Forums Splitboards Chimera Swallowtail (Prototype) review
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  • #578734
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    First and foremost a HUGE thanks to Alister for allowing me to use this board for the entire season. :bow: :headbang: 😀
    Al, anytime you want it back say the word, its just hanging out on the wall for the summer…

    It might be easier to do a question and answer but here’s a general write-up. In short I’d say this is the funnest “overall” board I’ve ridden in the backcountry. Not necessarily the best at any one thing, but so fun in so many ways.

    Photos at bottom of post

    176cm
    30cm nose
    26 waist
    28.5 tail
    Rocker, no discernible camber
    Some setback and some taper
    I’d consider this board to be on the soft end of the spectrum

    I got out over thirty days on this board. Both Hardboots/Voile plates and Softboots/11-12 Spark Blazes…

    Rode lots and lots of trees
    Steep complex tree lines
    Sketchy exits
    Long approaches
    One skimo race
    Several rock hard resort laps
    Crust and windboard
    Open bowls
    Long natural halfpipes (so F’n fun!)

    If one were to take hardpack groomers at one end of the spectrum and deep pow as the other, I’d say this board absolutely ruled at everything in between.
    Most aren’t looking for a swallowtail as their go to resort board so no biggie there. On the other hand the nose height left me straight-lining the few deep days I got out. I think that’s an easy fix and the overall versatility of this board made up for it.

    Pros:
    Rad looks
    Light under foot Up/Down
    Very maneuverable, so fun in trees!
    Tail design pivots well, where other ST don’t (weird being able to pivot my way thru steep complex trees)
    Super tight seam

    Cons:
    Needs a (much) taller nose IMHO
    Could be a bit stiffer
    Maybe some camber
    Rad tail design can snag on brush, etc. during single track exits
    Karakoram nose hook always opening

    Thanks again Al, very grateful :guinness:

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #668623
    Taylor
    794 Posts

    Cool. I like the idea of a slarvy ST. What do you mean by this?.. “The nose height left me straight-lining the few deep days I got out.” What’s the SCR?

    @sun_rocket

    #668624
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @taylor wrote:

    Cool. I like the idea of a slarvy ST. What do you mean by this?.. “The nose height left me straight-lining the few deep days I got out.” What’s the SCR?

    Hey Taylor – As for the slarviness; the tail is sort of unique in that its almost as if a a twin tip just had a swally cut made to it, so you have this rounded-out pivot. The big difference is, like a trad swally, the tail section is elongated by comparison to a twin type deck.

    “The nose height left me straight-lining the few deep days I got out.”
    The nose height off the snow is really low by way of comparison to trad swally’s, the point of upturn is also shallow(short). This leads to submarining while ascending deep trail breaking and provides minimal lift during deep descents.

    Rocker helps, but my preference would be raising the nose height by 3-5cm, starting the upturn about 10-15cm ealrier and adding camber.

    In terms of adding camber, I prefer this to rocker because I can (to some extent) control the boards profile in two dimensions through body positioning. Conversely rocker can only flex in one direction.

    As far as the SCR. If I were to make a visual guesstimate I’d say its probably no more than 10m. Al are you out there?

    Here’s some more photos…

    Note dramatic difference in nose height

    Note how boards in background begin upturn much further back

    Again, huge differences in height (L to R Chimera, Voile, Wasatch)

    Full comparison

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #668621
    Chimeral
    41 Posts

    Thought I’d better chime in.

    Snurfer, the sidecut is a little tighter, around 9.2m. The taper is around 18mm…not huge, but enough to try and promote down-sizing a few cms which I feel is key to most splitboard designs (weird to say that about a 176!).

    The feedback here is all good, but we still need to get our heads together sometime soon and talk it through. Just a reminder, the board here is a prototype so there are likely some design mods that will come before it ever sees the light of day.

    This has been a fun board to work on. Thanks for taking it on this season!

    #668622
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @chimeral wrote:

    Thought I’d better chime in.

    Snurfer, the sidecut is a little tighter, around 9.2m. The taper is around 18mm…not huge, but enough to try and promote down-sizing a few cms which I feel is key to most splitboard designs (weird to say that about a 176!).

    The feedback here is all good, but we still need to get our heads together sometime soon and talk it through. Just a reminder, the board here is a prototype so there are likely some design mods that will come before it ever sees the light of day.

    This has been a fun board to work on. Thanks for taking it on this season!

    Thanks for the clarification on specs. For anyone who may take my critiques as negative, please be aware I’m a purist when it comes to ST style boards (e.g. I’m nitpicking heavily).

    Critiques aside, you did an awesome job of downsizing the swally form and retaining the functionality while adding new dimensions in versatility. A few minor tweaks and its a game changer for sure.

    txt or PM anytime, let’s grab a beer and catch up.

    Cheers!
    Doug

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #668625
    Taylor
    794 Posts

    Thanks for the breakdown snurfer. I wouldn’t sweat a little prototyping showing up on these boards. Good for folks to see the vetting required to come up with good production shapes.

    @sun_rocket

    #668626
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    That’s a rad looking board.

    I’m with you about the nose height. Just riding non-ST splits, I’ve been bummed by a couple that just didn’t have enough nose height to comfortably break trail in pow.

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