2013 Echelon Rounds Used and Reviewed

Echelon Snowboards is a new company coming out of Big Bear Lakes, California. While the company might be new on the scene their designer Jason Kanes has been at it for years. You might recognize some technology that was licensed from Omatic but I assure you they are an independent brand aside from that. The Rounds is their reverse camber, twin, park board, with 3D lite technology and one of my personal favorites for next season.

Board: Echelon Rounds

Size: 152

Camber Option: V-Reverse. Standard run of the mill center reverse camber although they have added their Lite3D base which gives the base a nice bevel near the edges so it doesn’t hang up.

Bindings: Raiden Phantoms

Stance: 22.5 Wide 18 Negative 15 Goofy

Boots: K2 UFO Size 10

My Weight: 165

Resort: Breckenridge

Conditions: Super warm spring slush laps under blue skies with minimal clouds.

Flex: Jib flex with snap, or at least that’s the only way I can describe it. Soft tips with a little bit of stiffness between the feet.

Stability: That doesn’t exist on this board just expect to feel everything.

Ollies: This board does have snap in the tips. You can skate pop this board at the last second and it just boosts you up into the air with no effort.

Pop On Jumps: Skate pop off a lip is one of the best feelings in the world. This board has that and will give you enough pop to make it right to the sweet spot.

Butterability: Look at the features this board has! It’s designed to butter and not hang up no matter how hard you try. Edges that won’t catch, center reverse, and a softer twin park flex.

Jibbing: This board has a great sweet spot in the tips for locking into presses and with that center reverse camber you can totally make yourself look like a pro when getting down on a rail.

Carving: Hard carves with any variation in the terrain you will feel and it will want to buck you. This board isn’t meant to be railed while turning. Think of it like you need a hard carve here or there between a park feature and the rest of the time you’re just sort of being mellow pushing for a mild set up carve before a jump or lip onto a rail.

Rider in Mind: The park dominator that likes just below mid flex, likes snap, and is cool with reverse camber.

Personal Thoughts: This board is absolutely fucking money. You can hit jumps, do jibs, throw yourself around on side hits, butter, ollie over a slow sign, and have fun. It’s one of those stand out park decks that has versatility but is just fun. It’s soft yet lively and that’s huge.

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35 Comments

  1. ThommyDawson says:

    Hi,
    Sounds very comparable to the Arbor Draft, what would you say are the differences? Or are they totally different!?

  2. phil says:

    whats up with those inserts?

  3. Thommy it’s got more snap out of the tips due to a carbon fiber x I would put it as being just a bit snappier.

    Phil wouldn’t you like to know? 2015 Binding tests.

  4. LOL, Cats out of the bag! But yeah – insert pattern designed for a specialized binding that doesn’t force you into a binding (binding/adapter) choice. Ride whichever, without worry about adapters/etc. destructive tests on the pattern went well, so now we’re on the “riding them” stage to see if it all works out.

  5. Joe D says:

    Is the graphic unchanged from the 2012 boards? I see those for sale with the same graphic

  6. Mark says:

    Echelon let me know if you need an east coast tester! I’ve got AASI certs and do staff training. Would be pumped to try and help!

    Also excited to hear that there is a carbon-fiber x in the tips and tails! This sounds like a cool way to achieve similar riding concepts as on the Rome Mod and it’s Hot-Rod tech. Any truth to that Angry or do the boards ride nothing alike?

  7. Mark says:

    Also is there any edge tech (waves,ripples, 19-different shaped circles used to make points, hexagons, frostbitten)?

  8. Joe they had a soft launch earlier this past season but this up coming season they’re jumping in full force.

    Mark none of that ripply wavy edge stuff. And no it rides nothing like the Mod Rocker at all that board is built for an entirely different riding style.

  9. Because we got things started at an odd time of year, we managed to be a bit ahead of the industry curve for getting boards in our hands (about 6-7 months earlier than most companies did for 2012-13). This means that the boards are really more like 2011.5 – 2013 models. We made about 600 of them for review, riders, testing, etc and also to get any production kinks out of the way. This resulted in a great 1st-gen product that we are really happy with.

    We’ll be updating the website soonish with our newest products – CWCS, Semtex, the Ghillie hoodie (FINALLY taking shape in real-life rather than concept form) — things are coming together and we’re looking forward to a 2012-13 with stuff on shelves and **more snow.**

  10. Nasty James says:

    I really don’t know what to think about Echelon.

