If you can remember back to the days of the TB series of movie then you probably remember Johan Olofsson straight lining down that one face in Alaska. Sure it’s been a long while and we’re talking serious snowboard history but Johan is working with Venture snowboards now and helped design this board for big mountain backcountry dominance. We sent Gary our resident splitboarder to ride this big mountain bomber down some of the terrain Colorado has to offer and here’s what he said.
Board: Venture Odin Splitboard
Camber Option: Ventures Rocker Profile. Flat between the bindings, early rise rocker nose and tail.
Bindings: Spark Burner
Angles: +- 15
Boots: Ride Insano
My Weight: 240lbs
Resort/Backcountry Area: Berthoud Pass, Loveland Ski area.
Conditions: Powder, corn, dust on crust.
Preconceived Notions: This thing looks like a big mountain gun.
Flex: It’s a pretty damn stiff solid ride. A little softer in the tip and tail.
Stability: Very stable. It had better be. This is a board that likes to point it.
Ollies/Pop: It was alright, but it is certainly not a park board.
Butterability: You can. Not really this boards thing either.
Cruising: Now you are talking. This is a board that likes to go fast. Very stable at high speeds. Holds an edge at those speeds with little effort.
Skinning: Shines on this one. The flat between the rocker tip and tail gets a lot of skin contact to the snow. Climbs amazingly well. The rocker nose pops up through deep snow making the chore just a little bit easier.
Rider in Mind: The big mountain rider.
Personal Thoughts: I won’t lie. The first day out on the Odin I was hating it. Conditions were a little off. It was late spring and a decent storm had rolled through for backcountry riding. I had to make an appearance for the corn harvest fundraiser for the CAIC at Loveland ski area that day. There was about six inches of new snow on top of icy crust. Not nearly enough new snow to make it a powder day in those conditions. The board felt sluggish and was hard to turn. This board has a longer sidecut than what I have grown used to. Making a turn on this was a world apart from the ride I had been using most of the season. Still, it was super stable on the groomers and you could really open it up. High speeds were not an issue. I got out on a real powder day a week later. Over 20 inches of the fluff at Berthoud Pass in May. This time I was feeling what this board is supposed to do. The longer side cut took me longer to get it dialed than usual. Once I got it figured the fun began. I took it into tight steep trees and was able to navigate them no problem. Long, steep, chutes, where straight lining is near mandatory were great on this ride.
Powder performance was top notch. The rocker nose would plane up on top of the snow quickly with little effort. Lower angle terrain in the powder was very easy to cruise through with this board.
I have knock it back on spring slush though. The base is grabby and more than a few times I thought I was going over the handle bars. I had put a layer of warm temp wax on the night before. I think this has to do with so much surface contact of the wet snow to the flat base. In powder it’s a dream, fantastic on corn, once it gets soupy, not so much. Not that those conditions are fun anyway and all boards grab in those conditions.
Overall, this was a great board. Especially for those who like to get on big fast lines in the alpine.
What They Say: Silverton, Colorado based Venture Snowboards has collaborated with big mountain rider Johan Olofsson to create a new Fall 2011 snowboard design. Dubbed the Odin after the Norse god of war and wisdom, the board embodies the concepts of Scandinavian design including simplicity of form and function.
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