1-Board Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (13/14)

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

 

Reviewer: Justin Bobb

Age: 29 | Vitals: 5’10”, 165 lbs. | Years Boarding: 20 | Current Residence: Santa Fe, NM (See complete bio)

 

One-Board Quiver Selections: 

Taos Ski Valley

Board #1: Venture Zelix, 158cm 

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

New to the Venture line-up, the Zelix is the offspring of the old Zephyr and Helix. Combining the stiff, hard-charging feel of the Zephyr with the freestyle approach of the Helix, this board is perfect for Taos. It’s very fast and playful, without sacrificing stability in varied terrain. And it can withstand some abuse. Durable, fast, and playful = a great all-around board.

I’m already planning on using the Zelix as my primary board this season. I also like to visit their factory in Silverton, Colorado, just a few hours from Taos.

Runner-Up: K2 Slayblade, 158cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

This board has essentially been my one-board quiver at Taos for the past four years. K2 updated it again, and the 2014 board is different from past iterations (full review coming soon).

I’ve been riding the 2010 model, and I love how fast it is edge-to-edge. It’s also one of the stiffest boards K2 makes. It’s a great board for trees and moguls, and it has great pop and high dampening—essential for top to bottom Al’s laps under lift 1 at Taos.

 

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Board #1: Venture Storm, 161cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

Jackson Hole has big terrain with lots of snow. For that kind of riding, I want the Storm, the hardest, fastest charging board I’ve ever been on. I can’t imagine any place at Jackson where the Storm wouldn’t be perfect. It’s great on landings, has a super fast base, and it’s very maneuverable considering its shape and size. (And the simple snowflake graphics Venture uses are brilliant.)

Runner-Up: Flow Maverick ABT, 160cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

The Maverick has a directional shape combined with a funny “bubble” on the base, or ABT (altered base technology), designed to dampen chatter. This board is an incredible performer and it’s very fast, but the ABT makes it tough to repair if damaged. Overall, this board provides an excellent big mountain feel without weighing you down. It’s a bit softer than the Helix, but just as fast.

 

Niseko

Board #1: Flow Maverick ABT, 160cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

I think the Flow in Japan would be an amazing ride. Its powder-conducive shape combined with a light playful feel creates a dynamic, “bouncing” style in the deep snow.

Runner-Up: Venture Storm, 158cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

It’s a powder crusher. The end.

 

Cantebury Club Fields 

Board #1: Venture Zelix, 158cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

The New Zealand club fields pose an interesting challenge. You’ll get blower powder, ice, and even slush (not to mention the occasional tussock crossing). For those reasons, I’d choose the Zelix for my one-board quiver—it’s the most playful and durable board I’ve been on. The solid edges would hold well on the Mt. Olympus steeps, and the board’s speed would be helpful for traversing.

Runner-Up: K2 Slayblade, 158cm

One Board Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

I used the Slayblade at the club fields in 2013 while competing in the Freeride World Qualifier events. I had no complaints then, and I’ve found that I simply love this board. I would say that, although its speed limit is very high, the board does have a tendency to chatter when going very fast. That said, it’s incredibly playful and easy to spin / pop off features.

 

Q: What board was the most difficult to leave off your list?

A:  I love the Jones Mountain Twin, but I haven’t ridden the updated version. I’ve heard it’s more durable than its predecessors and that it fits the category of a playful, all-mountain board.

Q: What board do you imagine has the greatest likelihood of making your list when you get to ride it, or get to ride it more?

A: The Arbor Element. I fell in love with this board after a short demo, and would really like to put more time on it this season. The graphics are classic Arbor, and it has a big mountain feel without sacrificing its smooth “jibby” capabilities.

Q: If over the next three seasons you had to ride one board, every day, regardless of location, what would you choose?

A: The Venture Zelix. It’s the only board that I trust to last for years. I trust Venture’s construction and, considering how hard I like to ride in nasty, rocky places (plus my laughable base welding skills), I have to vote for the toughest board of the bunch.

 

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