The Capita Black Snowboard of Death has been around for a long time and in a few different forms. We started riding this back in the days when it was more like the Mercury is now and then over the last few years (14-16) it evolved to a more tapered freeride board. This year it still has a lot of the 14-16 personality but they added a little more camber and slightly tweaked the ride/tech from 2016. It’s still pretty soft though so it’s not quite typical for a mostly mountain/freeride board.
Conditions: Really good Sierra snow with only some small patches of hard snow.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo, Kyle
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton AMB, Nike Kaiju
Bindings: Union T.Rice
Set Up: A little set back 23″ wide 15 front -9 back
Approximate Weight: Felt light and pretty snappy.
On Snow Feel: Even with a lot of new tech the ride felt pretty similar to the 2016 model. The one thing that stood out to us most on snow was the extra camber but the lowered nose and other little tech tweaks were more subtle and would probably stand out more if we tested the 16 vs. 17 at the same time. Without the 16 to test against it felt pretty similar. It’s stable easy riding freeride board that handles one footing and long flat runs perfect but at the same time isn’t catchy in most situations.
Powder: I’d actually prefer this over the Charlie Slasher because it’s got that nice rocker in the nose, a big nose and the topper is the camber to flat in the back pops really well off the tail. It’s also set back 1″ which is a good bit.
Turn Initiation: It’s pretty quick and pops well from edge to edge. It’s a fun board to turn and when it’s not dumping you can go out and have a good time making anything from short to wide radius turns.
Skidded Turns: This is easier to skid turns than many of the stiffer freeride boards but it’s still not for the intermediate to beginner rider. A stong intermediate on the verge of becoming a good turning advanced rider should be able to handle it but it’s not ideal.
Carving: The extra camber helps for sure but the flat in the tail doesn’t seem to help with carving. While it pops on an ollie really well it doesn’t pop out of a turn off the tail. You just have to keep the pressure more on the camber points a little after the bindings and then it’s less washy. I did feel though that the board could wash a little if you weren’t careful on where you put pressure on the board. I felt the taper still but not as much as I did before. Can’t really speculate as to why.
Speed: You can get some mountain speed going but it’s not a bomber. As you heard from the vid we all felt a little bouncy clown shoe effect going on. For many this will be a deal breaker because they don’t like chatter in a mostly mountain/freeride board like this.
Uneven Terrain: It’s not a chunder buster but its softer flex can quickly navigate edge to edge in messy/bumpy snow and flex over it as long as you aren’t bombing through it.
Edge Hold: We all miss the death grip it use to have when it was more like the Mercury and would love to see that back. As it stands now it’s more of a good conditions ride.
Flex: So maybe this softer flex goes along with the joke about the name. When they started making this board way back in the day they called it Black Snowboard of Death because every snowboard was trying to give their boards more thrashy death metal names than the other. So maybe that’s why the soft flex is there. You know…..Death Metal name with a Dirt Twirling Hippie kind of flex but who knows for sure. It was stiff many years in the past so it might just be rider preference at Capita right now too. You can butter really easy than you would think with the Black Snowboard of Death. It seems a good bit softer in the tip/tail than it is between the feet. So you loose a stiff board at speed but you get some easy buttering out of it. For some this could make this board appealing if you want butter-ability out of a Freeride shape. For us we liked the older stiffer model.
Switch: Feels doable but not ideal. It’s a far cry from an asymmetrical twin but as far as a tapered Freeride board goes it’s doable for sure.
Jibbing: You could hit a mellow jib or two with this but even with the softer flex than you would think for a board of this type it’s still not an ideal jibber.
Pipe: We had a mid sized to small soft playful pipe to ride through and it did fine but I don’t think any of us would like to take this into an icy pipe. Just not enough grip and a little too directional for most.
Jumps: Like I said before great pop off the tail. Really good board for launching off a wind lip or hitting natural features. Not for lapping the jump park but fun for where you want to ride it.
So all in all the Capita Black Snowboard of Death’s 2017 changes helped improve the board but there is still a lot of personality from the 2016 model. It’s a board we liked but weren’t completely in love with. The biggest deal breaker or maker for you, kind reader, will be the flex. If you want a Freeride board you can butter and play around with then this could be a really good fit. However if you want a more traditional harder charging freeride board don’t let the name fool you into buying it.
The Capita Black Snowboard of Death was a great aggressive all mountain ride but the 2014- 2016 went more to the Freeride side. The 2014-2016 is a softer tapered directional ride where the 2013 and below was not tapered, stiffer and less directional. It’s less fun to ride switch but better for more of a surfy approach to the mountain. Also it’s a better directional powder ride.
