Oxess 162 Slalom Kipstar September 16th, 2013
This review is for my 'short' board used in New Zealand, a metal Oxess Slalom 162 in medium flex.
I would consider myself to be a competent, but not great rider, I only ride a few days a year, and have suffered from a few injuries which have played havoc with my riding. Got the Oxess for north island NZ conditions, where runs are narrow with no run offs (bounded by rocks and/or cliffs and/or banks) and quite crowded. The 162 was supposed to fit under my SG180 as a 'got to' board in a variety of conditions.
So far…..it rides very very easily. Definitely like a lot of metal boards, it is very easy to shift from carving to feathering and pivoting during a turn back to carving, soaks up a variety of conditions well, and is a little more lively than the larger SG, possibly also riding a little more centered. Has outstanding grip on a variety of snow conditions including famed Turoa powder (ice where you can see cm through into the rocks underneath) although the flex being only medium is probably a tad soft to ride very fast; there is a definite point at which I felt the board was starting to become less playful and a little soft. As a slalom board, very very fun to push hard into every turn, but riding a little more cruising style, it was quite easy to make it turn surprisingly different number of turns from quite tight slalom turns out to smallish GS turns.
One thing to be aware of, Oxess has a LOT of custom boards, so you can play around with various flexes and nose lengths and so on, I got what is actually probably a 164 with an even more stubby nose, so it needs to be ridden more centered than even my other metal board, I strained my back a few times; a couple of times having to avoid idiots bombing runs, and also from the nose catching in cruddy crusty snow, the nose has almost no float, fine in certain conditions, but not good in spring sierra cement with a breaking crust; broke through on the toe side more than once, and was almost pitched over the nose; broke my position at the waist and paid the price. The picture shows my old Nitro Scorpion, with a typical pre 2004 nose on it, the Oxess really does have a tiny, tiny amount of nose, I was asked more than once if I had actually altered the nose of the board and cut it down (mostly by skiers and a few softbooters). Even compared to a Donek or SG, it is small.
Board is really well made and seems to ride perfectly using the only 4X4 pattern on it (has also the hangl plate pattern on the outside). The graphics are actually far sexier than just a plain white, it has a subliminal 3D pattern on the deck which adds to the coolness. Because after all, why ride a board badly, when you can sit in the café and look really really cool.