I've got a bunch of days on the board now so probably time for a review. The biggest surprise to me so far is how versatile the board is, I didn't really expect it to become my daily driver but it's pretty much the only board I use anymore. The last month in the Wasatch has been all over the place as far as conditions go; I've had some huge powder days and a bunch of windjack and icy stuff with a few corn shots in there as well. I haven't found anything so far that it doesn't handle well, very happy with it.
Another pleasant suprise is how nimble it rides, I expected more effort getting it edge to edge. Sean put a bit more setback on mine based on our conversations and with the blunt tail it really swings around fast even in firm conditions. The 12m sidecut is probably the sweet spot for me, it doesn't feel twitchy at all but still pretty turnable. Part of it might be the extra width but it's super stable on icy runouts when I want to stand flat on the base and not work my edges.
In powder it gets up to speed and planes very quickly. I can keep my weight spread pretty evenly instead of shifting it to the back leg so powder turns feel a lot more like a carve which I like. My buddies have mentioned that crossing my track isn't as jarring now that the trench is noticeably shallower. I would attribute that to the lack of a rockered tail which always made me feel like I was doing a wheelie on steep shots.
I've also decided that this board may be the ultimate trailbreaking device in the universe. I hate to judge a board by how it hikes but since I spend all day hiking, it makes a big difference in the overall experience. Sean made it extra stiff at my request and with the wide waist it floats pretty well even on the deep days. The guys behind me aren't hiking through crescent-shaped bumps either. The ease in trailbreaking has compensated for the extra weight over my other boards, it's pretty comfortable for long days. The fairly straight edge makes it nice for sidehilling and the camber profile sticks well on steep skintracks.
My only real beef so far isn't even with the board, it's the Karakoram tail/tip clips. I had the option to go with this or the Voile hardware but I like the Karakoram board clips better than the chinese hooks. However, this is my first time using the tip/tail clips and my experience has been that they're complete crap. I've ordered some Voile clips but then have to go through the hassle of swapping them out. On any type of firm snow they chatter out really quickly and it doesn't seem to hurt the ride but it harshes my mellow a bit.
I haven't smacked anything major yet but have clanked off a couple stumps at full speed and the base seems pretty bomber so far, at least as burly as my Never Summer and definetely tougher than my Prior. The beefy construction and weight also help it to track a line through crud which I've loved, very confident ride.
For next year, I'm looking to find an all-carbon super light setup for big approaches and huge days but I still see myself using this board for most conditions.
So overall, I'm super happy with how everything turned out. I ended up with a board that fits my intended use perfectly and does the other stuff a lot better than I had expected. I'm just so stoked that we have small builders like Sean so that everyone can end up with the perfect board for them. Ten years ago I was chooseing betwen the orange Voile Freeride and splitting my own. Now I have unlimted options, love it.