The Rossignol Taipan is a very versatile board and it’s been a long time Good Ride Favorite. This year the Templar edged out the Taipan but it’s still very recommendable if you don’t ride in icy conditions and want to save $50. Don’t let the price tag pigeon hole you into thinking this is just a low cost beginner/intermediate board. It’s a lot more than that.
2015-2011 Rossignol Taipan Review
The Rossignol Taipan hasn’t changed much since we have been riding it but it’s still a great board. Each year there are some minor refinements but it still remains the same general ride. The real kicker with this board is it’s ability to have a consistent ride in all conditions.
Size: 158 and 156
Conditions: Almost every Condition from 3+ Feet of good sierra powder to good grromers to hard pack that is more like snowment but not true ice like some places see.
Riders: James, Eli, Peter, Mike, Jimbo, Mary and many others.
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, Nike Zoom Ites, Burton Hail, Burton Ruler, Salomon Synapse
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Cartel Limited, Burton Malavita, Burton Diode, Union Force, Flux DMCC, Flux SF45,Burton Genesis, Union SL, Union Contact Pro and a few others.
Set Up: Centered 22.5-23″ wide 15 front -9 back and 15 front and -15 back. Set back all the way for deep powder, 15 front and -3 back. Set back a little 15 front -6 back approx 23″ wide.
Years ago when we first tried the Taipan we all did not expect to like it as much as we did. It sits in a higher class of boards than it’s price range would lead you to believe. Many companies say almost all of their boards are a peak to park weapon but we rarely say this here at the Good Ride. It’s one of those all mountain do everything boards that does everything well. It’s nothing exceptional in any category but is never disappointing and that is all you can ask for a true all mountain board. The all condition consistency is what really gets us. It’s personality remains the same from ice to powder.
On Snow Feel: Hybrid Camber has many of the qualities of rocker or hybrid rocker but doesn’t have that ultra loose feel like a skate board with no trucks. It’s also easier to one foot off the chair or to flat base on those long cat track runs. It’s the kind of board that allows a stable all mountain ride that performs well (not great) at everything.
Powder: We have had many deep days (some over 3 feet) and the sierra cement we often ride in is very tough on a boards powder qualities. The setback and all around floaty nature of the Taipan made us all not want to trade boards after riding this. This is border line excellent and almost as good as many dedicated pow boards. You can set it all the way back like we did and get floaty/surfy/slashy or you can center the stance and take on the powder switch and regular. Either way it’s a lot of fun. You can’t get much better for a board of this shape and size.
Turn Initiation and Carving– The Taipan can carve! It’s not the best we have ridden but it’s very good. It’s very easy to transition from edge to edge but doesn’t have that overly easy turn back up hill kind of feeling that makes it border line good. We actually prefer this over the super easy feeling we just described. When it’s time to make a wider radius turn the Taipan can hold an edge very well. This is a board that can react to different turning moods rather well.
Speed: This board isn’t going to be seen near a boarder x track but it’s not that bad for it’s flex. We’d say it’s closer to the average side of things but the base is pretty fast and there isn’t too much chatter for it’s soft flex.
Uneven Terrain: It deals with all types of terrain very well and its the kind of board that can make bad conditions a little better. They still suck but they just suck less.
Weight– It’s a medium border line light weight board and isn’t going to hurt on the lift but isn’t super light either.
Edge Hold: There is a very good grip here. In all the conditions we rode in we never felt like we needed more but at the same time it didn’t feel limitless like the Rossignol Onemagtek. We didn’t experience east coast ice and don’t want to but it climbed an icy pipe wall pretty well and handled snowment very well.
Flex: On the medium side of soft overall but stiffer between the feet and really soft at the tip/tail. It makes for a fun board to butter around the mountain if you are in that kind of mood.
Switch: This is a directional twin with a pretty good setback but it still rode switch just like it did regular when we centered up the stance.
Jibbing– Really fun and borderline excellent. We felt comfortable hitting any jib in the park. There are some boards that are better here but it’s not bad if you like to do everything.
Pipe: Really impressive for a board with a flex like this. The grip between the feet is pretty good and we all had fun in the 18′ and 22′ pipes we rode in. Good times.
Jumps: Not super springy but it’s not lifeless either. Lapping the roller coaster run is doable and it’s got a nice stable take off as well as a forgiving landing. It’s just not really the best for big ollies off natural terrain on the mountain.
Maybe we are just overly stoked on the Taipan because of the low price tag but the bottom line is this is just a fun all around board that gives you a lot more than you would expect for the price. If you truly want to do almost everything and can only afford one board this is a great choice.