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Stranda Cheater 170 - Illicit Love and a Spurned Hazelwood


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Setup: Cheater 170 (26cm waist, 8.5m radius); Catek FR2 Frankenbindings (23” stance, 31F, 26R); K2 Thraxis boots

I was hoping to demo the wide version (27.5cm waist) but the standard 26 was the only option, so I adjusted with steeper angles than I’d like. The short sidecut makes for a pretty decent platform at a 23” stance, but let’s just say that Fuego box wasn’t getting anywhere near the edge of the board.

It took a bit for me to get adjusted to the Cheater, but I suspect that had more to do with the unfamiliar stance angles than the board. Once I found my bearings, I had a really fun time with it. On groomed runs turn initiation is easy. The board held a nice line on gentler pitches and turns really tightened up with additional input. I was a bit nervous about fully committing on steeper runs due to boot-out concerns, but the Cheater did everything I asked. Once up on edge, it's solid. It’s billed as a carving board, but I found it to be a worthy crud-buster as well, enabling me to make some very satisfying surf turns in crème brulee type edge snow. It also showed some all-around chops in the bumps, flashing quick, controlled turnability.

I found the Cheater to be more damp than lively. Easy turning, smooth running, very versatile. If the 177 came in a 28cm (or thereabouts) width, I probably own one already. After a couple short days with the Cheater, I found myself missing it when I got back on my Hazelwood. Maybe that’s why it’s called the Cheater?

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Thanks to Mats and Tom for making it available!

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