Snowboard Review: 11-12 Stepchild Simon Chamberlain
20 Jul, 2011
Location: Mammoth, CA
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked to ice chunks to slushfests.
Setup: I rode the Stepchild Simon Chamberlain with Union Team bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.
First Impression: The Simon Chamberlain steps it up with changes and it’s a damn fine ride.
Flex: Softer flex torsionally between the bindings with a stiffer nose and tail flex. Overall good stability longitudinally on the Chamberlain. The flex made the board quick and responsive edge to edge with good snap and pop. Stability wise, the board handled chop and crud better than expected. The Simon Chamberlain is rocker/reverse camber with 6mm of rocker, just enough for freestyle fun but still continues to be a very consistent ride turning down the mountain.
Turning: Quick and responsive was the Chamberlain. It was easy to ride and the softer flex between the bindings definitely helped the torsional forgiveness of the board. I really liked the shorter quick turns but it still did good on the longer S turns. Supposedly the Stepchild rocker is “pre-flexed” going into turns and for me, it made turns super comfortable and natural.
Stable: I had just rode the Eco Pop that morning and switched to the Chamberlain for the afternoon. It was night and day difference. The Chamberlain handled stability much better and blew the eco pop out of the water. I ended up accidentally taking the Chamberlain through some ice chunks and the board wouldn’t fold or lose it, it held up through the ice chunder death. Through the softer slushfest, it never felt bounced around it just absorbed and rode on like it was nothing. It was an impressive board for stability. Cruising and speed, it hauled and I had no complaints on it.
Pop: Decent pop on the Chamberlain that it felt really fun in the park for jump, pipe and boxes. I had a blast just lapping through with the board. It was still butterable but not crazy soft buttery with the stiffer nose/tail.
Switch: The Chamberlain is a twin shape with a centered stance and sidecut. It didn’t ride any different when I rode it switch.
Overall Impression: According to Stepchild, the Simon Chamberlain pro model was 8 years in the making and it shows with how rideable it is. It’s an all around quiver killer of a board, ride through park or freeride with it – no problem. I haven’t ridden previous Chamberlains but it was interesting to hear about the changes and I think they really complement the board for 11-12.
Shay’s Honesty Box: It’s a good feeling to get on a board that rides exactly how you want to ride. I had a blast on the Chamberlain and hated to return the board because it could ride anything and everything on the mountain. I didn’t find a weakness with the board during the time I had it.
On Snow Photo
Riding the Stepchild Simon Chamberlain
Stepchild Simon Chamberlain description
Review Disclosure: I rode this board at the Transworld Good Wood Test at Mammoth Mountain, basically demoed it from their fleet of test boards and returned it when I was done riding for the day.