2014, 2015 and 2016 Capita Black Snowboard of Death Review
Not much has changed since 2014 to 2016 but a lot is different from the 2013 and below models.
Size: 159 and 162
Conditions: Hard pack with some light soft snow pushed around. Petty good snow that got messy at the end of the day
Riders: James, Peter and Eli
Boots: Salomon F3.0, Burton Ion, Burton Imperial
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Charger, Flux SF
Set Up: Peter and I- 23″ wide 15 front -9 back set back a bit. Eli- 22.5 wide Goofy 18 front and 0 back. James- 23″ wide 18 front -6 back
The Capita Black Snowboard of Death (AKA BSOD) has changed a lot but it’s but still great board. It’s a tapered directional shape with the much larger nose and a new hybrid camber profile. It doesn’t have reverse camber in the back seat but instead has a flat section to the tail. So now it goes rocker in the big ass nose, camber between the bindings and then a flat section. It really makes the BSOD much more of a freeride board compared to the 2013 aggressive all mountain shape and it really only wants to ride in one direction now. The Capita TFA has taken over for the BSOD in the aggressive all mountain category and they were pretty close to each other before the BSOD changed up. The BSOD now it’s much more in the old school freeride world of directional riding with a new school float in powder.
On Snow Feel: On the first few turns it still feels like the light snappy Capita Black Snowboard of Death. The more you ride it though the more you start to feel the directional surfy change to the ride. The flat in the back, big ass nose and slightly tapered tail really transform this into a kinky sex child of the Charlie Slasher mated with the Old Black snowboard of Death. It’s all about speed, pow, lively pop and surfy turns. It’s got a true camber feel combined with catch free rocker slashy surf the mountain like float.
Powder: We had no pow but just by the look of it combined with our pow experience with the Charlie Slasher and the old BSOD you can just tell this board will float very very well.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Still a really lively snappy edge to edge kind of ride. It’s very quick edge to edge if you know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to turn correctly this could be very challenging and unforgiving. It requires you to be mostly on your game. I think I had more fun leaning into a hard carve with the old BSOD over the New BSOD though as it felt like it held better. The flat in the tail does make it fun on a surfy laid back carve. Also the new taper does feel a little bit washy. It’s still really fun to carve but it just doesn’t hold like the old one did but they both still have that springy fun carvy feel.
Speed: The Capita Black Snowboard of Death has always bombed in the past but with the new model I felt more chatter free at speed. Before the 159 was always enough board for me but with the new 2014-2016 design the 159 felt too small. It felt like the 162 would be closer to the older model 159 when it comes to speed.
Uneven Terrain: Not the best here but the quick edge to edge nature of this board can get you around bumps.
Edge Hold: Pretty good edge hold but I liked the older BSOD’s grip better. The new tapered design is a little washy in the tail if you try to ride it like the old BSOD. You have to get more weight on the tail/off the back foot. Also it just doesn’t handle the hard snow like it use to when it had the death grip side cut and wasn’t tapered.
Flex: The new Tapered 2014-2016 BSOD is softer than the 2013 and below BSOD. Funny enough you could butter this board rather well and there was more give in the tip/tail than the old BSOD. Some will like that but others might prefer the stiffer flex of the Old BSOD. We did like that we could butter this better but I think all of us would prefer the older stiffer flex so it could handle more speed.
Switch: The 2013 and below models weren’t perfect Switch but it was very doable and were very much like the Mercury is now. The 2014-2016 is more difficult than the 2013 and below model. It’s still doable just less doable than before. Now you really feel that taper in the tail and much bigger nose when riding switch.
Jibbing: Not really a board for jibbing but now with the softer flex you can take a lap or two if you would like.
Pipe: This use to be an excellent technical riders pipe dream but now it’s much more directional tapered shape isn’t quite the pipe board it use to be. It just doesn’t feel the same. There is less edge hold and the taper makes it easier to slash walls but it’s not the pipe board it use to be.
Jumps: Even more pop off the tail than before and it’s a very snappy one direction high speed ollie or bomb off a natural feature kind of board. Not really one for the jump park if you like to spin and land switch.
All in all it’s a mixed bag with the newer model. You get a better powder board, a more surfy directional ride and an easier board to butter but you get less edge hold, worse fakie riding and more chatter at speed.
2013 and Below Capita Black Snowboard of Death Review
Conditions: Hard pack to 1.5 feet of powder.
