Earlier in the season when I snapped by Sierrascope I was able to try out a few other All Mountain style boards thanks to the guys at Salty Peaks. Keeping in mind my riding style (I generally prefer softer decks that perform well all around the mountain) I was able to take out two different decks over the course of a few days.
First up was the Ride Machete in the 155 size. A new addition to this years Ride line up the Machete is touted as an all mountain destroyer with a flex thats a little softer than other all mountain boards in Rides line up. The Machete is an Alternate Camber board and features Rides Low Rise tech which is flat between the binding area with a slow rise on the nose and tail. I was able to ride the 155 for two days at Brighton. The Machete performed really well racing down the groomers making nice carves and popping big ollies off of rollers and jumps. I was disappointed however that for me it did not seem butter well especially for a board Ive seen in quite a few urban video parts this season. Its not that the Machete was super stiff its just that I really anticipated it having more flex and I was caught off guard when it didnt. I could butter the board but it didnt feel as easy as many other Alternate Camber All Mountain boards that I had previously ridden like the Lib TRS and the Sierrascope. I especially noticed a lack of torsional flex when I would hit wider boxes and try to spin some presses. The Machete did handle the few rails I hit on it pretty well. I liked the board it just didnt suit how I ride the mountain. This board would be well suited for someone that has traditionally used stiffer all mountain boards and is looking for a little more flex to get into park riding but nothing too soft. However if you are a park kid and are used to soft noodle boards you may find the Machete too stiff for you and may want to look at the Crush or the Kink from Ride.
After returning the Machete I picked up the Smokin Big Wig in a 157. The BigWig is also listed as an All Mountain board thats suitable for laps through the park. I found that this board delivered where the Machete fell short. The BigWig also features a flat rocker style Smokin calls D.I.R.T. rocker. Like the Machete its flat in the middle with a rise outside the bindings. The BigWig also features a variation of Mervins Magne Traction. Jay has taken the Magne Traction and elongated it and it seems to work better than the Magne Traction found on the Libs and Gnus Ive ridden. I took the BigWig all over the mountain at Brighton with no problem switching from park laps to natural hits and butters. This board really felt similar to the Sierrascope and I would highly recommend it to anyone whos intrigued by the Sierrascope but hesitant about possible issues with the durability of a Capita (Smokin offers a 3 year warranty). The board does ride a bit big. As previously mentioned I was on the 157 and found myself initially catching the nose and tail when spinning presses over natural features around the mountain. I normally ride in the 155-156 range but think the 153 would still give a good ride and not feel too small. This is a board Im definitely keeping my eye on in the off season. If I can pick up a 2010 153 at a good price I certainly will.
What do I know? Heres more opinions…..