Board: Salomon Sleep Walker
Camber Option: Rock Out Camber. A mellowed out camber section through the inserts then rocker in the tip and tail.
Bindings: Rome Black Label
Stance: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy
Boots: K2 Thraxis Size 10
My Weight: 200lbs
Resort: Copper Mountain
Conditions: Mostly blue skies with some high level clouds, low wind, warmer temps, firm fast corduroy to creamy corduroy and snow with a little bit of ice, chunder, and slush.
Flex: This board is one of those jib boards with snap. This makes it a bit more playful and soft putting it at below a middle of the road park board but above a full blown jib noodle. You have an immense amount of flex in the tip and the tail which is amplified by the rocker there then a slightly stiffer middle section. There’s a abundance of torsional flex which makes this board super playful.
Stability: It’s about as stable as you would expect for a soft playful park board. So expect the tips to flap at high speeds on a groomer and get bucked around in chop. This means they’re very chattery and you will feel that underfoot. The mid section of the board is more stable but that’s not saying much so keep those knees bent as you will feel everything underfoot and get knocked around.
Ollies: The camber profile is very forgiving and easy to engage. What’s nice about it is that you’re essentially weighting it up just riding and that automatically loads it up making for mellow pop. The rocker section where it meets the camber acts like a little spring board and gives this deck a skate like pop over all.
Pop On Jumps: Small to medium features are really its strong suit but if you’re feeling frisky try your luck at the big line and see if you can land bolts. The snap is there to pop off a lip and you don’t have to worry about working too hard for it. It’s one of those decks that can handle jumping if you need it to but it’s not what it’s going to be the best at.
Butterability: Here’s where this board stands out to an extent. The tips are super playful and then you add rocker to the mix of that and you’ve got this platform that just locks in and lets you get weird. Now with that said if you’re a powerful rider or overbearing you can get this thing to over flex and wash out. I did, not saying it happens all the time, just saying be aware of it. You can be a bit more subdued with how you engage this thing.
Jibbing: This is what it’s meant for and where it shines. The camber profile is approachable to get you to pop onto a urban on feature but the flex is playful where it counts not forcing you to man handle this thing. You can approach a feature slow or fast and not worry about it. It locks in to a nose or tail press with zero effort and will hold through the feature and still retain some snap out. When you get sideways the camber section and its flex really wrap around the jib and it feels secure but playful meaning you don’t have to man handle it.
Carving: This is where it lacks a little bit but that’s to be expected with a board this soft and playful. The edge to edge transmission is mellow and you feel it steer more underfoot where the camber comes down to the rocker than out at the tips. This means you’re doing a bit more ankle steering than anything else. When you rail a hard carve on this board there’s limitations as you can over-flex the tail so tone it down a bit there Hercules. It’s real strong suit is set up carves and turns or medium mellow carves that get you around the obstacle in front of you.
Rider in Mind: Solid intermediate park rider who is progressing or someone that wants a playful park board.
Personal Thoughts: I think they softened this up just a bit since the last time I rode it as it feels less like a Villain and more like its own board. Which in my opinion is what it needed. It’s playful in the tips which makes it easy to butter and jib with but you get that power from the camber profile in the middle to retain some of its snap. It’s not the best on edge and that’s fine, but for something you can be more subdued with it’s a solid deck.
Comparable Boards: K2 Geometric, Gnu Money, Dinosaurs Will Die Rat
Binding Recommendations: Salomon District, Union Contact Pro, Burton Malavita