Slash Spectrum 2016-2017

  • Price: £335
  • Sizes: 148, 151, 153W, 154, 157
  • Flex: 5
  • Profile: Flat
  • Shape: True Twin

The Slash Spectrum is a freestyle board, but don’t think it only belongs in the park. Anything in sight is ripe for tricks when you’re riding this model, which Gigi Rüf has left largely unchanged for 2016/17.

Bar the usual kicks at the nose and tail, the Slash Spectrum is completely flat. While that will always mean less pop than camber, it also means a smaller chance of catching your edge. It doesn’t take long to get used to a flat base – and once you do, you have something incredibly versatile. Floating it in deep snow is easy, as is anything freestyle-related, and you can still get a strong edge on the groomers (aided by the small bump halfway along each edge).

“If the resort is one big playground to you, from the back bowls to the handrail outside the liftpass office, then the Slash Spectrum fits the bill”

The Spectrum is one of the few boards in Slash’s line to feature the brand’s ‘Reactive Flex’. In layman’s terms, both the wood and the fibreglass in the core have been chosen to make it easier to manipulate the board torsionally (meaning from edge to edge). By ‘pedaling’ with your feet, you can twist the board through the waist in order to engage or disengage part of the edge. When perfecting those turns it can help you to initiate smoothly, and when on a rail you can minimise the likelihood of a nasty hang-up.

From end to end it’s got an average flex, so while it won’t excel at high speeds it can certainly deal with them. Then when you see a nice, open stretch of piste, the flex and the flat base make for easy buttering. You’ll get plenty of pop off side hits and park jumps thanks to the bamboo stringers, while the multiple-radius sidecut helps you dig trenches all over the mountain.

If the resort is one big playground to you, from the back bowls to the handrail outside the liftpass office, then the Slash Spectrum fits the bill.

Tester’s Verdict

Matt Higson –

My first impression of this year’s model was that it’s a little softer than before, which is no bad thing as it really upped the fun factor and made it feel even more playful! I mostly rode this in the park, and the softer flex made it really easy to press on all the features. When taking the board over some of the jumps you can really feel the Reactive Flex working on the take offs; it gives the board a little more bite when you’re spinning.

“The Reactive Flex gives the board a little more bite when you’re spinning”

A little later on in the afternoon I rode the board on piste. It was pretty slushy, but the Spectrum charged through it all without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a good all-round park board that won’t let you down when you want to push your riding!

Trade Secrets

Gigi Rüf – Co-founder, Slash Snowboards

The Spectrum is for those who view snow in the streets and mountains through a prism of possibilities, just like Nic Sauve who used this board in his Encore video part. Its zero camber profile is less aggressive than positive camber, but offers more stability than a rocker board design. This makes it easy to flex, turn, and press with the power to load up potent ollies and elude edge catch.

The Reactive Flex fiberglass layup generates a lively underfoot feel from tip to tail, but also from heel to toe, which delivers more foot control for freestyle riding.

The graphic was created together with Michael Hacker, an Austrian illustrator and comic book artist that became a good friend of mine. The half men/half animal graphic shows the duality that every boarder knows well – for example, when trying a new trick lets you forget everything around you, or you become one with the moment when only instinct guides you and your snowboard. Have fun!

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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