowboarding where your equipment can make or break you. Try riding a zipper line down through a mogul field with a long, stiff board and you will soon want to get very drunk! This board and it`s extreme maneuverability absolutely kills it in the the moguls. My first day hitting moguls since last year and I probably had the best mogul run ever. I was able to follow the exact line my skier buddy laid out for me with reasonable ease. The shorter board obviously helped, but I noticed a huge difference between this and my 156 Atomic Hatchet conventional camber and even my Rossignol Angus 156 rocker. This board was noticeably easier to slay the moguls with.
The rider still has to use good dynamic riding and independent flexion and extension but when you combine good technique with this board, the results are amazing. This board will make mogul riding fun for any intermediate to advanced free rider.
Along Star Ridge, there were tons of super fun natural wind lips and hits to play on. The board has great balance in the air and decent pop for Ollies. The landings feel smooth and reasonably damp. I tried some FS and BS 180`s and the board feels light enough to easily spin it and the landings felt easy and sure without a feeling of edge catch vulnerability. I had a ton of fun playing with this board. The board is very “buttery” and found that spinning multiple 360 butters on the nose and tail were effortless. I am generally way more adept at nose butters than on the tail but with this board, I felt that my tail butters were more stable and easier to maintain the spin until too dizzy to continue. I really like the forgiving feel of popping from nose to tail in a buttering spin. I did not feel even close to an edge catch even when my timing was off a little bit.
The board is a directional twin and as such feels a bit different when riding switch. Just tone down your movements a bit and it is super easy to get your switch riding dialed in. I did switch dynamic skidded and basic switch carved with relative ease and comfort. Still early in the season so all of my switch riding feels a bit “off” right now anyway. Because the board is so touchy, switch riding can be a bit spooky with it so take it gently and go slow at first until you get the feel dialed in.
Definitely a fun, playful board in soft snow and it`s turning ability makes it ideal for the moguls and tight trees. It handles steeps effortlessly and as a result of the easy turning, speed control bolsters confidence to hit steeper drops than when riding other boards. The float in deep powder and it`s ability to stay up and on top is impressive. Overall, this board`s home is in the ungroomed off piste areas.