Forums Splitboards Short board-Trout Trap, Hovercraft, Fissile, Unicorn Chaser?
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  • #580176
    besty_split
    26 Posts

    It’s early October so like the rest of you I’m trying to think of what board I might get this year. I could use some help if anyone has tried or has opinions on the boards in the title. I’ve been riding the Prior BC the past few seasons (made the switch to hardboots 2 seasons ago), and I’m lucky to have access to the G3 Black Sheep last year and this year.

    I’m looking for something surfy and fun. My Prior board handles crud and ice, I want something for the bottomless days. It’d be great if they could handle high speeds and huge lines, but i think surfy and fun is the bottom line.

    I’m sort of looking at the Trapper Trout Trap, Jones Hovercraft, Prior Fissile, and the Chimera Unicorn Chaser at the moment. They seem like they fit the bill. Anyone used or have opinions on the brands/boards? Are there other models anyone would suggest too?

    I’m waiting to check out Spring Break boards too.

    Thanks

    #677660
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    Hola besty_split,

    I have a number of board “styles” but pintails have been long time favorites. I currently own a 160 cm Unicorn Chaser (split) and a 160 cm Hoovercraft (solid) and have owned multiple Prior Khybers (all solids). All have been fantastic boards for the type of riding I tend to do in the Tahoe area (i.e. tree riding). They float really well, have that “surfy” feel, and can turn on a dime in the trees (which is my reason for buying/riding pintails). I also have a 168 cm Furberg (solid) and 168 cm Venture Euphoria (split) to inject some fun “variety” into the mix.

    That said, all of my pintails have done a great job in general conditions—but “straight lining” at high speed is not their forte. I have a few 166 cm Venture Storms (solid and split) that tend to be my current “everyday” boards but the Chimera gets plenty of use—including some resort days. I decided to get a Chimera Unicorn Chaser because I wanted to support a small “made in the USA” shop and I really liked a number of the board’s design features (i.e. light colored PTEX top sheet to reduce snow/ice accumulation on the top sheet, shorter “killer bite” inside edges to reduce weight, neon colored base, etc.). Overall, the Chimera has been outstanding—and working with Allister was great. Would I be happy with any of the boards that you listed? Definitely, yes. I haven’t see a Trapper Trout Trip in the real world but it looks like a sweet board. My decision to go with Chimera was based on the reasons stated above.

    Just an fyi, I have a Dynafit/Phantom/ hardboot (TLT5) setup on my 3 splitboards (Unicorn Chaser, Venture Storm, and Venture Euphoria). At least to me (after the boots have been properly modified), hard boots don’t distract from that “surfy”. Good stuff.

    #677661
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    On a slightly related note, how are you liking your G3 as an “everyday” board. When my 2011/2012 Venture Storm splitboard is eventually, I will be looking for a “lightish” board for my longer tours–and the G3 Blacksheep looks like a fine candidate.

    #677662
    maniacdave
    564 Posts

    Burton is coming out with a split Fish this year as well, if there wasn’t enough choice in the category they helped pioneer. I’ve got a 162 DIY which is an absolute hoot. It’s also a wet noodle and if I were looking for a board that can truck a fish stick wouldn’t be it.

    That was Pontus

    #677663
    besty_split
    26 Posts

    Thanks JimmyC for your input. Not that you made narrowing it down any easier 😉 Thanks for the suggestion maniacdave.

    I’m kind of leaning towards the Unicorn Chaser or the Trout Trap. I have a Prior board already, and while it is great it’d be nice to try another brand. I like the small local thing too. Did you size down much for this sort of board?

    As for the G3, I used it only a handful of times and basically only on dump days. It floats and maneuvers really well, and is really playful and fun. I didn’t really ever bring it on anything too crudy, or even many groomers. It was my alternate board to my Prior BC on a Kootenays road trip, so I’d choose high-speed crusher or pow slasher in the morning.

    I do remember thinking that on some steeper kick turns it didn’t hold as well as my cambered Prior, but it wasn’t really ever brutal. I also remember thinking how light it was.

    #677664
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    LOL. I hear you besty_split. There are quite a few really nice boards from quality companies out there now—and the decision is not easy.

    One thing I forgot to mention. I wasn’t enthralled with the hybrid rocker profile on the Khybers–I preferred the cambered versions of that board. The hybrid rocker profile allowed for a VERY fast turning board, but a little too “squirrelly” for my taste. That said, I would be willing to go with the Prior’s other camber/rocker profiles (with a bit more camber). I ended up buying a Venture Storm as a replacement. The Venture Storm has been fantastic as a general conditions board but I ended up missing a pintail in the tight trees/deep snow and added the Chimera to the quiver.

    I went with the 160 cm version of the Unicorn Chaser—because that is the longest version of that board. I would have gone with a 164 cm if they made it—but the 160 cm has served me quite well (I am about currently 170 lbs before gearing up but I bought that board when I was 190 lbs). Float on the Chimera has been great with the large nose and “hollowtail” design. I think the squared off rear end/magnetraction on the Hoovercraft does a slightly better job with edge hold on hard pack (which is why I have it as a resort board) with just as much float as the Chimera—but these weren’t the key features I was looking for in a BC board.

