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Alloy D.O. 161 Review

I got a 161 Alloy Demo from Don (@Alloy USA) and have ridden it at Snowshoe, WV past 3 days. It rained & fogged most of the 3 days with temperature range between 30-50’F so the condition was pretty bad .  On top of that, it was heavily fogged that I couldn't see 100 feet ahead most of the time. In the morning, the groomed surface was frozen but by 10 am, it got melted and become soft loose granular.  I rode with Burton Driver X on Flow NX2. 

First,  Appearance:

Nice looking deck it is. Finish is gorgeous.  The Pyramid 3D core is something I have seen from F2 consox or Virus's butterfly (Zylon) but different.  By the design,  the middle waist toward edge areas are thinner and insert areas are higher.  The carbon topsheet is beautifully covered the entire board.  Its base is harder and absorbed wax a lot.  It has about 12mm camber and its highest in between front inserts and middle of the board.  The nose is angled hammerhead and effective edge is quiet long (according to spec. sheet 1415mm for 161).  

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Photos were taken on the day that I arrived (almost evening time), which was good for test.  Then, it got warmed and rained next 3 days.  Bummer...

Flex

It is one stiff board, as stiff as my F2 Carbon Eliminator, but has more rebound when it was pressed.  I compared it with my re-issued Madd 158 (red sidewall, stiffer than green sidewall and has about 18mm camber) and it was as stiff as the Madd.

Ride:

I rode it every trail from green to black diamond. As it has unusually large (for softboot deck) sidecut (11m) on nose, it turned as its specifications at slow speed.  But its VSR (11-9-10.5) made it easy to turn without much effort.  Since Snowshoe has a lot of narrow leading trails (green), I had to engage middle edge fast to turn it tight at slow speed.  With 5mm taper, it seems like to finish turn but I tend to finish a turn early for speed anyway.  The little longer sidecut on the tail and its stiffness was surely made it accelerate at the end of each turn, even on the poor snow condition.  Also, it rode much longer. I didn't feel that I need longer board (most of my BX decks were +165)

When I opened it up and rode on edge, this thing alive.  At high speed, it was very stable.  Definitely felt like riding full metal layer(s) board.  It slashed pile of corn/slush snow without wobbles.  It gave me a lot of confident to even ride faster.  So, I did. I brought it to Cup Run (1.5 mile black diamond wide trail) and angulated a lot. On the middle of a toeside turn, snow caught real boot and threw me forward good 3-4m, like a nose-dive.  Definitely it was caused by 27/9 stance angle with 10.5 boots. So, next day, changed it to 36/27 and was able to layout without the catching the boot on toeside turns. Edge hold was exceptional.  I usually have few wipeouts on heelside turn on softboot boards but I didn’t experienced it with D.O.  It could be my relatively not-pushing-hard due to its condition but I think its consistent stiffer flex and its SCRs were right on for my 185 lbs. 

Since the snow condition was hard to test its rebound, I took it to park and rode on few banks and kickers.  When it is pressed and released on kicker, it surely had good amount of rebound to launch me to air more than what I expected. On bank turns, when the board was bent and released, it definitely accelerated me to next turn.  

I tried to do some buttering but it was too stiff for the hold the buttering for any longer than 1 second.  As I'm not used to do those and knowing its stiffness, I didn't keep trying.

All in all, this Alloy D.O. felt like an alpine board.  Stiff, all cambered, much longer effective edge (than usual softboot deck), and very stable.  I rode it with mixing Madd boards (158 & 170) and flex was very similar and so was edge hold.  Of course, I made much sharp and fast transited trenches with the Madd(s) but I had to work it a lot for the poor condition.  This D.O. could be very well suited for softbooter who wants to carve like alpine snowboard but with softboots.  Unlike other softboot 'carving' specific decks, It's flex and riding characteristics are very like alpine snowboard.  Alloy advertise D.O. for carving and border crossing.  I felt it's more for carving than BX, due to its characteristic of finishing a turn)  Few things that I would like to be changed (just personal).  First, it's too narrow for US 10.5 size boots.  I usually runs on 27F/9R so that switch or other tricks are easier to do.  If then the width of the board should be at least 26.5 cm.  Secondly, I like how it rides but tad (just a little) softer on nose would be better to play around. 