Riders: James, Peter and a few friends not on the site.
Bindings: Union Force SL’s, Union Atlas, Burton Cartel Limited
The BSOD has a small camber between the feet and then slowly kicks up like rocker after the bindings. This makes for a great all conditions ride and provides better float in powder than the old camber board. Also the turn initiation will be a bit easier than the camber version but it’s still not easy. Just because the 2011 Black Death is now a hybrid shape it doesn’t mean that it’s now a super jib friendly snowboard. This is still a very aggressive board for carving, doing things big and hitting runs at a high speeds. For 2012 the BSOD is still the same design and ride except it’s a bit lighter. The 2013 Capita BSOD is the same ride as the 2012.
The Capita BSOD was a board both riders really enjoyed. It is a very fast aggressive board that isn’t for everyone but will be amazing for others. The BSOD ia inbetween the Yes Big City and the Rome Anthem in terms of stiffness and all mountain performance and design. The BSOD has more camber than the Big City and more rocker than the Rome Anthem. If you are looking for a camber like performance on groomers but want better float in powder the BSOD will do a great job as your one aggressive all mountain snowboard. This was one of my (the editor’s) favorite boards of the year. Just to reiterate this is not a mid/wide board even thought he waist is pretty wide. The “death grip” side cut has an extension in the middle of the waist but the rest of the board is narrow. Just look at the 2010 camber snowboard specs to get an idea.
On Snow Feel: There is a very locked in feel here that feels almost just like regular camber that many of us really liked. It’s very stable under foot but there is some consequence if you get off your game. If you spend most of your time riding on groomed runs there aren’t many boards that are it’s equal in this situation if you like high speed turns and a more aggressive approach to riding groomers. The camber like feel was quite refreshing in this world of rocker boards but it’s a little more forgiving than it’s old camber predecessor.
Powder: If you compare this to the Yes Big Cityit’s not going to be as good but it’s a little less work than the Rome Anthem. Still the rocker at the tip and tail help alot over a regular camber board. In addition to the rocker the BSOD has a decent set back and a directional shape that is more twin like than directional which helps keep it afloat as well.
Turn Initiation and Carving: This board takes a little work to get from edge to edge but it’s very easy for it’s stiff flex. Don’t get us wrong this board still requires you to be on your game almost all the time and it could make you pay if you aren’t. You can make tight quick turns through trees or just fooling around on groomers as well as big high speed carving turns. The BSOD might be one of the best hybrid camber carving boards we have tried. It’s right up there with the new Rome Anthem. It has a nice spring out of every turn that helps you gain momentum and set you up for the next turn.
Speed: This board is very fast. The flex is stiff, the base is fast (maybe capitas best base) and the board is chatter free. We didn’t really open it up due to the very hard conditions but found the modest speeds we brought it to chatter free and very comfortable.
Uneven Terrain: The BSOD is a bomber board on good snow and can handle some uneven snow but towards the end of a crowded day or if you deviate off a groomer to a hard bumpy patch it won’t be the easiest in terms of shock absorption. If you have been on an aggressive camber board for the last 5 years or so and then go to this you will be happy with the progression but if you go from a softer board to this you might feel it a bit rougher.
Approximate Weight– Not a feather weight but pretty light. Nothing noticeable on the bad side at all.
Edge Hold: The mostly camber shape and the little extension (we are guessing 1/2 cm) at the center of the board makes for amazing edge hold. We’d say it’s almost there with Magnetraction and very grippy in almost any condition. Even in the hard conditions we felt very comfortable making turns and never felt like our edge will wash out. It felt like it had limitless edge hold similar to the magnetraction side cuts we have ridden.
Flex: This is a stiff board but it doesn’t act as stiff as it is. Must be the hybrid camber.
Switch: This is a directional board but it seems a bit on the twinish side. It wasn’t bad riding switch but you could tell the difference when you did.
Rails/Jibbing: Not that much fun. It’s too stiff.
Pipe: Many people like a stiff aggressive board in the pipe. If you don’t size up too much the Capita Black Snowboard of Death will do a great job in the pipe. The edge hold is great and the BSOD has a good personality for Pipe Riding. It can be a little unforgiving but for the most part this is a great pipe board.
Jumps: The new hybrid camber tech is still really springy. It’s does a very good job when it comes to generating your own air. It’s also very easy to launch of a man made kicker. Like in the pipe it can be a bit unforgiving but for the most part its very fun lapping a roller coaster or hitting a kicker after a long seep groomer run