KORUA Shapes Café Racer Plus 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 159
  • Flex: 8
  • Profile: Setback Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: €699

A KORUA Café Racer snowboard without the red & white? It can only mean one thing; the Yearning For Turning maestros have expanded their ‘Plus’ range, which takes a tried-and-tested shape, improves the tech, and applies a none-more-black makeover. The result: the KORUA Café Racer Plus.

Previously only available as a splitboard, the KORUA Café Racer Plus has had an upgrade in ever key area of its design. Lightweight paulownia has been added to the core, there’s a carbon-enhanced fibreglass, and the base is quicker than what you’ll find on the standard fare.

“Thanks to the significant camber bend, you’ll want to get this on an edge at every opportunity”

So it’s techier, but does that mean that it’s better? That depends on what you like. The KORUA Café Racer Plus is a bit stiffer than the original, so will be more suited to charging, and it’s also about 300g lighter.

Shape-wise, the sidecut radius is ideal for short, powerful turns, and the extended nose is brilliant at blasting through powder. Thanks to the significant camber bend, you’ll want to get this on an edge at every opportunity, and there’s plenty of pop when you need it. Just don’t expect too much of the relatively short tail, even with the extra stiffness on hand in this version.

The splitboard version of the KORUA Café Racer Plus remains available, should you be looking for lightweight transport to the far-flung backcountry.

Tester’s Verdict


I was fortunate to be able to take one of these straight out of the wrapper when I tested it, and out of all the boards I demo’d this year, this was the ‘fist-bite’ moment. How much blacker could this be? The answer is none, none more black. Blacker than Hotblack Desiato’s stunt ship in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

But not just black; the topsheet shimmers with some sort of carbon-y inlay that catches the light as you go from edge to edge. In short, it’s definitely a contender for being the prettiest board of the year.

“It’s one of the few carbon-ized boards I’ve actually enjoyed riding”

But does it ride well? And, perhaps more importantly, is it worth the additional €250 compared to the standard version? I’ll get to that in a bit, but for now rest assured that it rips. It’s noticeably lighter when you hold it, so much so that it’s one of the few carbon-ized boards I’ve actually enjoyed riding.

Let me explain: in most instances, manufacturers tend to add extra layers of carbon into an existing design. It’s super lightweight, adds almost no additional thickness and – critically – is expensive, so you can up the price without too much extra work. You don’t often get the weightsaving properties, just the stiffness, making most kind of stodgy.

The Cafe Racer + feels like it’s been completely re-worked, so much so that it actually twangs when you flick the nose. It doesn’t just look like a tuned up stealth version of the original – it practically purrs at you whilst it waits to be ridden.

On snow, it’s ridiculous. For carving pistes I’ve been on surfier boards that have been more fun, but definitely nothing that grips and rips quite like this. It turned summer glacier slush into an experience that felt more like riding perfectly groomed hardpack. There was no powder (it was July) but I’m sure it could handle that just as well if you know what you’re doing and can handle the thought of dinging a €700 board on a rock.

“It’s ridiculous. For carving pistes, nothing grips and rips quite like this”

Because there’s no way around it, that’s a lot of money for a snowboard, even a carbon one. Seeing how KORUA already makes ridiculously fun boards at a more accessible price point, this occupies the curve near the end of the graph camera and car nerds show you, designating the point where more money equals less return.

Thing about that graph though… If you have the kind of cash to play around there, you’ll definitely think it’s worth it. No one ever regretted buying a Ferrari. If you dig what KORUA does and can afford one, get it.


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