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prior amf vs donek phoenix


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i'm currently in the market for a nu board and i would like ur opinion.

i'm a big fan of powdering, riding offpiste and cutting thru trees however i also like fs a lot too(not as much as i like offpiste and powder though). having made a bit of research into the matter i came up with these 2 boards which seem to combine the best of both worlds. they are best suited for offpiste, powder, easy to manouver between the trees and still are well suited for fs. do u think they r good big mountain fs boards as i'm looking for a board which is about 60% powder/offpiste/trees and 40-30% fs.

do u think that they r a good choice or can u think of some models better suited to meet my expectations? and most importantly which do u think is better?

i would appreciate ur opinions. thanks.

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i'm currently in the market for a nu board and i would like ur opinion.

i'm a big fan of powdering, riding offpiste and cutting thru trees however i also like fs a lot too(not as much as i like offpiste and powder though). having made a bit of research into the matter i came up with these 2 boards which seem to combine the best of both worlds. they are best suited for offpiste, powder, easy to manouver between the trees and still are well suited for fs. do u think they r good big mountain fs boards as i'm looking for a board which is about 60% powder/offpiste/trees and 40-30% fs.

i would appreciate ur opinions. thanks.

I have owned the Donek Phoenix 155 and have ridden the AMF 153 and 155. Without a doubt between the two boards the Phoenix is more what you are looking for, it is a little and nimble board, easy to navigate between trees, and floats well in powder (for a freestyle board), and is an excellent freestyle board (easy to spin off of jumps). I found the AMF to have too short a sidecut and too soft between the bindings to be fun outside of the park.

Another board you might want to consider is the Prior Khyber if you rarely do rails or spins in the park. It is designed powder/trees and is better in that respect and is perfect good for straight airs.

I don't know what the snow is like in Poland, but the Doneks are better on firm, flatter snow... while Priors are better on bumpy,wetter snow.

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mad thanks for ur reply as contrary to many in this specific comparison it carries sm weight. as i'v told u before, there's not that many ppl who actually have ridden both of these boards and have an opinion on both of them too. that's the answer i was lookin for.

as for snow in Pl and our mountains. nothin to brag about really. we don't have that many of them and the routes are fairly short and limited. nothin impressive and that is why i snowboard in Alpes or Dolomites. these are far higher, better and much more fun.

and how is the khyber when i would have to ride the groomed? i'm not a kinda rider that jumps out from a chopper straight into untouched powder and bombs the mountain u know :) so i have to ride the groomed every once in a while :)

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mad thanks for ur reply as contrary to many in this specific comparison it carries sm weight. as i'v told u before, there's not that many ppl who actually have ridden both of these boards and have an opinion on both of them too. that's the answer i was lookin for.

as for snow in Pl and our mountains. nothin to brag about really. we don't have that many of them and the routes are fairly short and limited. nothin impressive and that is why i snowboard in Alpes or Dolomites. these are far higher, better and much more fun.

and how is the khyber when i would have to ride the groomed? i'm not a kinda rider that jumps out from a chopper straight into untouched powder and bombs the mountain u know :) so i have to ride the groomed every once in a while :)

The Khyber is quite good on soft groomers and wet/bumpy snow, on frozen grommers or firm hardpack it is acceptable, but not amazing. That's where the Donek is better - firmer, flatter snow. On groomers with wet bumpy sections the Doenk would tend to get throw me around a little more though... so that's why I asked what type of snow you get over there.
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so basically what u'r sayin is that the amf is more of a park board really, the khyber is more powder oriented and acceptable in flatter firmer snow (acceptable regarding ice especially) and in also acceptable in fs (perfect for straight airs and not that well suited for spin airs). whereas donek phoenix is the best combo of suitedness for powdering, fs and flat firm snow...

i got 2 more questions for u:

1. i don't visit parks that often so spin jumps and rails in a park r somewhat of a rarity for me. i limit my "fs activity" to buildin hoops and jumpin from them as well from whatever comes in handy on my way whether it is offpiste or on the groomed: would the khyber suit this kind of riding?

2. with my weight (90 kilos=about 198 lbs) and height (180 cm=5.9) what board size would be best for me? 159-160?

once again thanks for ur help.

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so basically what u'r sayin is that the amf is more of a park board really, the khyber is more powder oriented and acceptable in flatter firmer snow (acceptable regarding ice especially) and in also acceptable in fs (perfect for straight airs and not that well suited for spin airs). whereas donek phoenix is the best combo of suitedness for powdering, fs and flat firm snow...

