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Bataleon Surfer Ltd. 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

Despite its eye-catching shape, it was the cost of the Bataleon Surfer that raised the most eyebrows when it first appeared last year. Now that the design has had a chance to prove itself in the field, there’s a lower-priced version with the same shape, albeit a bit less of the tech. For those who want only the best, though, the ultra-rare Bataleon Surfer Ltd. is the one to go for.

Bataleon’s floaty-boaty Triple Base Technology has been pushed to the limit with this board. The nose is ultra-spooned, with only the narrowest flat channel of base through the middle. When you get it into the powder, it’ll keep its head up like nothing else you’ve ever ridden. It’s helped in part by the upturned contact points (known as ‘Sidekick’), but essentially the shape has things covered in that department.

“Bataleon’s floaty-boaty Triple Base Technology has been pushed to the limit with this board”

The base is more standard between the feet, so when you’re carving on the piste there’s still plenty of response. That’s the interesting thing about the Surfer; while it’s clearly a pow-specific design, throughout its debut winter it got many a thumbs-up for its how it handled other conditions. Case in point; team rider Tyler Chorlton’s park sessions.

Edge-to-edge performance on the Bataleon Surfer Ltd. is further enhanced by hollow carbon tubes that follow the line of the sidecut. At the back, there’s only a minimal about of 3BT going on at that forked tail. It makes sense, as that shape needs no help working the powder.

What separates this from the standard surfer is the lighter wood core and higher-quality base. They’ve also all been hand-numbered, and come with a unique neoprene case.

Tester’s Verdict

Kieron Black@kieronblackart

“This is a dedicated powder board, and luckily we had buckets of fresh to try it out in. Once in its element the Surfer hums like a transmission box, alive and vital, that devil’s tuning fork of a tail spraying it up better than that little red rooster ever could. It’s nimble, light, and floaty; a total joy.

The big waist and bigger nose give her so much float. However, for those braver than me I did come close to wheelie-ing out on a couple of the larger drops, a common cause for complaint with the short tail shapes, so be aware. Personally, as a committed fishhead I tend to forgive that on the more radical shapes – you can’t have everything and I’m fine with that.

“In its element the Surfer hums like a transmission box, alive and vital”

So, how is it on the piste? For 16 years Bataleon has been trumpeting (and explaining, repeatedly) its Triple Base Technology. It’s a clever system and a lot of people love it. But for me, initially, I did struggle with it every time we had to cross corduroy to get to more fresh.I know, I know, it’s a powder board and wasn’t really designed for the piste, but I can’t help but feel that with so many new shapes out there that also have that dedicated powder profile, yet are also able to eat up piste like they were born to it, that maybe the Surfer is missing a trick here.

Which leads me to the price point. That’s a lot of money for a snowboard. And, as previously mentioned, initially she needs careful handling. Now, if I had dropped a grand on some wood and P-tex, I’m not about the careful handling. I want the hole ridden off of me – carpet burns, the works.

Also, that’s an awful lot of money for something designed for the backcountry. Inevitably there will be something stony and awkward that needs negotiating, and when that happens you don’t want to be fretting about your vehicle’s price tag. Snowboards are supposed to be destroyed; loved, yes, cherished, ok, but they are, when all said and done, tools not jewels. No one uses a £100 hammer.

But I admire Bataleon for its audacity in making a board like the Surfer. It’s a thing of beauty and more than justifies its own existence. But unless you’re currently planning your next heli-trip to Alaska, or are Russian and heading to Courcheval for a month, it’s hard to see who would have one of these beauties.

But nevertheless, Bataleon, I thank you.”

Tester’s Verdict

Chris Sturgesssnowfit.co.uk

“Ok before we start just look at it again……Its looks fucking amazing, right? Often when a board looks great, it can be a bit of a let-down, but the Bataleon Surfer is one that just keeps on giving.

“Yes, this is an extravagant powder stick, but unlike many others you can ride this board every day”

On my first go, I was lucky enough to ride it in knee-deep pow. As expected, it floated with ease, turned on a dime and felt stable at speed – the perfect powder stick. However, last March I rode it on a firm day, pretty much on piste all day. The large nose, setback stance and swallow tail far from hindered this board, and just turned it into a piste-carving weapon that was lots of fun.

Yes, this is an extravagant powder stick, but unlike many others you can ride this board every day and you will always be grinning from ear to ear.”

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