Canadian rail-slayer Louif Paradis’ deck of choice is, unsurprisingly, a freestyle machine. From the park to the streets, the Salomon Villain is bound to deepen the trick bags of old hands and fresh fish alike.
Other than a small flat section in the middle and rocker sections towards the end, this has a classic camber bend that’s better for rails than you’ve been told.
For setting an edge on the run-in, popping up to a feature and locking in for the slide, it can’t be beat. You shouldn’t try to be as loosey-goosey with it as you can afford to get with rockers, but as long as you know what you’re doing then you’ll have a ball on this.
Obviously no board is indestructible, but efforts have been made to limit the wear and tear that urban riding can cause. the sidewalls are reinforced with thick rubber pads that absorb impacts, and the Aspen core is lightweight but by no means flimsy.
While it’s pretty flexible, you can still have a good razz around the kickers, pipe and pistes on this too. The triax glass increases the torsional stiffness, and the sintered base is nice and rapid. So while it’s a trick stick for sure, not only freestylers need apply.
“This board did feel a little stiffer than previous years’ versions, but that’s not a bad thing as features are only getting bigger.
I went straight to the park with the Villain; on the rails it was easy to spin on and off, and friendly enough when you made a mistake. The sidecut worked wonders coming in to the medium-sized jumps – it essentially feels like power steering for your snowboard.
Charging the Villain around on piste was great fun too, as it ploughed through any choppy snow and made you want to hit any bump or lip faster.
This board is a great choice for any freestyle rider who wants a board that won’t let them down over the whole mountain, such as a seasonaire who is going to spend a lot of time in the park."
"The sidecut worked wonders coming in to the medium-sized jumps – it essentially feels like power steering for your snowboard"