Anyway, I'm very impressed with this D.O. If a wider version comes out next season, my search for softboot carving specific snowboard would be ended for good. 

 

 

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Sounds sweet! Looking forward to putting it under foot! Thanks for the review and passing it along to me to put through the paces...

Review to follow... LCI, we got a tester

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Amazing review.  You should make it a regular basis.  So much better than anything else online.  

Guess I was next in line but maybe they can't do it for Canada.  

 

Would need risers for sure after reading your review. 

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10 minutes ago, Poloturbo said:

Amazing review.  You should make it a regular basis.  So much better than anything else online.  

Guess I was next in line but maybe they can't do it for Canada.  

 

Would need risers for sure after reading your review. 

Thanks. I decided to send it to where snow  condition is still good to test it properly.  By the way, the 3D risers that I first made haven’t tested and needs at least 2 different length screws due to lifted & canted. If u don’t mind, I can send them to you. PM me. 

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2 hours ago, slopestar said:

Sounds sweet! Looking forward to putting it under foot! Thanks for the review and passing it along to me to put through the paces...

Review to follow... LCI, we got a tester

Does this mean we'll see it this weekend? Can I try? Wanted to get my hands on one of those for a really long time!

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1 hour ago, piusthedrcarve said:

Thanks. I decided to send it to where snow  condition is still good to test it properly.  By the way, the 3D risers that I first made haven’t tested and needs at least 2 different length screws due to lifted & canted. If u don’t mind, I can send them to you. PM me. 

I can also send a pair of 3D risers with the board ;)

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Sounds like a really interesting ride having bigger feet again id be wanting a waist closer to the 27.5 of my soul, fingers crossed wider boards appear in there line up. Looking forward to hearing other opinions on the deck

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I’m a size nine and use power plates. Sigh... going the way of the 3D printer possibly... with help of course because that’s way outside my wheelhouse

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23 hours ago, erazz said:

Does this mean we'll see it this weekend? Can I try? Wanted to get my hands on one of those for a really long time!

Of course!  Please arrange a date & time with Lance. More reviews from different riders are better so that the builder, Shane Kang, can incorporate them for future build!  

The demo should be available for next weekend. 

Edited by piusthedrcarve
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Great review Pius!    

Don has sent a D.O. out here to Squaw for my BX racers to give it a go.....so i'll add their input.     

I have not seen what  the boards base and edge angles are from the factory.   Did you get a feel of what the base and edge angles were?...... fairly stock 1:1 for a 90 degree corner I'd assume. 

Don's checking with Shane Kang...................... I believe Don sent a board straight from the factory so I'll measure the angles when I get it and also tell ya how flat the base actually is............. all of which is hugely important for carving and racing! 

Personally I was stoked to hear your impression it was more a carver than a BX board cause I'm gonna  put some hard charging carving laps on it with my  TD3 SW SI's and Track 700's!      Let's BEND this Puppy!

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Hi Barry, 

The D.O. arrived at your PO Box Saturday.  I did not get it straight from the factory so the edges may have been tuned.  From the factory the edge is at 89 and the base edge at -.8.  

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9 hours ago, barryj said:

I have not seen what  the boards base and edge angles are from the factory.   Did you get a feel of what the base and edge angles were?.

Thanks barryj,

I didn’t checked them and the demo is already wrapped and ready to be shipped to CO so..  As Don replied, assume the factory setting. Since my test conditions were not anywhere close to feel the difference, I didn’t care. 

Look forward your feedback

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Thanks guys, 

I'll check it when I get it out of the box today or tomorrow.   Don, this board you sent is new, never used right?  Either way It will be good to see how close the board is to the factory spec. ...... and how flat the base actually is.

Most boards are notoriously  no where close to flat with dips and high spots from tip to tail.

Sean's boards from Donek is the only company that I know always sends out flat and smooth boards.

I even had to have a base grind on my Brand New  Sword Dual II to get it to a 1 base edge!........... that's painful!   It was over a 2 and close to 3 in spots!!

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Hi Barry,

 

The board is not new.  It was a demo in Korea.  I won't have any new stock until October.  At that time I will have one of each model size available for demo. 

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Alloy D.O. 161 West Coast Review April 3 Squaw Valley

The Demo board from Don arrived and I took it to our team turner (was ski and Alpine snowboard tech for Austrian National team at Olympic events! aka: he knows his stuff!) for an evaluation.

