Scoped out the following boards and found more interesting things than I though would come out of a shop visit..
Ventures. awesome, but seem heavy. excellent reputation however
Arbor. very nice looking board. Cool v-rocker like shape, construction looks very good, reasonably light, magnetraction-like features, reasonable cost. Between the shape, edge feature and apparently solid construction this was a surprisingly attractive board
Jones Solution. I like the cam/rock, definite camber between feet and noticeably more rocker up top, directional binding stances (plus for me). I noticed the split edge is serated (looks like magnetraction between the board halves). The shop guy noted that's to improve rigidity when flexed. Inneresting. Decent price and I like the specs on the 163W (fit well with my boot size, etc).
Chimera.. argh where are they? I want to check one out but even Milo which is supposed to carry them hasn't been able to get them in stock. Anyone have feedback on their turnaround time after ordering? I'm thinking a unicorn might be a worthy investment for the wasatch but am a little weary of waiting months for a board.
Burtons. Look like pretty solid boards, if there weren't quality offerings from local outfits I'd probably just get a Burton.. pretty sure their quality is as good as any other $700 board and their s-rock is like the unicorn chaser.
Unfortunately I haven't ridden any of the splits, though I'm stoked on the flying V shape as a flotation device. Stability concerns have me leaning towards the Jones Solution, which seems to have pretty tight construction - though noticeably less flush than the Arbor/Burton/Venture. This may mean nothing but it is somewhat concerning. How can handmade boards like Venture be so tight with their tolerances yet Jones come out with noticeable imperfections? And do these imperfections translate into reduced durability or are they simply cosmetic? It seems like ppl are happy with the Jones boards but it's a little unnerving. I really wanna find a way to get two boards
Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:38 pm
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:08 pm Posts: 237 Location: 109-blocks-of-watch-yo-f'n-back, CA
OP, I'm 5'-5" 140# and I've always ridden boards that some would say are too long for me - my mainstay for years was an old K2 that was at least 162, and my resort freestyle boards were typically 155-159. This was in the dry-snow Wasatch primarily.
Of recent, with the developments in rocker/camber, I've found I can go shorter and still float while maintaining high-speed stability. Added bonus is better maneuverability in tight trees and chutes without sacrificing edge hold.
My dream board was a 161 Lib Tech Dark Series, monk split w/ "Killer Bite (TM)" inside edges and a Karakoram binder kit. It rocks, but love it as I do, I found the Chimera 157 Scepter to be even better. Even though it has a sparks system on it, I prefer it to my Karakoram/Lib Tech setup (and I love the Karakoram). My problem is that I didn't have toe plate or riser bar inserts put into the Lib, so I can't change out the hardware easily.
So, count me as another vote for the Chimera, probably in 1 157-159 max for heavier NW snow. You don't need longer at your size when you're not in the driest deepest fluffy-fluff, and it will be more versatile in more conditions.