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Snowboards

Salomon Assassin 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 150, 153, 156, 158W, 159, 162, 163W, 165
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Hybrid Camber
  • Shape: Directional Twin
  • Price: £449 / €549

With very few exceptions, there’s not a snowboard brand out there worth its salt that doesn’t make a do-anything, go-anywhere all-rounder. These boards often stay in the range for years, building a solid reputation as a versatile, accessible option. The Salomon Assassin is one example – but rather than getting stagnant, it’s constantly being revised and improved.

“The bamboo is concentrated in the nose and tail, stiffening up those areas just enough to increase the pop without making the whole thing feel like a plank”

The outline is still as twin as they come, and as the paint-job suggests it is definitely designed for switch riding. However, the newest incarnation has a more directional flex. The difference between the nose and the tail in this respect means that when riding in powder you should get a better performance when leading with your front foot. It’s subtle, and hardly revolutionary, but sometimes these little tweaks can make all the difference.

Another change for 2018/19 is the addition of the ‘Quadralizer’ sidecut. This is Salomon’s most technically advanced edge technology; a short, straight section directly between the feet that develops into radii of varying sizes along the rest of the edge. The intention is to deliver the maximum amount of edge hold for a twin-outlined snowboard, so you can carve up the pistes like you were on something more suited for charging.

The profile remains the same as before, a mostly-camber layup with a flat section in the middle and rocker sections at each end. It’s a freestyle-friendly tweak to the classic bend, giving you more options on boxes and rails without overly loosening up the ride.

“Rather than getting stagnant, the Salomon Assassin is constantly being revised and improved”

As for what lies under the hood, a combination of bamboo, basalt and cork work together with the Aspen wood core to ensure that the Salomon Assassin has all the performance beats you’d want, whilst keeping the manufacturing process (and end product) as environmentally friendly as possible.

The bamboo is concentrated in the nose and tail, stiffening up those areas just enough to increase the pop without making the whole thing feel like a plank. Combined with the ‘Popster’ core, which uses varying thicknesses of wood to achieve the perfect balance between flex and strength, you’ll be able to send this to the moon.

The Salomon squad are convinced that the wider shred world will love the new Assassin as much as they do, which is why it’s now available in more sizes than ever before – from 150 right up to 165.

Tester’s Verdict

Mike Brindleywhitelines.com

“After a week spent cooing over some of next season’s finest powder boards (with the snow conditions to match) taking out an all-mountain twin was always going to be a bit of a risky maneuver.

In all honesty, my first impressions here were that I could see why people might want to upgrade to the Pro version – the base wasn’t as speedy as I’d like, and I wasn’t getting as much conviction out of the camber section of the combo profile as I’d expected – but as the day wore on, I began to see where Assassin fans get their ammunition from.

“This is the workhorse that you’ve been promised, even without the bells and whistles of its big-brother Pro edition”

On an open powder field, the humble Assassin truly held its own alongside other members of the crew on their more single-minded directional steeds; but while you’d need Ben Ferguson-style skills to take those kind of boards to the park, this was instantly happy adapting to side hits and jibbing about on a home run, or being thrown haphazardly into piste butters.

This is the workhorse that you’ve been promised, even without the bells and whistles of its big-brother Pro edition, and if you’ve only got room for one board in the bag, it’s as strong a contender as any.”

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