I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent the last 2+ months on the new Alter Ego from Ride Snowboards. Here is an overview/review of the board so far.
Boots: Ride Insano, Sz 10
Bindings: Ride El Hefe, Lrg
The setup is pretty straightforward. The binding placement and setup is just like any other snowboard. I prefer to ride all boards with a centered 23 inch stance with 15, -15 angles. Using the micro disc in the tray running parallel to the edges to dial in the width/placement of the bindings on the board, I didn’t find that I had any toe or heel drag.
I am a creature of habit and always hot wax boards before I take them out, I don’t want to have a bad day of a deck has a bad factory wax on it. Waxing the Alter Ego is pretty standard and the tail area isn’t too difficult to apply or scrape. Any run off is pretty easy to scrape from the inner slimewalls, but I found myself unclipping the tail when applying the wax and clipping it back together when I scraped it. If you don’t the tail section pedals back and forth as you scrape and you don’t remove much wax as you do it.
The board carves just like regular boards do on groomers when the tail is #FULLYCLIPPED. When you lock the tail down with the clip it completely stabilizes the tail and allows normal turn initiation, hold and exit. You really don’t even remember that you’re on a split tail board as you are riding down the trail as the split tail does not compromise the performance of the board at all. When you want to pop off the tail the POPwalls allow you to load it up and pop and spin like you would on any other board.
You can ride it #UNCLIPPED on groomers, but as you exit your turn you do get a fish tail slide out at the end of the turn. When you try to pop off the tail on a groomer when it’s #UNCLIPPED you get a feeling similar to a board with a lot of rocker on the tail and have to adjust how you pop to get the spring you are looking for. Check out the videos below for a visual of what it looks like as you ride:
So far my experience when trying to decide if the tail should be #FULLYCLIPPED or #UNCLIPPED is dependent on a few of things.
- If you’re riding on groomers; #FULLYCLIPPED.
- IF you’re riding in crud, chop or snow you think you’ll bottom out in; #FULLYCLIPPED.
- IF you’re riding in snow you aren’t worried about bottoming out in; #UNCLIPPED.
Combining the split tail with the All-MTN Hybrid Rocker profile really makes this board one of the more versatile decks I’ve ever ridden. You have a Lowrize rocker on the nose, the micro camber through the tail. This shape rides great on groomers and floats like a tapered board does, without needing the taper. When you’re riding in as little as 4-6 inches of snow, the shape allows you to stay on top of the snow and the #FULLYCLIPPED split tail allows the tail to sink a little, but not to the point where you bottom out as you cruise down the mountain.
When you get into deeper snow (12”+), you #UNCLIPPED the tail and get one of the most euphoric feelings you will ever have riding powder. The All-MTN Hybrid Rocker keeps the nose up and on top of the snow. With the split tail #UNCLIPPED it sinks down into the snow and with very little effort you can steer the board and surf through the powder. I’ve had days of riding in 2+ feet of snow until it was all tracked out and haven’t even thought or worried about leg burn or fatigue with this shape. If you watch the video below you will see how the tail reacts in different depths of snow and how much the tail actually moves and adjusts to the terrain you’re riding down when it’s #UNCLIPPED.
I will be the first to admit that riding in powder is really 80% rider and 20% board… I’ve been riding in Utah for 11 seasons now after growing up in New England riding primarily ice… I’ve had my fair share of powder days over the past decade and am very comfortable riding in powder. But the Alter Ego has made parts of Brighton and Solitude that I’ve been riding for years now effortless and even more fun than they have been in the past.
You hear the term quiver killer tossed around a lot. But the Alter Ego is a board that can have fun riding on icy groomers, slushy groomers, blower powder & 2+ feet powder days. If you’re an All-MNT rider looking for one deck that does it all you should check out the Alter Ego when it hits shops later this year.