The Gentemstick Zephyr is one of those boards that offers up an aggressive surfy ride that reminds me of a 7.0 gun. It likes draw longer lines down a steep wide open hill. When we first tried this board the camber felt almost non existent and the Zephyr could of passed for flat to rocker but with another model we felt a little more camber going on this time. Since the board didn’t change it seems it might just be that the other demo might of been a touch off compared to this newer demo.
So after experiencing groomers the whole time in a shitty season with a board that’s known for powder isn’t the best but I was surprised to find out how well it handled groomers for the kind of rider it’s designed for.
Conditions: Hard to icy in the morning, soft mid day and slushy afternoon. All days were the same each season I rode it.
Riders: James and Matt
Boots: Burton Fiend LTD
Bindings: Burton Diode, Flux SF, Union Factory
Set Up: 15 front 0 back about 23″ wide
Approximate Weight: Felt normal and sturdy.
On Snow Feel: So the Zephyr has a very stable ride. It’s got a mellow camber from the tail to the front binding and then it starts to rocker up. It almost looks flat and the first time I rode it I thought it was flat. It seems to have more rocker than the other boards in Gentemsticks line that I tried. If you surf it’s got a gun like feeling made for fast hollow waves. It want’s to draw out aggressive mostly straight lines or long drawn out S-Turns down an open face.
Turn Initiation: The Gentemstick Zephyr doesn’t like to make quick tight turns. It can go from edge to edge quick but then doesn’t really throw board hard into the direction you are leaning. That’s where it starts to get slow and isn’t ideal if you have to make hard rights and lefts in the trees or tight steep chutes. Instead it likes to make medium to wide radius turns and long drawn out S turns. You can get a little slashy but it likes a high speed drawn out massive spray slash compared to a quick snappy slash. If you know how to turn this will be fine but it’s not a super easy board to skid turns with so it’s for riders that know what they are doing.
Carving: The subtle camber is pretty fun to carve on but we found it to be more fun on the Spoon Fish and Ray series. On the first Mantaray I tried the camber was so subtle it felt like flat to rocker but when I got on another Zephyr this season it was much better.
Flex: Not really a butter and play around board and the flex feels medium/stiff. It’s doable off the tail though if you want to wheelie up your nose.
Edge Hold: Very good edge hold and even in the hard mornings the board never felt sketchy or washy.
Powder: Now this is where I should be able to elaborate the most but unfortunately there was no powder or anything even close to powder when I demo’d these boards. That was a bit disappointing as this is where the Zephyr shines. However that is the reality of snowboarding. Some years you can get skunked if you can’t travel. That being said the swallow tail and flat to rocker profile says this is a board that you want in the deep stuff. It wouldn’t be my first choice for riding in the trees or tight chutes that require a lot of turning but it would be for a long wide open bowl.
Speed: Very fast board for a 160 and even though you are far back on the tail it still feels like there is a lot of board there and it’s not washy.
Uneven Terrain: Despite it’s stiffer flex the Gentemstick Zephyr never got too cranky in uneven snow.
Switch: Nope…. Didn’t even try.
Jumps: You know the Zephyr had decent pop off the tail and it snapped well enough but I liked the pop better off the Ray series and with the Spoonfish.
Pipe: maybe….but naaahh.
So all in all the Gentemstick Zephyr is one of those boards that can offer up speed, fun wide radius turns and a fast aggressive bigger wave surfy ride. It’s not for everyone but for those that want a surfy charger here you go.
2015 Gentemstick Zephyr Review