Borealis Leviathan 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £589 / €659 / $767
  • Category: Freeride/Powder
  • Ability Level: Advanced
  • Size: 164
  • Flex: 7/10
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: Directional CamRock
  • Base: Sintered

It doesn’t really require 300 words of tech chat to sum up exactly what makes the Leviathan snowboard so good. If the pictures aren’t sending your imagination wild with the possibilities that await, there’s probably not much that can excite you in this world. Borealis aren’t catering to the masses here; they’re catering to massive, wide-open, squeaky bum time powder faces and those of us who are lucky enough to ride them.

Starting with some vital stats, the Borealis Leviathan comes in a pretty sizeable 164 only. There’s a 27mm taper, a whale tooth sized swallowtail and a long progressive rocker where the tip of the nose practically sits in a different area code from the binding inserts. We don’t really need to say any more on how well it’s going to float, do we?

“The tip of the nose practically sits in a different area code from the binding inserts”

Of course, when you’re pointing it down a 30° face with a “no-fall-zone” runout at the bottom, float matters less than the speed and construction. The Leviathan features a face-meltingly fast Electra 4000 Graphite base, while the opposite side of the board is fitted with an organic bamboo top sheet – not just a lightweight, sustainable option, but a pretty effective dampener of high-speed vibrations. These work well with the 100% Flax Pads located under the inserts which increase the overall comfort and smoothed out ride.

Tucked away in the heart of the Leviathan is Borealis’ top shelf Element Core, featuring an eco-friendly blend of poplar, bamboo and vertical basalt beams that generate a load of energy and response while managing to soak up some of the chatter. That’s sandwiched between snappy triax laminates and carbon stringers that emanate out from the rear inserts to the ends of the swallowtail. This ensures that even with that huge the cutout in the tail, the back end of the board is bolstered up to handle the increased G’s as you come around the end of the arc.

That also makes it surprisingly handy back on the pistes, especially with the directional camber positioned towards the backfoot and a multiple radii sidecut to help with smooth turn initiations and consistent grip right the way around. But riding this thing on marked runs is a bit like taking your Ferrari for a spin in a Tesco car park. It works, but you’re gonna get some strange looks, and you’re a long way from where it wants to be.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

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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