The Gentemstick Stingray takes the super set back tapered Mantaray and gives it a little less set back and more of a double ender feel to it. This has been around before Jones Snowboards started but it’s easiest to describe it as a combo between the Jones Hovercraft and Jones Flagship. Because of that it was a board I was instantly at home with and the only drawback is it comes in one size and has a very narrow stance width. Nothings changed from 2015 to 2017 and overall Gentemstick boards don’t change that much.
Conditions: Hard snow in the morning, medium snow mid day and soft to slushy in the afternoon. Same conditions every day I rode it.
Boots: Burton Fiend LTD
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Diode, Flux SF, Union Factory,
Set Up: 15 front 0 back about 23″ wide with the Flux SF and Union Factory but about 22″ with the Burton Cartels and Diodes because I couldn’t turn the discs side ways and slide them out wider than the widest stance of 22″.
Approximate Weight: Felt normal and sturdy.
On Snow Feel: This is one of those boards that I would categorize as a powder first board but say it’s a very close groomer/freeride board second. It’s stable, snappy and fun for riding in all conditions you want to ride. It’s one of those boards for those that are rigid in inception but flexible in execution….AKA plan for deep pow on your trip but it will still be fun if it turns out to be all groomers the whole time.
Turn Initiation: For my specs I loved this little 155 (well 154.8) and it felt like it addressed some of my minor issues with the 156 Jones Hovercraft. The Hovercraft felt a little sluggish on quick radius turns the Gentemstick Stingray felt quicker and more snappy edge to edge on tight radius turns. The 156 Hovercraft was a little more fun on wider radius turns but not by too much. The Stingray had just a little more lively snap to it and had a little more spring out of the turn though on all radius turns. It can get slashy too and it’s very easy to spray snow. So basically its got a lot of the personality of the Hovercraft but just turns faster. It’s not for those that skid their turns but if you know the mechanics of turning you will find this quick and easy.
Skidded Turns: Not a super easy board for those who skid most of their turns but it isn’t terrible when you have to occasionally and it doesn’t feel that catchy.
Carving: It’s one of those boards that looks like you should only take it out in powder but going out on good groomers and burying that rail into the snow for a nip scratcher is really fun. There is a lot of spring out of each carve and I had a blast laying it out on the groomers. It really makes carving back up hill fun and you can make a day out of it after the powder is gone. I’m surprised how I never felt the tail get washy either which is surprising for how much taper there is with this board.
Flex: Pretty stiff in the middle but the rocker in the nose tail seem a touch softer or just thinner to make it easier to butter and press than you would think.
Edge Hold: Ok I was really impressed with how it held in the frozen corduroy. There is nothing fancy with the side cut but it held like a champ.
Powder: So no powder but based on how it turned in groomers it’s a board I would prefer this over the Hovercraft in tight trees but I think I would like riding the Mantaray better.
Speed: Very fast for a 155 and I never felt the nose chatter. Really fun for bombing or high speed carves.
Uneven Terrain: Now the Gentemstick Stingray shines almost everywhere but in uneven terrain. It can get a little cranky in harder uneven snow but paired up with good shock absorbent bindings like the Diode’s or Cartel’s it’s better and you can spend a whole day on the hill. Because it turns pretty quick for it’s waist width you can negotiate bumps pretty well. The Gentemstick Giant Mantaray 159’s softer flex made it much easier in the bumpy stuff.
Switch: Doable but nothing like riding regular. It’s for those that stick to one direction.
Jumps: Not really for the park but I found that the pop off the tail for ollies and natural features was springy and very easy to get some air. For jumps that land in the same direction as when you start it’s top notch. It’s just not something for landing switch.
Jibbing: No thank you.
Pipe: Yeah I’d like to do some surfy directional pipe riding with the Stingray. It holds an edge well enough, can carve across the bottom of the pipe and slash hard under the coping. The turn initiation is quick enough to make quick adjustments and I would feel comfortable throwing this around in the pipe as long as I didn’t ride switch.
So all in all the Gentemstick Stingray is one of those very versatile all condition powder to freeride boards that I think will appeal to a wide variety of directional riders. It’s a nice all condition balance between aggressive and playful surfy. Lately I’m more into the Mantaray’s quick tight turning personality better but the Stingray still offers up a great ride for those that don’t want to be as set back and also draw out their turns a little more. The only real thing holding me back from giving this a full on thumbs up is the narrow stance width. For many this could be a deal breaker so make sure you are ok with maxing out at 22″.