New Ride!! – Bataleon Ride 12/13

Category : Blog, Boarding Blog, Boarding Gear

So, after a mad 4 hours trying boards at Castleford, my weak willed resistance buckled and I bought myself a new ride – One that I had done a whole 1 run on during testing!

I opted for a Bataleon Riot. A park based board but with all the assets to hit the whole of the mountain. Having taken it out for an hour in the evening, I knew I had made the right choice. Although not quite having the control of the Jam, it is massively fun! Lots of flex, incredible pop (I was getting pretty decent air even on the flat without trying very hard)

Also it looks awesome. I am one very happy bunny.

I have also stepped down a size, this board being a 154 as opposed to a 156 so I should find it a bit more responsive.

Can’t wait to get it out on the mountain, but hopefully it will have a few blasts through the park at Castleford before then!

Oh, and it’s pretty too 🙂

image

The Big Bang – Castleford Demo Day – My Reviews!

Category : Blog, Boarding Blog, Boarding Gear

I headed down to Castleford yesterday with @pkryder for the TSA Big Bang event. A demo event where all of this years new rides were available to try.

Below are just my brief views on what I tried!

Bataleon Jam – http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/products/jam-1213/6329
I tried a Bataleon Jam with a set of the new “rockered” Now bindings. I found the board an amazing riding experience. I found I could be super aggressive with it and still feel perfectly in control. For a stiff board it handled the jumps and boxes with surprising ease but it did feel like something which would feel far more at home cruising the mountain than the park. Loved it though! Super fast and stable.

Now Rocker Bindings- http://now-snowboarding.com/products/black-ipo/
OK, a little side note on these. Although the board definitely helped, these bindings were great. I found I was able to really throw myself over the edges and get great response from the board. This was even with a set that were definitely too big for me. Quite pricey at the moment at £250 for a pair, but if you are looking for a high end set of bindings – defintely worth considering these!

Bataleon Evil Twin – http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/products/evil-twin-1213/6324
In stark contrast to the Jam, the lower specced Evil Twin was a real handful. Certainly more playful than the Jam but a lot more work on the piste. Much more difficult to keep under control, carve and feel comfortable at high speed.

Burton Custom (Kermit the Frog) – Flying V http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/products/custom-1213/6333 (TSA Just showing the regular camber on their site)
The double cambered fying V Burton Custom is Burtons flagship board and has been for years. I found it very very hard work. First run down I was on my arse on an icy patch. A very unforgiving board and now one for anyone intending to be a bit lazy in their technique. When I got it hooked up, it was great but I figured I’d spend half my time on this board just trying to keep it under control!

Burton Process Flying V – http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/products/process-flying-v-1213/6336
With the same camber profile as the custom I was expecting a similar experience from the Process. However, I found this much more forgiving. It was a much easier ride but even so I felt it would be twitchy under high speed, and it just didn’t do it for me.

K2 Parkstar – http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/products/parkstar-1213/6352
I didn’t expect to think much from a rocker board on the slopes of Cas, but found this a surprisingly smooth ride and found it pretty responsive and stable even on the fairly hard packed and in places icy piste. No doubt will be pretty sweet in deeper stuff. Paul loved it… and bought one!

Yes – The Greats (not on TSA Site but some info here: http://www.shayboarder.com/2012/02/yes-snowboards-2012-2013.html)
An interesting concept this board. The heel edge is thicker than the toe edge. Apparently this is to help get more power into heel turns. I found this quite interesting given that historically that’s an area of my boarding I’ve struggled with. I found this quite similar in ride to the Jam. Very controlled, though not quite as responsive. I also didn’t feel that it had much “fun” about it. Can’t say I noticed much difference in the heel turning, but difficult to tell on the short and shallow Castleford slopes.

Bataleon Riot
I only had one run on this board, with a binding half wobbling off. It wasn’t really enough to get a true feel for it… but I still bought one anyway!

Verdict and outcome!

