- Price: £479
- Sizes: 155, 158, 159W, 161, 162W
- Flex: 7
- Profile: Setback Camber
- Shape: Directional
While Tom Sims’ staggering contribution to snowboarding was always going to outlive the man himself, it was nevertheless a shock when he passed away in 2012 at the age of just 62. 40 years since he started making snowboards, the brand that bears his name returns to the European market following last year’s successful relaunch in North America.
There are only four boards in the range, and the SIMS Blade is the one most focused on freeriding. The shape and graphic clearly pay homage to Tom’s hard-carving, banked-slalom-slaying heyday, but the tech underneath would surely blow the collective minds of the ‘80s shred community.
“Whether you’re initiating a turn or holding a strong edge with elbow down, the sidecut is designed for a smooth ride that grips hard where required”
SIMS boards are made at the Never Summer factory in Colorado, from whom they’ve borrowed some key features. The sidecut, for example, features lots of different radii. Whether you’re initiating a turn or holding a strong edge with elbow down, it’s designed for a smooth ride that grips hard where required.
The mostly-camber profile is set back towards the tail, but only a little; the rocker section at the nose is a lot shorter than you’ll find on other freeride boards. This means that the SIMS Blade definitely performs better when ridden in its intended direction, but switch isn’t out of the question. While we don’t reckon it’s cut out for butters, you can definitely get away with riding it like a twin.
Indeed, the carbon enhancements are essentially the same at both the nose and tail. Rigid, lightweight rods run from the inserts to either side of the nose and tail, in groups of four. The resulting ‘V’ shapes provide extra pop, as well as increasing the torsional stiffness at both ends to better handle powerful carves.
We’ve certainly seen more aggressive freeride boards than the new SIMS Blade, and you’re welcome to go hunt them out if that’s what you’re after. However, this is something special: a freeride weapon that performs its function excellently, but offers a bit more versatility.