    On the one hand, you’ve got some guys coming from another arena, and bringing all sorts of new tech and experimentation to snowboarding. They’re obviously passionate about Snowboarding and it shows. And if Angry likes the board then, well, that speaks for itself.

    On the other hand, there’s the military thing. Now I’m no peace loving hippie, I support the troops and all that. I think their military discount is a great program. And if that’s what they support and who they are then more power to them for doing the way they want to. But I still can’t help but be off put by it. I feel like thats something that has no place in snowboarding. I’m imagining a legion of brainwashed kids enlisting because their boards told them to. As a company, they could have the same values and run the same programs without the propagandizing imagery.

    Yvan et nioj.

  11. Military themed companies aren’t anything new. Grenade used it are you saying Grenade caused people to join the army?

  12. We are not pro-military. We are however pro soldier, and there is a difference.

    If a kid enlists because merely of an image on a board/movie they saw/book they read, then they will find military life dissatisfying. All images are propaganda for one thing or another, so I am totally cool with propaganda that says “Soldiers can have a sense of humor, and are not brainwashed automatons.” I’m pretty sure very few people heard the Village People sing “In the Navy” and rushed down to the recruiting station, despite its overly rosy look into Navy life. Pretty sure that no one will go down to the Air Force recruiter and ask where they can pick up their bomb-dropping paper airplanes after staring at the “Attack Plan” graphics either.

    Plenty of people choose to join the service because they enjoy the lifestyle and the work, although at times I am sure they question that choice after filing out their tenth triple-duplicate form to requisition new underwear.

    It’s OK to feel like a military image doesn’t have any place in snowboarding, although I can’t quite get why. Most companies, from the most patchouli-infused GaiaCorp to the faceless BoardCom Inc, attempt (usually badly) to ape the military look for at least some of their gear. We’re just more honest about thinking that it looks pretty cool and where we get some of our ideas from. As people actively involved with actual military and defense work, the difference is that our approach goes beyond the imitation or “ironic” usage other companies try.

    The anti-military stance is a bit like politicians decrying what a waste NASA is while simultaneously forgetting it was NASA that created many technologies that keep said fatcats from dying when they need an artificial heart. Every time a hipster uses their iWhatever to check into the local poetry & drum circle on Facebook, they are directly benefiting from DoD financed and developed GPS technology originally designed to accurately bomb the shit out of things. War sucks, for sure. When it happens, it’s best to take what good you can from it, but you can’t have it both ways, at least with logical consistency.

    We give what we can to those in the dirty business of defense, without whom the world would degenerate into either lawlessness or despotism constantly (rather than just half the time :) ). We make our products with an eye towards military function because we like stuff that works in hostile conditions — and that is one thing that military equipment usually does pretty well. We make things with a military look (with a slightly subversive edge) because frankly, it looks cool as hell to us, and we’re OK with that. If loving the shape of the F-35 is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

    Regarding this:”As a company, they could have the same values and run the same programs without the propagandizing imagery.” While I get what you’re saying here, I disagree. Our military focus is the reason we operate the way we do, and those values are a direct result of our mission, experience, interest in, and training from that side of life. If we took that aspect away, it would cease to be enjoyable and probably not understandable to us. If your reasons for doing something are directly tied to some other thing, then the reasons go away when that thing is removed, leaving behind a meaningless facade.

    As always, I think people should buy what they like. While I think that misogyny and drug-deification are dumb (despite being the theme of 90% of snowboard companies out there), I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they have no place in snowboarding because in the end that’s for the buyers to decide. I’ll close out by saying that much as we don’t pigeonhole those who are pacifists as filthy hippies (quite the opposite), we would hope that similar open-mindedness could go the opposite direction into not thinking those who take up the mantle of defense, regardless of nationality, are “brainwashed.” They, just as the other side of the coin, deserve better than that base characterization.

    PS, technically Grenade charged $15 to be a member of the Grenade Army :).

    PPS, Join te(sic) Navy, ROFL

  13. 415joe says:

    @Echelon, you obviously passed the PR course that NOPE./Tyrant failed. well put. looking forward to seeing your product line in the near future. Best of luck.

