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Snowboards

Salomon Ultimate Ride 2016-2017

 

  • Price: £450
  • Sizes: 150, 153, 155, 158, 161
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Hybrid Camber
  • Shape: True Twin
  • SALOMON.COM

The bods at Salomon seemingly let Bode Merrill loose in their design department this year. As well as coming up with the Hi-Fi boot, he’s also had a hand in bringing this to life: the Salomon Ultimate Ride. In previous seasons he gave us the Man’s Board, but this has enough brand-spanking new features to stand alone as its own animal.

Has any board ever had a name as difficult to live up to as the Salomon Ultimate Ride? It takes a lot of confidence to go down that path, but having got our hands on this we’re thinking that it may have been justified. It’s certainly ‘Ultimate’ in the sense that it’s seriously hi-tech, built to push limits wherever they’re found.

“Carbon beams at the nose and tail improve the pop in both directions, and the super-fast ‘Area 51’ base carries you along like a rocket”

Unique to the Ultimate Ride are the ‘Gunslinger’ sidewalls, which feature carbon right along each edge. Not only do they make the deck more resistant to impact, they also improve response. That’ll come in handy when you’re using the sidecut – a blend of different curves that offers insane levels of grip – to carve up the pistes.

At first glance it boasts a traditional camber, but look closer and you’ll see that the bend is more pronounced either side of the bindings than between the feet. There are also short rocker sections at the contact points, and together they deliver a ride with plenty of pop and carveability, but with the twitchiness dialled back and the pow performance ramped up. It’s still a true twin (not counting the extremities, which don’t make a difference to the ride anyway), but it’ll work better in deep snow than a twin with traditional camber might.

Carbon beams at the nose and tail improve the pop in both directions, and the super-fast ‘Area 51’ base carries you along like a rocket thanks to a formula that’s as top-secret as a shady American military base.

The Salomon Ultimate Ride is built to scrape the sky at every opportunity, whether in the park or out the back. Gung-ho freestyle mentalists will no doubt love Bode’s creation, so expect to see a few of them flying above your head this season. And if one ends up under you feet, then well done you.

Tester’s Verdict

Mike Brindley – Whitelines

Don’t be confused by the rad graphics and shape – this is a serious bit of kit, loaded full of carbon and with a powerful ‘Quad Camber’ profile. I was warned that it’s best to be well awake with this under your feet, and although it wasn’t too punishing I could see why they felt the need to offer that disclaimer.

“It’s poppy, lively, fast and fun”

It’s poppy, lively, fast and fun. While I probably wouldn’t personally pick it as an everyday whip, I could certainly picture burlier, aggressive riders really getting the most out of it.

Off side hits it was amazingly snappy under my feet, but it felt like I barely touched on how much pre-load could be put into the tail – even after upping the ante on each hit. In a way, that’s the only danger with a weapon like this – it’s fully pumped to help you push your limits, so you’d better be ready for it.

Trade Secrets

Bode Merrill – Team Rider, Salomon

The new Salomon Ultimate Ride is exactly what the name suggests. I drew up a cool-looking, directional, somewhat surf-inspired shape – but don’t let that fool you. This is a twin board that can do anything and everything. from kinked rails to Alaskan spines

It rides like a traditional camber snowboard, but with early rise tip and tail for extra float when it’s deep. It’s also got the new ‘Quadralizer’ sidecut that makes turning easier and the edge more effective.

Mix all that with the strongest, lightest materials around – not to mention insane pop – and we’ve created the perfect snowboard. After one day on the Salomon Ultimate Ride, I never wanted to ride another board again!

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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