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I guess I'm the second Dan to write a review of the Thirst 8R Warp. For consistency, we both agree on pretty much everything about this board. If it sounds like plagiarism, there's a good reason.

I rode mine for the first time two days ago at Park City. I was a little nervous as I used to have another brand of board the same length that gave me fits trying to ride at such a crowded resort. I always just assumed I must not be a good enough carver yet to manage a board that size without ALLOT of space. Really brought my confidence to an all time low.

But by the end of the second run on the 8R Warp my confidence was coming back ( and then some.......SLOW DOWN)!  This board felt so predictable, stable, and maneuverable, I was soon looking to try things on it that I hadn't thought to do before. It just became more fun every run. As I started getting tired I really began to appreciate the light feeling underfoot this board has. Flickable is another appropriate description. No noticeable issues with dampness. I had one very bad run down a manky area that had frozen into a minefield of thousands of piles of "Close Encounters..."mashed potatoes. Brutal! But I just picked a line and went. Other boards I've ridden would have gotten through also, but the added confidence this one gave me was comforting. And it's worth noting that this board is surprising at how fast it is. Not normal fast. But surprising as in "...Oh Crap, how'd I get going this fast so quick?!" Caught me off guard a few times. But the more I pushed the limits of where I thought edge hold was going to start failing, the more I started to realize that as long as I didn't get lazy in my form and maintained weight where I should, this thing just doesn't let go! And the poppy feel as I was exiting turns had me start to look more for lines with little rises I could grab a little air off out of turns as it seemed so much easier than I'd ever felt on anything else.

So, just a really great, fun  board that does what you tell it. And that's how I feel about it after just a few hours! I'm really looking forward to getting to know my 8R Warp better.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I rode 4 days on my new WARP 8R...

This is simply the best icy, lumpy, crappy, spring, frozen groomer board I have ever ridden.  As it has been said before, no need for a plate to make crappy conditions fun and very rideable.  This is the most edge engaged board I have been on, set it and forget it.  Even when I was set up completely wrong for a turn , the board sorted itself out and me and keep on railing.  It really prefers you to stay centered over the board and do not pedal.  If you do it will not really care but the best performance comes staying centered over the board. It also likes to have you standing a bit more upright and not necessarily super low compressed body position. Because of this it is a very efficient board to ride all day long.  

The Thirst design will really open the door for folks trying to progress their riding, there is just so much less to figure out.  Do not be intimidated by the 185 length, it is pretty light and turns a medium sized turn. It rides like a regular 11-12m SCR board.  The blend of length, flex and sidecut is spot on.  This combination is amazing.   With a little more pressure and board tilt you can really get the board to come around fast...good times! For the more advanced rider they will be blown away by the edge hold and quietness/dampness of the board, but you can also get springy out of the turns if you please.  

The construction and build quality is beautiful like we have all experienced from our niche builders.  It is wonderful to have another board builder who is advancing the sport.  

Johnasmo took two runs on mine and ordered one the next day...


Edited by dredman
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The new Thirst 8RW is the best new thing in alpine snowboard design since titanal.  This is an amazing and unique board with design features that fly in the face of what we'll now have to refer to as 'traditional' snowboard shapes.  Yes, it rides.  But let's talk about the design characteristics first, so we will have some context to discuss the feel.

Mark has been building boards for decades, but pretty much in near-complete isolation.  Only a select few had ridden his boards before these last few years, and he has himself has hardly ridden any other snowboards.  Also, Mark is a free carver and not a racer, so his board designs push towards the ultimate carving experience rather than being influenced by what might get a rider through the gates faster.  I like to imagine him like a surfboard shaper, adding a little here and shaving a little there every time out to get a bit closer to that perfect ride.

So what has Mark come up with in his black box alpine snowboard laboratory?  Quite a few design ideas and assembly techniques beyond my understanding, but at least a few wild ones which I can try to explain.

First, the 8RW is asymmetrical.  Asym seems to make sense, and Mark is not the first to try it, but the Thirst is asym in opposite ways to traditional asym.  Heelside sidecut is shifted forward instead of back, and the toeside sidecut is tighter!  The core and carbon layers are also asymmetrical, taking into consideration the fact that goofy and regular riders will apply forces to the board at different points.

