SG Titanal 180
After 7 years of not riding at all, and having done maybe 20 days in the last 15 years total, I was lucky enough to receive a SG new snowboard for Xmas, and went riding in Japan for 6 days on it; set up with TD3s, indys using the BTS system as well.
The first day didn't start so well, as I was filming some kids riding and tore a great chunk out of my shin due to extreme lack of fitness and soft shins….not the best start…. also riding in knee deep wet chopped up powder at Sahoro and flat light didn't help.
Anyhow, once I had my first real day at Furano ski resort, riding in -25.5 temperature, very quickly the benefits of riding a properly set up new board came out.
The board is unbelievably damp and simple to ride; unlike the older generation of boards where they like a nice fwd drive into the turn, mid weight and then weight back coming out of the turn, it seems like the SG prefered to have a much more centered way of riding; also you could ride with less rotation and just let the board do a lot more of the work. Riding through bumps, chop, fresh knee deep powder, epic grooming, the board was effortless to keep on edge and get good edge hold.
The only times it was struggling was on narrow cattracks and big bumps or when I didn't have the guts to ride it properly.
One surprise to me was how easy it is to adjust the line by disengaging the edge the reengaging it mid or late carve. I had also expected the board to not like certain styles of turn but it seemed to be really good for a wide variety of turn types; even tried a few EC style turns on both sides and it was pretty simple to make the board work.
Even riding on one day in fresh snow over a firm base and very flat afternoon light, you could just let the board run, and be confident it would always hold; the times I got into trouble was when I just didn't have the confidence to ride and push on narrow tracks and steep runs.
Being a 180, it needed a little speed to get it going at first, but once I started to get the feel for the turns, not any more than a shorter board.
The TD3s seemed a good match, although in -25.5 celcius, started to get some boot shrinkage so the bindings ended up pretty loose fitting and the lugs were starting to freeze. Also the chrome finish on the toe clips was coming off as well, no problem I guess.
The BTS system is better than the RAB, and I ended up restoring the fwd lean to the original; because the board seemed to ride so easily, I found I could ride longer and harder each day than my previous boards, and with a little more fwd lean.
I rode it without a plate, and it seemed very happy; I am pleased I didn't go for a 185, as that would have been a bit more of a step up length wise; the 180 size has a decent waist width (unlike the 175) and although the side cut isn't massive, it seemed to be happy to crank reasonably tight turns.
Highly recommend it as a great riding board.
While in Japan saw some Ogasaka, Yonex and Grey snowboards; all similar low nose new school shapes with various plate systems.