Finally, we’re posting the last of the 2017 snowboard demo installments. We were able ride a ton of gear over the three-day event, and that allowed us to get a really good idea of what we’ll have in the shop next season. We’re stoked to be bringing in some 2017 Salomon snowboard gear. I fell in love with their Launch boots a couple of seasons ago and that got me looking at their boards and bindings. Here’s a peak at a few products I tried out.
Salomon Ultimate Ride 155
The Ultimate Ride is a true twin, camber, all-mountain freestyle board. The profile is what Salomon calls Quad Camber with Quadrilizer side cut. Quad Camber uses a blend of radiuses giving the board a more forgiving flex than traditional camber, but without losing any of the liveliness and pop. The Quadrilizer side cut enhances edge hold and gives the board a more fluid feel when transitioning from edge to edge. And the Ultimate Ride has rocker to the tip and tail giving it float and speed in powder.
The Ultimate Ride is sort of an upgraded version of the Man’s Board and both were designed for Bode Merrill- one of snowboarding’s big time, hard charging pros. Comparing it to last year’s Man’s Board, it felt looser, more playful, and definitely lighter. But the Ultimate Ride is still a board for riders who want to charge hard all over the mountain due in part to its medium to medium stiff flex.
The new camber profile really let me rip into carves without feeling locked in- it was incredibly smooth edge to edge. It had a huge amount of pop off of rollers and in and out of side hits. Buttering is not its forte, but I could still hold a press for however long I wanted- it just took some extra effort.
The Ultimate Ride is definitely has a more freestyle feel than the Man’s Board from last year, but this board also feels right at home ripping around the mountain- you can’t go wrong with it no matter what kind of riding you’re doing.
Salomon Huck Knife 155
The Huck Knife is a true twin with Quad Camber profile and the EQ Rad side cut. EQ Rad blends varying radial lines together to give the board a looser and more playful feel, as compared to the more aggressive feel the Quadrilizer side cut. The board sits squarely in the “park” range of snowboard designs. It has a medium flex and wide, blunted tips for extra stability while pressing and edge bevels for avoiding hang-ups when jibbing park features.
The Huck Knife felt a little softer than a medium flex board to me. The soft flex and wide, blunted tips make it impossible to resist pressing and buttering the crap out of this board. In fact, it took me twice as long to get back to the lift precisely because I was buttering and bonking every little berm and tree stump I could find on the way down. The board is not a charger like the Ultimate Ride, but it still has great pop and you can really load up the tail and feel stable even when you’re way off center.
The Huck Knife has good edge hold due to the camber, so cruising around on icy hard pack was not a problem. It flapped around a bit once I got it up to charging speed but not so much that I felt like I needed to really slow down a whole lot. This board wants to be in the park hitting jumps and jibbing features, but it is also a great board for someone who just wants an easy to ride, cruising deck.
Salomon Defender Binding
The Defender is on the stiffer and more responsive side of binding flexes. The wide, asymmetrical and contoured high back is very supportive and comfortable. It allows you to transition into your heel side turns quickly and apply full force. The Shadow Fit baseplate uses a flexible heel loop that forms to the shape of your boot giving you extra support but also freedom to move naturally as you transition from toe to heel side. The Composite 45 baseplate is responsive and lighter than the other models in the Salomon line.
Right off the bat, as soon as strapped in and rode off, I forgot about the bindings. This, in my opinion is a sign of a good binding- one that allows you to ride the way you ride without getting in the way. Everything from the heel loop to the straps to the foot bed was extremely comfortable and worked seamless with my turns, presses and ollies. I almost forgot I was riding them until I went to unstrap. The ratchets are super smooth and quick. The flexible heel loop worked as advertised and when I went to pull my back foot out it didn’t want to let go- that was a minor annoyance, but it’s also a testament to how well the flex loop conforms to your boot.
That’s a wrap up of the 2017 Stratton Snowboard Demos. Barring some sketchy conditions and torrential rains on the second day, it was a great event we look forward to it every year. If you need more information on any of the 2017 snowboard gear we posted on, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401.231.4212 and we’ll be happy to help you out.