Second, the variable sidecut is the reverse of what we're used to seeing from other alpine snowboard manufacturers.  That is to say, the sidecut radius is tightest near the feet and straighter near the nose and tail!  I suspect this is necessary to accommodate the nose and tail shapes, which are straighter and longer than traditional.  It is as though Mark has planed off the areas where the effective edge ends and elongated the nose and tail, thereby eliminating those rounded 'hooky' section.  So to maintain sidecut depth, the 8RW scr has to be tighter near the centre.  (The only other board I've ridden without that hooky nose and tail shape is the Furberg Freeride.  Also a wild design, and also highly recommended.)

Third, Mark's cores are built up in layers rather than shaved out of a block.  The cores also run right up past the effective edge into the tip and tail to help smooth out the ride.

Not surprisingly, this board rides quite differently from any other I've tried.  It doesn't want the rider to throw their weight forward at initiation and back at the turn finish, and it won't really respond much to this technique.  Rather, it wants the rider to stay centered on the board throughout the carve.  Without that fore-aft motion on every turn, the rider's upper body is more relaxed and quiet, and you don't need your arms so much for balance anymore.  The 8RW also doesn't want you to over rotate.  It'll tighten up for sure when you put two hands down, but it seems to prefer just one, and quite often it's the elbow anyway.  

So rather than crouching down, diving toward the centre of your next steep turn, and putting both hands down before you even  build up much edge pressure (to tighten up the turn radius more traditionally), the 8RW want you to remain more upright and just tip it over.  It's more of a patience turn than an aggressive push-pull, favouring balance over power, at least for bigger turns.  It's a nice easy initiation, a smooth turn with a thin track, and a slow controlled exit to give you plenty of time to set up the next one.  To adjust your radius,you just tip it up higher and/or push harder.  In short radius mode, the rider gets as low as ever, the board comes around fast and has enough pop to toss you into the next turn.  To tighten up a steep turn in a bottleneck for example, you're gonna want to push hard and then use that built up energy to jump a bit in the transitions.

It's not a subtle difference.  Without having to throw your weight forward and back, and with the reduced rotation required, the 8RW rides very smoothly.   One might say it's a board you ride rather than one you drive; the board does more of the work for you so you're not fighting with it so much.  It's less fatiguing too with a calm and quiet upper body.  You might notice right away that you don't know what to to with your arms now that they're not flailing for balance.  You might find you're having so much fun that you don't want to go home even after the cord is thrashed.  Then you might notice that the 8RW doesn't care that the cord is thrashed, it just keeps carving smoothly and you're getting super low and taking moguls in the chest!  After a few days you might feel your cheeks flapping in the wind and realize that even your face is relaxed now...

So yes, it's a killer ride and different from anything you're likely to have experienced.  It did take me a few days to build up my confidence and adjust my technique, but the more I ride it, the more I like it (six days now).  Whether it remains my new favorite after the novelty wears off, you'll have to ask me mid-season next year.  Or better yet, just look under my boots at Turner to see what I've settle on.

The 8RW is a medium speed board which will initiate at very low speed for a 185, and will still carve smoothly when you're going pretty fast.  It's very forgiving of rider mistakes and it'll reset itself when you do lose an edge.  It'll hold it own on ice and blast through chop.  What it does best is allow the rider to minimize superfluous movement and remain upright, relaxed and smooth, and it does this far better than anything else I've ever ridden.

What I would really love to ride next year is a titanal version of the 8RW.  Preferably with the .4mm stuff to add more power to my turns, lower the frequency (Hz) of the chatter and eliminate that loud noise the 8RW makes on ice (like the universe is tearing apart).  It's truly amazing what Mark has done with wood, glass and carbon, but let's face it, titanal makes everything better right?  I'd also like to try it with a hair less sidecut depth so I can push harder in a wide turn and stay low for longer, and maybe even a little bit of that traditional hooky rounded shape put back into the tail so my carved 360s look more like circles and less like eggs.