    Thanks for the info on the G3, it is much appreciated.

    #677665
    besty_split
    26 Posts

    I guess one of the things that looks quite different between the Unicorn Chaser and the Hovercraft (Trout Trap too, but I know you don’t have one), is the camber profile.

    How do you like the “Long Wave” profile of the Chimera vs the more traditional camber with early rise of the Hovercraft? I imagine the Long Wave doesn’t grip as well on the grooms, but I’m more curious about the deep trees and pow slashing. Anything you could put your finger on? (thanks for letting me grill you about these too)

    #677666
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    Hola besty_split,

    The “Long Wave” rocker/camber profile on the UC chaser hasn’t give me any problems on groomers at all. I do notice the difference in the tail end shaping of the UC and the Hoovercraft when driving the rear end through a turn on the groomers—I feel a bit more “locked in” into my hard pack turns with the Hoovercraft—-but the difference is moderate at best. I find the UC does quite well on groomers (at least with my push/pull, short radius turns).

    The UC turns on a dime in deep pow and trees—as well as any technical terrain that I have ridden it on. However, I can generally say the same thing about the Hoovercraft when riding similar inbounds terrain. The UC’s long wave rocker/camber profile floats the nose while the camber under the rear foot provides a fairly “energetic” tail to pivot the board around on. The UC and Hoovercraft feel pretty similar to me despite the differences in camber profile. Maybe the UC is the slightest bit easier to pivot around when in the back seat due to the hollowtail?? Maybe the Hoovercraft feels slightly more composed on hard pack?? In any case, I feel like I ride the two boards with a similar style with similar results (i.e. they both have provided me with some huge grins).

    I can’t say what the Hoovercraft feels like when skinning–I have read a few comments about the toe pivot location being a bit too far forward—but that may tidbit may be totally inaccurate. I can say that I have had zero issues with skinning traction with the UC.

    #677667
    besty_split
    26 Posts

    Awesome, that’s some great info. Thanks again for sharing.

    #677668
    Darrick
    96 Posts

    +1 for the Hovercraft. I have a DIY split plus a solid and for me, I think I would be totally happy riding it full time. Really fun, solid ride. It’s even amazing on groomers!

    #677669
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    I think your thought process is correct. So many innovative board designs out there in the surf industry and finally the snowboard industry is catching on. I had the same idea last year I really wanted to expand on my riding by trying one of these unique boards. I picked up a Uni Chaser the same week we were going through one of the funkiest crust cycles of the year. Rain up high, every kind of breakable crust to wind board you could think of. I figured if I liked the board in these conditions then when I ride it in ideal conditions I’m going to love it. I can’t speak to technical terms, my opinion is every board is going to have it’s pros and cons given the situation. Every board is going to take some adaptation. The better the rider the easier the adaptation. Certain board are going to ride steeps better, skin icy slopes better but those won’t necessarily be the boards I want on a certain day. What I really loved about this board is feeling comfortable to put pressure on the nose whether it was stomping a landing or just cruising pow. I hate having to put so much weight on the tail I would rather be balanced. Plus I would end a deep pow day and guys would look at the board and be like that’s a sick looking board and I would respond yeah it’s a 157…Ha Ha. Shit I havent ridden a board under 160 since I was 17 years old. Anyways here’s my season edit on the board. Lot’s of different conditions on the board from steep lines with funky crusts to deep pow days dropping cliffs and riding tight trees and I don’t know why were talking about groomers but I did have a couple days where exits just happen to include groomers and it rode really well. Take care.
    [youtube:ppmx2ed1]6D6_QHhUjkk[/youtube:ppmx2ed1]

    #677670
    besty_split
    26 Posts

    haha sweet vid. Thanks for the input. I wish someone had these boards locally so I could check them out. I know the quality will be good, but it’d be nice to hold one and just kind of check it out before shelling out to get one shipped all the way to snowy Canada.

    #677671
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    i’ve been on a unicorn chaser off and on from the prototype version to the current production model. My favorite board out there. I’ve lapped a few resort days on it with no issue, I have even ridden it on teton hardpack in no fall zones. the board is super responsive and floats like a champ. It also has ton’s of pop. Kick turns are a breeze on the skinner, but they will be with most boards of that shape. While i’m sure the hovercraft is a great board I would recommend the unicorn chaser. Handmade in the USA and Alister will build to order. Even though I’m good friends with Alister and slightly biased if I didn’t feel the board was worthy I wouldn’t be commenting. Check out fellow member buckchows trip reports to see the board in various conditions as this is literally the only board he can ride 😉 😆

    the flex is also great on the Uni Chaser. The trapper looks sweet as well. I think you’ll be stoked with any of boards you have listed, the chimera will not disappoint. Durability has also been very good.

    #677672
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    +1 on the UC’s durability. The board has been bomber.

    #677673
    Spencer
    128 Posts

    Hey Utah/Shred Dog what is the music in your video? Thanks

    #677674
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    Future Primitive by the Papercuts. :headbang: Take care.

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