The Gentemstick Rocket Fish is kind of like a slightly bigger brother to the Rocket Fish HP and has a very similar overall feel. If you are the kind of surfer that likes to drive a lot off the front foot and wants a unique ride then this might work. However there is a bit of a learning curve associated with it and the Rocket Fish line were the only Gentemstick boards that I didn’t instantly feel comfortable with.
Conditions: Really good soft groomers with some left over pow but early season conditions so not too adventurous. Don’t want to ruin my friends board.
Boots: Burton SLX
Bindings: Burton Diode
Set Up: 20″ wide 18 front -3 back set back to the tail.
Approximate Weight: Felt pretty light
On Snow Feel: Not like any board I have tried which is good and bad. It feels really really tail light and really requires you to concentrate on keeping most of your pressure off the front foot. Also it has a very narrow stance. It’s not something I got comfortable with entirely and in certain situations more traditional freeride muscle memory came into play that let me to take a pretty decent spill. It’s ok one footing and flat basing but it’s not the kind of board I’d personally like to be on. Many Gentemstick rides are powder boards that excel on groomers but the Rocketfish is more for powder and an aquired taste on groomers.
Edge Hold: Not quite like a lot of other Gentemsticks I tried and it didn’t have the grip I came to expect.
Flex: Pretty medium/stiff flex and it’s easy to butter off the tail.
Turn Initiation: Really different to turn and you have to rely 100% off your front foot. Lot’s of powder to freeride boards are fun when you initiate your turn off the front foot and then slowly transition your weight to the back foot to get a surfy laid back turn but with the Rocket Fish you have to keep it up front. It’s very quick for a 29 cm waist though.
Skidded Turns: It skids turns more than you would want so you have to be very careful it doesn’t skid you around into fakie.
Carving: Not a great carver for the reason I described above regarding Turn Initiation. Just too light on the tail for a really surfy carve.
Powder: This is what the Rocket Fish is really made for. In the few thick leftover powder patches I had I couldn’t believe how easily it floated with so much of front foot in play. This little wide board can float.
Speed: I wasn’t super comfortable bombing this board. I’m much more at home with the Ray series from Gentemstick.
Uneven Terrain: It bounced and bucked me around in uneven terrain and I wasn’t into it.
Jibbing: No fucking way.
Jumps: Decent pop and there is snap to this board. I’ve seen friends get big air with this but it’s not my thing. It feels really light on the tail when landing.
So all in all I’m more impressed right off the chair with the Gentemstick and Snowsurf Models I’ve tried like the Mantaray and Spoonfish 152. I think I could come to understand this board better with a lot more time on it but with the other Gentemstick models being so much fun I’m not sure I’ll take the time.