Great work Mark.  Thanks for making my spring!  To anyone else who got through this entire review: yes, it's still snowing in Revelstoke, right down to the valley.  Lifts are spinning for nine more days and I'm not done yet! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Writing my review first, then I’ll read the rest of this thread.

The 8RW’s super power is staying hooked-up on ice, the kind of ice you get from spring thaw and refreeze cycles.  It does that like no other board I’ve got, and I’ve got a few.  Though built in Idaho, east-coast ice riders should definitely give it a try. 

Two demo runs on dredman’s one icy morning in late March convinced me I needed one, as nothing else I brought to the hill that day could stay hooked up.  Hopping on the 8RW after struggling to keep any of my Coilers from sliding out was a real eye opener.

I first contacted Mark April 2nd via the thirst website the day after riding Dave’s.  Mark hand delivered a fresh 8RW on April 20th in Big Sky to ride the resort’s closing weekend.   The weather was classic Big Sky spring – below freezing overnight, sunny and 60 degrees by afternoon.  Good test conditions.  On day one, I rode only the Thirst.  On day two, mostly the Thirst but I switched in the afternoon crud to compare against a couple of my Coilers.  On day three I did a better job of switching back and forth as the day warmed to help with this review.

The 8RW is a 185 alpine board.  It’s asymmetric, with tighter sidecut on toe-side, and the sidecut centers are offset from one another, oddly with heel side more forward than toe.  The core itself is said to be constructed uniquely as well, but I didn’t push Mark to divulge his trade secrets.  He said sidecuts average somewhere in the 11 to 12 meter range.  It rides shorter and softer than expected for a 185, so don’t fear the length.

It’s non-metal.  You can tell that from the weight and sound.  It’s light, but loud.  Yet it rides damper than it sounds.  I didn’t find it as comfortably damp as my metal Coilers, both of which were based on Nirvana Balanced cores (which are great afternoon crud busters), but it rode smoother than I was expecting for a non-metal board.

Apparently, metal isn’t the secret to edge hold after all.  A dialed shape and flex must be the real ticket, as the 8RW had insane edge hold on the morning ice.  Heel side I could carve hard right out of the gate; toe side felt a little more tentative as I sorted out my toe-side technique, but still stayed hooked up better than most anything else.  I’m guessing this magic results from a very clean distribution of edge pressure along the running length.  Stay centered and gentle and there’s no part of the board overpowering the meager available grip.

Technique?  Don’t drive the nose; stay centered, or even slightly back on toe side.  The feedback it gives tells you it will overflex and bite you back if you drive the nose too hard.  Heel side turns I would drive more weight on my forward heel (I’m regular), but finishing toe side turns had me consciously focusing pressure on my rear toe.  So I was still guilty of some weight shift, but keeping it between the bindings.

It varies turn size by angulation more than shifting pressure.  Whereas Coilers you can vary significantly by shifting weight as well, the Thirst seems to prefer you do it all from the center.  To turn tight, it wants to be put high on edge early, responding well to a push-pull riding style to lay it over and get it de-cambered early in the turns.  If you don’t get it over and de-cambered early, you’ll be making a big turn and have to wait to slow it down on your next turn.  The faster you can make the transitions, the more fun the run.  My Coilers let you roll on the angulation and pressure a little more gradually starting with the nose and rolling back when you want to go tight, or staying centered or back if you want to go long. 

This characteristic may be what leads to my perceived difference in grip between toe and heel.  Even though the toe-side sidecut is tighter, my perception is that I’m doing a bigger, faster turn on toe-side.  That may mean I’m rolling on the angulation and pressure more slowly on toe-side.  Heel side I must be getting my hip down faster.  With a Coiler, you don’t have to rely entirely on board angulation; you can also shift pressure to the nose to tighten the turn initiation.  So probably my bad – rolling in too slow and picking up too much speed.

On the other hand, inspecting tracks from the chairlift showed that although heel side was always pencil thin, as the snow got softer there were some toe-side turns that left a slightly wider track.  There may be something about the board’s asymmetry that is simply better dialed-in heel side than toe side.  That’ll need to wait until next season to evaluate, as my lift assisted days are over for now.

The downside to laying it over so quickly is that you are obligated to push to de-camber it early by extending yourself early, which can result in having little extension left to save yourself if it does start to slide later in the turn.  A slower roll-in lets you stay compressed and keep some extension in reserve.