AMF: Yes

Khyber: Yes is is powder oriented and very good in soft/bumpy snow. Ok on firm snow. I didn't ride it on ice (smooth and glassy), but I did ride on concrete hard windpack (winds were gusting up to 40-50 mph, err... 65-80 km). Oh, I forgot to mention that is has a lot of taper to it. This means the board will automatically exit the carve about 3/4 of the way into the turn, this is nice in the trees as you can quickly cut back and forth through the tree (i.e. won't get stuck in a turn). However, it forces you to keep the nose pointed down the fall line more (whereas with other boards you can carve until you are going directly across the fall line).

Phoenix: Yes, it is the best all-around combination. That's not to say it's the best board (it depends on what you are riding/doing).

i got 2 more questions for u:

1. i don't visit parks that often so spin jumps and rails in a park r somewhat of a rarity for me. i limit my "fs activity" to buildin hoops and jumpin from them as well from whatever comes in handy on my way whether it is offpiste or on the groomed: would the khyber suit this kind of riding?

2. with my weight (90 kilos=about 198 lbs) and height (180 cm=5.9) what board size would be best for me? 159-160?

once again thanks for ur help.

1. Yes, the Khyber is well suited to straight airs inside/outside of the park (the link I posted previous will take you to a photo of me jumping a Khyber Split). The tail has a good amount of pop to it.

2. Both boards feel "small" for their size. For sizing with the Khyber, I would at the very least suggest the 165cm/170cm depends on if you prefer shorter/longer boards and softer/stiffer flex. I'm 175cm/65kg and I ride a Khyber 160 (I have ridden the 156 and it felt a little short because of the taper). For sizing the Phoenix, I would definitely go long, while I typically like 155cm ranged boards, the Donek Phoenix 155 felt very short (light and quick turning... too quick turning). I think I would have been happier with the 160. For you the 163W or the 165 for sure. For further refinement, email each company and they will be happy to give you their expert opinion.

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i have to say that u talked me into buying the phoenix but then u popped the name khyber out and i'm intensively thinkin which one to buy. the thing with my riding is that i dunno how tight the trees will be or what the snow will b like cuz i don't ride in Pl. i travel, austria, france, switzerland, italy - this is were the real mountains are in europe. but on the other hand i'm no globetrotter to know these mountains (Alpes, Dolomites) like the back of my hand to answer ur questions about the snow there. however, this much i know: i like ridin offpiste and will look forward to do so as often as possible. i think i haven't ever ridden the deepest of powders (untouched like in those snb movies) and chances are i won't for a long time. therefore i need a board which will behave properly, nicely on the groomed as well - i mean be as good on the groomed as possibly these powder/fs predisposed boards can be (cuz chances r i will ride the groomed often 2)

so the question i have to ask u is this - which one (khyber or phoenix) is better on the groomed? is it really hard to spin a jump from a khyber? and is the phoenix better in powder than the khyber is in freestyle?

i think u should get the pic regarding my style of riding(the things i like in snb the most and would like my board to handle best) and the snow/weather conditions i will be faced with (unpredictable more or less) so i think it would be more than safe for u to make ur final recommendation (phoenix, khyber, amf or maybe sth else? i saw that u liked the madds and while researching powder board the name tanker popped out as well) :)

peace out :)

and thanks yet again.

btw. - i asked my man abt the recommended board size for me and he said i should buy sth around 159-160. so y do u recommend a longer board? is it ur own preference or r u takin my weight (i'm a pretty heavy guy to try fs) into account more than he does?

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so the question i have to ask u is this - which one (khyber or phoenix) is better on the groomed? is it really hard to spin a jump from a khyber? and is the phoenix better in powder than the khyber is in freestyle?

i think u should get the pic regarding my style of riding(the things i like in snb the most and would like my board to handle best) and the snow/weather conditions i will be faced with (unpredictable more or less) so i think it would be more than safe for u to make ur final recommendation (phoenix, khyber, amf or maybe sth else? i saw that u liked the madds and while researching powder board the name tanker popped out as well) :)

btw. - i asked my man abt the recommended board size for me and he said i should buy sth around 159-160. so y do u recommend a longer board? is it ur own preference or r u takin my weight (i'm a pretty heavy guy to try fs) into account more than he does?

As I mentioned, it kind of depends on the snow type. If the groomers are fresh or even wet/soft, I would say I like the Khyber better. If the groomers are firmer/refrozen... I would say the Phoenix. I reiterate that the Khyber's taper will feel a bit different than what you might be used to.