It arrived lathered in storage wax as Don said this had been in the Korean demo fleet last winter and for some reason stored since then.  As expected the board is not flat, it has the usual peaks and valleys and because of the peaks the base was in the 2+ range in spots. So it would have to have a base grind to get it to a 1 base.    The edge bevels were closer to a 1 to 1  for a 90 degree corner....but not consistent down the length of the board as it ranged from .7 to 1.2    The edges were not dull, but not sharp as they felt like they had been sharpened  by feeding the board by hand into an edge sander....but nowhere near a  ceramic disc sharpening.   If the board has had any work done to it it seems just some wax and the edges sharpened.......but not tuned.

So with all that said and knowing the limitations of an untuned board I slapped my TD3's on it .......based solely on where I set my bindings   on my Swoard Dual II 168 .   For the rear foot, all the way forward on inserts but with the binding pushed all the way back...if that makes any sense to ya and the front foot was  in the third row of inserts from the front with the binding pushed all the way back again for a fairly wide 21.5 stance for me........Actually I took out the Swoard Dual II first for 3-4 runs to get an idea of the snow conditions , then switched over the bindings to the D.O. 161.  I was worried that the Hammerhead nose was going to shovel in on the mush and slush with my current configuration so didn't dare move anymore forward.

Usually with a new board I have to play with the binding settings..... you know ... move one foot forwards or back, increase or decrease stance width, etc... ride , then repeat until dialed in.  With the D.O.  it just felt right from the  1st turn!!    Maybe it's luck I got my bindings in the best spot on the 1st try....but after riding it I  think it's the  plug and play/ user friendly design of the board.  Additionally the  board looks beautiful and aggressive and drew attention most every rotation through the lift lines.

Seriously, from the 1st turn it was a stable, trackable, hard charging carving machine!  At Squaw I took it on the steeps of Siberia, on the narrow chutes, on the hard pack, in the slush, on the bumps, on the groomers...........it just ate it all up and kept going ......... and this is on an Untuned, Not Flat, Not Sharp, Off The Shelf Stock Angles Board Running Storage Wax!!!  Wow!

It is super quick edge to edge, which is crazy considering it's got a 25.2 waist!.  It tracks straight as an arrow. It rides like it's a 168/170cm board, but is much quicker in tight situations than a 161 should be, reminds me more of more of a 159cm..... which I think has more to do with the the boards design than just being 161cm             With my 225lbs. I could ride the tail/get it to pop coming out of hard turns like my 177 Coiler.  It's pulls a medium scr,  not twitchy like a slalom board, but it really wanted to finish the turns.....all turns in all conditions.     I could carve and finish turns on the groom, in slush, in chop ....just plowed right through it and wanted to rail more  but did not have you locked in...and it would release very flowingly... if that's a word?  The Hammerhead nose never shoveled and I got into fields of mush by the afternoon!    It's super damp, more damp than my Swoard Dual II. which my knees really appreciated from riding all the  afternoon slush and chop!

So, I'm sitting here thinking...... OMG,  with a base grind and a 1/3 base/edge and a ceramic sharpening this would be a Frigging Dragon Slayer!!   Wow?  Could this be my new everyday workboard?  It sure seems to fit the bill of fast, fun, stable, solid construction and let's not forget sexy!

My BX team boys took it out and were mixed in their riding experience....... they loved it's looks and it's dampness but they thought it was slow.....well it is slow compared to a their "Tuned" boards!......but more specifically they  just don't  have the weight (average 165lbs HS kids) to get this thing to bend and move through it's paces it seems.  You could actually see them slow down coming out of the apex of a banked turn!...they were losing speed cause they couldn't "carve" the board through the turn!   I would suggest offering an additional model with a softer flex based on weight range for juniors.

But my Slalom and GS guys thought it's ride and design was great for banging gates!   They suggested the proper build  would not be so damp and be much narrower....sub 20cm waist and change the nose to deflect a gate.... not chop them in half!   Seriously ....It happened!  

So there you have it...........I'm truly impressed with Shane Kang's design and might just have to take out a 2nd mortgage to acquire one of these bad boys!!     I'll try to get some action photos next time out on it and am curious how it will handle some frozen hardpack....... but here are a few photos of the D.O. enjoying Squaw!    and Yes... we have a ski through Starbucks at 8000ft!!

