Chopped / Powder
Powder, unfortunately, is not always available in massive face-shot depths, but the ridge at Taos always seems to hold a few secret stashes.
I began hiking up the ridge toward Niños Heroes and noticed that the wind had done some damage up high, turning what used to be powder into hard, chalky windslab. I approached the cornice, looked over to see a nice 5-foot entrance into the chute, and figured I might as well go for it. There wasn’t a good way to get speed, however, but luckily fellow reviewer Garret Altman was there to slingshot me off the cornice with his ski pole.
I couldn’t assess the pop at that exact moment, but I did notice upon landing that the contact with the hard windslab was surprisingly soft as I was able to gently land tail first. While the tail hit the snow, the One Magtek curled gently into position.
Often with stiff boards, anything other than a solid “sticking” of the landing results in a throttling forward as the board can’t adjust to the sudden deformation. Not so here.
I wouldn’t say the One Magtek necessarily had a larger margin for error, but for a stiff board, the soft nose and tail provide more encouragement to play. It’s a board that likes to be bent and tweaked yet remains stiff underfoot for stability on landings.
As mentioned above, first impressions can be somewhat misleading, and this revised impression seemed to stick after riding the board a few more times. At first I felt a lack of control and that the board possessed a mind of its own, one that wasn’t matching up with my mind. After getting used to it, I realized I needed to let the board perform, though it did take some courage to open up and sacrifice a little control in order to get a proper feel for the One Magtek.
The run down Niños following the cornice drop, for example, had various zones of powder, wind slab, and chop. I found the board swiveled around effortlessly to scrub speed.
The board was also light enough that the swing weight when switching directions was very comfortable. But I could also push the speed limits a little further by allowing myself to loosen up more than before. Previously I expected to overrun the board, which, after multiple bouncing crashes, had made me a little stiff. But to maximize this board’s potential, I found I had to act more like a shock absorber, letting my legs stay loose to suck up surprises in the terrain or snow. Once I did that, I was able to adjust to the fact that it’s an active board, and maintain smoother overall control without having to fight.
The result was a looser riding style to adapt to the inability to destroy everything in the board’s path, as the Venture Odin would. Once I adjusted, I found the One Magtek to be fast, playful, and light.
In deep powder, the 13mm setback was great and did help from diving in nose first, though I think I would have preferred a longer board. Still, I was able to play in the powder and get large sprays out of the snappy nose and tail.
Magne-Traction or Not?
My previous experience with Magne-Traction (on the Lib Tech Lando) was interesting, to say the least. (If you’re not familiar, Magne-Traction is essentially a serrated edge shape that is designed to add more contact points to the snow in specified spots. Advantages can include stability and quicker, sharper turning; disadvantages could entail cutting too deep, resulting in speed loss.) I also didn’t understand it or know if I really thought it necessary. On the Lando, I didn’t like how deep it seemed to cut and slow down the speed while attempting to go fast.
While the “serrations” of the Magne-Traction edge are clearly visible on the One Magtek, the board has a straighter, less exaggerated sidecut than the Lando.
The quick transitional edge-to-edge motions were extremely smooth on the One-Magtek, and it never felt to cut too deep resulting in unwanted speed control. And when the time came to hit the brakes hard, the extra edge grip was very useful.
When alternating between scrubbing and carving, there was no hang up during the scrub and no sense of feeling close to losing contact during sharp and fast turns down groomers. I can’t say for certain how much of this is directly attributable to the Magne-Traction itself, but it was certainly not a hindrance, and it did help with stopping quickly, for sure.
On groomers, this translated to the One Magtek being super playful. It is solid enough to go fast with confidence, but soft enough to butter and spin for long distances. At high speed, the board would start to chatter a little bit, but in the long run, the chatter was worth dealing with in order to have a playful board overall. And I think tweaking things for more dampening would get away from Rossi’s intended purpose here of a quiver killer.
One run down the West Basin chute “Oster,” going fast down the fall line through powder, I found myself scrubbing speed completely on my nose and was surprised at how forgiving the board felt.
Later that day while carrying the board up the ridge, I took notice of the nose and found a crack moving horizontally. I had broken the top sheet, I thought, but after investigating further found that the core had also been damaged. I had not hit any rocks or had any major impacts. Apparently just playing around on the nose got to be too much for the board, or possibly it was just a manufacturing issue, which inevitably happens from time to time.
The damage was in a spot that didn’t seem to affect the centralized stiffness of the board (the nose became softer, but it was already fairly soft to begin with), so faced with choice of not riding or continuing to ride, I finished the day with a broken nose and still had a great time. (Even though the board was clearly damaged, the performance of the board had changed little.)
Sometimes a broken board is the result of abuse, and sometimes it’s a result of a manufacturing defect. In this case, it seemed to be the latter, so I contacted Rossignol to figure out what to do. Turns out, it was ridiculously easy to go through their warranty program:
- I contacted Rossignol and let them know what happened. They got me the address for their warranty department to send the board.
- I wrote a short letter (three descriptive sentences) explaining the broken board and what had happened, and sent the board to Rossi via UPS ground (cost around $30).
- I received a brand new board via Fed-Ex one week later, no questions asked.
The warranty system worked well, and I think its safe to say that the board broke relative to a defect in manufacturing. It happens. But I also think Rossignol truly made a nice board with this design and made it super easy to get a new one.
The direction that Rossignol took with One Magtek was to build a board that is capable in everything: “The board you want when you can only have one.” In large part, I’d say that’s true. If I were going to spend a few weeks in Alaska riding long, steep, fast runs in deep powder, of course I would want something different. But for resort riding and selected backcountry booter days, I think this is a true one-deck quiver. The One Magtek is not an all-out charger, but it is still capable on the feet of someone who charges.
It took me a day or so to adjust to the feel of the One Magtek. Still, while I would not discourage this board for a beginner rider, I’d be more inclined to suggest it for intermediate riders or park riders who want to get into big-mountain terrain comfortably. Not only is it designed to function in variable conditions, but the Rossignol One Magtek keeps the playful aspect of snowboarding alive and well.