The wet-glove test.  I felt like I was staying lower longer on my Coilers for some reason.  Not like in-early, out-early and on to the next turn like a race board.  I was holding onto the turns just as long, but I think the apex of the turn might have been earlier and shorter on the Thirst, so less time to get gloves soaked touching the snow. 

Bottom line is that the 8RW is a great board.  To be comparing it favorably to the best of my Coilers is astonishing.  It bests my Coilers in edge hold on ice, but I can’t yet say it’s better in all conditions.  My Bruce builds have a broad power-band, so to speak.  The 8RW worked well from ice to slush, but as edge hold became more abundant, my NFC derivatives matched it for fun factor with a slight advantage in my mind on comfort and ease of use.  That might just be my familiarity with them and this being my first days on the 8RW.  Coilers are just so easy to ride, so forgiving of error.  To be in the same ballpark is high praise for the 8RW.

Dave and I are both big Coiler fans, but we often don’t like the same boards.  I lean toward softer mid-section boards like Nirvana Balanced, Dave more toward VSRs or NSRs or Nirvana Energy.  But we both like the 8RW, so it should appeal to a broad community.

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3 hours ago, johnasmo said:

ve and I are both big Coiler fans, but we often don’t like the same boards.  I lean toward softer mid-section boards like Nirvana Balanced, Dave more toward VSRs or NSRs or Nirvana Energy.  But we both like the 8RW, so it should appeal to a broad community.

After years(maybe even a decade) of riding together and trying each other’s boards we finally agree, the WARP8R is a great board!! 


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Agreed.  Rides/feels shorter than a 185.

Another difference between Dave and I is that my preferred size most days is 175-ish length, 12-ish sidecut.  Dave likes long boards, 180+.  Yet we agree that the 8RW is delightful.  I think it rides closer to my type of preferred boards (uniform flex), Dave might think the same (stiff mid/tails).

It's got a softer flex than all my Coilers, regardless of their size.  Sidecuts appear around 11 toe-side and 12 heel-side, and its very light.

Turn size seems to be entirely a function of edge angle and sidecut geometry, not how hard you push it or where you shift your weight.  That's what I meant by angulation above, board angulation.  If you are slow to edge, it will run long.  Fast to edge, it will run tight.  Pushing to add pressure during turn initiation is to maintain rider balance during fast transitions rather than being necessary to de-camber the board.  It's soft enough to de-camber to the turn size just with your weight once the turn is locked in.  It won't straighten out like a race board once you go static, you can just hold the turn as long as you want/need.

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On 4/6/2018 at 9:07 PM, crackaddict said:

What I would really love to ride next year is a titanal version of the 8RW.  Preferably with the .4mm stuff to add more power to my turns, lower the frequency (Hz) of the chatter and eliminate that loud noise the 8RW makes on ice (like the universe is tearing apart).  It's truly amazing what Mark has done with wood, glass and carbon, but let's face it, titanal makes everything better right?

I was with you up until this point.  Maybe you should put down the Titanal crack pipe?

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I too would like to see a Titanal version.  They're good boards without it, but could they be even better with it?  It's not just marketing hype.  Titanal has proven effective at keeping carving skis and snowboards calm and controlled in harsh snow conditions -- dampening out vibrations and shock waves that otherwise harsh your mellow when you feel all the commotion down below. 

I'm not a morning guy, so I rarely ride perfect corduroy.  I'm an afternoon carver when all the fresh cord is long gone, so I value comfortable rides.  When switching back and forth between the non-metal Thirst and my metal Coilers, I could feel it -- the harshness nibbling at the edge of my bliss.  It's not limiting what the Thirst boards can do, but how comfortable they are while doing it.  Heck, even the noise is a type of harshness.  Whether you hear it or feel it, you're sensing it.

The only way I see it happening though is if Mark and Bruce were to collaborate on some boards.  Mark making some WARP cores and letting Bruce press the final boards from them using his Titanal supply.  Like two mad scientists creating the ultimate weapon.  I'd commission such a piece, but what are the odds they'd collaborate?

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  • 5 months later...