 

 

 

 

1.jpg

 

3.jpg

4.jpg

Edited by barryj
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Thank you for the great review Barry!  I can’t wait to hear your post tune review.  Would your racers prefer the D.O. 157?  I can send that one as well.  Shoot me an email if you are interested.  

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On 3/30/2018 at 11:10 AM, piusthedrcarve said:

Alloy advertise D.O. for carving and border crossing.  I felt it's more for carving than BX, due to its characteristic of finishing a turn)

Pius and I seem to agree  that this is more a carving deck! ...... "When I opened it up and rode on edge, this thing alive" .......and I would have to add that this construction  just seems built for plates and hardboots and that addition sure seemed to make it come even more alive!                                                         

If you could keep the current ride and performance characteristics I would like to see what this build in a longer length and more narrow waist, say 170cm X sub 20 waist could do!......that would turn Shane Kang's design into a Rocket Launcher!  You could call it the B.A. ...aka: "Broken Arrow" -  a misplaced Ballistic Missile!    Another possibility, B.A.....aka:  "Bad Ass" also comes to mind!

Don,   what's the specs difference between the D.O. 161 and D.O. 157... besides length?   Specifically interested in stiffness and dampness differences. 

 

 

Edited by barryj

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11 hours ago, barryj said:

My BX team boys took it out and were mixed in their riding experience....... they loved it's looks and it's dampness but they thought it was slow.....well it is slow compared to a their "Tuned" boards!......but more specifically they  just don't  have the weight (average 165lbs HS kids) to get this thing to bend and move through it's paces it seems.  You could actually see them slow down coming out of the apex of a banked turn!...they were losing speed cause they couldn't "carve" the board through the turn!   I would suggest offering an additional model with a softer flex based on weight range for juniors.

Thank for the feedback.  When I took it to Snowshoe's banks, I felt that too.  But I don't think the behavior is not from it is too stiff but because of its 5mm taper.  BX-ing is all about acceleration out of turns with fast base.  In order to accelerate the D.O. in the bank, I had to press down base (not edge) and wait & release to: 1. eliminate hooking by geometry of the board, 2. bring out the acceleration by tail stiffness.    As you know, recent BX boards have much larger SCR (ex. +15 m) and good 20mm taper so that it doesn't loose speed.  That's why I said the D.O. is more of carving deck than BX.  Just want to clarify.  Please change your riding as I mentioned and see how it ride.  BTW, great review~

Edited by piusthedrcarve

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2 hours ago, piusthedrcarve said:

In order to accelerate the D.O., I had to press down base

Hey Pius....... I think we are both saying the same thing.......my guys tried the wait and release method,  but like you we think the nose taper is unique and that combined with the stiffness + lighter riders makes for slow acceleration out of turns.......... 

Edited by barryj
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13 hours ago, Shred Gruumer said:

i am getting the 165!   AND RIDING it with Td3's

Shred, it's an amazing ride,  your gonna Love It! ...and with TD3's it's gonna be Frikking OMG!

Herer's a shot from today's hour out I had  on the D.O. this afternoon........... Nothing extraordinary to look at... until you know the lines I layed  were in 4+ inches of mush and slush from a board that's Not tuned, Not Flat, Not Sharp, Running Off The Shelf Stock 1:1 Angles and Rolling on Storage Wax!!! 

In those slushy turns the nose never shoveled in...... in fact it felt as if the nose was immune to the adverse carving conditions and was on a seek and destroy mission for the corduroy below.   Amazing! 

These boards are not tools,  they are a weapon to inflict physical damage on the hill!

 

Alloy II.jpg

Edited by barryj
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9 hours ago, barryj said:

Amazing! 

Thanks for the input!  I won't feel so bad when I get the sticker shock!!!  I think its a bit too high and may scare most away... but ya never know... I'll pay top dollar for something that I really like.. as most will in any part of their equipment..  Its all about the enjoyment and the smile it puts on your face!

Great feedback!!  Thanks a bunch!

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I am holding this sweet ride for a bit. Rode it yesterday and shared with Carvin Marvin. Full review to come but let’s just put it this way, we both carve fat swatches and this board delivered thin lines for both of us. I don’t want to know how much but if it was the 165 version, it would not get shipped back....

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