There was so much to try and talk about at the Stratton demos that we are going on post #3 for the girls’ stuff. And there’s a lot left to look at.
“the rest” includes
Arbor Snowboards Cadence, Swoon, Poparazzi, and Draft
Salomon Snowboards Gypsy and Wonder (I didn’t give the Wonder a fair shot when we didn’t click initially, so it’s not really fair to talk about it)
Jones Snowboards Twin Sister
YES Snowboards Hel Yes
Rome Lo-Fi Rocker
Now Snowboarding IPO bindings(in small, finally!)
Flux Bindings GS
Arbor Snowboards consistently puts out amazing boards, both in form and function. The Arbor Cadence never disappoints. If I ventured to the park, but still wanted to ride the rest of the mountain, I’m pretty sure the Cadence would be my board of choice. It is soft, but it’s no noodle so it’s just buttery, pressy fun. But don’t let that fool you, it still holds a serious edge due to the “Grip Tech” which gives you extra contact points at the insert packs. It can hold up to hard pack groomers, it’s responsive enough to bop around in the trees, and the rocker and flex make it good for beginners and advanced riders alike.
The Swoon has been beefed up for next year. It has taken the shape of this year’s men’s Coda . The board is stiffer now with the elongated, angled tip and tail, making it less chattery and providing a longer surface to press and butter around on natural features. The angled tip and tail also shed snow as you float through pow. The biggest difference I found between this year’s, which I have been riding all season, and next is the chatter reduction. It is the one thing that I don’t love about this year’s…you feel EVERY, SINGLE ice chunk, bump, pebble,…you get the point. It is a super solid board that can rail a turn, hold an edge on ice, pop off of anything (that bamboo top sheet adds a lot of pop) and it is very responsive. For all of the edge hold that it has, it is not catchy at all. It is a stiffer board so it’s probably not ideal for riders just starting out, but for the intermediate and beyond woman looking to do some serious all mountain riding, the Swoon is worth considering.
The Poparazzi is Arbor’s entry-level board. Two years ago it was fine, but completely underwhelming. The board now has a wood core and it is lighter and much more lively. It rides similar to the Cadence, but the Cadence has a little more going on. For a sub $350 board, this is one worth checking out!
The Draft is a dude’s board. It has been dubbed Arbor’s urban street board. I had a picture of a super flexy, bombproof board that you wouldn’t want to take outside of the park. Not the case. The Draft is a fun all around board! It can do a little bit of everything. I had no qualms about taking it in the trees, launching off of battered pow bumps and cruising the groomers with it.
I talked about the Salomon Gypsy in my demo overview. This was a very pleasant surprise. It was a blast on the tracked out pow as I nimbly bopped from bump to bump. It is poppy and still solid underfoot. It was happy to bounce me around and I landed softly and easily with surety. This is a board I would love to spend more time on, it seems like it would be a lot of fun in a variety of conditions.
I also discussed the Jones Mountain Twin and Hel YES in the overview post. The Twin Sister is consistent, predictable, and nice, easy ride. The Hel YES is more lively and more fun to me. This is another board I can’t wait to get back on. It felt like it had so much to offer, if I only had the time to discover it all. I could bounce off of stuff, sidehits, moguls, bumps or plow through it as necessary. It was quick edge to edge and had a skatey, surfy feel that I love. But I think with the camber between the feet it would feel stable under foot if you launched off of something big (I only pop off of things that are little). Because it’s so responsive, I’m sure it would be a blast in the trees…can’t wait to get back on it…did I already mention that?
I rode the Hel YES with the new, SMALL, NOW snowboarding IPO bindings! For two years I have been riding the medium IPO’s which are a little too big for me. I didn’t notice a huge difference, but it did feel like response was just a touch quicker and it was nice not having to ratchet the straps down all the way. I will be rocking some of these next season.
The Rome Lo-Fi Rocker was also addressed in the overview. This board consistently gets great reviews and wins awards. It is a solid choice for a one board quiver. There was nothing I didn’t like about it, and it was a pleasant surprise for a board that is flat between the feet…not a favorite profile of mine. It was a nice, fun ride, and I was surprised by how good it felt for a flat board. All of that being said, I like it, but it didn’t excite me like some of the other boards that I rode.
Finally we have the Flux Bindings GS. These bindings are very comfortable, have great adjustability and are responsive without feeling too stiff. They were an adjustment for me though…riding the NOW IPO’s for two seasons, I have become very accustomed to their skatey, easy transitions and the cushioning of the bushings. It was different being in more direct contact with my board and getting that extra feedback. These are great bindings and do exactly what they are supposed to do-connect you to your board and kind of disappear (I don’t want to be hyper aware of my bindings) but I was happy to get back on my IPO’s…they have ruined me for traditional bindings…at least for “now”.
There you have 2015 girls snowboarding in a little, 3 blog post, nutshell. There is so much more out there that we just didn’t have the time to try out. But we definitely discovered some exciting new gear coming next season. We’d love to discuss any of our finds with you.
Tags: now snowboarding ipo bindings, arbor snowboards ri, 2015 snowboards, arbor rhode island, flux bindings ri, now ipo bindings, arbor snowboards, girls snowboarding, now snowboarding, flux snowboard bindings