Forums Splitboards Chimera Mace 172W (custom) Review
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  • #578430
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Hi folks, herewith a review of the Chimera Mace 172W (custom). Please note that the 172W is not currently listed at Chimera’s website, but they do make it. It is a semi wide version of the 172 Mace. Also note, mine is not built as per the normal spec; the Mace normally features a traditional camber, with very slight early rise tip and tail. The folks at Chimera were kind enough to build mine with a rocker-flat-rocker profile (this may, or may not be available, and custom alterations will generally incur an additional cost).

    My specs: 6’1″ 170-175 lbs.
    Stance used: 22″ width, ~25 degrees F, ~5 degrees R

    First the quality of the board: This is one of the higher quality splitborad builds I have seen, not quite at the level of Venture (but to be sure, I have seen no other splitboard which is) but it is clear that this is a board featuring a very high quality lay up, and precision build. The base has proven to be fast, and very durable, and overall quality of the board is excellent, as I woudl expect for a premium, hand built in UT, board.
    Features: The “Killerbite” short inner edge works as advertised, I noted no problem skinning on icy traverses in comparison to a board with a full inner edge, in fact, I could tell no difference in grip whatsoever, and the low swing weight of the board is quite noticeable with every kick turn.
    The board features substantial carbon reinforcements, both longitudinally, and torsionally at the tip and tail, I suspect the additional torsional supports may have something to do with the ride qualities noted below.
    The light colored topsheet really does shed snow much more effectively than the black topsheet on my Venture, again, a small feature, but in the field this makes for a nice benefit.

    The ride:

    OK, right off the bat, this is a big mountain charger for sure. At 172 cm in length, with relatively long sidecut radius, and minimal (4 mm) taper, this board does need to get up to speed a bit before it becomes manuverable. For comparison, I have mostly been riding a 166 cm Venture Storm for the last two and half seasons (with some blower days on the furberg). Once up to a bit of speed (to be sure, one does not need to be maching) the board becomes very responsive, precise, and even a bit surfy and fun. In open, or semi-open terrain I found it easy to make either very precise arcs, or to smear turns at will, and found myself throwing laybacks on banks at speed in pow, and being able to get right back on top of the board for the next turn with no surprises. This board, in comparison with the shorter, and more tapered, Storm, does prefer to hold a tight line, and finish turns very strongly-this quality would be a big asset in big mountain steeps at speed, but for my everyday riding, I sometimes find myself wishing for a little looser tail, especially in tighter terrain and in more difficult (think wind affected pow) snow conditions. I am not critisizing the board in any way, just acknowledging that this board is much more on the stable, precise, and hard charging side of the envelope than the forgiving, surfy, and playful side (and Chimera makes more playful surfy boards, see the Uni Chaser and Sceptre models). One thing I do find remarkable, is that this board is pretty unflappable: get into trouble, and as long as you have the legs, this board will get you out of it. A couple of times I have found myself in the backseat, and the stiff and substantial tail would pop me right back forward again, and any time I got into trouble and pointed it out, the board would hold the line precisely, and get me out of there in a jiffy. I have not found the speed limit, and anyone looking for precise, traditional, big mountain charger, is probably going to love the Mace, and have a board which is lighter than one would expect given the stability, and line holding qualities on tap.

    #666764
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Sounds nice and sturdy, Barrows. Curious to know specs. Also curious to hear about your design process reconciling taper, tail stiffness and tail rocker to provide the tail stability you reference.

    @sun_rocket

    #666765
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Taylor: This board is the stock Chimera spec, except that it is rocker-flat-rocker, and it does not have inserts for the heel lifter or touring bracket, so I could direct mount my stuff and save the weight, the stock versions are cambered.

    I cannot remember the spec exactly, but it is something like a 10.6 meter radius sidecut, and a 26.4 mm waist, or close. It has 4 mm of taper. If you request them I am sure Alister can provide the specs, even though it is not shown on the Chimera site (someday it will get updated, hahaha) it is a standard build for them as the Mace 172W.

    For me, I would really like to try this board with more taper, to loosen up the tail a little more. I bet I would like it even more with the taper increased to 10 to 12 mm or so.

    #666766
    permnation
    303 Posts

    Barrows, Thanks for the review. The Chimera sounds interesting, and I would like to demo one. Of the 3 boards you list in your signature, which one rides the best for all conditions? Or if forced to choose just one, which would it be?