I will say that the Phoenix is better in powder than the Khyber is at freestyle. The Phoenix is quite capable in powder - decent flotation and pretty nimble. The Khyber is better when there is 3 feet or more of fresh powder and/or when you are in the trees where the gaps are 1 meter wide or less (that's pretty specific powder conditions). In contrast, because of the large setback in the inserts and the skinny tail, the Khyber is a little awkward to spin on. It isn't impossible, but not a board I recommend trying to learn how to spin with.

The Madd TT158 are excellent on firm conditions and good on wet conditions. They are also a very very good freestyle board. However they powder riding capability I would rate only as good compared to the very good for the Phoenix and excellent for the Khyber. My problem is that the TT only comes in 158cm (I would have liked something smaller for freestyle, like a 152cm). For you at ~200 lbs, you need the CFB model as I'm 150 and I like the SS model.

Tankers are very good in powder, very good on groomers, but only "ok" in the park in my opinion back they have very little pop (not much energy return for ollies). They are also excellent riding in any type of snow (hard/soft)

Overall, I think the Phoenix is still probably you best bet... let me try to summarize my comments in a little table:

(EX - excellent, VG - very good, GD - good, FA - fair)

(Powder, Freestyle, Trees, Hard Conditions, Soft Conditions)

Phoenix--(VG, EX, VG, VG, FA)

Khyber---(EX, FA, EX, FA, VG)

Madd-----(GD, EX, GD, EX, GD)

Tanker---(VG, FA, GD, EX, EX)

Since you want to be riding powder... I would generally push you towards the longer lengths since you are 25 kg heavier than me. You are heavier than the recommend weight range for the Khyber 160 and probably the Phoenix 160 as well. The Madd TT158 CFB is very stiff and might be able to hold you, but the SS is too soft (maybe gofor the FR/FS models as they are longer/wider). The Tankers... well you can go from 172cm (smallest they make) to 200cm.

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man thanks for that table :) u should open sm kinda counceling business for those who want to buy a nu board, u really know ur sh** :) the truth of the matter is also that this kinda unified (including as many board makes and models as possible) and common rating system would be really be helpful

so anyways i summed up the numbers (ex=4, vg=3, gd=2, fa=1) and it turns out that u are right and the phoenix is the best all around-wise board. it got 14 pts. khyber has 13 so i think i'll go on with ur advice and buy the phoenix. i sent them an email askin them which board size would they recommend for me. the only thing i need 2 know b4 i close the deal is is the phoenix better in fs than the khyber in powder - what do u think? or is it a tie as both r absolutely top notch in what seems to be their respective domains?

i didn't know that tankers r so long so i won't even consider them. 170 - that's really too big a board for me. my sc is pretty heavy so i'm lookin for a lighter board as well and surely don't need a heavier 1.

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man thanks for that table :) u should open sm kinda counceling business for those who want to buy a nu board, u really know ur sh** :) the truth of the matter is also that this kinda unified (including as many board makes and models as possible) and common rating system would be really be helpful

so anyways i summed up the numbers (ex=4, vg=3, gd=2, fa=1) and it turns out that u are right and the phoenix is the best all around-wise board. it got 14 pts. khyber has 13 so i think i'll go on with ur advice and buy the phoenix. i sent them an email askin them which board size would they recommend for me. the only thing i need 2 know b4 i close the deal is is the phoenix better in fs than the khyber in powder - what do u think? or is it a tie as both r absolutely top notch in what seems to be their respective domains?

i didn't know that tankers r so long so i won't even consider them. 170 - that's really too big a board for me. my sc is pretty heavy so i'm lookin for a lighter board as well and surely don't need a heavier 1.

Well, these are just my experiences as I roam through all the boards in the world for myself as I would like to find good boards to ride.

A better way to think about it is that the Phoenix is still very good while riding in powder and rarely think "darn I wish I had my super powder board," whereas there might be a time or two where you might prefer have a more symmetrical board setup compared to the Khyber on jumps.

I do again urge that snow conditions are important. I live in California and the snow here is often soft and bumpy, so the Khyber is more at home here. However, on frozen windpack, the Donek will feel more surefooted. However, since I believe most European resorts (big ones) tend to be at high altitude, I suspect they will be firm more often than soft.

Yes Tankers are very long... but they are surprisingly like. The latest 172s weigh as much as a typicaly 158-160 board (Prior are actually a little on the heavy side and I can't remember, but I think the Tanker 172 is lighten than the Khyber 160). Sorry, to throw that wrinkle in... but for me... the lack of pop in the tail was a showstopper.

