Board: Academy Masters
Camber Option: Micro camber. A mellow traditional camber with a slight rocker in the nose.
Bindings: Rome Black Label
Stance: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy
Boots: K2 Thraxis Size 10
My Weight: 200lbs
Resort: Copper Mountain
Conditions: A mix of gray and blue skies, zero winds, warmer temps, perfect corduroy, heavy pow, chunder pow, and ice.
Flex: This is a directional freeride-ish board with a park flex in my opinion. It’s somewhere around the middle of the road in terms of overall flex which makes it playful but somewhat precise when you need it. You do get a softer nose and then right before the front insert pack back to the tail it progressively stiffens up but it’s not overwhelming or demanding. There’s enough torsional flex but not so much that you over twist the board or so little it feels like a plank.
Stability: On a groomer this board is super damp and you don’t notice any chatter but when you get it into more rutted out terrain it lets you know that you need to bend your knees to stay on top of it. This makes it damp at times but still lively when you need it.
Ollies: OK so here’s the thing, I figured this board with micro camber would have some pop but wouldn’t be one of those boards that stands out. I was wrong. This thing wants to get into the air off anything it can. With that mellow traditional camber section it takes no effort to load it up but prepare for the response because it wants to launch you. Now if you aggressively load it up you get even more snap which is to be expected, but it says something when you’re being lazy on the board and it will still spring you to the moon.
Pop On Jumps: This board is fully at home hitting jumps of varying sizes. It likes snapping off the lip and getting you way past the sweet spot.
Butterability: The nose is softer than the tail and there’s a slight micro rocker so of course you can butter it. You’ll notice that there’s some rebound from it so prepare yourself for it. With the tail you need to get your weight out over it more to really lock it in but once again it doesn’t really fight you.
Jibbing: A little speed goes a long way on this board for tail presses but you don’t have to be forceful. With nose presses you can get yourself over the handlebars if you’re not careful so be a little more reserved. Getting sideways you on a feature you feel the camber take over and hug it ever so slightly which makes you balance a bit more than other boards, but then again this really isn’t a board for riding park all day on.
Carving: Here’s where this board stands out in my opinion. It’s got a smooth even transition from toe to heel that takes next to no effort to engage. You do engage the start of the carve right where the camber meets the micro rocker and then you drive it from inside the front foot back which really lets you zip in and out of turns. The Vario Grip gives an added edge bite underfoot which also allows you when you’re being more laid back to just slightly steer from there. When railing a turn you notice that the board has power off the tail to shoot you out of the turn but when you’re in the middle of a deep carve you feel locked in and it wants to let you steer it as you need. Short quick carves or long swooping ones are a breeze on this deck and you don’t have to worry about it.
Rider in Mind: The do it all directional board rider.
Personal Thoughts: First and foremost I wasn’t expecting that kind of snap from this board so that was an added bonus. This board feels like a deck you’ve ridden a while and know how its going to react. It swoops in on a carve and then lets you decide if you want to drive it. Its fun to butter especially over a roller at higher speeds and it can handle the park. In pow the tip shape cuts through the snow and funnels it out allowing you to get on top of it easier. Overall wasn’t expecting this board to be as good as it was and I dig that.
Comparable Boards: Telos Mike Ranquet, Korua Otto, Gnu Antigravity