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wow.. ultimate dual purpose carving board. Virus 183 UFC

John Gilmour

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I swapped onto Franks virus UFC Universal freecarver 183cm.

At buttermilk.

conditions about 7-12" of powder.

Let's face it... most deep crud days on hardboots and decks that can really carve at speed just end up in massive shin bang. A horror show on a Madd 158 and quite a bit better on a Madd 170. But this Virus killed them both in powder.

I was on my 185 Kessler PGS. Which was a complete powder submarine. And with the flex pattern maximized for racing... was not forgiving at all in Powder. I really was about to switch to my Salomon Sick stick 160cm with softboots.

So I hop on this deck, swapped my Cateks onto it. I had to fiddle with the binding placement for a bit and found myself in the furthest setting in the rear insert pack and slightly forward of the most rearward insert pack of the front binding. For me the reference stance was too forward...but keep in mind I only had 3 runs on it. I moved the bindings about 5 times to find this spot. Which rewarded me in more edge grip as well as better powder handling characteristics- a real surprise as I expected a trade off...but was rewarded with the best performance.

So I go out... light snow...super crudded up run with piles of snow about 12-15 inches deep. Medium to steep pitch.

I point it straight downhill... let the speed gather..

Normally on any board with hardboots...even one of my favorites the Madd 170cm over 20 mph I start to get shin bang in these kind of condtions...

10mph... fine..20mph... fiine...25 mph (best ever so far...no pain) 30mph...no pain, 35 mph, no pain..I stopped somewhere between 40-45mph...mostly because it just would have been hairy to try to bleed off the speed.

EASILY- this is the best hardboot snowboard I have ever ridden with hardboots in powder. Hands down...no contest.

Its carving ability was excellent... and ridiculously damp...no chatter transmitted at any time. Turning radius for me was a bit wide... but again..I only had 3 runs. The Metal made it harder for me to "energize" but who cares? you just don't need to....just let the deck do its work.... extremely well designed- even the odd nose shape makes sense to me now after riding it.

Layovers... well I really couldn't test in these conditions...

If you find yourself frustrated because of powder days and hate soft boots..and have wide open trails...

buy this board...it might be the only board you would ever need. In terms of recreational fun in an all terrain freecarver... I think for a Metal board this is the funnest one out there. And don't for a second think this is a "lame freecarver" this board really performs.. it is not a "second class easy to ride board".. it delivers great performance and very predictable edge grip- gobs of grip.

In powder it simply dominated... It handled powder at speed straight-lining better than my Salomon Sick stick in softies. Though hardboots in Powder are a bit to lug around..Certainly.... if you are out carving and it starts snowing... you just wouldn't have to worry about switching decks.

Frank- you truly have a winner here. This is the only all mountain freecarver wide deck I have ever wanted to own for myself.

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Nice! But seems a little long to do everything? I rode my Coiler Schtubby X2 (171cm, 21cm waist) at Jackson Hole and it was awesome everywhere, including in steep trees. I think if I lived out there I'd get another version of it with a little more nose for the deep untracked, but I wouldn't want to go over 172cm.

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What other recent boards have you ridden to actually compare this to?

I typically don't ride freecarvers..

and this is not a BX deck...

recent new decks.

Kessler PGS 185, Kessler 163 BX, Kessler 168 BX

But these are not freecarvers.

I've flexed other freecarvers... I am confident to say that this is something very different and to MP you should try to ride this... it might replace many decks.

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turn initiation is easy on this board- ... but again... what is amazing is it's ability to handle varied conditions.

metal is damp- but can it plow through endless deep crud at speed without any shin bang? The board floats well too.

Yes..its a big one... too big for some smaller resorts and too much IMHO to do any tree bashing... but if you stay on the open slope- this board will handle just about anything you throw at it.

I certainly was baffled at how it ate up the crud- and I did not expect that nose slope to work as well as it did. Also...to note.... this was not a flappy nose.

I pushed this pretty hard with Cateks- and if you put a more forgiving binding on it like F2's it probably would just make the crud invisible. But the cool thing is... if you don't care about the weight of a Bomber or Catek- and want to add responsiveness.....and edge power on icy stuff..... the board is damp enough that you won't feel a need for F2's. Frank had F2's on it ...so he would know better...I am just guessing at this. But then again..it certainly was not lacking in edge power..so perhaps any binding is enough....after all its 183cm and metal- with some carbon inserts.

So if you want a big deck with plenty of effective edge- that can go fast- and handle deep snow and of course- make small crud simply seem like it was not there at all...

I would be very surprised if anyone who rode this was disappointed in any of its performance parameters.

If you were to travel to larger resorts...realistically...you could bring one board.

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Wow - heck of review Johnny! You've certainly got my interst peaked...

How long is Frank in town for? I could possibly head over to Aspen early next week - I'm slammed for the rest of this week. Is Frank going to the LCS w/ any boards? Cheers! mpp

Ray would know this.. I think for 2 more days (fri) but I could be wrong.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did ride the UFC 183 on hardpack during the World Carving Session in Austria, but only for about one hour. There was one slope with hardpack/artificial snow/a bit of ice and one slope reserved for carvers which was quite soft and had lots of crumbs and grip.

The UFC performed exceptionally well on both surfaces. It is a quite heavy and very stable board (nearly as stable as my Virus Spartan) and provides huge amounts of ice grip. There was no difference in ice grip to a couple of high end GS raceboards I tested the same weekend. It cuts through ice like a chainsaw, better than the Spartan.

Yet it seems to behave quite smoothly on rough and soft terrain. No tendency towards folding the nose so far.

There are some NSR features going with it, such as a modestly decambered nose and tail, multi radius scr and titanal. So you may expect some of the NSR typical characteristics, e.g. changing the radius when shifting your weight from front to rear.

I had some slight difficulty with low speed turns and modestly inclined turns. That may be due to the width, torsional stiffness and the NSR features. But as I said, I had only one hour with it. There may be some riding adaptation necessary.

As far as I can tell, the board likes medium to high speeds and it likes to be tilted to maximum. Then it shows incredible performance. A perfect Eurocarving board.

If it is really as good in powder as is it on hardpack.. sounds like a miracle..

couple of photos of me and the UFC:



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  • 9 months later...

I bought the UFC 183 after two testrides.

I've had 5 days on it now (in everything from ice, hardpack, fresh snow and warm soft snow, but no deep powder).

It's not an easy ride since the board is rather wide (21.4cm) and torsionally stiff, and the scr is quite long (similar to Men's GS). The board likes to be tilted to the max, so you'd prefer to ride it Euro style or race style with much angulation. It's nothing for the faint of heart and will punish the rider for every sign of tentativeness.

But once you get the clue it's really a blast. The grip on every surface is just incredible - beyond everything I've experienced before. It's perfect for fast laydowns. No skidding, no chatter, no folding the nose, it just goes round and round.. it cuts through piles of snow like a plough and trenches blue ice like a chainsaw. Like a 1000cc GSXR - the faster you go, the lighter it feels. If you do fast racestyle turns it even gets springy.

Unfortunately I had no chance to ride it in deep pow so far - only in 10-20cm of fresh snow where it behaved quite enjoyable.

In my opinion the ultimate weapon for the designated high-speed-eurocarver who knows what he's doing or who's had some experience with wider boards.

As an alternative there is a narrow (18cm) version out now.

edit: don't try it with softboots..

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