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First Ride: Prior WCRM 169


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So, I'm 180lb guy with about 8 yrs in hardboots. Been through a Donek FCI 163, an Oxygen Proton 178(scared me silly!), a Prior 4WD 169, and today I had my first ride on my near-new WCRM 169 I just received second-hand. The venue was Kirkwood, and the weather was packed groomers, a bit hard & cruddy, but a fairly decent carving surface.

First off before even riding it, I was impressed at how light it is, and how thin! Much thinner & lighter than my previous steeds. In fact, to compare it to my other boards really seems unfair, because it's such a different technology. Second, the dampening built into the board makes for very confident edgehold on imperfect snow. It's wonderful how it eats mild icy-crud when cranked over, even better than the 4WD did. I could really feel a difference in the way it responds to bumps, much smoother & controlled, without chattering. Now, for useability overall, I'm happy to report I can skid it at will almost as easily as the 4WD did (Shhhh don't tell anyone I'm a skidder sometimes!), but when it's time to rail, it delivers MUCH confidence when cranked over. It reminds me of a Ducati sportbike...it likes to be "on it's side".

Most of all though, predictability is what I'd say is the best asset of the WCRM. The board is predictable when railed, when slid, and when straight. It does not surprise you which is very refreshing for a 'race' board. However, what I thought was REALLY best about the predictability aspect, is the transitions out of a turn. Whereas some boards with either stuff the nose & toss you when pushed, or wash out, or pop out with much unexpected force, this WCRM comes out of a turn with as much composure as you put into it. In other words, if you want to pop it hard & jump from transition to transition, it will, and it will remain smooth doing so!

A bit on sizing; I thought I'd want a wide version when I was hunting for one, coming from a 4WD, but I run 65/55 angles with mondo 27.5 AF600 Raichles, and had no issues. Plus, being skinnier wasn't actually as twitchy as you'd expect...responsive is what I'd call the feel of it, again it gave me what I put into it. For example, I was sloppy/weak in a few entries off the chairlift for the first turns, and it responded with a sloppy wobbly reply. Then I got in my game with proper stance & concentration, and it responded with control. It's really a communicator of a board.

So, to anyone seeking that board that is truly useable in many areas of the mountain, but still wants a real dedicated trench digger, try a WCRM. It is really a great carving tool. FYI, I 'think' I'd like the 173 a touch better when fully cranked over for the slightly larger scr (even in skinny-tahoe runs), but the scr of the 169 served up well, good arcs with enough trenching time to enjoy and lay it out, but remain within the run. Great Board!!!

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  • 11 months later...

Rode my new WCRM 169 last evening on a mix of hardpack and ice. I was both impressed and concerned with the construction of the board-very light and thinner than anything I've had underfoot. I'm likely well beyond its'weight rating at 235 geared-up.....this had me wondering if it would fold underneath me. Very happy to report that it gave back all that I could put into it. This is my second Prior but first metal construction and I now believe in the hype. It dampened the frozen cookies and astounded me with its' edgehold on fast,scraped snow that would've forced me to stay low and over the edge on my glass boards. The board is just stiff enough for some rebound off the tail,the SCR is perfect for our narrow trails and it's very predictable on edge or straightlining on flat base. More than happy with the board and the confidence it inspires in icy conditions. A great East Coast ride from a quality West Coast builder. Well done Chris Prior....

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I’ve had the same experience with mine, exact same board & length. I’m 190-200lbs fully laden and I can push that thing as hard as my legs will let me, but it cranks it in. It responds with input, and the more concerted I am, the better it rides. For Tahoe slops it is a great length too, a bit short & tighter sidecut for being able to snap it in tight, but you can still visit Mammoth & stretch your legs out back a bit to extend the melodies at high speed. Ideally I’d stretch it out & make it a 170’s length for the bigger resorts, but for one main carving schtick, the WCRM 169 is ideal. Really a wonderful board, Metal is amazing, and Chris Prior has done a great job incorporating it.

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