Out of all of the boards I tried, by far and away my favourite was the Jam. I was able to absolutely beast it and be perfectly in control. The Parkstar was a surprising one but although it handled Castlefords slopes nicely, I was not sure how the rocker might handle something a bit steeper in anything other than deep snow. I really wanted to like the Custom, but clearly my boarding is not up to that, and nor do I want to have a snowboard that I have to put all my effort in to keeping myself upright, as opposed to enjoying the ride.
This left me with a bit of a decision to make. The Jam rode perfectly but in was not really what I had been looking for. Though it was a great, fast, stable board which would no doubt have ripped up the pistes and been pretty decent in powder, it lacked a fun element. Having spoken to the TSA guys, they assured me that I would have no issues with the general ride of the Riot, and it’s extra flex pop and twin directional setup would give me the element of fun I was seeking. And so that’s what I went for!

Yes – The Greats

K2 Zeppelin

Category : Boarding Gear

My new ride for the 2008/2009 season is the K2 Zeppelin… OK, so at time of writing, I haven’t got it yet, but after taking it for a spin at Castleford last weekend, it’s only a matter of time!

Super responsive, stable, and such an easy ride, I’ll be flying down those double blacks at Jackson!!The Zeppelin is the true lynchpin of the K2 range and over the years has established itself as one of the best snowboards available. Its true go-anywhere, ride-anything philosophy has made it the board of choice for scores of riders looking for great performance without barriers. Last season K2 refined the Zeppelin to improve on what was already a truly great board; they introduced one of the most advanced cores on the market which integrated Honeycomb into non-stress areas, making for a super light board without compromising performance. Well, for this season K2 have pushed the Zeppelin to another level. With the introduction of ICG glass which weaves carbon fibre stringers through the glass, K2 have managed to increase performance through every aspect of the board’s range. Carrying over from last season, K2 have kept the legendary carbon and titanium power fork Hybritech construction. This gives the board masses of power at the tip and tail whilst reducing the swing weight to give absolute control in the air and optimize turn initiation and exit. The Zeppelin truly is one of the best high performance boards available and should be on the shopping list of any good rider looking for a high performance, fully versatile snowboard.

image

Bindings – Burton Cartel

Category : Boarding Gear

I bought myself a pair of Burton Cartels in Canada last year after my missions fell apart on a chair lift.

I’ve been pretty pleased with them so far, and they certainly look the part!

For a bit more technical info, click the more link!

image Description:
Meet the freestyle binding of choice for more Burton (and non-Burton) pros than any other. The Cartel’s ghost-weight chassis and highly responsive Team Skyback®, the tallest hi-back in the line, combine to give you the confidence to get creative on all terrain. Whether you’re uncorking tech rotations or just popping off trailside tree bonks, the Cartel has but one agenda..stomp everything.

Features:

* Short-Glass Fiber/Nylon Composite Baseplate with NEW Dual-Density Heel Cushioning, Gapless Baseplate Paddingâ„¢ and Tool-Free Adjustable Gas Pedalâ„¢
* Team Skyback with QuickFLADâ„¢ and True OTTâ„¢ EVA Padding
* Pre-Curved, Triple-Axis Telescoping Superstrapâ„¢, Convertible Capstrapâ„¢ with NEW Grip Fit and NEW Tool-Free Length Adjustment
* Dual-Component Smooth Glideâ„¢ Buckles with Polished Aluminum Levers and Quick Release Gate

Board – 2005/6 Flow Camo

Category : Boarding Gear

I’m currently into my second season on my 2005 Flow Camo snowboard. Purchased off my brother, for £70, it is a stiff board that’s great for all mountain riding.

It’s extremely quick and very stable, so has proven a good progression from my Nitro Resistance.

Although it’s now into it’s 4th season in total, it’s still in exceptionally good condition. It seems quite resilient to bumps and scrapes, so should be good for the rest of this season at least…. by which point I might be fancying a new one 😉

image

image

Boots – Burton Boxers

Category : Boarding Gear

My Boots for 2005/6. Please lord say I’ve found a pair that are going to fit me for more than one season!

First things first, these are a cool boot with synthetic leather upper and urban camouflage souls! Aimed at Freestyle riders really due to their lightweight and the amount of flexibility they offer. However, I found they were stiff enough to give me plenty of control and soft enough to be forgiving over the moguls etc!

