2014 Ride Highlife UL Snowboard Used and Reviewed

Ride could possibly be one of the most misunderstood snowboard brands right now in the snowboard world. They make some boards with a lot of crazy tech in it like the Highlife UL, but then the marketing just seems to not match up. Here’s what the Highlife UL has going for 2014.

2014 Ride Highlife UL Topsheet

Board: Ride Highlife UL

Size: 158

Camber Option: Hybrid all mountain. Rocker in the nose then traditional camber all the way through the tail.

Bindings: K2 Formulas

Stance: 22.5 Wide 18 Negative 15 Goofy

Boots: K2 Thraxis Size 10

My Weight: 175lbs

Resort: Breckenridge

Conditions: Sunny and blue skies with a slight mix of clouds, fresh firm corduroy, and some wind. Over all the snow was super fast and deadly if you were not paying attention.

Flex: Total directional flex. Softer nose, stiffening up under the front insert pack, getting stiffer as you get towards the back insert pack, and finally being mega stiff in the tail. There’s very little torsional give.

Stability: I hope you like feeling micro vibrations because this board does not dampen anything. There’s something about the way this deck is built that makes it lively and not damp but still stable in regards to not being folded by hard push mounds.

Ollies/Pop: The snap is hard to initiate and the rebound out is very minimal. You have to work for it.

Butterability: Well rocker in the nose is fun for playing around with but over all this board is meant to go straight and turn.

2014 Ride Highlife UL Base

Carving: You have to work hard to get this on edge due to the flex. The arc of the carve is never abrupt on edge it’s more long and drawn out. Hard sharp carves are a pain in the ass to make happen.

Rider in Mind: The guy that loves to freeride and still wants a board that’s predominately camber.

Personal Thoughts: This board had everything in its favor for conditions and still was a chore to ride. Laying carves just took so much effort, more so than other boards in the same category. The rocker in the nose is nice for getting over hard choppy terrain but that’s about all this board has for a saving grace.

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Disclaimer: This board was loaned to us for review from the Ride Snowboards Rockies rep.

Causes controversy!

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6 Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    YO, conditions: “fresh firm corduroy” Hello!!! it’s an all mountain free ride board. You gotta test it in the right conditions to be able to review it properly. I can’t trust your review at all. Thanks for trying.
    Jonathan
    Pro snowboard patrol
    Red Mountain
    Rossland BC

  2. What part of ALL MOUNTAIN confuses you chief? Thanks for the snow carnie perspective Mr. Pro Snowboard Patroller.

  3. mike says:

    i had a sick day at whitewater demoing it. it carves in 2 stages, and its super predictable and cuts way tighter than the machete I have. It pops so well and boosts. also spins easily because of how light it is and how predictable the tail and nose are off lips.

  4. zach says:

    You are 100% correct when you say that Ride’s tech and marketing do not match up. I am on my 3rd season trying ti convince myself that it is just me and not the Machete that is the problem (a bad carpenter blames his tools right?. Not in this case). I have had it (breaking my nose yesterday on the slope did not help) with this board.

    I bought their marketing and it got a platinum pick and I needed a new board and – Voila, machete. It was about 2 points stiffer than they said, it is ultra catchy (contrary to marketing), turn initiation is a bear and makes it really dangerous off-trail in the woods. I’v had nothing but lib techs for ten years before this and, while I like them, I find magnetraction catchy and irritating. Great when you are on edge on solid ice, but it throws you around when you want to relax. A lot of these companies need to throw some non-expert, intermediate to advanced riders in their boards if they want useful feedback. Most of us aren’t Travis Rice (etc.)

    Thanks to your recommendations, I am looking at Arbor. The Coda seems to make sense for me (like to play all over the mountain but don’t like to lose my edge too much and would like the board to be able to handle a little bit of speed). Like to butter and ollie and hit jumps. Like to spend about 20 percent – max – in the park). If I were to go with arbor would you say Coda or Blacklist – or something else? Also – does the grip tech grab (in the annoying way) that mtx does? I wish lib would offer mtx as an option. I’d get a gnu carbon credit (my son has one) or a lib without thinking. twice if hadn’t become so disaffected with mtx. Thanks

  5. pachonki says:

    @zach – “it is ultra catchy (contrary to marketing), turn initiation is a bear” – dude, seriously? It’s turn initiation is super easy, and a rocker-micro camber is far far from being catchy, it lacks edge hold in my opinion (one of its weak points)

    The Highlife itself requires some time getting used to, once you dial in there is little this board can’t do. Super stiff and requires muscles at first then becomes great fun if you like SPEED both in powder and on groomers.
    “this board does not dampen anything”? Not true IMO

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