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Borealis Marauder 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 154
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Setback Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £499 / €559
  • BUY ONLINE

Why we chose the Borealis Marauder Snowboard: It’s a powder skateboard that looks like a shark, why d’you think?

“Inspired by nature.” That’s the straight-to-the-point company motto from the crew at Borealis. When British-French snowboarder Ben Hall set up the freeride-centric brand back in 2013 he saw an opportunity – or rather, a necessity – to build environmentally friendly snowboards without having a detrimental impact on their performance.

Fast forward six years and they’ve reached the fruition of these ideas with one board in particular. The definition of its name alone tells half the story:

Marauder

noun

“an animal that goes from one place to another looking for things to destroy or kill.”

True to its word, tiger shark inspired graphics and even the shape emulate the look and feel of being strapped into the predator. The nose just stalks its way into every turn with purpose and power and then, with a flick of that tail, you’re propelled out of the exit.

“The ‘Blizzard Camber’ combines a long rocker section in the nose, with a setback camber between the feet for float and power that’s virtually unrivalled for a board of only 154cm”

That aesthetic is thankfully backed up by its spec, too. The ‘Blizzard Camber’ combines a long rocker section in the nose, with a setback camber between the feet, for float and power, that’s virtually unrivalled for a board of only 154cm. The smaller rocker in the tail will even assist those brave enough to attempt putting in a switch landing.

What it lacks in length it comfortably makes up for in volume. A 270mm waist width and 27mm taper ensure that even bigger footed, slightly heavier riders can still crank the edge angles and charge the backcountry without loading up the back leg.

Onto the eco creds, and the Marauder is layered up with Borealis’ FSC certified ‘Ultra-Light Forest Core’, consisting of poplar and paulownia wood and reinforced with bamboo stringers. This, along with the recycled steel edges, is all held together with ultra-durable ‘Greenpoxy’ eco-resins. One point to you; one point to mother nature.

 

For the not-so-green additives, the Marauder is equipped with ‘Carbon Crossbeams’ under the rear inserts; interwoven tip-to-tail stringers of carbon and Kevlar (aka ‘Powder Paw’); and the ‘Nano Ultima Speed Base’. No, it doesn’t exactly scream ‘eco-warrior’, but it is worth shouting about just how ridiculously powerful, responsive and fast that makes the Marauder.

“Nobody’s going to look at the shape and think ‘versatile’. In reality, though, it steamrolls through slush bumps, slices into hardpack and isn’t even too awkward through the park”

Nobody’s going to look at the shape and think ‘versatile’. In reality, though, it steamrolls through slush bumps, slices into hardpack and isn’t even too awkward through the park. Maybe not the ‘fish out of water’ it looks like, after all.

It’s constantly on the hunt for powder, though. It can probably detect one part in a million, from over two miles away. Get this to the deep stuff, hold on tight, and let the frenzy begin.

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“First impressions when this one came out the box were something along the lines of “Sweet Jesus, it’s a flat-packed tiger shark, where’s my bindings?”

Sometimes you can just look at a board and build a picture in your head of how it will ride. The Marauder had me frothing – a super-wide, progressive, blunt nose, oversized waist width, and that short stubby double shark-fin tail.

Pistes were firm first thing in the morning but it just sunk its teeth into every turn. That extra waist width helps you carve and never feel like your boots are going to drag or the board will skip out.

“Sometimes you can just look at a board and build a picture in your head of how it will ride. The Marauder had me frothing”

I got the chance to take it through a banked slalom event at my home resort and within one run I’d already set a faster time than I’d done on my regular deck. You can load so much pressure into the tail and it just always pings you back to the centre.

By the time the late afternoon slush arrived, I just switched off and let the board guide me home. A lot of these shorter, wider decks tend to ‘slap and flap’ through these conditions, but the Marauder felt so stable.

And those aren’t even the conditions it’s best in. Open faces, tight trees, steep couloirs. Take the Marauder off-piste and it’ll take your riding to another level.

No, it’s not a quiver killer, but it performs in most conditions. And besides, who buys a board for ice and moguls? I tested more boards this season than I’ve collectively ridden since I began riding 19 years ago. This one is right up there. Like ‘top three of all time’ up there. It’s incredible.”

Trade Secrets

Ben Hall – Founder, Borealis Snowboards

“The Marauder is a new board in the Borealis quiver. Available in size 154, this exclusively-shaped board is a dream to ride in forests, in the backcountry and for everyday cruising on the pistes.

Don’t be fooled by its short size: its wide shape (272mm at its waist) which increases the overall surface of the board and super long nose allows you to stay afloat the deepest pow whilst maintaining amazing response. Riders who’ve tested it (hair and beard still covered in powder) all agree: “What a board! It feels like a powder skateboard!”.

But that’s not all: its wide sidecut radius compensates its short size and allows to carve faster than a shark on its prey, whilst staying ultra-responsive thanks to the rocker zones and short fish-tail. The Marauder has what it takes to become a true legend.”

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