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do u have a pic maybe of any tanker? i surfed the net and couldn't find any - not to mention the fact that it seems impossible to order a board from their site (and this is the only way i could obtain any of the boards we'r talkin about). i'm askin for a photo cuz with this length it sounds to me that the tanker is more of an fr board really whereas i would like an fs/powder board and that pretty much crosses it out from the list of possible choices. and this lack of pop...

the thing with snow and me is that i don't have that much experience(not as much as u do clearly:) ) in defining what kinda snow i'm ridin. sure, there's no prob in tellin the difference between moguls, powder, ice, crud, softer or hardpacked snow but it's these "in-betweens" that i have sm problem naming (even in Polish;) and to think that the Innuits have 40 or so names for snow). this makes it that much harder for me to tell what kinda snow i ride the most and which is where in the majority. not to mention the fact that being and living in Warsaw we don't have any local hill or mountain to ride. so evry snowboarding trip is as my Grandma used to say "a major military operation" ;)

so lay it out for me - bottom line - is the phoenix hard/unpleasant to ride on softer snow? i mean - would u describe it as "bad" or "unsufficient" in these conditions (u gave it just 1 pt=FAir regarding riding soft snow)? or would u say that it isn't bad, it's acceptable/sufficient(or a bit more) as there r far more boards out there that handle soft snow better and even more that handle it worse so the Phoenix isn't bad at all? and how does the phoenix handle crud and moguls? does it throw u much around?

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so lay it out for me - bottom line - is the phoenix hard/unpleasant to ride on softer snow? i mean - would u describe it as "bad" or "unsufficient" in these conditions (u gave it just 1 pt=FAir regarding riding soft snow)? or would u say that it isn't bad, it's acceptable/sufficient(or a bit more) as there r far more boards out there that handle soft snow better and even more that handle it worse so the Phoenix isn't bad at all? and how does the phoenix handle crud and moguls? does it throw u much around?

I would say that the Phoenix acceptable/sufficient in soft snow (more so than the Khyber on hard snow). I did get thrown a little bit in crud, but I am a good 25 kg lighter than you and everyone else (most of whom are heavier than me) have not complained about the board throwing them around as much. Part of it also way that I didn't like the 8m sidecut for the 155. I really would have liked it to be a bit longer (would carve a tighter arc than I wanted for a given board inclination). Finally I was also suffering from a bit of boot drag (even though I have 25cm boots) again because the board would really trench into the snow - normally a good thing but I would go in so deep my boots would drag.

If I could get a 152cm Phoenix with a 25cm waist and a 8.5m sidecut, I would be in heaven, but that would be a custom and there are so many other boards out there to try.

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Lonerider, need ur help (yet again)

i have this other problem. i'm tryin to order the phoenix. i enter the site, enter the "purchase" part of it and nada. the only info i get is an email and a phone. no form to fill out... well actually there is one form, the foreign credit cards form but since my friend from the US will be handling the whole order along with the payment i need to know how such a person should proceed in order to place an order.

how did u buy urs? did u order it or just bought in sm retail shop?

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Lonerider, need ur help (yet again)

i have this other problem. i'm tryin to order the phoenix. i enter the site, enter the "purchase" part of it and nada. the only info i get is an email and a phone. no form to fill out... well actually there is one form, the foreign credit cards form but since my friend from the US will be handling the whole order along with the payment i need to know how such a person should proceed in order to place an order.

how did u buy urs? did u order it or just bought in sm retail shop?

My first one I sent them an email with the board/size I wanted, confirmed the order and then sent them my credit card via email. The second one I talked via email, but sent my credit card over the phone.

Like Bobdea, I am surprised as in general I preferred Donek's customer service to Priors although I personally have like Prior's boards better (for what I was looking for).

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meatheads <lol> that's good :D

aaa via email or a phone - pure and simple :) i didn't know, i was expecting some kind of .pdf forms and here it's all handled by a simple email and phone.

i'm just sayin that this chris who's answerin emails at prior is way nicer and helpful than sean is at donek :) i'm probably ovesensitive about this - a thing typical for Poles :)

i'll also mention that sean (from donek), having been informed about my weight and height recommended the size 160 for me... he said that if my boot size is over 11 i should go for the 163W but since i have a 10.5 and snb boots tend 2 b a little smaller there was no need for the extra length. he also said that my feet size and my stance are the biggest factors in determining whether i need a 163W or 160. my feet size u already know and my stance will be probably typically fs - feet nearly perpendicular to the tail-nose line of the board, maybe a little bit turned to the nose and tail respectively.

i do however wonder if it'll be to endure my weight - what do u think? sean said that the biggest difference between the two is width - so i think that it shouldn't be a factor weight-wise...

anyway thanks for the info.