They have heat moulding inners, and Burton have also come up with an ingenious yet super simple solution to heal lift by providing velcro-in padding that you can stick to the inside of the boot to really grasp your ankle tight in the bottom.

They also come with nice soft laces which sounds a bit gay, but when you are yanking laces through your hands on a daily bases to get them nice and tight, it’s nice when they are nice and soft and don’t leave you with burn marks on your hands!

These boots aren’t cheap at around £140, but they are well worth the money. I just hope they still fit me next season…..

image

Board – Icon Wallpaper Sets New Standards

Category : Boarding Gear

I have been looking at the new boards out this year as new board-buddy Andy Bell has been looking to get his first board. Has to be said, the Icon Wallpaper seems to set new standards for an entry level board.

If the reviews and the specs are to be believed, at £200, the Icon Wallpaper board is an absolute steal.

Sintered base, and good all-round performance according to The Snowboard Asylum, make it an ideal entry level board for beginners, and a good solid, and affordable board even for more experienced riders.

I suggest you consider it if you are looking at your first board!

image

Boots – Northwave Fury 2004 Season

Category : Boarding Gear

I wore Northwave boots from the 2004 season. Had to replace them in 2005 however, as they swelled out too much and didn’t fit anymore!All in all I was very pleased with my boots up to the point where they started flapping around on my feet. I can’t really blame the boots for that though, that was me not knowing what I was doing and buying boots that were too big.

They are quite a stiff boot and so give good responsiveness on the board. They are still very comfortable though. There’s nothing fancy about them but at £80, you can’t complain. A good solid, no frills boot that would still be great if only I’d bought the right size.

Bi-Layer Upper w/ 2S Web System, 3D Molded Tongue, Injected I.H.S., 360 Heel Hold Down, Metal Lace Hooks, Impact Liner, Charger Sole. Flex Control Rating of 5.

Board – Nitro Resistance

Category : Boarding Gear

I currently ride a Nitro Resistance, 152cm. It’s a decent enough board, but doesn’t hold the wax very well.

I’ve found my Nitro has been a good little board to start off with. It’s got plenty of stability and is nice and stiff which is great for all mountain riding. It doesn’t lend itself so well to freestyle fun however, so I wouldn’t say it leans more towards a freeride than a freestyle board, despite what the chart below says.

Its “sintruded” base is a bit of a disappointment too as it really doesn’t hold the wax too well. A few days boarding after a hot wax and it soon looks very dry again. Still, a spot of roll on wax, and/or some Zardoz and it’s good to go again!

[em”>"If you love riding in all conditions and terrain, you’ll love the new Nitro Resistance. A progressive sidecut and sidewall construction make this board versatile. With a Powercore and a directional flex, this board is stable and smooth"[/em”>

Bindings – Burton Mission’s – 2004

Category : Boarding Gear

My first set of bindings are Burton Mission’s. I got last seasons model as they were much cheaper!So far I’ve found them good, and pretty responsive, although they have gained a bit of flex over a season of about a month of boarding.

I’ve also had some problems with the ratchets getting snow in then freezing the springs, and also getting stuck when I’ve had them on real tight.

All in all though, Missions seem to be a good mid-level binding.

“Burton : MissionT Snowboard Binding – Designed for cost-conscious freestyle riders who take it beyond the terrain park boundaries, the Burton MissionT binding delivers pro performance features for a price that won’t require sponsorship. This year Burton made the MissionT one of the lightest in the performance binding category by removing much of the unnecessary solids in the Mission hi-back without compromising the strength and flex characteristics. Unlike other binding designs, Burton avoids forged aluminum baseplates and uses a short-fiber reinforced nylon baseplate with a strength-to-weight ratio that surpasses traditional designs, so you’re doing kickers quicker and hitting new heights with unprecedented response and complete control.

Burton “Response” Rating (10 is most sensitive): 5

Redesigned short-fiber and fiberglass-reinforced baseplates with tool-free adjustable Gas PedalsT

Versatile pre-curved triple-axis telescoping Luxstrap and comfortable CapstrapT

Revised Mission hi-back with tool-free locking QuickFLAD (Forward Lean Adjustment)

New Burton Smooth Glide buckles feature metalized polycarbonate levers equipped with quick-release gates “