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Snowboards

Borealis Leviathan 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 164
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Backseat Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £589 / €659
  • BUY ONLINE

Read the opening page of the Borealis catalogue and you quickly get an idea of founder Ben Hall’s passion to create eco-friendly snowboards with a minimal carbon footprint. Flick a couple more pages over and you’ll find some of the most stunning, experimental and tantalizing decks on the market.

The Leviathan is the culmination of these ideas, brought to you in 164cm of freeride perfection. Taking its name and inspiration from a “Monster of the Deep”, this a proper backcountry behemoth. A powder man’s powder board.

Its shape alone tells most of the story: A gigantic, progressive nose rocker; 27mm taper; and a tail that looks eager to sink its teeth into the snow. Effortless float on the deepest of days is the Leviathan’s raison d’être.

“Taking its name and inspiration from a “Monster of the Deep”, this a proper backcountry behemoth”

But dive a little deeper and you’ll find what sets it apart. Performance and sustainability are equally matched with a bamboo top sheet, the lightest and most responsive ‘Element Core’, and the biax ‘Basaltech’ sheets (goodbye fibreglass, hello lava!). For a board this big it’s impossibly light and full of life.

Borealis aren’t pretending to sell you a rocket-shaped solar panel, though. Where sustainable materials fall short, they’ve added ‘Carbon Power Beams’ emanating from the rear inserts out to the tail, built to handle whatever G-force you generate through the arc.

Understandably, the name might recall haunting childhood memories of that time you were snooping around your Aunt Deborah’s chest of drawers, but the ‘Electra 4000’ is the fastest sintered base available from Borealis. We’re talking face-melting, graphite enhanced warp-speed, people.

This is a board designed for riding on the limit and out of the resort boundary. It requires a seasoned rider and serious terrain to truly do it justice, not just dabbling in a bit of side-country when the resort produces 10cm of fresh overnight. However, get the Leviathan to the top of a wide-open backcountry face and you can be sure it’ll take care of you from there.

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“At first glance, everything about this board terrified me. A monolith of pure intimidation. A swallowtail big enough to park your bike in. A nose long enough to take a taxi to the end of. And that name – The Leviathan – like some omnivorous beast from the deep.  “Nope, not for me, thanks. Pass me that Yes Basic, will you?”

If I’m being honest, that feeling continued after the top of the first chair. The board seemed to take the best part of a minute to finish a turn. Parents rushed to grab their children and make a B-line for cover. It gathered more and more momentum. Within seconds I was a passenger. Seriously out my depth.

 “The shape really is a thing of beauty and the way it floats and connects with the terrain is like very few boards I’ve ridden before”

Then, at around 30mph, the beast awoke. The Leviathan demands to be ridden fast, but the performance far outweighs the effort expended. Put it onto the edge and it just sucks you into the turn like a vacuum, before that ridiculous tail engages and slingshots you out the other end. Point it straight and enjoy a Mexican standoff between yourself and the laws of physics.

It’s in the deep stuff that this board truly comes to life, though. Even with just a few inches of fresh, I knew I was standing on something pretty special. The shape really is a thing of beauty and the way it floats and connects with the terrain is like very few boards I’ve ridden before. It’s so stable, completely effortless to kick up those “cover shot” roosters and, for such a daunting looking snowboard, it was surprisingly intuitive to ride off-piste. It’s not a board for every day, it’s a board for those one-off days. But aren’t those the ones we live for?”

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