Snowboard Review: 11-12 Flow Drifter

21 Aug, 2011

Location: Mammoth, CA

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked groomers to softer slushy runs.

Setup: I rode the Flow Drifter with my Union Team bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Size: 159cm.

First Impression: This is not the same board I rode at the SIA on-snow – which is a great thing!

Weight: average

Flex: Right in the middle of the board flex spectrum, not as stiff was the Infinite and not as a soft as the Verve or Era.  I found that the nose and tail were slight stiffer than the middle of the board.  The torsional flex was softer, easy to maneuver and forgiving.  The nose cut through some choppy conditions and made for a more stable ride. The Drifter features I-Rock reverse camber which is combined with a convex base, camber starting before the binding area.

Turning: The Drifter sidecut was a bit rough at the on-snow but was fixed by the time I rode it at Mammoth.  It could handle an assortment of turns with the dual transitional sidecut, short and long radius just fine.  The first time I rode it, it hooked and almost bucked you out of a turn but this time, the board was smooth to carve with and easy to ride.

Stable: Much improvement on the Drifter this time around, it was way more consistent and I could trust the board in any conditions.  The nose/tail made for a good stable ride with some dampness to the handling so it absorbed without getting bounced around.  Good edgehold on the hardpacked conditions and steeper terrain.

Pop: I didn’t play with the Drifter on any park features unfortunately so can’t speak for the park jumps and features.  I did take it through the pipe for laps where it had good edgehold and the swing weight was easy to get spins in the pipe with.  It was possible to press/butter but not as easy as the softer flexing boards in the Flow line.

Switch: The Drifter has a directional shape with a slightly setback stance.  It takes some adjustment to riding switch.

Overall Impression: The Drifter is designed to destroy the entire mountain.  An all around ride with a directional shape and freeride take.  For 2012, the Drifter features a collaboration with OG Abel graphics.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I first rode the Drifter at the SIA on-snow at Winter Park.  I was warned that the board was not yet dialed and as soon as I got on snow – it did not riding right.  I talked to Flow about how it handled, put the review aside and was able to ride it after it was dialed to production standards.  Much improvement!  If I had reviewed it, it would have been scathing but finally riding it how it should be, the board rides just like it should and was a much better ride down the mountain.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Flow Drifter or shop their full line of Flow Snowboards

On Snow Photo

Flow Drifter description

Review Disclosure: Flow is loaning me this snowboard to demo/review.  I have every intention of returning it to Flow Snowboards after reviewing it.

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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