Snowboard Review: 09-10 Automaton Time Fighter
30 Apr, 2009
Location: Steamboat, Colorado
Snow Conditions: Bluebird skies with slushy groomers, overcast low visibility to new snow and hardpacked conditions
Setup: I rode the Automaton with my Union Forces and GNU Agro’s and my Rome Vamps size 8.
First Impression: The first day I rode it, it was super slushy and really hard to judge it…but the board rode slush well. The second day was much better, groomers to fresh snow in spots and the Time Fighter could handle it all. The graphics of the cougar are hilarious.
Weight: lighter than average
Flex: Longitudinally a medium flex from tip to tail, torsionally the board was very easy to initiate into each turn. In some leftover powder, I needed to really ride the tail of the board to stay afloat but the size also played into that (smaller). I was able to press the tail easily and the medium flex made it rideable in the park and on the groomers.
Turning: It was really easy to maneuver from edge to edge and easy turn initiation. The best part was it was an easy ride, no adjustment to getting on the board and riding. The best turns were shorter quick turns, I rode some tree runs and was able to easily turn and get quick response needed in the trees. The long S turns held an edge but the shorter turns felt more in control and stable.
Stable: I rode the Time Fighter on the last day of the season with new snow and the whole mountain to ride for most of the day. Over really choppy terrain, I slowed down because the smaller size wasn’t charging through it as well but on hardpacked conditions, it did fine and handled speed surprisingly well for the smaller size. On the powder spots, I kept my weight back and stayed afloat when I was expecting it to really struggle in those conditions.
Pop: Since I played in the park with it on the first day, I was impressed with the pop…easy to ollie and pop off the tail of the board. When I took it in the halfpipe, it was really easy to swing around and pop 180’s off the wall.
Switch: I didn’t encounter any problems with it and how it handled. Easy to swing around and I just played with 180’s in the halfpipe where I didn’t have to worry about catching an edge.
Overall Impression: The first day I rode was pretty rough to judge but I spent most of the day in the park where I was completely happy with the board, good pop and fun to play around with, could ride switch easy. When I took it into the halfpipe it held an edge on the slush to ice walls. The base held up good in the slush, I was passing by my friend riding my NS premier with no wax on the base and the Time Fighter didn’t have much wax either but no issues with it still cruising on the cat tracks. For most of the days when I was riding the Time Fighter, I was riding with people who like to haul down the mountain, I videotaped while riding the board and had no problems with feeling stable and confident riding on it. It wasn’t a board that would surprise me or want to turn when I didn’t…predictable ride.
Shay’s Honesty Box: For playing around and riding groomers, it didn’t feel like it was a 151 or couldn’t handle the mountain. One the last day I combo’d the board with the GNU agro bindings which I was not a fan of (forward lean was killer) and I still enjoyed the ride. Easy board to ride and solid everywhere I took it, park to steeps.