Forums Splitboards Voile Revelator BC fishscale
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  • #799515
    56 Posts

    I’m in the market for a new split. I have had a prior Kyber 170 and don’t really like it. I noticed the Voile BC has fish scales underneath. I ride in the east and sometimes we have some slow rollers to climb over. Besides the fishy feature, does anyone have any other experience with this board? Does it ride just like the standard revelator? What is the difference besides the fishscale?

    1448 Posts

    @solidbored – I have some initial experience with he Voile fishscales, but not on the Revelator.

    Recently the offer was extended to build a one-off V-tail 170 with scales and I jumped at the idea. Despite being minutes away from Utah’s Wasatch mountains I like riding tree glades and rolling terrain like one might see in the eastern US or Japan, although the snow here is probably more like Japan.

    At any rate in four days on the board, averaging about 10 miles a day here is what I can tell you. BTW I have a stock v-tail 170 for comparison of the downhill glide.

    The scales have their place…
    Glide is by far the biggest benefit.
    Ability to move bindings between tour and ride mode and be on your way in about 1 minute.
    Powder split-skiing between lines is actually pretty fun
    Traversing long approaches is a breeze, but quads get a stout workout in order to engage the scales.
    Riding has not been terribly compromised – comparing to 16/17 V-tail same size, w/ no scales

    Climbing is tricky
    Lots of back and forth perpendicular to the fall-line, but its worth it not having to skin and de-skin.

    I have had zero success using climbing wires, perhaps in time I’ll figure it out.
    If skins are clumping with wet snow, the traction pattern will as well
    Not a low-tide ride: scuffing the scales would render the board useless for riding without a base grind to make it a standard base.


    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    56 Posts

    Thanks for the in depth review of the fishscale tech. It is definitely feels like a smaller niche in an already small niche sport.

    When you say back and forth perpendicular to the fall line, do you mean side to side? Do the boards slide left and right, while climbing without the skins?

    You also mentioned that the quads get a stout workout to engage the scales. What do you mean engage the scales? Does that just mean I have to put more force than I would with skins, since the scales aren’t as grippy?

    I’m glad to hear the drag is not so noticeable on the way down. I think this is one of the major concerns. Also, waxing. Is it possible, or will it destroy the scales? Honestly I have never waxed my splitboard before.

    Thank you!

    1448 Posts

    Picture the classic zigzag up-track with kick turns in a series of uphill Zs’ across the fall-ine. We do this to reduce the actual angle of ascent to something more manageable, right?. Well with only the fishscales you end up doing many more zig zags to make the same gain in elevation because you have to choose a lesser angle for each pass across the fall-line. So no, you won’t slip sideways you simply slide back like you might with skins when the angle is too steep. Hope that made sense…

    Having only a small portion of grip under foot makes you quickly appreciate how forgiving skins are to one’s skinning technique. I pride myself on being a very good skinner, but having only a small section of grip to work with I quickly realized I’d have to consciously keep my weight in smaller fore/aft range and by extension my quads are getting a good workout. I don’t see this as bad thing.

    According to Dave at Voile you don’t wax the scale pattern (I didn’t know so I’m glad I asked), but you can get a product that helps glide better – I probably wont do this until the scales which are very polished (or rather not stone ground) loose their luster.

    Anyways hope that clears things up.


    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    56 Posts

    Thanks for the response. I went ahead and bought the BC and gave it a go this past weekend.

    I started with another group that does not have the scales and they put their skins on right away. To be in sync I also put on my skins, so didn’t really get to use the traction pattern like I was hoping. I didn’t notice the scales on the ride down going forward. I had read elsewhere that the scales noticeably slow you down, but perhaps since I bought a 169, I didn’t notice it. I did notice it going switch though. Sometimes in tight spaces against the fall line, I do a modified falling leaf and whenever I did that I really felt the scales holding me back. I believe the solution to that is to stay on edge and keep the knees apart so as to not flatten the camber.

    While I was initially discouraged with my inability to ride switch, I’d still like to explore the uphill potential a bit more. I also want to get better with my splitskiing technique, which is absolutely horrible right now.

    The ride down was a little difficult because in tight spaces I sometimes like to go switch a little bit, and I really felt the scales grip in while doing this. If I

    601 Posts

    This is a good thread. *thumbsup*

    – Did you have more to say? “If I. . . “

    Be sure to bookmark's Recent Activity page...

    1448 Posts

    @solidbored Good info. I forget some people ride switch, all my boards are directional so its not really something I do. Sort of goes counter to the purpose of scales, but I can see how it would be a bummer if its something you are used to. Apart from that I haven’t found falling leaf moves much different than my other boards in good snow…


    I rode some horrible wet snow this past Monday and I was actually forced to ski out of the area traveled. Funny thing about it, it was easier to climb a bit steeper sans skins in these conditions. But board mode on low angle terrain was impossible, the scales are like suction cups on liquid.

