Jump to content
Note to New Members ×

Review: Kessler The Alpine 168


Recommended Posts

Purpose: For historical record keeping and if anyone can benefit from this review, then cool.

Disclaimer: All things considered, I think this is the best overall carving board on the market, so I might be biased, or I might be correct...

About me: I consider myself a lower intermediate level rider. Been on hardboots for 10 years, and softboots for 8 before that. I ride 30-40 days per year in Japan and maybe 0-5 in Australia. Never raced or anything, just snowboard for fun. I've ridden a whole bunch of boards from Coiler, Prior, Donek, Kessler, Oxess, SG; plates from Apex, Vist, Bomber and SG; bindings from F2; boots from Deeluxe, UPZ and Mountain Slope.

Some specs:


The board: Bought this board a few years ago and, as a guess, have since put something like 50 or so days on it. Even though I had a bunch of other hardboot boards before this (Coiler, Donek), I consider this my first 'real' carving board.

Construction: Where other manufacturers have failed in durability, the Kessler has kicked this out of the park. Edges, topsheet and base all beautiful from day 1 until the day I sold it and I am 100% sure it'll continue that way in the distant future. My other boards topsheets have been scratched, swirled, chipped, dented. My Kessler (not mine anymore), was perfect. Maybe this is due to the PTex topsheet, or maybe it is due to the quality and/or method of construction. The topsheet is PTex though, so it is porous, and it gets a bit dirty over time, but a light sanding gets rid of that, it needs to be waxed so it doesn't dry out. White or clear wax works best. I think the new models are no longer PTex but some other material.

Riding: I should probably start by saying that I've pretty much always ridden the plate on this. When I briefly didn't, the board rode smaller and I felt more choppiness, as you'd expect.

I've ridden SG Full Carve 163/170/180, Full Race 163/170, Coiler Nirvana 178, Kessler 180, Oxess SXR182, couple of uninspiring Doneks and Priors.

But the riding is where the board set itself apart from the rest and I wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is. I put it down to the KST stuff going on. Basically put, this board can make anyone look good. It feels like a Cadillac. The most forgiving, easy to ride board and very relaxed feel. Super damp, too. My personal preference is for damp boards, regardless of the weight penalty. I've never felt the weight of a board or plate while riding. Ever. But when you push it, it turns into a Ferrari. The ride of a Cadillac but performance of a Ferrari is how I describe it. If you ride it centred, it rides quite big, I think the sidecut is biggest in the middle. Shifting the weight just a little can make a big difference. But, too much up front and it'll buck you off JJA style. It can be ridden very stably for longer GS style turns or probably actually race in a SL race. A little weight up front, shifted to middle and then to the back works best. Kind of what works on any board. In saying that, the shift is very minimal compared to other boards I've ridden. Testament to its versatility, I used this board to teach my partner how to snowboard for a few days this season. She'd never snowboarded before then.

To get an idea of how the board rides, this is a short video:

My partner on her SG Soul 154 on her 3rd day (I might actually upload a good quality version of these). She'd like to leave a review for the SG Soul 154, "Yeah it's good, I guess?":


Edited by daveo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...