I think 164 would be right; I'm waiting for some reviews before buying a 164 (5'10", 160lb). I ride a 155 or 160 freeride board but the swallowtail probably needs more length. Please post your impressions if you buy it.
As the thread above says, it should be light and handle well. People are concerned about skinning and top board damage, but it looks like a great deal and potentially a better design than the Voile interface.
I am going on the record saying that the design falls far short of the Voile design. How many parts do you have with the Voile system that you can lose in the snow? Do you need tools to use the interface? Nope. The Voile design is elegant in it's simplicity. The fixed stance sucks with the Poacher too. I'll go for simple bomber construction any day over tech.
I think Atomic is onto something here, but they need a few revisions before it's a truly worthy system.
I may get some first hand use with the Poacher this weekend. So I'll write up more about it if I do.
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:55 am Posts: 1022 Location: Wasatch
i'm not just saying this because i work for voile but i would not recommend the board. The atomic interface is a well machined design; but it takes longer to assemble, many more parts, and relies on a tool to make the conversions. While the voile interface isn't perfect and i like seeing new ideas and designs, i think i'll stick with voile.
i rented the poacher this week-end and went for 2 rides with my girlfriend who has skis. A lot of snow this winter in switzerland, great conditions! snow was light on top and quite heavy in the bottom. It was 2 easy to medium rides (900 m of uneven). Second ride we went down on the ski-slope. My opinion: I have never tried other splitboards so it is impossible for me to compare with other systems, but I must say that I was really pleased with the atomic system! to go up it was good, with only difficulties when i was going sideways (i dont know the word in english, but u see what I mean, when the slope was not "in front" of me but on the side). Otherwise i could really keep the pace with my girlfriend (who is in much better shape than I am And to go down (here I can compare to other boards) I found it great! even on the ski-slope i thought it was behaving very well. And the tail shape makes a big difference in the powder, you just press a little on the rear and you turn really quickly. I like the bindings, it s simple but good enough. The only negative point was the change of bindings on top, first time it was on top of the mountain, with a lot of wind and cold weather and i took me over 10 minutes to change the bindings (and about 3 minutes at home...). But i m gonna get better every time! the problem is that with ice it s not so easy to turn the bindings.
I was so pleased after this week-end that i bought the board,700 euros (everything together). I am wondering how resistant the board will be... i ll tell you at the end of the season!
The term you are looking for is sidehilling, and it sucks on prior too. Unless the snow is soft enough for you to get a portion of skins in contact sidehilling is going to be rough. Some of the guys on the site say sparks binding help (not an option for you). Since the atomic system accomplishes the same "low to the board" aspect as sparks, I think you're sill going to be in decent shape for it. Remember even telemarkers can have problems with steep, packed, sidehills. One thing that might help is a stiffer boot, like a Salomon Malimute or Burton Driver X. Hope this helps and I look forward to your future reviews. By the way on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a noodle and 10 being a plank of wood, how stiff would you say the poacher is?
_________________ It is diffucult to assess ones own fuckedupness Jones Solution 164, Fuse baseplates w/BM Bisquits, Salomon Malamutes