Monday, November 28, 2011

My Gear This Year 2012: Boards in Review

Going into every year is a good time to take a look at your boards and think about your needs (usually wants) for the coming season. I have a few boards and a few wants. Let's take a look, shall we?

First, old faithful. The 7 iron. The trusty, if rusty. She's always there for me and can do almost everything I ask. My 2001 Option Kevin Sansalone 158.5.

Man's best friend
This is my first non-Wal-Mart board. I had no idea what I was doing when I bought this board. Riding or buying. CCS was happy to take my money, all the same. Its default stance is set back three inches with a long nose and short tail. And I grew up riding 500' vertical Midwest hills. Now, it has broken in just right. It still has a medium flex and is cambered, which I like. Now, I also live closer to the mountains it was meant for.

As I said, this board handles it all. Hardpack at resorts. All but the deepest of pow. Trees. Banked slaloms. Jumps. Speeeed. No jibs, though, homey don't play that. I will continue to ride it until the base builds and covers up some of the lurking stumps and treetops. Then it will be my pow board.

So far, I haven't done much damage to the board at all. No core shots. The edges are fine. I did break a quarter-size chunk out of the topsheet, but I 'repaired' it with a sharpie, so it looks more normal. I'm thinking about P-Texing it, but it's small enough, that I don't think it matters.

Canadian board, Canadian quarter
I am seriously entertaining the notion of splitting this board. I absolutely will split some board in the next year. Getting out there on a splitboard is just the next logical step. It's either split the Sansalone or this one:

Full House
I have on good authority that this is a Never Summer SL 164 prototype. I believe 2004. A friend of mine won it and three other beat up boards in a poker game for a $15 bet. When I told him I was visiting the Never Summer factory, he just gave it to me.

What can I say about this board? I've never actually ridden it. I has a blown out edge and a large core shot in the base. I've been using it to practice my P-Tex work and I'm thinking of splitting it. 

Git yer tetanus shots.

You should see the other board.
Next up is a 2009 Stepchild Corporate 155 that I got for doing some work with Snowboarder Magazine

Dig that graphic.
This is another early-season, thin-coverage board. Weird thing is, I've never really damaged my 'early season' boards, while my main board has two core shots. More on that later. I can't complain much about this board, other than it's too small. It's fun for springtime cruising. It handles pow and trees OK. It's got that camber pop. It doubles as my girlfriend's pow board. Being directional, this board can really lay down a nosepress - pow or park.

This brings us to the end. My everyday driver. Nothing fancy, but a real blue-collar board. My 2010 Never Summer SL-R 158.

Don't know what SFD means? Better axe somebody!
The 'new' board. Jack of all trades, master at none. Closer to twin than the Option. It also has a little rocker between the bindings and camber outside. This makes it float OK in powder, but not like the Option. This also aides butters and slightly detracts from pop. Dampness is where this board shines and that's important in the Northwest. That and stability were two big selling points for this board. See, I spend most of my time on the ground. I'm not fooling anyone otherwise. Might as well get a board that can handle it. I maybe should have gone with the 161, but other than that, this board is perfect for me. That and I got it at the end of the year for 40% off. Miserly instincts die hard.

Middle left and lower right
Here's the bummer, a season and a half in and I've put two core shots in it. Not that rad when you consider how NS prides themselves on their bases. One was my fault, I tail tapped a rock. The other, I have no idea, but it looks like it almost took my edge out with it. A little P-Tex kleenex wipe and she's good as new. Let that be a lesson not to ride your good board when the conditions are a little thin.

Anyway, that's how the gear is looking this season. A couple boards, mostly all-rounders. Hardly a full quiver, but I'm not complaining too loud. In a perfect world, the Stepchild would be my girl's pow ride, the SL prototype would be P-Tex practice only, the Sansalone would be the early-season board, I would ride the SL-R 75% of the time and I would have a deep pow stick and a splitboard (possibly the same board). As it is, I'm ripping, saving and plotting. Anybody got a split Charlie Slasher or a Whale?

Check out my other "My Gear This Year" reviews: Jackets and Pants.


  1. I only bombed one run on the split slasher, but it's definitely a good pow board. Probably would've got a 158 if I was keeping it a one-piecer, but I knew I would be cutting it and riding it with a pack. In pow. Many long boards in my past, I'm not tripping over a couple of inches though, so who knows...the thing's good though, I say get one.

    I had an Option of that era: before they "went bad." Mine had graphics of a skateboarder doing a backside kickflip between the bindings. That was a goddamn good board, I think very similar to your Sansalone. It broke somewhere under my rear heel, and I still rode it for a season. Shit was a good snowboard!

    But dude if you have four snowboards, one should be bigtime powder slayer. For the two hours on those big days before it's all tracked out. Super C.Slasher, mega taper wigglestick, something. Nannermullet? I'll even accept a big fish or something with a hippywood topsheet. But once you hit four snowboards, shit--once if you hit two: one should be a ridiculous powder board. Especially since you're part of the grown man set.

  2. A,
    I think this is where the kids would say, "I know, right?" I've been trying to get a pow board for a couple years now. Trying to ride before I buy since I know I'm going to have it forever. I might just break down and pay retail this year.

    One of my best days ever was on a Fish, so I'm leaning that way with the Unity Whale. That same day, a giant group of goons was straight mobbing on Slashers, too. Provided by the Nose Man. This is at Baldface with two feet of fresh. Fun-ass testing grounds. Then I had a seizure and the lights went out. True story.

  3. I remember that trip!!
    I've been looking at the Whale as you recommended. Very intriguing. I must admit that I would like a Prior, but man they're expensive!!
    I feel spoiled, I have 2 functional pow boards in the quiver already. I'm still annoyed with Arbor for discontinuing the Abacus. However, they are doing a mid - season release of a split version... it might be the answer to your problems if you're looking for a split, too.

  4. Dude I just typed for an hour on my iPod and f'd up the poasting

  5. m, we'll have to recreate that day in a Baker setting this year. That Abacus split could be the one.

    a, you typed for an hour just in the comment box? And now I get nothing but that excuse!? Don't leave me hangin' brah...

    In other news, I'm fresh back from no-snow Tahoe where I shredded the poker tables instead of the dusty slopes. I earmarked my winnings for a pow board and, as such, now have $500 to spend guilt-free. That won't bring home a splitty, but it will almost cover the pow whip...


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