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Salomon HPS Taka Nakai X Wolle Nyvelt 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

After a successful first year, Wolle Nyvelt’s Hillside Project continues for another winter. The Austrian freeride guru’s longtime backer Salomon has essentially let him loose in the design department, crafting brand new boards like this one as well as reinventing the classic Salomon Sick Stick.

To give it its full name, this is the Salomon HPS Taka Nakai X Wolle Nyvelt snowboard – fortunately known simply as the ‘Taka’ for short. It’s a collaboration between Wolle and one of Japan’s finest soul shredders, who also has an impressive halfpipe career to look back on. In other words, a whole lot of expertise has gone into this.

“If you like tree runs, the Salomon Taka is ideal”

As its pedigree would suggest, this one works best when in powder. There’s a lot of rocker up front for effortless float, and the tapered shape is a little wider through the waist, so you can ride a shorter length. If you like tree runs, the Salomon Taka is ideal.

Setback camber gives you plenty edge hold in the carves, so when you’re on firmer stuff you can get plenty of grip. However, given the fact that you should be downsizing a little with this, carving purists may want something a bit more traditional.

Liberal use of paulownia wood keeps the Salomon Taka light, and bamboo replaces plastic material (such as in the sidewalls) wherever possible for a more eco-friendly ride. This winter, powder fans should definitely seek out the (deep breath) Salomon HPS Taka Nakai X Wolle Nyvelt snowboard.

Tester’s Verdict

Olly Lambournemountainmavericks.com

“The first thing that you notice is that this is a beautifully made board – it looks amazing. Wood and cork sidewalls, functional, aesthetical and the sort of craftsmanship that someone of my years can really appreciate.

“Smooth and easy edge-to-edge, making for a very nice and soulful ride”

First impressions didn’t disappoint; it was nice and light with plenty of sidecut. It was smooth and easy edge-to-edge, making for a very nice and soulful ride. Definitely a board for those that like the powder, whilst embracing and being one with the mountain and making graceful effortless turns.

I did find though that if pushed aggressively, especially in chopped and harder snow that the edge didn’t hold on that well. This might have been mitigated by getting on a longer size, but the 158 I was on is the biggest one available at present.”

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