For some of us the season is all but over until the snow god returns mid next year, however, as Rhythm has three stores in Japan – two in Niseko and a new store located in Hakuba – some of the crew are heading over to shred a year long season. I have to say, I’m super jealous.
But things aren’t all bad. Throughout the Aussie 2014 season my brothers and I had the pleasure of testing out and reviewing some of the new boards available to Rhythm Snow Sports. Australia is one of the first countries to receive the latest decks, so this year we were lucky to be some of the first people across the globe riding 2015 models from the Burton, Stepchild, Jones, Lib Tech, GNU, Slash and Endeavor brands.
Damn we had some fun.
Unfortunately though, early in the season I sustained a shoulder injury so it ripped out a big proportion of time available to experiment with different boards, but with the help of my bros, we were still able to sample a wide range of them. So when my body wasn’t failing me, we tore across the Perisher resort in true explorer style, doing our part for Rhythm’s reviews of new season stock.
We used a combination of all-mountain, freestyle and jib decks including testing out different profiles in all types of conditions. Aussie snow in 2014 was overall a great season, yet it was still a mixed bag; the spectrum was given a good workout from icy cover to tired, slushy snow as well as going all the way to the fresh dumps of bloody good powder (for Australia anyway).
Given the great rides we had this year we wanted to put together a summary of our favourite boards and brands which we assessed. We’ve split it up into a few categories so that anyone interested in a specific style or profile might have something to go off.
Hope you guys all had a great season and see you again in 2015!
Chris:Favourite board: Slash ATV, which also happened to be my favourite brand too. ATV has a traditional camber profile and is made of Forever Wood (four wood types) which gave me a particular type of feel and response which I really connected with.
Favourite brand: Slash, I guess because it's a boutique brand. The boards are designed by a world class snowboarder, Gigi Ruf, who has years of shredding experience. He appears to treat his company like its part of his family and you can tell by the quality and craftsmanship of the boards. Smaller org, bigger heart.
Favourite Profile: In terms of my favourite I'm a sucker for a camber. It's the classic profile and there’s nothing wrong with it. For me, there is no need to bring in the complicated new stuff when camber already nails it.
Favourite Style: All-mountain – there’s nothing like racking up kilometre after kilometre in one epic day.
Mick:Favourite board: It is hard to not go the Yes Ghost for a performance board as well as the Slash Happy Place for a freestyle ride.
Favourite brand: Endeavor and Stepchild – basically because their decks were consistently good to ride and it was hard to separate between the two.
Favourite Profile: Traditional camber always sits best with me. I like testing out all the new hybrid versions but ultimately the camber profile gives me the control that I need to navigate through all types of terrain.
Favourite Style: As you may have guessed, all mountain exploration is my style. First tracks and off-piste exploration for me really is what snowboarding is all about.
Phil:Favourite board: Endeavor Clout – this stole the season for me as it gave me everything I expect out of a high end all mountain board. As soon as I strapped up and did my first run, the quality and expertise of this deck was blatantly obvious. For me, nothing else came close.
Favourite brand: Stepchild – they are a smaller independent company whose business ethos is to keep snowboarding grounded in its roots. They have a range of quality boards in all styles and profiles and also bring some fresh technology to the mix.
Favourite Profile: Rocker/Flat/Rocker – The Stepchild Stereotype has this profile and given that I was still recovering from an injury I was aiming to have catch free rides. This board really made it hard for me to get pumped with that unanticipated edge. Traditional camber is also hard to say no to due to its natural feel and advanced edges.
Favourite Style: All Mountain – I’m a big fan of heading to all areas of the terrain so I need a style to suit. This is why the Clout got the number 1 board for me this year because it delivers a supreme all-terrain experience, especially because of its upgraded E-Tech IV Construction and catch-free 3D Camber (with raised contact points) profile. It delivered optimum performance all over the Aussie slopes.