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Snowboards

Bataleon Whatever 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £400
  • Category: All-Mountain
  • Ability Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 151, 154, 157, 159W, 162W
  • Flex: 4.5/10
  • Shape: Directional Twin
  • Profile: 3BT Camber
  • Base: Extruded
  • BUY DIRECT FROM BATALEON

Bataleon’s big hitters, such as the Goliath and Evil Twin, clearly deserve their place in snowboarding’s hall of fame. Don’t let them take all the attention away from their other all-mountain freestyle decks, though. The Whatever just might be the best snowboard you never knew you wanted.

The Whatever manages to cut costs without cutting especially sharp corners. The wood core blends poplar and paulownia for optimal strength to weight properties without obsessively counting grams. An extruded base – albeit one of the best – makes things more affordable. Keep it waxed and you shouldn’t have issues keeping up with those on sintered decks.

“You have all the advantages of a cambered snowboard – stability, grip, response and pop – without the trade-offs like submarining in powder or having mistakes punished in the form of brutal edge catches”

The Twin 3BT + Sidekick profile is what makes the Whatever a directional-volume-twin that will happily ride switch and lap the park with the most freestyle specific of decks. The equal sidebase uplift around all four contact points are ideal for progressing on rails and boxes without the fear of hooking up.

It’s also the reason Bataleon snowboards are considered so versatile. You have all the advantages of a cambered snowboard – stability, grip, response and pop – without the trade-offs like submarining in powder or having mistakes punished in the form of brutal edge catches.

“Even with the Whatever’s more mellow camber, getting airborne won’t be a problem”

That’s aided by the Whatever’s more mellow flexing bi-ax fibreglass layers. They keep the snowboard’s longitudinal flex quite lively without the same torsional rigidity of a tri-ax layup. It’s easy to press, twist and butter but it won’t ever feel lifeless.

When you want to charge, there’s a single carbon stringer through the centre of the board between the inserts, so even with the Whatever’s more mellow camber, getting airborne won’t be a problem. There’s also two hollow carbon rods that run alongside the central portion of the snowboards’ sidecuts to dial up the response when you’re back on terra firma putting a carve down.

The Bataleon Whatever isn’t a snowboard that’s made waves for its standout performance in any specific area or for any particular style of rider. Flip that argument, though, and you have an excellent all-mountain option for rookies and experienced snowboarders alike that will never feel too far out its depth.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

Paul WoolProfessor

“The term ‘one board quiver’ is thrown around quite a lot in the snowboard world, but this is genuinely one of the only boards I’ve ever ridden than can legitimately swipe that title. Starting off early morning riding bulletproof corduroy I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to get a solid edge in but the Whatever was cool, calm and collected. It was a very smooth carve, with no weird twitchy, sketchy, edge dips which was cool.

This is a board that gives you endless amounts of confidence as you’re riding, it’s just so easy to control but has the ability to really open out when you want to hoon it. It was never the absolute fastest board on the hill, but it kept up easily enough – without ever feeling like it had a mind of its own.

“This is a board that gives you endless amounts of confidence as you’re riding, it’s just so easy to control”

As the snow softened up, we got that lovely spring slush and I had no problems with smashing through the lumps and bumps left on piste. The pop boosting off little moguls was insane and doing top to bottom sidehit runs was the highlight of my day. I’m not usually a big park rat, but I was so high on life riding this board that I decided to get my swag on and venture into the park. I love how easy the triple base makes it to land stuff you wouldn’t normally want to try in front of all the cool kids. Learning new tricks on this board is such a confidence boost.

The next day we managed to find a small stash of snow, and despite it only being knee deep I could tell that the Whatever could handle much deeper snow easily. This is a board that belongs everywhere on the mountain. It’s such a pleasure to ride, you can stop trying to ride hard and fast and just enjoy yourself all day. Plus the graphics look very cool. Three thumbs up for this snowboard!”

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