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Princess Diaries, Chapter 4 - Coiler VSR mid 165


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120 lbs

mondo 23.5 boots


stance on this board: All the way forward on the inserts, 18.75" stance but with front boot biased forward (toe side) it comes out to 19.5" boot center to center. 65 deg front, 60 deg rear, 3 deg toe and heel lift, gas pedal style.

the board:

Coiler metal VSR mid, built for me

165 cm

17.7 waist

goofy asym core

mid VSR = 11.5/14/13m SCR

Flex: All Mountain (softer in the middle than most Coiler VSR's) 7.5 + 5.5 W

OK, I have to say this board has been some trouble for me. The first time I rode it, I had been out of the game for 2 weeks with a pinched nerve in my back and I took it out literally the first day I could reach my bindings myself, which was probably a bad idea. Also didn't do anything with the tune - just waxed it up, set the bindings just a bit forward of center and took it out. Rode it on very hard melt/freeze mostly manmade snow that had a soft layer on top from rain earlier that day. Did 6 runs and hated it. The nose and tail both felt grabby, and kept hooking and catching every time I tried to skid. This was especially disturbing on cat tracks. Toe side carves felt ok, heel sides a bit funky and I liked the stability at speed. But I'm not such a great rider, and need a board that will skid to a stop, or in and out of a carve predictably. This board felt unpredictable and required a lot of work - ended up tweaking my back again and quit after only 6 runs.

Next time I tried the VSR was 4 weeks later at SES on the last afternoon. I had put a 1 degree bevel on the sides and base and detuned the tip and tail, and moved the bindings as far forward as possible. The conditions were stellar - slightly soft hero groom - and I felt like a rock star on this board! Rode almost non-stop from noon to close at Buttermilk, and wanted more! Skids felt easy and predictable, and I could do any kind of turn I wanted - short quick, long fast, easy to initiate carves at almost any speed. Very stable at speed, this board easily exceeds/stretches my personal speed limit. Love being back on a narrow board, as it makes for easy, quick transitions. With a bit of energy input, this board felt easy and fun in a hot rod sort of way and in those conditions I couldn't imagine wanting any other board!

OK, back home at the King - hard, fast, narrow, poor groom: this board demands constant attention. Skids are better than the first go, but the nose still tends to catch a bit if I'm not paying close attention. Carves beautifully on hard snow - hooks up and holds on. With the bindings all the way forward, I can kick the tail loose and skid when I need to, but really need to watch the nose. Need to stay very forward to try to control my speed - this is a challenging board for me on tight/steep runs.

One thing that I've become used to with my Stubette is being able to tighten a turn mid-carve by putting the board a little farther on edge and pressuring the middle. But if my weight gets back toward the middle of the VSR and I try that, it says "Oh - so you want that 14 m ride, do you?!?! Woohoo! Rodeo!" Not only does the turn not tighten up, but the board seems to accelerate. Looks like I need to learn some new strategies...

Also, I have acquired the habit of throwing a little check/skid in at the start of most of my heelside carves, and some toesides. On firm snow, the VSR has no tolerance for that kind of behavior. On lower angle runs, this need for precision at the start of each carve is fine, on steeper/tighter terrain it's a bit unnerving.

I took it over to Kelly Canyon yesterday for some real snow and nicer groom and got in 6 hours on it. Once again, it was tons of fun, though it required much more energy than my Stubette. By the end of 6 hours I was too tired to pressure the nose much, and was just riding the 14m middle part of the sidecut - rather exciting on a small mountain! And today I'm too sore to ride at all - it took that much energy. Pretty amazing, considering that last week I rode 7 long days in a row at SES and could have kept going...

Overall, I have to say this is a demanding board that requires a lot of attention in my usual riding conditions, and I feel I need to plan my skids as carefully as my carves. But while it requires a lot from me, it also gives back. I feel like my riding has improved fairly dramatically in the last 4 times I have taken it out, and considering the number of people who have gone out of their way the past few days to comment on how cool my turns look, others seem to have noticed the change too. I do not recommend this board at all for beginning/aspiring carvers - it's not an easy board and will punish mistakes. However for someone with some level of carving skill looking for a step up, this one is worth considering.

In hindsight, I am wishing that this board had the inserts placed a bit more forward, so I would have more room to try different stances, but we'll see how it goes as I ride it more... I'm still working out the kinks with this board, and will update this review as I make progress.

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Good info Princess!! will help aspiring women riders!! As you know, my experience has been similar with my VSR T 170 ,,,It demands constant attention and gives abundant rewards,,,take away the attention and it wants to punish you...sometimes not so gently, but that demand for attention to details ,,body position ,,, and where I am on the board has helped my skill level and transfers nicely to riding my other boards...Carve ON!!!

