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KORUA Shapes Otto 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 157
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Camber
  • Shape: Directional Twin
  • Price: €399

Over the last few years we’ve seen more and more of the guys known for conventional fare experimenting with new shapes. KORUA, meanwhile, has gone for its own Bizarro World approach, creating a park board to sit amongst its established quiver of pow sticks. Here it is: The KORUA Otto snowboard.

On KORUA’s own excellent Switch Riding rating system (“Challenging”, “Doable” or “No Problem”) the Otto breaks out with its own score of “Hell Yeah”. Although there’s a slight setback to the inserts, the shape is crying out to be ridden both ways.

“If you’ve ever enjoyed Korua’s directional fodder and wondered how it might suit a twin shape, here’s your chance to find out”

As for its construction, the Otto shares the same DNA as the rest of the much-admired fleet of red and white. If you’ve ever enjoyed KORUA’s directional fodder – and several have – and wondered how it might suit a twin shape, here’s your chance to find out.

The all-poplar core is the go-to for most brands looking for something strong, reliable and relatively light, whilst the sintered base can fairly whip the Otto along. The biax glass isn’t too fierce, and the overall flex is enough for aggressive riding without tipping over into plank territory.

It’ll never have quite the same powder performance as its pointy brethren, but it’ll still do much better than what you’d get from boards with similar outlines. There’s a bit of rocker in the nose, as well as a fairly wide waist for a 157cm (the only size currently available).

“The overall flex is enough for aggressive riding without tipping over into plank territory”

It’d be fair to expect a trade-off in park chops, but our testers had no issues in that department. As long as you’re not a true-twin purist, this will safely see you through the park and pipe.

Naturally, the KORUA Otto has that trademark red base graphic, and if there’s any justice in the world we’ll see regular flashes of crimson in the park this winter. “May you never find your perfect shape” is written on the topsheet, but for some folk this could well be it.

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahonwhitelines.com

On paper this makes no sense: a park-orientated board from KORUA Shapes, the brand that came around to offer an antidote to twin tips by exalting the virtues of going one way, fast, and with style.

However, it’s a mistake is to think of it as KORUA making a park board. Rather, it’s a Korua that comes equipped with a proper tail. Whilst the rest of the range functions perfectly well without too much behind your back foot, this has plenty stashed away, meaning that you can get most of the elbows-down fun you could expect from the Stealth or the Pencil, but with a ton of pop and the ability to take it switch without too many problems. In short, it’s a KORUA you can take to the skies.

“I can’t think of another freestyle board I rode this year that proved quite as fun”

I rode it for most of a week on a summer glacier, taking it off side hits, into the park and through some wonderful naturally-formed snake runs. It holds an edge where you need it, but the slight rocker in the nose really helps mellow it out, inspiring butters for days. It retains a tiny amount of setback, but for me personally that’s just the way I like it.

Even though the white topsheet and red base is nothing new to me, it still feels novel, pushing you to keep everything nice and stylee whilst drawing approving looks. In fact, I can’t think of another freestyle board I rode this year that proved quite as fun, and that’s saying something considering that it had a lot to prove.

It’s up there with the CAPiTA DOA and Ride Helix, the kings of true all-mountain snowboards, but coming from the plucky group of Swiss flatland pioneers, this feels more than a little special.

Trade Secrets

Nicholas Wolken – Co-founder, KORUA Shapes

“Made for playful park laps and tearing up groomers, the Otto is your new best friend for all-mountain freestyle.

This board is the brainchild of James & Weli, two of our ambassadors who were looking for a fun carving board that didn’t limit or sacrifice their freestyle performance.

We put their ideas into our first traditional twin-like shape – perfect for turns and transitions, in the park and for side-hits all around the resort.”

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