Salomon Villain 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £440 / $479.95
  • Category: Park/Jib
  • Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 147, 150, 153, 155, 155W, 158, 158W
  • Flex: 5/10
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Profile: Rock Out Camber
  • Base: Sintered

The Salomon Villain is your one stop shop for all things freestyle. Urban assaults, slushy park laps and jib fiestas are on the cards when you strap into this badboy. A staple in the line of any discerning park rat, The Villain has been around the block more than once and it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The Villain takes on a blunted, true twin shape, which is pretty much industry standard for a freestyle snowboard, but where the Villain sets itself apart from the pack is what’s under the hood. In the past, jib boards have often been cheap and poorly made, when it was released The Villain changed the game with its high end materials and premium construction.

“Floaty rockered tips, dynamic camber zones, and a stable flat base between the feet give you the ability to rip it up wherever you should choose to take it”

When you’re lining up a huge stair set it pays to be precise, any wobble could be the difference between you leaving the spot with all your teeth, the Villain has carbon inserts running underfoot through the sidewall to increase the edge to edge response. These Slingshot Sidewalls also take some of the slap out of landings and dampen the ride to keep you silky smooth through the chop and chunder. Two-directional biax laminates give the Villain a predictable and playful feel, with triax additives to channel rider input to where you need it most.

Salomon’s Rock Out Camber includes lengthened rocker zones in the nose and tail, giving you a solid platform for locking into presses and smoother than sin butters. It then runs into a midbody camber boosting the liveliness and injecting a big dose of pop and power into the Villain. A flat zone between the feet increases stability when you’re getting down on the metal, with the freestyle bevels detuning the edges in the nose and tail working to stop hang ups and burrs.

“The Craft has been upgraded to Cork sidewalls, which are not only boss at soaking up slap from big landings but they’re also an eco-friendlier option”

Pop and precision seem to be the buzz words with the Villain. Salomon’s Popster Booster core varies the thickness of wood core down the length of the board to maximise its liveliness and shaves some precious weight. Three carbon stringers fan out in the nose and tail, channelling energy from the inserts out to the tips for an extra boost when you’re popping off a lip or onto a rail.

The Villain is French Canadian Louif Paradis’ weapon of choice and you just have to take a look at some of his gap-to-rail bonanzas to know that the Villain is a board that’s built to take a beating. The stone finished sintered base is tough as old boots and deceptively fast for picking up speed on the run in.

Despite it’s freestyle focus, the Villain’s Quadralizer sidecut and cambered profile give you more than enough edge hold and aggression to cruise groomers. The mix of long and short radii grip better than you’d expect from a board that makes itself at home in the park.

You might not be competing in Real Snow anytime soon, but if you do happen to get the call up, you know the Villain has got the sauce to handle it.

Tester’s Verdict 2017/18

Ed Blomfield –

“I’ll admit, I’m no Louif Paradis, so his board of choice was never going to get a serious street workout in my hands. But in the end, it proved so much more than a niche jib stick.

“Poppy as hell, easy to spin, and nimble underfoot – the Villain is a freestyle beast”

The Villain might be soft – really soft – but it is seriously quick edge-to-edge and carves nicely thanks to a hybrid profile that’s essentially a mellowed out version of camber – there’s no weird skitching about like you get on some rockered jib boards. Salomon offer some of the fastest bases in the business, and this was no exception; you won’t struggle to keep up with your piste-charging mates on this thing.

When you get to the park, though, it kicks serious ass. Poppy as hell, easy to spin, and nimble underfoot – the Villain is a freestyle beast. OK, it buckles a little at face-melting speeds, and it’s a little short in the nose for the powder monkeys, but if pressing rails and getting radical off kickers and side hits is your game then look no further.”

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