  14. Echelonsnow says:

    Dear Joe,
    Thanks for the kind words. We look forward to getting stuff out there for you to ride/wear/etc. My goal isn’t to appeal to everyone—that’s the reason for multiple brands, after all. I will stump a bit for us by saying without companies like us trying new and weird approaches the product landscape starts to look pretty dismal. Everything ends up starting the same, and that’s no fun for anyone. Hope you had a great season.

    Also, as a side note Tyrant, Bitch, Nope (and others) all seemed to suffer from the “I am cool now because I own a snowboard company” syndrome. I have no such delusion; I’m still the same nerd that used to memorize thrust-weight ratios and Weird Al songs. Owning a snowboard company doesn’t make you cool, because cool isn’t a title you confer on yourself by buying stuff and trying to sound as illiterate as possible. I’m reminded of the story of the aviator who tried to give themselves the call-sign “Lightning”, and ended up branded instead as “Bug” :).

  15. Nasty James says:

    @angry, comparing them to Grenade is like comparing them to the KISS army. Grenade used (Uses? are they still in business?) military imagery subversively, to develop an anti-establishment image. This is something very close to snowboarding. Echelon’s graphics and themes have a very different sentiment, and I’m sure even they would agree.

    @echelon, Well like I said before, I really do appreciate that you do business as you see fit. And what this industry needs, are more companies trying to produce new and innovative (but well researched and developed) product. And for companies that do it for functionality’s sake, not as a marketing tool. And we also need more companies that will take the time to listen to their consumers (and detractors), and give honest and respectful feedback. So hat’s off to you.

    Now send a demo fleet to the east coast…
    Or will you have a fleet up at hood this summer?

  16. Echelonsnow says:

    Thanks, all! Yeah, we’re going with Windells and are getting some space in the demo room there.

  17. Echelonsnow says:

    “Echelon’s graphics and themes have a very different sentiment, and I’m sure even they would agree.”

    In a way, I would agree. In another? I’m not sure. One of the 2013-14 season’s graphics is a depiction of a certain 80’s anti-terrorist special mission force, and the theme is a direct parody of some of the macho imagery that is often portrayed by ridiculous cartoons and movies. It’s significantly more subversive to point out the latent homoeroticism of action flicks than, say, making a camouflage jacket with a company logo on it, or equating smokin’ a bowl with subversion.

    Is our Killbox graphic saying that “war is fun like a video game” or “people treat, quite incorrectly, war like a game?” that’s up to the viewer to decide, and as always we leave the imagery open to your own interpretations. I’m not here to tell people what to think, because that’s the opposite of what free societies do ;).

  18. Zach says:

    Echelon, you guys have my full support. I’m currently trying to save some money for the Killbox and then try to be apart of your team. Rock the Northwest

  19. kean says:

    whats up with the CWCS OUTERWEAR? when will jackets be available? very cool concept which has not yet been brought to the table!

  20. Can’t really speak for them but we did some serious field testing on it up at Mt. Hood all last week.

  21. Dj says:

    Angry, will you be reviewing the Franken anytime soon? Am interested in how that board performs for all mountain freestyle and carving on groomers. Does Echelon plan on making a mid-wide version of the Franken?

  22. It’ll happen when it happens and I’m pretty sure the waist on that is borderline mid.

  23. alex says:

    really wish i could find more info about sizing on echelon’s website…

    How wide is the waist on this 152? 25 cm or under?

  24. alex says:

    you just saved me a whole lot of time and effort. thanks man. love your site, keep up the great work.

  25. alex says:

    echelon emailed me back eventually and said the 152 rounds has a waist of 24.7 if anyone is wondering

  26. miles says:

    I have a Brand New in the bag Echelon Attack Plan 154 and I want to sell it for a more jib orientated board. Let me know if you want it.

  27. Hey, Miles… So, I thought you were keeping the AP after all because you wanted something shorter? That Franken is still here should you want to trade it out. If I had a 149 Killbox, you could have that, but alas—sold out.

  28. PP says:

    Hey, PP from Argentina. Just got an Echelon Rounds. I was wondering if this will fit with some burton 3-hole binding disks that a friend has lying around??

  29. You’re going to need the 2 x 4 disk.

  30. PP says:

    OK, those extra holes in the middle aren’t for fitting 3-holes then?

  31. Does yours have that extra hole pattern? Because if it does that would be a bit odd.

  32. Yeah, there should be no boards in the wild with that hole pattern. Even if it does, it still uses 2×4’s.

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