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First of all, this is a review thread. Use it for test ride comments and civilized discussion. If you want to flame, use "some prototypes" thread in the carving section... 

Intro: 
This was designed to be an ultimate freeride/carver for hardboots, or softies for those who like very forward angles. 
The inspiration for this board came from few excellent, yet not perfect, alpine free ride boards that me and few local riders have tried and frrm versatility of modern slalom boards (OES SL included). For few years I tried to convince Alexey that he needed this type of board in his lineup and that we possibly could redesign one of the existing boards to fit the bill. However, now he decided to develop it from scratch - new molds, new geometry. I've designed the geometry (so blame it on me if it didn't work), while the core thickness and construction I left to Alexey. 

Specs: 
Length: 167 
Waist: 23 
SCR: 8-10 
Flex: M, S and XS, for now. 
Construction: Kevlar composite, wood core
Weight: 3.9 kg, the heaviest M 

The sidecut goes high up into the decambered nose, creating heavy taper (less decamber at the tail). However, there's almost no taper at the contact points, flat running. I'm hoping to achieve the best of both worlds this way - carveability and float in pow. 

The prototypes are here! 

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Edited by BlueB
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While waiting for the Blackcomb Glacier to open for public, I can only droll over them and admire... 

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The first impressions are great! They look absolutely gorgeous - the finish is outstanding. And of course they appear solid and burly as all OES boards I've had in my hands. 

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The herringbone base structure ^ 

Edited by BlueB
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/5/2018 at 11:47 AM, Surf Quebec said:

Can't wait for riding reviews.

 

Glacier opens this Saturday, but the weather will be shocking. I'll likely go next weekend. Stay tuned! 

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Edited by BlueB
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So, eventually, we didn't go... Everyone from local gang had something else to do, seems that setting it on the Fathers' Day wasn't the best idea. 

Let's see if we could set another date before I go to Europe... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finaly made it to Whistler today... Unfortunately, no one else could join, so no action shots... 

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When I finally got to up to the glacier (thats another long story, almost deserves a thread of its own), the snow wasn't frozen any more. However, the high overcast was preventing it from turning into a complete warm slush, later in the pm. 

I brought only the M and S with me. Both handled my weight at moderate pitch just fine. I could tell the flex difference, of course. 

The board carved like a beast,  very stable and very fast for its tight sidecut. Seemed very good in torsion. The big taper and decamber can be felt - it initiates like on auto pilot. It didn't have problem finishing the turns, actually it can overhook a bit... Mind you, when I hit a harder spot with my weight to far forward, it wanted to spin out the tail. I still need to ride it on proper hard snow to establish if taper needed to be reduced a bit. Another possible tweak would be to move the inserts about 1/4" to 1/2" back... 

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As the snow got softer and lumpier, the board still felt unstoppable - I was still able to charge at speed without getting stuck or bumped around. 

I didn't have access to any real moguls, only managed to duck the rope into some short, but very steep stuff, between 2 runs. It handled that just fine... 

I took it through the park too, nothing too crazy, small 180s, big straight air, quarterpipe... no rails. 

Switch carving was doable but not easy. Will have to wait for better snow... 

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  • 5 months later...

Finaly we have some snow at Cypress, about a month late 🤨 Also, nothing steeper than a blues is covered yet. Heavy, sticky, messy runs... you guessed it - great conditions for the OES AM 👍I only brought the stiffest one (M), as I only had 2 hours to ride. It turned out to be the right choice - the board cut and charged through the mess like a champ! Actually I probably rode slightly too fast at the times... 

The board has a lot of auto pilot effect and power in the nose. When loosing the ballance, all one has to do is press/tilt the nose a bit more and the board hooks more and brings you up. Finishing of the turn takes a bit of a discipline, like expected on a very tapered board. 

Stay tuned for more, as our snow pack builds up. 

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We finally had some better hard pack today, mixed with patches of softer man made snow under the guns. It bumped up a bit in the pm, with patches of ice. 

Both M and S performed really well. The trick is to ride them centered and not find yourself on the nose late in the turn, and get them high on the edge early (for carved turn). I'm still working on the best technique for sliding turns. As expected, the S performs better for those. I had her down the only open short stretch of a black run, small bumps and some ice - no problem. Lots of people asked questions and admired the boards... 

Hopefully we'll have pow over the next two days. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This board is burly and it does help smooth out the ride somewhat. I went over some refrozen cord and my teeth did not chatter nearly as badly as when I'm on other, lighter, AM boards. Of course, you do lose some feel underfoot. Kind of reminds of an SG SL that way.

I set my bindings dead center at the reference 50 cm stance. I think this might something to do with how the board feels like it turns much too early. Holds the turn really well, though. It feels like a carving board that can do all mountain rather than an all mountain board that can carve, if that makes any sense. I didn't have time to experiment with binding settings cause I switched boards to get to the goods before it's all gone.

At least those are the first impressions. It took two runs to figure out that the medium stiffness was too stiff for my girlish 170 lbs. It's not the stiffness I'd expect for a all-mountain board. I'll try again with the softer flex and see how that goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/7/2019 at 10:52 AM, BlueB said:

I prefered the stance slightly set back. 

I rode these boards a lot in the mean time and decided to get rid of the extra set back, but rather ride more centred. It actually works better for both carving and freeride. 

I rode the S the most, as our steepest runs never opened this year and I've been teaching the intro carving a lot. They actually carve like beasts! 

The real pow never happened this season, so I still have no clue about that important component of the ride... Stay tuned! 

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5 minutes ago, BlueB said:

The real pow never happened this season, so I still have no clue about that important component of the ride... Stay tuned! 

That's a shame. Hopefully it gets better.

Have you adjusted the nose? 

The stiffnesses XS S and M. Can you explain them? Does the S mean soft or stiff? 

Saw a few videos of whistler this season and the powder seems plentiful at times but heavy and a bit wet. 

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Xtra Soft, Soft, Medium. The Medium is about 10% softer then OES SL 162. 

I only detuned the nose slightly and started riding more centered. 

Yeah, I know Whistler is getting snow, but I don't have time to drive there before late April... All my days at the mountain are split between training the instructors and bringing my kid to his trainings with ski club. Both are at Cypress... 

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We are finally getting some good snowfalls! This morning we had about 15cm of super dry/light stuff over nasty frozen mess underneath. As you can imagine, it wasn't a real pow ride. However, in a few of wind drifts that I found, it seemed to float, even when ridden of front foot. Stay tuned... 

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Finally I had it in the real pow! And it absolutely rocked! The thing is simply unstoppable, very fast and it comes to the surface even when you ride the front foot. I even had the bindings 10mm ahead of the centre, just because, and never needed to ride the back foot (unless I wanted to). 

No action pics, just a big, ride induced smile: 

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Now, I need to search for some bottomless stuff... 🙂 

Edited by BlueB
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