Maybe change the name of that one board, the unicorn chaser Makes me think of hippies.
Don't think stale patchouli, the Unicorn Chaser is strictly legit:
Well that's not my tattoo, but seriously, I've got like 40+ days riding a prototype Unicorn Chaser this season, had soooo much fun on it. Although designed to specifically shine in the powder, it's proven to be a great performing board for all-around, variable conditions here in Utah. (Disclosure: I'll try to keep my enthusiasm in check here, as I am tangentially involved with the Chimera effort.)
Well, I guess I lied in my last post about withholding my enthusiasm. Yesterday I had the opportunity to ride, compare, and contrast two new prototype splits from the Chimera stable. They represent two distinctly different approaches to the task of riding powder. I found the two boards to behave so differently, yet effectively in their own way, that I thought I'd share. Here's a photo:
On the left is a 161cm Unicorn Chaser. It has traditional camber, with a mild early-rise rocker nose, aggressive taper from front to back (about 30 mm), inserts that are set back a couple inches from center (so your stance is shifted back to the tail), and a semi-swallow tail.
The purple bottom board on the right is more experimental, hot off the press: a true twin, flat underfoot (no camber), aggressive early-rise rocker front and back, blunted-off nose and tail, and centered stance from front to back. The effective edge is REALLY short, with hardly any sidecut. It's about 160cm long. The working title for this beast is "The Chubby Chaser." It looks like a cigar.
It was very instructive to ride one board, then switch out halfway down, and ride the other one. We had about a foot deep of settled powder yesterday, prime conditions for testing out the pow-worthiness of the two boards. Since I've been riding a 154 Unicorn Chaser a bunch, the 161 Unichaser was expectedly familiar feeling, faster and perhaps a bit less poppy. It's fairly stiff between the binders and through the tail, with the nose feeling soft. It rode pretty straightforward, for someone like me used to traditional camber, traditional sidecut, tapered boards (like the Prior Khyber, which I've ridden and like a lot). If you don't care about going backwards much, and want to carve your turns in the deep fluff, this board does the trick, well.
Now, strapping into the purple Chubby Chaser and pointing it down the hill was a whole nother ballgame. I felt like a newborn calf trying to find its legs. I have not ridden severely rockered or reverse cambered boards before, and I really had to think about how to ride this guy. Long, smooth carving turns, which feel instinctive on a board like the Uni Chaser, were illusive to me. There's hardly any sidecut to carve on. I found myself skidding/pivoting my turns much more. The thing still floated great though, no nosedive, it's really wide between your feet, and it landed off some small drops just fine. On the Unichaser, it feels like the nose is up and the tail is down, and the float happens because of that. On the Chubby Chaser, it felt like the float was happening right between your feet, and the tail feels up out of the snow more, not down in it. I didn't feel comfortable trying to link some turns switch in the terrain we were in (kinda steep with trees and rocks), but I really would like to ride this deck switch on some more obstacle-free terrain. One thing I miss about riding an aggro-tapered, set-back-stance board, is that I typically don't consider 180s or going switch in deep snow; a board like the Chubby Chaser would really be fun for that.
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am Posts: 560 Location: Harrisburg, OR
The chubby chaser looks like a beast. w/o specs it hard to comment, but it looks a little burly for my taste. For a powder board design, I like something like the K2 gyrator, but maybe the chaser is similar (can't really tell from the photo other than it has a larger nose). The overall boad line looks impresive though and I can't wait to hear more feedback from people who ridden the protos....
_________________ "There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt