Kessler 185 PGS Review: First Impression
For the last two seasons I have been riding a slew of different boards like Virus, Prior, and even a pre-KST Kessler. With all the hype surrounding Kesslers I have been dying to get my hands on one to put through the paces, and finally yesterday I had my chance. The board is a new black top 185 that is mounted with a Vist plate and F2 bindings.
But before I breakdown the board let me give you some of my specifics:
Height: 5’8” (on a good day)
Stance width: 20.5”
Front foot: 55o with toe lift
Back foot: 50o with heel lift
Years on hardboots: 20+
My first run was on a very easy trail and without much speed I was hesitant to how the board would react. Within a few turns it was evident that long gone were the days of forcing a board to turn. Unlike like some boards where you need to really move forward to initiate the turn you can just stay centered and let the board do the work. Back in the later part of the 1990’s my favorite board was a Rossi 193 but I remember how much fore movement was needed to initiate the turn. For me, the earlier and higher that I engaged the edge, the more that the whole board was pressured. Although I wasn’t lucky enough to have any ice to test this on there was plenty of inconsistent grooming. The suppleness of the Kessler combined with the lift from the Vist plate made for ride that felt as smooth as a Cadillac with the power and control of a Ferrari. No matter what type of snow or grooming I ran into this board had it for lunch. There was not one slip of the edge that I didn’t do on purpose. Even though we didn’t have any ice yesterday I could tell this board would rip through the bluest of blue ice days back at Whiteface. I couldn’t help but wonder what this board would do on Whiteface’s Mountain Run, Stowe’s front four, or Sunday River’s Obsession after one of the east’s famous freeze thaw cycles. The board railed turn after turn and asked for more. There wasn’t the need to make huge adjustments throughout the turn unless I wanted to or I got off balance. Again I just wish I had some blue corduroy to run this on. Overall, for pure carving, this is hands down the best ride I have ever had. I haven’t had enough time or variance of conditions to say if it is as versatile as the Prior (which I feel is the best all mountain race inspired board that I have ridden so far) but I am very impressed. For me the goal has always been to feel like water running downhill when I ride, finally I have felt that way. This board makes carving effortless.
FYI this whole set-up is now available at Hardbooter.com. If you are a weekend racer, an inspiring world cupper, or just someone who wants to ride what those girls and guys ride here’s your chance.
December 24th, 2009