Forums Splitboards Review: 14/15 Venture Odin
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  • #579981
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Late winter through the end of the season I had the oppurtunity to get some riding in on next years Venture Odin. The board under review is the solid, 165 x 26, Venture Odin, but I would expect the same level of performance from the split version, as Venture’s splits are so precisely built.
    I am 6’1″ and around 175 lbs or so. I rode the board using Burton RacePlate bindings, and modified Dynafit TLT5 boots.
    The 14/15 Odin sees some substantial changes from previous versions. The sidecut radius has been made longer, with an 11.5 meter equivalent radius on the 165. The board also has a softer flex pattern, and has been lightened up considerably. Venture has changed their cores from a mixture of Poplar and Ash, to a mixture of Aspen, Poplar, and Ash. Unlike previous Ventures I have ridden, the weight now seems comparable to other high performance snowboards. I would guess the new cores shave off something like 8-10 ounces.
    I have ridden the previous models of the Odin, and would describe their flex as very stiff, the new flex is quite obviously softer, and now what I would describe as medium stiff, and comparable to other freeride boards of a similar size. The Venture rocker-flat-rocker profile is the same as on previous versions.
    I rode the board in as many lift served conditions as I could find, groomers, chopped up crud, variable steeps, bumps, powder, trees, etc. I must say I love the new flex softer flex and longer sidecut. The longer sidecut was most noticeable when riding variable snow on steeps, the board remained quiet and predictable, and easy to control, even when transitioning from icy spots, to crusts, to heavy pow pillows, on steep terrain-this is where deep sidecuts really can toss the rider around, but the new Odin just kept a stable edge and gave me more confidence to charge these types of difficult conditions. As usual with Venture’s rockered tip and tail, the board was easy to pivot and slarve when necessary for getting through tight spots in the trees, but it still carved groomers with precision and a substantial amount of edge hold in both long and medium radius turns.
    In powder the board was also very good, it has enough taper to allow the nose to rise up pretty early, and to keep one from suffering from too much rear leg burn. I rode it with 40 mm of setback (as I do on most boards) and was able to evenly weight my feet once up to speed in powder. The shape offers good float as well, although not quite as good as some more specialized powder shapes-still, I am not suggesting a drawback here-this is in comparison to boards like huge swallows, or boards like the Prior Spearhead, which do not have the versatility of the Odin.
    I also rode the Odin quite a bit in moguls; on those rare resort days, I like to ride moguls, as nothing tunes up riding skills like they do. The old Odin was a beast and I could not really ride moguls with it, the super stiff tail just would not flex for me, and it made it nearly impossible to get the board to turn quickly enough to stay in rhthym with the bumps. The new version is fantastic in the bumps, the longer sidecut, combined with the more moderate flex, allows one to mauever quickly and easily through the moguls: a quality which I find relates very well to its performance on dicey steeps.
    Despite the softer flex, I did not find any drawback in stability. Of course the longer sidecut radius contributes to the stability, but the board still has enough stiffness to handle high speeds without worries of the nose folding, or the tail not holding, nice!
    The new Odin is a great freeride board for upper intermediate to pro level riders, and is especially recommended for anyone looking to push their limits in riding difficult, technical terrain of all types, in all types of snow conditions.

    #676734
    moridinbg
    151 Posts

    Any direct comparison with the Prospector? I destroyed my NS Summit and I am looking at the Prospector and the new Odin as possible replacement. I prefer blasting high speed descents on steeps with not too much turns and occasional moguls which you are right, are a great skills tune.

    You say the new Odin is lighter, but the old ones were monstrosities, so how does the new one compare to the Prospector in terms of weight?

    #676735
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    I avoided direct comparisons in this review, strictly because a comparison would have been based on speculation on my part. The Odin I tested out is a solid, so I rode it on lifts, and my Prospector is a split. So I did not ride the boards back to back in the same conditions.
    That said, it would be hard to pick beteeen them, as both are very good boards and suit my riding well. Certainly one would not go wrong with either.
    As to the weight, again, split and solid are not comparable. But I would expect them to be very, very close if both were splits. Like I said above, the Venture weight is now comparable to all the other typical high performance freeride boards I have ridden of a similar size, and the Prospector is pretty similar. I would not expect more than a couple ounce weight difference between these two now, certainly not enough difference to sway a purchase decision.
    Venture and Never Summer are also the two highest build quality boards one can buy, so very similar in that regard as well. Built here in Colorado, using high quality materials, with very good attention to the details.

    #676736
    802smuggler
    369 Posts

    Pretty stoked to hear these guys are shaving some weight. I’m curious about the new flex patterns: The skylar special I rode this year was much softer (and more nimble) than my zephyr split but still behaved very well in all East Coast conditions. It also shined in the 4 feet of Wyoming powder it saw, great all around board. I do enjoy the stiffness of the zephyr too, just not really suited to my likings for our b.c. conditions. Sounds to me like the softer flex might be right up my alley–Thanks for the review.

    #676732
    TLN
    47 Posts

    Wonder how do you like previous years board?
    From what you said it’s quite stiff, right? I’m 6″3 and 210lbs, hardboots and softboots and wanna get a stiffer board. 🙂 Actually I’d like to get a bigger SCR too but seems I can get either stiffness from previous years or SCR.

    #676733
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    TLN:

    I have demoed the older Venture Odin in a 169×26 solid. I liked the board out in open space where one could really charge on it, but the tail was too stiff for my to flex it adequately when dealing with tighter situations at lower speeds. Specifically, I really could not bend the tail enough getting through moguled tree runs on the way to the bottom of Silverton Mountain.
    I find no compromise with the new softer flex, especially combined with the longer sidecut radius, there is still tons of stability, but the board now has a much wider speed envelope and is manueverable at lower speeds.

    #676737
    ozsplit
    25 Posts

    awesome… nice write up… im comin off a 166 salomon burner and the 2014/15 26/165 odin is at the top of the list… crunching the numbers today… i m actually surprised the odin has more taper than the storm…

    ahhhh… decisions…

    #676738
    PeRi
    110 Posts

    Been riding the Odin 14/15 in a size 165/26 since February.
    I’ll write a review once I have some time but I totally agree with what Barrows said here! it has become my favorite board.

    btw the weight of the new Odin in 165/26 is 3’7kg, which is 8.1571037 lbs according to Google.

    www.splitboardmag.com

    #676739
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    I am a long term fan of Venture Storms–and have owned several splits and a solid. I was thinking of getting a “lighter” Venture Storm next year but this review has me thinking that design changes in the 2014/2015 Odin may put it in the same stiffness category as the older generation Storms (which I love). Now I am thinking that the new Odin may hit my sweet spot. I know that it is too early in the season to get any kind of real world comparison between the 2014/2015 Odin and Storm—but I look forward to that comparison.

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