    I guess we’re both learning as we go, but so far I’m really loving the utility of having both skins and scales and in most snow conditions the riding is as good as my stock v-tail.


    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    13 Posts

    Revelator BC review,

    I was fortunate enough to demo/test this board from mid-January to the end of the season (30-40 days on this board). I thought this would be good to great idea (like a few others on the site); called Voile to see if they would make it, discovered they already had, and I was able to play with one in the Tetons.

    I have the 165, and from what I can see is the same as the production model out now.

    The overall shape of the board is really clean. Quick edge-to-edge and stable. The taper is right on as well as the waist/nose for float. I was lucky that for the most part this board only saw moderate to deep snow, and some harder snow that had not softened. The rocker/camber profile compliments the shape, I was concerned about no tail rocker (I had kinda gotten used to that), but the shape and taper seemed to eliminate that concern so far.

    I am not a huge cap construction fan, but this cap design is beefier than caps I have seen/used/broken in the past. The weight savings in the core and construction is definitely noticeable, without feeling too flexy.

    The main reason I wanted this board was the scales. I am mostly in Grand Teton park, and that means approaches—some long some not so long , but flat to rollers in and out. I have become pretty good at exiting in ski mode without skins, so the exit was not a big deal but going in without skins seemed like a winner (It is). The scales will not climb steep, they will keep weight off (no skins) and allow for more glide in a track or on flats breaking trail in or out. Crossing Jackson Lake with this board (3 mi flat) was the easiest ever.

    When I called to see if they would make the board, my thoughts were not wall to wall scales (also mentioned by others here). Found out I did not have any option, and think for the most part the scale pattern on the board works well. Any less and the climbing and kick-and-glide would suffer. A smaller scale pattern would allow for more glide, most noticeable in warmer snow and when traversing in board mode. In fall line descending, the scales are not noticeable. One plus that I did not expect, when exiting over rollers and still riding, but not having enough speed to make the up, the scales grab so you do not lose ground. A couple of pole plants/scooches means a lot less effort than getting to your toe edge and hopping as in the past.

    The other surprise was in skiing out, although at times a bit slower, I was in more control and seemed more efficient. When rollers roll up and you would have to side step or herringbone, I could just walk up with less effort and away you go. When it was too steep to walk, side stepping was easier as you had purchase and that makes the free heel less of an issue.

    The canted pucks are more comfortable. The channel system is easy and quick.

    If your area has some walking to the up, I think this is a great alternative, wanted to get to Rogers last year, but bailed on avy conditions, will try again this year as this would be great for the Asulkan and Connaught drainage. Post questions if ya gottem. greg

    — above is buried in the splitboard topics, the above was about 2yrs ago ?

    Switch is not really an option with this. I do the same as OP on some tight spots or just for fun, the scales really prohibit it, as stated the main bene is ins and outs that are flat to rolly. The scales will not replace skins, have 2 yrs + and when ever it really goes up, skin up. Do not wax the scales, if you do and can not scrape all off, you will get wax on the skin glue. Swix makes a paste wax that will not stick to glue, this really helps with glide.

    Skiing will be easier and in more control, at least that has been my experience. As mentioned wet snow is a bad mix with the scales as far as glide goes. I only notice the drag from the scales(not wet snow) when traversing, in fall line no issue. hope it helps

    56 Posts

    Sorry I don’t remember what I was going to say when my message cut out. So I’ve used the bc revelator a few more times since then, once on the Bruce trail at Stowe VT and latest on Mt Marcy NY.

    For Bruce I used my solid board all day and then switched to the voilé at the end of the day for the run down the Bruce to the Matterhorn bar. I decided not to bring my skins and rely on the fishscale pattern for any uphills at the bottom. I did begin to notice that the scales did inhibit run out speed in ride mode. This was also evident the day before when my crew dropped off Hellbrook onto VT 108 (the road) and lighter people with shorter boards were passing me.

    Suffice to say, tour mode at the bottom of Bruce was a mess. I had tons of lateral slide I could not control, and while skinning forward, I found the boards would sometimes go diagonal (my skier friend hashtagged me as #awkwardpenguin) and I’d be tripping over myself. It was simply nightmarish, and embarrassing, as solid board riders successfully skated past me.

    At the lake placid Cyclery in NY the shop actually sells the Voilé Revelator BC in multiple lengths. When I told the owner my Bruce Trail story he said he had different experiences with the scales, depending on the snow quality. The bottom of the Bruce was really packed down and slippery so maybe that was a bad place to go skinless.

    On Marcy, the trail has a lot of ups and downs. I felt maybe this was where the scales perform better: when skating or hip shaking (butt wiggling) in ride mode to traverse flats. Past Marcy Dam (2 miles to the Adirondack loj) I put the skins back on, as I was already too terrified of splitskiing without even more speed.

    Obviously I need to practice split skiing technique more and may eventually begin to appreciate the scales.

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