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daveo

Review: Apex Race V2 ASIP

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

Disclaimer: All things considered, I think this is the easiest to ride and best designed isolation plate on the market, so I might be biased...

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.

Construction: Carbon fiber plate with 2 x aluminium (hinge) and 2 x stainless steel (floating) mounts with 4 independent axles. The carbon is not just one thick slab, it is contoured and recessed in places so it can flex.

Riding: So a few years ago, I borrowed a plate from a friend of mine. It was a Donek AF plate, rather poor quality if I recall, it was a bit banged up but reasonably new and this Japanese guy takes extremely good care of his gear. Half way through the day I broke the hardware mid turn. Luckily for me the components which failed didn't give me a broken leg. Took the plate off, next run I severely sprained my ankle due to the bumps I encountered that I wasn't expecting because the plate had isolated me from them. From then on, I decided I will always ride a plate and I always have ridden a plate.

I've ridden a VIST 07 & 14, VIST Vistflex, Bomber BP 5mm 4x4, SG Carbon Plate System Hard, Apex X-Plate and Apex Gecko Free and the Apex Race V2 ASIP.

People often complain of lack of ability of pedal the board with a plate. Honestly I've never felt it. I figured I was just a God-tier snowboarder and didn't suffer from ailment that the mere peasants were afflicted with. After a closer inspection of the Bomber BP, I think it's actually because the Apex plate allows pedaling and my bubble was burst. The axle placement options, the 4 independent axles, the plate being contoured and recessed in certain areas creates what I consider to be a perfectly balanced and naturally flexing plate. Even my friend on his first half day of riding hardboots on the Kessler with this plate remarked at how easy the board was to maneuver at low speeds after I warned him that people sometimes have trouble with this.

Anyway, the plate turned my Kessler into an absolute F1 carving machine. Made it ride a bit longer but eliminated basically all bumps, but you still get feedback from the snow condition. Easy to ride all day. I never really liked the sliding Vist type of plates, the ones I rode just didn't really eliminate the bumps and made the board feel weird to me. Even though this plate provided amazing carving performance it also felt like the most relaxed to me, almost natural. If I were to score it on performance and comfort, it would score highly on both, where as other plates would be more on a spectrum between performance and comfort. The Boiler Plate and SG plate both felt numb to me. The X-Plate I borrowed this season, to me, although light and low, didn't quite fulfill my expectations of a plate and isolate me enough from crappy snow conditions. My full impression of the Vistflex is in another review thread, but this was a very powerful and comfortable plate.

Beautiful plate and will be sorely missed. A bit finicky to assemble, but hardly a complaint.

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Edited by daveo

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