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i'm just sayin that this chris who's answerin emails at prior is way nicer and helpful than sean is at donek :) i'm probably ovesensitive about this - a thing typical for Poles :)

He also said that my feet size and my stance are the biggest factors in determining whether i need a 163W or 160. my feet size u already know and my stance will be probably typically fs - feet nearly perpendicular to the tail-nose line of the board, maybe a little bit turned to the nose and tail respectively.

i do however wonder if it'll be to endure my weight - what do u think? sean said that the biggest difference between the two is width - so i think that it shouldn't be a factor weight-wise...

anyway thanks for the info.

Well, Chris might be very nice to talk to, but should there be a problem with the order... Prior is a big hassle (see link) where as Sean in my experience goes the extra length to make things right.

I would definitely go with the wide. Sean prefers to ride very high angles (35/30 according to his bio page) and so his boards run pretty narrow. I have size 7.5 feet (25.5cm versus your 28.5cm) and even then boot drag was a big problem for me with the Donek Incline 155 (24cm) and the Donek Phoenix 155 (24.8cm) with freestyle angles (15,-3). Even with the Phoenix I would get significant boot drag in the soft snow we often have here in Lake Tahoe. The longer board will also be a bit stiffer (the Phoenix line aren't super stiff to begin with).

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In direct contrast to some of the stories I read on that splitboard thread, a few years ago I bought a used Prior 4WD, which delammed at the tail (known problem in that vintage). I contacted Chris Prior, paid shipping one way and they fixed it for free in a timely fashion. I really don't think you can ask for more than that.

Haven't dealt with Sean, but by all accounts he is a standup guy. If you found his phone manners not so nice, well, he is an engineer and we're all not the smoothest folk you'll ever meet... but I'd pay attention to his recommendations.

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In direct contrast to some of the stories I read on that splitboard thread, a few years ago I bought a used Prior 4WD, which delammed at the tail (known problem in that vintage). I contacted Chris Prior, paid shipping one way and they fixed it for free in a timely fashion. I really don't think you can ask for more than that.
That was a few years ago, since then Prior has moved to a new factory and increased production by a lot. I don't know (I haven't had any problems myself), but it is possible that customer service has degraded as a result. All I know if that there were several people there that were unhappy and if any of their accounts are true, I can understand why.
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Well, Chris might be very nice to talk to, but should there be a problem with the order... Prior is a big hassle (see link) where as Sean in my experience goes the extra length to make things right.

I would definitely go with the wide. Sean prefers to ride very high angles (35/30 according to his bio page) and so his boards run pretty narrow. I have size 7.5 feet (25.5cm versus your 28.5cm) and even then boot drag was a big problem for me with the Donek Incline 155 (24cm) and the Donek Phoenix 155 (24.8cm) with freestyle angles (15,-3). Even with the Phoenix I would get significant boot drag in the soft snow we often have here in Lake Tahoe. The longer board will also be a bit stiffer (the Phoenix line aren't super stiff to begin with).

woooow... if that's how Prior handles things, however Chris wouldn't b i have to say thanks but no thanks. that kinda treatment i can get for far less (free actually) here in Poland. thanks for the warning - maybe i should'v started this thread with the question who's more reliable.

thanks, i think i'll take ur advice and order a wide...

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woooow... if that's how Prior handles things, however Chris wouldn't b i have to say thanks but no thanks. that kinda treatment i can get for far less (free actually) here in Poland. thanks for the warning - maybe i should'v started this thread with the question who's more reliable.

thanks, i think i'll take ur advice and order a wide...

To be fair, all of these problem were mainly related to ordering splitboards, which are hand cut from a solid board when you order it. I have purchased three Prior boards without any problems.

I'm just saying that Prior isn't without problems as well.

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I know I'm a little late to this party, but I purchased a Phoenix last year and have been nothing but happy with it. I wanted it as a do-it-all board and slot in between my Donek Incline and Burton Malolo. Well, it does a lot more and a lot better than I thought it would. As it is, the Incline ended up getting less riding time, and I'm thinking of selling the Malolo since the Phoenix gives up so little to it in the powder and is just much better on piste. It's pretty much a board I can grab when I don't know what conditions will be, and not be thinking all day I should have brought another board. All that said, I only weight 160 with gear, so a board doesn't need a ton of float for it to work well in powder for me, though my Incline sucks in the powder.

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