Virus UFC 163 (How I wrote it in January)
First time I saw this board on Frank’s page last spring and later J Gilmour and Furobulax wrote their reviews here and Furobulax posted update later.
Both of them rode longest version 183cm.
It was No-no for me from the start. I prefer shorter boards and also I am ridding medium size resorts Squaw and Kwood, which can be also pretty crowded.
Looking the picture of the board, the side cut seems to be significantly shallow than on my work horse Virus Hurricane Zylon of the same length.
So I decided to go with 163cm version.
All my comparison will be related to Hurricane.
I got board a couple weeks ago. It is a beauty and it got a lot of attention on slopes every weekend.
The board is very light, waist is 20.5 cm this is 3 cm more than Hurricane.
The camber is smaller and flex is softer. I put TD2 on it with 3 degree disks; I did not have 0 degree what I am usually using at front.
Riding condition- hard pack with as usually Squaw’s questionable grooming.
Some areas like the Siberia ridge scrapped and windblown to pure ice.
I did only groomed runs this weekend. I have been ridding Viruses for while so I expected just jump on it and carve.
Well it was a mistake.
Second run the board punished me badly, so I backed up and tried it more carefully. The board rides definitively different from Hurricane.
So I have some adjustment to do. I would say it is due to different side cut geometry and width of the board.
I am ridding 23.5 cm wide boards as all mountain board, but for carving 17.5cm is the widest I was ridding for years.
Frank is now making narrow version of UFC but only in 183cm so far.
How does it ride?
If the speed is your name, this is your board. Harder you ride it better it behaves, but this seems to be true for all Viruses.
The board really likes to be put on the edge.
It seems to me, more you tilt it better it rides.
The board is very stable, not vibration of any kind, I rode it purposely on ice ridge of Siberia and it just goes.
I was able to cover entire width of the slopes with a single turn and board was still stable.
What does it don’t like. Going slowly it is difficult to turn.
I had really problems in rope mazes a front of lifts and in human moving obstacles congested areas.
It does not like skid turns.
Keep it on edge.
Skid cheating will punish you.
Day 3, Resort – Kwood.
I changed front disk from 3 to 0 degree.
Conditions- wet heavy almost spring snow with some icy scrapped base.
Grooming was terrible except of Conestoga run.
It looks like Tahoe’s resorts have a competition, which can make worst job.
After some binding tweaking I dialed set up and start to ride groomers.
I also rode board in my favorite way just very fast short turns down by fall line.
The board is very fast for its width and it has some pop, not that dead feeling I experienced on some metal boards.
I also did big turns.
Again I can easily cover entire width of Sentinel bowl.
After 1.5 hour of was stop at lift line by speed police.
I thought this was Austrian specialty.
Now we have them here also.
So high school dropout half of my age in black ski patrol uniform was giving me lecture. So knowing that ******* will check these runs again I moved off piste.
I was a little bit worry, how the board will ride in these conditions.
I must say it was probably the biggest surprise.
I rode the board over untracked field of heavy wet snow, over the steeps with moguls. The board damps everything.
Moguls, pile of snow ice.
Who needs a plate?
I could not believe how easy it was to ride in these conditions.
This brings me to another point.
Frank makes freeride-boardercross board with the same top sheet. I do not know if the construction is the same also.
I just thinking about it as all terrain/powder board.
I do have powder gun La Glisse, but I found it too big for Nor Cal resorts and amount of snow what we usually get over night.
It is not too much usually. It just nicely covers moguls for one or two runs and then slopes change again in bumpy mess.
Days 4 & 5.
Resorts Squaw and Kwood.
Conditions Ice, Ice and more Ice. Both resorts closed some slopes for harsh conditions this fact indicates that it was really icy.
After a couple runs on groomers I decided to take board on hard slopes.
Virus boards are known be great on ice, but I did not expect how UFC handles the ice.
I never had so much fun on ice and not just on icy groomers.
Very soon I took the board off piste.
This board goes thru everything.
I found myself deliberately looking for iciest slopes.
I do not know if it is just UFC or Frank’s EVO 3 board construction, all my boards are “pre EVO”, but I never had the board handling ice so easily.
Two days on ice and so much fun and I am ridding with fracture in my foot.
Kwood. Softer conditions than previous weekend and probably the best grooming this season.
After two runs I had to change the board due to binding malfunction.
So I went back to Hurricane
Day 6 Kwood.
Finally we got some fresh snow over night.
There was up to knees in some spots.
163 cm length and 20.5 waist are not exactly parameters for powder gun.
I had also binding centered, which did not help.
If you have a lot of room and you can go fast the board goes OK thru untracked powder but if you have to go slowly with small turns it sunk significantly and I had to work much harder.
During the day slopes changed to one big mogul field with pile of new snow, bumps and icy bottom. In these conditions UFC excelled again.
The board goes thru everything, it so smooth you can just concentrate on your ridding and don’t be worry what is under your feet.
Again I have to think about UFR board for deep snow.
hard pack with a pretty decent grooming.
I laid some EC turns on Sibiria face before people destroyed grooming.
Again board required precise ridding after I moved all around resort, moguls, steeps, ice.
conditions the same a previous day with worse grooming.
After 2 hours mostly playing with exiting half of the turns I switched to Black Death.
First run I had to deal with waist change from 20 to 15 cm, but second run I was back in shape.
I verified my suspicion that I prefer more classical side cut of carving and extreme series of Virus boards.
It just feels more natural to my style of ridding.
Especially second half of the turn I feel definitive difference.
This is how I left my review in the end of January.
Since that time the UFC was my primary board for season.
I was able to ride it in possibly all conditions.
I am very happy that I chose the shortest version.
It is long enough to carve slopes at resorts I am ridding and very manageable off piste. You can turn it on the dime between moguls and trees.
I can just image how fast longer versions go and how much room you need to get full enjoyment out of the longer boards.
In the end about top sheet.
Combination metal and carbon inserts is very elegant, but I must say also sensitive to behavior of idiots on the slopes.
It attracts them like **** flies.
The board is scratched all over after the winter.
I will try to polished scratches off and spray the board with a clear coat.
I think John nailed it with his name “dual purpose board”.
I noticed interesting fact.
When you carve the board really wants to be ridden fast and aggressively and it does not tolerate rider’s mistakes.
In the off piste situations you can ride it incredibly slowly and it does exactly what you want.
I can say with this board you will have covered all possible conditions what you can encounter.
How many times I went to hills beating myself in the head, why I did not take another board.
UFC will take care about it. Last week I was able to go thru various conditions during one run, start with couple EC turns, hit field of windblown fresh snow, trees with soft moguls and icy moguls in the end and board just go thru everything.
I definitely want 156cm UFR.
In the end I must say that more traditional elliptical symmetrical side cut without taper feels much more natural to my ridding.
What they say about an old dog and new Experienced and aggressive riders will benefit at most.