Day 3 of the Stratton Demos was a powder day- woohoo! What isn’t fun on a powder day? So it’s a little tough to demo stuff with the intent to carry it in the shop when the conditions are so far removed from usual east coast conditions.
On the list for day 3
- Arbor Zygote 149
Gnu Beauty 149 again
Salomon Gypsy 147
Jones Twin Sister 149 again
The Arbor Zygote was an early release last October. It was very limited production, it’s back in the line this year. This is a funky board. It is a non-symmetrical twin so it has completely differently shaped nose and tail, but it has “true-twin on-snow geometry” meaning that despite the very different shapes, the tip and tail share identical widths, heights, and lengths for a symmetrical twin ride. It was the debut of Arbor’s Camber System. It has parabolic camber that mellows out toward the tip and tail. It features Arbor’s Grip Tech and uprise fenders that are little 3 degree angled risers at the contact points to prevent catchiness from the camber. This is a freestyle board all day long. It was definitely not the best choice for untracked powder, float is not its specialty, but it did go through the snow pretty easily and it wasn’t bad bump to bump, but where it really got fun was when I came out on the groomer. That’s where you got the feel of the flex and the skatiness of the board. It’s an easy, smooth board to ride, and would be a great choice for anyone who wants to spend time in the park or on urban features or just buttering around the whole mountain. It’s a guy’s board, but comes in some smaller sizes making it accessible for girls too.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the Gnu Beauty from Day 2. So after riding the Arbor Zygote I went back to Gnu . This was probably the most fun run I have ever done! AMAZING! Bouncing from snow pile to snow pile, surfing through untracked powder, carving through piles, and then bombing down a groomer with no fear of losing it. It was so fun I took it up again and bobbed around in the trees, popped off a couple of snow bumps and side hits, and never gave any of it a second thought. I just knew it was going to do what I needed, when I needed it. I felt comfortable everywhere I took it and had fun every step of the way. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the whole time I rode this thing, so it is the newest member of my quiver and I cannot wait to get back on it! It is far and away the most fun I have had on a snowboard- ever!
This is the first year this board is XC2. It was previously C3 which is more aggressive and less forgiving. It just wasn’t working in the lineup, so this year Barrett Christy and the girls redesigned it for riding at Mt. Baker, which sees everything- rain, ice, slush, and insane amounts of powder. I don’t think it will appeal to everyone, but it certainly hit all the right notes for me! Every year Gnu does a Pendelton colab, and this marks the 100 year anniversary of Pendelton’s National Park Blanket Project. This is a tribute to the Glacier Park Blanket.
The Salomon Gypsy was a really fun board for me last year. It’s possible that the 147 was a little small for the conditions and for what I am used to riding, but I got punished by the bumped out snow. I was tossed around like a ragdoll and couldn’t get to the groomed run fast enough. It was happily popping off of every snow bump, and that makes sense since it’s a freestyle board designed to pop on and off of everything. Launching off of little snow ramps it was completely at home, and the landings were soft and not washy. Even in the more packed down snow it was still a bumpy ride, but I could definitely get a better feel for the playfulness of the board.
The Jones Twin Sister revisited…this is the other board I couldn’t get enough of. My legs were kind of toasted from the week, so when thinking about what board to take through bumped out, variable stuff, the Twin Sister came to mind. It was a dream in those conditions. It held a line and blasted through crud. It was fun in the trees. It will be this year’s “one that got away”.
This year’s demos didn’t disappoint, and the conditions were stellar for New England. What an awesome way to spend a week! Please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about anything I rode. I would love to hear from you.