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Interesting read. I just picked up my 165 VSR xtight asym this morning and took it out today for it's first day. I was a bit concerned after reading your report and to add to my concerns, conditions were firm due to the thaw and rain late last week followed by sub zero weather. I didn't know what to expect but had to try out the new toy(my first Coiler).

What a pleasant surprise. I found it very user friendly with no negative traits, that I've discovered yet. I'm centered on the inserts, 19.75 stance width. Differences between the boards are that mine is only 17 wide, built for 180 lbs and xtight vs med. I'm guessing the med. sidecut is requiring more speed to get to the boards sweet spot than the xtight. That could explain why it felt better on the big hills in Aspen vs. the narrower icier terrain that you're seeing at your home mt. I'm quite sure that I'd prefer the med. sidecut if I had access to bigger hills but for our little Ontario hills the xtight is just right.

Between your Stubbette and your VSR it sounds like you have a perfect board for either big or not so big hills.

Still sorry that I didn't make it to SKES either year. Maybe next year.

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John H, glad to hear your mileage has varied! :) And I think it's safe to say that BigDogDave had a stellar day on his VSR tight yesterday. :biggthump

My VSR handed me my ass again on Wed - this time on soft snow. Big fast turn, slid out a little on the soft snow, was probably over rotated a bit - nose caught and hooked, instantly spinning me 180 degrees at full speed, then a tail dig to an airborne 360. No trees were harmed, though I did make one lift tower a bit nervous....

I think it's mostly a matter of bringing my skill level up to the requirements of this board - hoping to accomplish that without breaking any parts along the way. Really not enjoying the 'nose hook' feature, and still trying to figure out how to manage that. Not skidding - ever - seems like the best answer so far (but that's not within my skill level.) Just borrowed a 6 deg cant disk, will see what changes with that.

Had a fantastic day on the Stubette yesterday, and really noticed improvements in my riding carrying over from time spent on the VSR. And really missed the VSR at times, like the fun tight/quick fall line turns it can do on the lower angle stuff. Stub feels a bit sluggish by comparison...

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  • 1 year later...

I think I am now riding this board. I was at Bruce's over the weekend and he lent it to me. Being a goofy female I can ride it :biggthump

Today the conditions were powder, but I figured; why not try it! I know this is supposed to be a family friendly forum, but HOLY F$#@! Wow! What a ride. I have never made it through powder so easily, especially since my other Coiler really schooled me last time I ended up in powder. I thought it would hand me my ass and be way too much board for me. But despite the conditions it was forgiving and actually fun to ride surf-style. Yes, it wanted to hook in and it wanted to go fast, and there were a few runs where I needed to stop and get my head back on straight because it was pushing me to the limit of my comfort zone. But wow - I felt like super star on this board despite everything and it turned tight on some of the narrow cross-overs. Towards the end of the evening, the snow started to pack down a bit and I was able to rip it. I was warned that has bite and I have had issues with initiating the carves early, but this board showed me how to start early and stay strong!

I can't wait to try it on better conditions. Will write more when I do!

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Tabatha, great to hear that you are experiencing the rock star ride on that board! I hope it has found its forever home! :) It doesn't really surprise me that it's working so well for you - I'm guessing you weigh just a little bit more than me, which should make it behave well, and it being a relatively stiff board it should handle soft snow/chop quite nicely. Yes, this board may have a few lessons for you - carving on this one is a bit like voting - best done early and often! ;) Good for you for stepping up and giving it a go. Hope you continue to find great joy with it!

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  • 9 months later...

A quick update on this board (which I affectionately call Two Ravens because of the beautiful top sheet). I did buy it off Bruce and it now has a new forever home - it is still downstairs waiting for "better" conditions for its first run of the season ... the conditions here are very early season with a high likely hood of rocks, not for my "new" board. Looking forward to taking it to some BIG mountains this year and hoping it continues to be nice to me. Will write more as the season cools down.

Yes; my quiver is up to three boards - two Coilers and a Donek. This year board money is going to lift tickets instead of gear :D

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Good job, that's a nice board. I rode it at Whitefish the last time TR and I met up, and it was fun. It seemed to behave a lot better under my 150lb weight than it did under TR's slightly (um) less than that ... pleased it's working so well for you.

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I think it's against forum rules to post a comment like that without also posting a picture to go with it. :rolleyes:

Wish granted. :) So glad to hear it has a happy forever home!!! I have a different version now, with nearly identical topsheet and very a different ride. Happy carvers all around!!!! :) (p.s. the colors seem to wash out when I post photos on here - in real life the colors are much more beautiful!)


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