Ride Slackcountry UL – My Next Powder Board?

Another board that has been mentioned a lot in the discussion of a suitable powder board is the Ride Slackcountry. For those who don’t know, “slackcountry” is a term used to describe the backcountry areas near to, and accessible by, a ski resort. So those areas aren’t really backcountry. But that’s good, because in-bounds off-piste and the slackcountry is mostly the target of my powder shredding; so if nothing else, this board is aptly named.

But there is something else – the slackcountry comes highly recommended, which is why I’m considering it. I like personal recommendations and I like the vibe of this board. So let’s take a look at the powder-credentials I’ve been considering:

  • Directional shape
  • 0.75″ setback on the default stance
  • 157cm length option – good for me
  • Rocker design – good for float

Whilst the slackcountry has a directional shape, I think the nose and tail widths are equal at 29.8cm. That’s not a show-stopper, but I would prefer a wider nose than tail. I think Ride are aiming for something that’s close to being twin, but still kills it in the pow.

Here’s a guy from Ride talking about the Highrise Rocker design, using the Slackcountry as an example. I always like videos like this. With just a little bit of effort, the manufacturers can show and tell a lot about their products – it really enhances the typical info you get on their site. Check it out:

HighRize Rocker Technology from Ride Snowboards on Vimeo.

Nose and tail to one side, it’s still directional, it has a default setback and the lift at the nose from the rocker design is quite pronounced. All-in-all, it should be floaty in pow for me. And who could argue with a recommended use of: “faceshots”? It’s on the short-list.

The last board I’m going to look at is the K2 Gyrator. I did have the Malolo on the list of powder boards that I’m considering, but, I just don’t fancy buying that. I don’t have anything against Burton, but when it comes to boards, I’m never drawn to their range. That said, I should probably give some more thought to their channel binding system… Why? Because it kinda annoys me, even though I don’t have a good reason to say that. But who knows, that easy adjustment could be helpful for changing setbacks on powder days, which is what this board is all about for me…

So here’s a recap of the list:

If you’ve got a view on the Slackcountry, Burton’s Channel System bindings, or any of these boards – drop a comment!

6 Comments

  • Reply October 22, 2010

    Reneator

    Hey Gavin,
    A friend of mine, owns a X8 ( or T6) (dont know exactly) from 2-3 years ago. It got one of the first channels. His binding is not any est, its just called Est :D.
    He tells me, that its a real difference to usual 3point (4×4) bindings – If you take the padding away, you have a sick (direct feeling in powder, but not to be used in the park :D) feeling, completly different.

    What do you think of those new powder Camber-rockers ?? (S-rocker etc.)

    Cheers Reneator

  • Reply October 22, 2010

    Boot Dryer

    nice write up. might have to give one of these bad boys a try.

  • Reply October 22, 2010

    Gavin

    Yeah, I’m definitely interested to hear more people’s comments on the Channel Binding system. So your friend thinks they’re not that great in the park?

    About the new camber/rocker designs – I’m not sure, yet. All I’ve learned is what you can read from the board manufacturers: “combine the best of both worlds… rocker in the middle for float and less edge-catching, camber at the ends for more power and stability…”

    I’d like to try some of those boards. One thing for sure, there’s been some decent uptake of the design idea, so maybe that says there’s something in it. But to be fair, the different board manufacturers are playing around with all kind of base profiles now… camber, totally flat, rocker, rocker at one end only, rocker+camber. That’s a lot!

  • Reply October 23, 2010

    Reneator

    Yeah, that’s a lot^^ It took me about a month to get a bit involved in snowboard tech!
    He meant, its not good in park to ride without padding (your knees will hate you!)
    So the big advantage of Channel is the big set-up range, and the different paddings you can use for everything! (There are some allrounders (B3 Gel dampening) but if u want to have one for everything you have to often set it up on piste (and carrying all those pads with you) :D)

    http://global.burton.com/mens-snowboard-binding-accessories/mens-binding-accessories,default,sc.html

    Greetings Reneator

  • Reply October 23, 2010

    Reneator

    And i want to hear something new about your physiotherapy progress!!!

  • Reply October 24, 2010

    Gavin

    Hey Ren, yeah I’m gonna take a look at the Channel system, maybe write something about it too, that way people who’ve ridden them can add their comments to the discussion.

    I took a quick look at those pad-accessories. Interesting stuff, hadn’t seen those before 🙂

    Physio? Well, today I stood on my right leg (that’s the one I broke), using 1 finger on the bench for support, then took the hand away and balanced using the broken leg only… for the count of 10.

    I’m really pleased. Every couple of days something noticeably gets better. Sometimes it’s just something small, but it’s there. It feels good. Thanks for asking 😉

    Gavin

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