    #666767
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    @permnation wrote:

    Barrows, Thanks for the review. The Chimera sounds interesting, and I would like to demo one. Of the 3 boards you list in your signature, which one rides the best for all conditions? Or if forced to choose just one, which would it be?

    Impossible choice! There are plenty of reasons why one may need a quiver. If forced to choose one, it would likely be the Storm 166, but the reason would be because it is a little smaller, with a little more taper and rocker, and as such it is more suited to every day riding for me, which means those times when avy danger, or other considerations (weather), keep one off of the bigger lines. But, when the bigger lines are on the program, then I’d rather be on the Mace…

    I really want to try a furberg 167 factory split, and a Chimera “Dum Dum” 168. The Dum Dum is a furberg like design from Chimera, which I am not sure they are ready to start selling yet (still under development).
    Ultimately, I think we will start seeing more boards which look closer to the furberg: long radius sidecuts, rocker, medium taper, and tapered tips and tails with very gentle entry points. I suspect (but I have not ridden a board which proves this yet) that a board with the right balance of these features could be a “quiver of one” for me, in the right length (165-170) and flex, but my needs are not going to be the same as others’… I, for example, do not need to to be able to land airs switch, and as such I prefer true directional boards.

    #666768
    provotrout
    130 Posts

    I think the Dum Dum is a specialty offering this year and will be available next year, though I’m not sure in what capacity. Alister just noted that it is a shape he’s satisfied with in terms of being proven. Planning to demo one this month.

    Barrows – you’re thinking of riding the 168, any recommendation on sizing the Dum Dum for me? a little shorter and about 20lbs heavier here.

    And thanks for the review, good stuff. :thumbsup:

    #666769
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    @provotrout wrote:

    I think the Dum Dum is a specialty offering this year and will be available next year, though I’m not sure in what capacity. Alister just noted that it is a shape he’s satisfied with in terms of being proven. Planning to demo one this month.

    Barrows – you’re thinking of riding the 168, any recommendation on sizing the Dum Dum for me? a little shorter and about 20lbs heavier here.

    And thanks for the review, good stuff. :thumbsup:

    Provo: If I haven’t said so previously, fun day ridin’ with ya in UT.
    I generally consider board length in terms of height, and flex in terms of weight (all other things remaining equal). The taller rider needs a longer board for stability, because the taller rider has a higher center of gravity: think of the rider/board as a triangle, with the nose and tail of the board as the base and the center of gravity (on most humans about two inches below the navel and two inches in) the tip of the triangle. The higher up the center of gravity gets, the farther apart the tip and tail need to be for the same level of stability.
    Flex, should be matched to weight. Of course all of these parameters are also subject to change for preference, riding style, terrain, and skill level: in the above I am assuming these factors remain constant.
    I try to ride the shortest board I can, which will still give enough stability to ride fast at times, and save my bacon if I hit unpredicted obstacles at speed (like buried debris, an unseen windcrust, etc). For me, that usually means my lower limit is 165 cm for most boards.
    Zak (Brown) was riding the Dum Dum 160 the day I rode with him and Alister, and he he seems to be about your height (but lighter). I have not flexed them recently, so I do not know if it will be stiff enough for you, but if your Uni Chaser is working for you, I suspect the 160 Dum Dum would be right, maybe the 168 if you want it for bigger lines: if you ride the Uni Chaser for the tighter stuff, and save the Dum Dum for the bigger more open terrain, then maybe in combination with the Uni Chaser the 168 Dum Dum would make for a cool quiver. These low sidecut boards will ride very, very differently than your Uni Chaser: it will take more rider input to make them turn quickly, but they will have an advantage in that they will not be hooky at all in the nose or tail, and will allow for high degrees of control in sliding turns, which is much harder to do with deep sidecut boards.

    #666770
    provotrout
    130 Posts

    For sure, solid day of riding! Thanks for the input, agreed that 168 is the right move considering the U-C is the go-to mid elevation/standard tourer. After moving away from twin-ish shapes this year with an s-rocker and the U-C hollow tail I keep thinking about what other specialized shapes can round out the quiver. Lots of interesting shapes and ideas coming from the split makers right now.

    I’ll let the thread get back to talking about the Mace, take care-

    #666771
    powslash
    382 Posts

    Replace Chimera Mace 172 with Venture Odin 173 and the review would be almost identical. I found myself wishing for a looser tail too. Calm breathing exercises and strong legs. Get your mind blown. The Storm 170 is just right.

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