This is a long overdue review of this board, which I have been riding as my primary deck this season. As a bit of background: I weigh about 185 lbs (without gear). For the prior two seasons I have been riding an '08 Virus 183 GS, so that is what I have to compare this deck to.
Overview: this is a very fast, DAMP, powerful deck – it is a very fun deck for medium to high speed carving and it rewards an aggressive approach to riding. If you are timid with it, it will smell fear and spank you, but if you are on point and feeling good it is an absolute thrill to ride.
This board has a super-long SCR, and so it requires a bit of speed before you can really get carving and start to feel the personality of the board come to life—which can make it a bit daunting to get used to at first—there isn't much feel to it at low speeds. It will cruise around at medium speeds just fine but its a lot more fun to ride this board fast. Despite the long SCR, if you crank it way up on edge and give it some good strong input, it will make some very tight turns, it's surprisingly accommodating in this way. I ride it centered on the inserts, with a pretty wide stance, and it seems to like being ridden centered or with your weight forward. Don't get in the back seat, because this board will take you for a ride. Shift your weight forward and it turns nice and tight (though you will burn through a lot more speed in your turns this way too).
Edge hold is absolutely incredible on this deck, it's the only board I've ever had where I felt I needed to detune the tip and tail. It simply will not let go of the edge. I have not been able to get this board to chatter either, it's a very smooth ride. Very easy to release from turns when you want it to.
It is not quite as lively as the 183 that I have, and transitions require a bit more effort (less effort at higher speeds) but it will pop you out of turns just fine, and at the higher speeds that this board favors I'll take damp over lively any day. The faster you go the more lively it feels.
– If you turn it too tight, you might bleed off too much speed and need to take a moment to gather enough speed to continue carving.
– since it likes to be high up on edge, it is not an ideal board for riding soft snow – it's not that you will fold the nose – it just gets too easy to boot out.
Other random notes:
– Handles a lot better in powder than you would think, particularly given the super stubby nose and tip-to-tail camber. I assume this is due to the massive setback and significant taper. But errr … obviously this is not a powder board.
– seems to dig larger than normal trenches?? I assume that's the nose, or that cheezeburger I had for lunch.
My riding has not been up to par this season so far, and so for the moment, I know I am only tapping partially into the power wound up in this deck, but it's been a blast to ride and I know it is only going to get more and more fun as my riding improves.