Video from the Big Sky weekend reviewed last April.  Dave is the Orange onesie, I'm the Lime onesie. The orange board Dave was riding on the first day is a Superconductor.  The grey and black I was on is an 8RW.  Not sure what model Mark was riding.  Dave and I were both on our 8RWs the second day.


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2 hours ago, pow4ever said:

A Bruce/Mark mesh up would make this el-cheap-O open up his piggy bank ?

Quite different build and ride qualities.  Both manufacturers are freaking AMAZING.  I have yet to find one board or even one manufacturer to rule them all.  I have loved trying out all the demos at the Aspen sessions.  Each builder and series has its own magical qualities.  I would fear that mixing Thirst and Coiler (or any two manufacturers) would degrade the traits that each manufactures offer.  Mark is onto something really different and amazing with his boards. I am so looking forward to getting more time on my 8RW, the new build 9SW and future generations.

The Mad Scientist always works alone... Thank Goodness we have such great Mad Scientists supporting our sport.  

Sounds like a PILE of Thirst owners will be at the Montucky Clear CUT.  Join us and try one out!

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  • 2 months later...

Finally got out on my 8RW today. 5" of fluffy "baby" pow on groom and still coming down! Started out on the Super which seemed to magically float and stay on top, not driving deep into the soft snow like my other carving sticks might. I then hopped on my trusty 180 Incline, typically my favorite board for soft, tracked out conditions, and I really got bounced around a lot. 1 run and done with that.

Then I clipped on the 8RW and I had so much fun. This thing carves through tracked out, bumpy (baby) pow like nothing I've I've ever ridden!  I managed to find some untracked stuff and it also seems to magically float near the top like the Super, but with it's length was a bit smoother, and carving across the hill, it sliced through the tracked out crud as if it wasn't there. 

Looking at John's video above really shows how nicely these boards slice through crud without bouncing the rider around much.

It's no wonder so many folks have had one demo on a anyThirst board and turned around and ordered one (or 2 or 3). They seem to ride as good or better than anything in most all conditions.



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Thank you @bigwavedave!  I been stealing/following your build with great success(My Donek Rev is based on your).

I am not a stalker but I see that you also have Thirst 7WARP superconductor (and the 162SF).
Is it possible for you to elaborate the major different between the 8R WRAP and 7WARP?
Do you preferred one over the other? under what condition?  If you can only have one which would it be?
How would you compare the the 7WARP/8R WARP to your 175 REV build 11/12 side cut?

Thank you in advance!

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@pow4ever stalkers don't don't wear orange suits, right?

I hope to ride these boards back to back with my other boards for comparison this winter. I demoed the Super last year right after coming off my REV and I didn't want to give it back! It was just a bit more versatile and maneuverable...and smoother carves. Very similar turn size.

All 3 boards have the Thirst WARP magic of being really great on everything from ice, to firm or soft groom, to late day crud, to at least 6-7" of powder and I suspect even deeper. ..and Super smooth carves everywhere! I keep waiting for them to falter, but they seem to handle everything. Like someone said "the only surprise, is there are no surprises", or at least only good ones. 

The Super 175 is probably the best all-around size, and I think Mark will say that. Like the Rev it is the board I end up riding the most out of the 3.

It really depends on where you ride. I got the 162SF because it makes riding all the terrain at small midwestern hills more interesting. But I wouldn't want it as my only board. If I lived out west, I could live without a 162, even though it might be fun on steep and narrow runs or in moguls. It's rides a lot like my old SG163, except it willingly completes turns when you simply keep it on edge.

I had more fun on the 8rw today because its longer length smoothed out the bumps and ruts better, and I had room to ride it. It might be my favorite, but I'd want wide open runs. I hope to ride it tomorrow on some nice new year groom. The 8rw turn size is comparable to my 13-14scr Coiler Revelation.

Glad you like the modified sidecut REV. I have great fondness for mine.

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I've noticed an interesting thing about how the wax wears off the edges. I often found it curious how all my other boards usually had the most wax wear just forward of the front foot and fading back to about the waist of the board. All my Thirst boards have an even pattern of wear from just forward of the front foot to just behind the rear foot.

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