Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:25 pm Posts: 112 Location: Madison Range, MT
My first post here - I have been lurking for a couple weeks gleaning nuggets here and there about everyones prefs. I know a lot of vs./comparisons have been discussed. I'm looking to narrow my specific options for a new split.
I have an opportunity to get a new split at 40% retail and have the choices of a Voile FR (166/173 or MG 171 or Prior Khyber 165).
Ultimately if it came down to The Ride performance alone I'd take the Straight-up Prior Backcountry Split (the one with the PNW Indian motif) if it were available in a size other than 158 - which it is not so that why it is ruled out or a NS custom but that ain't happenin' for the prices they want.
I gotta say I'm extremely wary Prior after reading the infamous "Bad Customer Service at Prior" Thread. I like the idea and soulful custom board company but if I had to go through a situation that was 1/2 as bad as some of those who reported it's enough for me to go with what might be slightly less performance in the ride (ie. Voile) and go with a company that will not only stand behind its product but also act when issues need to be dealt with. (I have dealt with Voile CS before and have friends as well - all CS issues handled to the customers satisfaction).
So it comes down to the choices I listed above and I'm not really a quiver rider.
My stats: 160 lbs. 5'10" Big Mountain Riding, Pacific NW and MT. Riding for 20 years. Rarely Ride Lengths under 165. Never have a problem riding something as long as 180+ but rarely choose to do so. Ideal lengths 165-172.
My initial thoughts on these rides:
Khyber: sounds cool although my concern is a bit too much of a specialty ride. I've had a Burton Triumph 169 and rode some Fish's so I'm familiar with riding tapered shapes. The Triumph was ideal and the Fish just seemed to be overkill on the taper. Which has me leaning away from the Khyber on shape alone. My interest lies with giving this company a try as for ride perf. alone they seem to get high marks.
Voile MG 171: perhaps not enough side cut. My riding is mainly in the fall line and surfing all the off-angle features i come across. I most likely will lay a few more turns into a steep shot than other riders. I like tight chutes but typically don't point it and turn the shot into a 3-4 turn event. Anybody have feedback on really turning/backside slash cuts with this board when you need to?
Voile FR (most likely the 166): Obviously after all I have input into this "blog" the FR most likely fits me best for an all around split. I have used their kits and ripped my own boards in the past because I never really trusted voile's shapes (early days). It looks like they have definitely stepped up the the ride perf./shapes. Who here demands a lot of big mountain performance from their split and rides this board? Are you getting what you need? Does it do it all for ya? Fully interested in all Voile related opinions.
Any feedback is much appreciated. Apologies in advance for the lengthy post just really hoping to get the right ride here.
i weigh 165#, have been riding a year, and am in the PNW. i ride a mg 161 and a khyber 165. i can say they are very different boards. the khyber is obviously the choice for deep powder as it is soft, floaty, and turns with ease. it is also a little squirly in firm conditions. the mg 161 is much stiffer (i have last years stiffer model) and has a very low nose that will definately dive in deeper snow. i still ride the mg in powder on variable days and it's still fun. whereas the khyber just eases around when you think about turning the mg likes a deliberate turn, almost a jump turn, but then is solid and stable when you land.
if i had to give up one board i, i, i don't know what i'd do!
the freeride is stiffer this year so maybe the best all-round board?
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:22 am Posts: 255 Location: The Kootenays
I gotta say I'm extremely wary Prior after reading the infamous "Bad Customer Service at Prior" Thread.
as long as your buyin' stock rather than custom you shouldn't have an issue. bought my wife a split swallowtail from prior and it got here quicker than the puck-cant's i bought from voile ( which ended up costing me $45.00 each with the *effin* customs fees...but that's a whole 'nother story ).
some day i'll get around to writing a review on that swallowtail
_________________ skis are for walkin', boards are for ridin'...
I view the both Khyber and the Mountain Gun as specialty boards. I think the FR is more versatile than either the Khyber or the MG and if I was going to have just one board then of the three the FR would be my top choice because it'll handle a bigger variety of terrain.
I own a FR and a Khyber and I find myself using the FR if there is any possibility of encountering anything other than powder. On the flip side, I've heard numerous reports of MG's diving in powder. I haven't had a chance to do big mountain riding on the FR yet, though, so maybe someone else can comment on that. When I first tried a splitboard a few years ago I rented one of the old noodly split decisions (one of the purple ones) and the current Freerides are definitely a step above those.
By the way, my understanding was that the new flex patterns for the FR and MG wouldn't show up in retail stores until next fall.
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 pm Posts: 1866 Location: in between
For a one quiver - Voile FR 66
Try to get or wait for the new boards with the stiffer tail/flex. I think just that change to the FR's would really improve it as an all around board.
I think of the kyber and mtn as boards for specific conditions, one to add to the quiver.
For me, the nose dive on my old 171 mtn seemed to be on days when it was crusty and variable (like this entire season in Tahoe ) when I had to go too damn slow. On corn it was great and in good pow it was fine.
I thought the older FR's were too soft. I kyber rules in pow, esp. in the trees.
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:47 pm Posts: 83 Location: Salt Lake City
When I was looking at Khybers 3 seasons back the threads had a different vibe. The FR was soft, there was no mountain gun and it was harder to get a NS split.
Based on the posts I was reviewing and the responses I got, the Khyber seemed to be my best bet for a quiver of one. That's how I've always treated it. It gets me through the trees, was stiffer than the old FR (not sure about the new), handled steeps and variable conditions great and worked in most powder conditions. In my mind and experience, it still does all of these things well and is still my go to board.
I know have a Voile ST 178 for deep days which have been the only days I wished for something other than my Khyber 165.
Last note, I do think, in hairy, steep, firm, slippery skinning conditions, the shape of the Khyber is probably a bit of a disadvantage. I don't think I get as much edge on snow and therefore as much edge control as a more traditionally shaped board.
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:07 am Posts: 619 Location: Montana
Not sure if your discount is due to having a buddy in the bus. or what. You may look into the Venture or Unity as alternatives as well. I should get my Unity this week(decided to chance it) & will report once I've gotten it out. You may find a deal on either of these 2 just because they are trying to break into the split world & want to get some product out there.
I'm about the same size as you(a little fatter though) and ride shorter boards(165) for splitting for 1 reason....those 30+ deg. days when the snow is sticking to the top of your ski's and you're packing that extra weight.....a longer board is just going to pack that much more snow on top. I ride a 178 if I'm doing a chairlift & love it but not in the bc.
You must be reversing the halves for splitting or maybe you have a slight inward turn in your step. I am just the opposite. My feet tend to "toe out" when walking skinning or running and once in a while I'll clip the tails while skinning.