- Price: £420
- Sizes: 155, 162, 167W
- Flex: 5
- Profile: Setback Camber
- Shape: Directional
Shape experiments are all the rage these days, and we’re stoked to see so many interesting stubby boards on the market. However, doing something interesting with the outline doesn’t necessarily mean squashing it down - just look at what Völkl have lined up for 2016/17. As well as the vampire-fanged Pac], there’s the lean, green machine that is the Völkl Alright.
The sidecut radius and the effective edge are shorter than on a standard board of the same length. That means that even if you size way up - as our tester did, taking out the biggest version available - it doesn’t require take longer than your average dreadnaught to execute a turn.
"This comes alive in the deep stuff, where every inch of that curious shape makes it float effortlessly"
When on firmer ground, the large, wide nose and tail of the Völkl Alright won’t interrupt the ride too much, so you can rip up the piste and even wang it around switch if you want. The camber of the profile means it’ll pop up nicely, although given its setback nature you’ll be better off doing this in your normal stance.
As you may have guessed, the Alright’s piste prowess isn’t what you’ll be buying it for. This comes alive in the deep stuff, where every inch of that curious shape makes it float effortlessly. Even if it’s a little choppy or cruddy, the nose is shaped specifically to bash through anything, and in the true champagne pow you can silence the little voice in your head that’s afraid of cartwheeling forwards.
Once you get used to having that extra weight (despite Völkl’s considerable efforts, a longer board will always have a bit more heft to it), the Alright is definitely one to get in the air. Even just the sensation of landing in a patch of fresh will be like nothing you’ve experienced before.
Plenty of great tech has been employed here - carbon additives, reinforced edges and next-level dampening, to name just a few examples - so you’re not just paying for a wacky shape. That said, the shape is what makes the Völkl Alright stand out. We can imagine folk getting quite carried away on this, in the best possible sense.
This is the shortest-feeling 167 I've ever tried. Its design and specs give it the edge length you'd expect of a 150, but with the float you'd expect from its actual length.
"It’s really strange to look down and see all that length, but then have it feel like a skateboard"
This meant on hardpack it needed time to get used to, and I had to adapt my riding to it - it’s really strange to look down and see all that length, but then have it feel like a skateboard. If you mainly ride in resort this wouldn't be the best choice, but once in pow it's an absolute dream.
The long nose and tail translate to heaps of float no matter which way you ride, and the flex is perfectly tuned to handle high speed lines, bank slashing and pillow buttering. Perfect for pow loving freestylers.