Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Summer Raptor Review - Part 2

In the first review, I gushed - er, wrote about my experience riding the Never Summer Raptor in icy conditions. In short, it was incredible. Naturally, however, I didn't buy it for ice - powder is my primary motivation.

Saturday, A-Basin had 4 inches of fresh stuff so, in the interest of science, I rode it.

As good as the Raptor is on the ice, it's that much better in powder. Surfy is an overused word but it seems so appropriate to the Raptor's feel on pow. Turns are effortless and you go from rail to rail naturally and smoothly. The nose floats without radical back leg burn to keep it up. Speed is there along with stability.

When hard turns are necessary, the Raptor makes them without getting stuck or losing all speed. Trees continue to be a joy - the board is so easy to control.

At one point I'm sitting on a very steep drop, trying to pick my line. The rider near me, contemplating the same, said his first time on this drop, he just skidded down. I nodded and smiled - I've skidded a few.

I pushed off and skidded a few feet - hell, that's no way to ride - I cranked a hard toe-side turn. It's hard to describe the feeling - I was riding the way I've wanted to ride since I started snowboarding.

The rest of the day followed the same pattern. Sometimes I went faster, other times steeper but all the time I had more fun.

I'm an intermediate rider with no illusions about my skills but, on the Raptor, I'm a lot better and have a lot more fun than ever before.

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