The uncensored rant

13 Oct, 2008

So I am in the process of adding a section to the snowboard reviews called “Shay’s Honesty Box” which will have the really honest opinion, including whether I would buy it or not and the dirt that people want to hear in a review. You guys asked for it and I am delivering it. I added little bits to the 08-09 reviews and future reviews will have more.

For the real 08-09 snowboard reviews, check back next week…I’ll be putting up the entire list that will be the real reviews…not the rant reviews.

I’ve always been one of those people that recognizes that I might hate a board or binding…but others love it. That conditions impact how a board handles and every board can have a bad day. As a rider I have bad days…towards the end of season my own riding is weaker, I just wanna take it easy and have fun…versus riding a board that’s going to haul and make me work for it. I try to save the hard charging boards for the early season and the easy, fun mellow rides for the end of season.

So for those wanting the really uncensored Shay’s take, here it is…I’ll go by brands and mention a couple things extra.

Never Summer: I really do love Never Summer models…but I hate the system. It’s the only NS board that is a 1 year warranty versus the typical 3 year warranty’s. It’s basically the low end cheaper park board. This was the first NS board I rode back in Washington and the board couldn’t handle crud, bumps, nothing I was riding that day. Every other board from NS I love a lot…but not that one. There’s a reason I don’t ride it at demo’s…I think it’s one of the few NS’s I’ve never done a review on…maybe this year I’ll ride it again for a review. And while yes I test for NS…I also own and ride other brands that suit my needs as well.

Technine: I should have expected by the brand name that these are not your mountain riding boards…it’s a jib company, jib boards. I rode the Ruijin…their freeride model and the board at Whistler was the softest board of the day and also it was like riding a bronco down the hill. This is the only board that when I was riding down fast…has ever bucked me off of the snowboard. I flew like 40 feet because of this board.

Burton: I’m really mixed on Burton. I love some boards like the uninc, supermodel, custom x and others like the T6 just ruin it for me. The T6 I was disappointed in how it rode and just expected more from it. I think Burton has a good thing going with their tech, but honestly you pay for the Burton name and I can’t afford the Burton name (not even with a discount). You guys have the shittiest belts (I warrantied a belt, how sad is that and the 2nd one died even faster)…my quiksilver belt has lasted 3x longer than Burton belt and my cool hat lost it’s button in the first week.

Capita: I’ll be honest I was bummed with the original BSOD changed to the BDST, I didn’t like the BDST in how it handled the whole mountain…which the BSOD was fine in the entire mountain. But now with the Black Death Inc it just improves upon the BSOD with better construction and gives you handling everywhere. Glad to see it back.

Ride: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…if there is one snowboard company that needs to invest in magne traction it is Ride. Every time I get on those boards regardless of what model…they do not handle the ice that well…they want to wash out or slip out every time. I see the ice patch coming and all day have been hitting it with various boards and the ride just does not grip that well. I seriously wish Ride would just pay the money for magne traction. Other than that they ride fine depending on the model.

: I give Unity credit as the underdog…so far I’ve only disliked the Origin. It reminded me of riding a door down the hill.

Santa Cruz: They make fine boards, a good variety of all mountain freestyle boards. The one board that I thought was just too weird was the Duo. This is the board that has two cores…interesting huh…until you are riding flat and you feel like your a beginner again with the speed wobbles about the catch an edge because you are riding in the center of 2 cores.

Rome: So far on most Rome boards I’m golden except for one, people love it and I hated it. The design to me was a disappointment. I rode it twice and both times…I just could not wait to get off it. I love the rome bindings but I noticed this year I really tore up my madisons…and I don’t think my riding is that good to do that kind of damage.

Lib Tech/GNU: Honestly if I lived on the east coast, I would ride a Lib or GNU because of magne traction. It grips damn well. However with me, I don’t live on the east coast and except for those rare icy patches…I find that I prefer a regular sidecut over a sidecut that is too controlling. Now it varies by models and I really enjoy the boards, they offer up good selection of boards that are fun everywhere on the mountain. Obviously by the feedback people have given on what to demo this year…Lib/GNU is top of the list. I know people love the Skate Banana but I really didn’t care for it…too soft and lose for my riding style.

DC: Okay…I give them credit for a first year snowboard and for listening to feedback by written statements at the on-snow demos. However it’s just a new name. Nothing impressive, nothing great and the XFB sucked in the halfpipe, it just washed out on each wall and could not hold an edge.

Bitchboards:  I think the company name does far worse to women than what the Burton love does.    

Airblaster: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting rid of the Leg Bag.

With that being said…try them, try different brands, different models and see what you like. No board test, no review of mine will give you a final answer on what you like. I try my best to give fair unbiased reviews but the only review that counts is when it comes down to you, the board and the snow. 

Ski Versus Snowboard Companies?

If a ski company produces a snowboard…then aren’t they a snowboard company? Brands like K2, Atomic, Rossignol…people gotta get past the names and recognize these boards are worth trying. Does it mean you should support them? Nah totally up to you…but to not even give them a chance is just lame. Those boards are made in some of the same factories as “rider owned” brands.

Who you support?

I told myself this year that I would buy a burton board and bindings (seeing it’s my last year for the burton proform)…to see how long it would last me and really get a full year on Burton versus just demo days. Unfortunately when it came down to it…I couldn’t pull the trigger. It meant paying more and supporting a brand when I have other brands I’d support more. At the same time I would have spent more money on Burton board and bindings than on another company for a lot cheaper and a comparable ride. So it came down to that…I’ll keep demo’ing but I’ll stick with the brands I support.

So there you go…that’s my uncensored rant of the year.


About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Jonny
    October 13, 2008

    As far as rants go. I’ll give you a restrained 6. Elegant and a noticeable lack of profanity made it quite pleasurable to read. Your comment about airblaster was just enough spite to cleanse the good two shoes feeling from it all.

    Now, as for Burton pro form, good call on not pulling the trigger. Every year I have done it I regret it later. This year I said “no more!” I’ll probably sell out though and buy something.

  2. Shayboarder
    October 13, 2008

    haha yeah there’s a reason I didn’t post it this weekend after drinking. That would be the full force drunk rant…uncensored. But I said everything that I could recall.

    Yeah I used the proform to get backpacks and a t-shirt…really the only thing I could afford and needed. I actually like the packs…last me a lot longer than a belt.

  3. SImon
    October 13, 2008

    I’m with you on your opinions on the (ski companies). I don’t understand it when someone won’t look at a rossi or k2 board and the sole reason is because the company also make skis.

    rossignol, dc, libtech and gnu are all owned by quicksilver, so you’re probably going to get a similar product with each of these companies. So its not just a coincidence when rossi, libtech and gnu all have magnetraction in their boards.

  4. Marc
    October 14, 2008

    I have to agree that it seems irrational for people to discount certain brands of snowboards because they are made by manufacturers of skis. It would be bad for some of the core brands, such as Prior, who have gotten into the ski market if skiers wouldn’t buy the skis because they are made by a snowboard manufacturer. The core brands have to survive too and I’d hate to see them disappear for something so irrationally ideological.