|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||Women's, < 8, 8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Camber Profile||Directional Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Divide Tank - Women's / Koi /
Borealis Womens Koi 2021 Review by The Good Ride
The Womens Koi from Borealis is a fun, hard charging freeride snowboard. It excels at speed, carving, wide open turns and powder. It is the type of freeride board that you can ride all over the mountain and still have a lot of fun on groomers, but then go out and float on the deeper days.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average rider’s perspective.
How This Review Happened: We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it.
Days: 4 +
Conditions: Some hard pack/icy conditions, really deep heavy powder, normal groomer day.
Riders: Steph & Paige
Boots: Vans Ferra Pro
Set Up: 21 1/4″ Centered 15 front -15 back
Board Sizing: 152
I really wish they offered it in a smaller size. Just one option at least. Freeride boards are meant to be bigger, but the 152 still felt big for both Paige and I.
On Snow Feel: We were both expecting the Koi to feel different on snow then it ended up feeling. The Koi had a free flowing personality on snow. It turned quickly and stayed somewhat connected because of the set back positive camber. But we could still pivot and turn the board pretty quickly, especially for it being a 152. The longer nose isn’t touching the snow when you ride in hard pack conditions because of the rocker. So the board feels smaller when riding on groomers. In powder the length comes out a bit because the nose then comes in contact with the snow.
Powder: I was able to ride the Koi on a semi tracked powder day. The snow was on the heavy side, but it was thigh-waist deep if I stepped off the board. The Koi had very nice float in the deep snow. Because it was a 152, it felt like a lot of board for me (at 108 lbs and with a 7 1/2 boot size) to turn it quickly. I liked it in steeper, more open terrain because of this. If I was able to maintain my speed through the deeper snow, the Koi was very fun in powder. It also comes with an extra set of inserts, so you can set the bindings WAY back on deep days. This makes the Koi ride a bit more surfy, and allows you to get more leverage on the board for added float.
Turn Initiation: As I said before, Paige and I were both surprised at how fun it was to turn the Borealis Womens Koi. It had a very fun, lively, and interesting personality when turning. And for a 152, it turned way easier than we both expected. Edge to edge felt medium fast. This could be because of the 250mm waist width, and the stiffer flex. But I imagine if the board fit our specs a bit closer, that the Koi would be more of a fast turning board.
Carving: This is where I had a lot of fun with this board. The Koi was so easy and awesome to carve. It tipped up on the edge with minimal effort, and rode the carve line for a good long while. It has a big turn radius so I could really enjoy the carve all the way across the run. The board’s stiffer flex kept it feeling super stable and the Sidewaves 2.0 (extra contact points) along the sidecut helped it keep the edge held tight in the snow.
Speed: The Borealis Womens Koi comes with a IS7200 Sintered Base, and mixed with the stiff flex, and the 152 length, it glided fast everywhere we rode it. It also stayed very damp if we hit any bumps along the way.
Uneven Terrain: The Koi stays very stable when riding over uneven, wind effected snow. It can charge through chunder, and take speed through weird bumps. It would rather take a straighter line through the bumps than turn around them. I found it challenging to turn through tight trees. But if the terrain allowed for open, larger turns, the Koi did just fine.
Edge Hold: The Womens Koi comes with Sidewaves 2.0, which are two extra bumps along the sidecut near the bindings that help with added edge control. The set back positive camber also helps stay connected in harder pack and steeper conditions. There is more control midway between the bindings to under the back foot because of the directional camber. The nose stays free turning and doesn’t come into contact with the snow very often in hard pack. The stiffer flex also helps maintain an edge through steeper terrain and slightly crusty or wind stripped conditions.
Flex: It comes with a stiff flex both along the length of the board and along the width of the board. This helps the Koi maintain a damp smooth ride in a lot of different snow conditions. But it doesn’t have a super “stiff board” personality. It still maintains a good amount of maneuverability even though it has a stiff flex.
Switch: The Koi is directional, set back, and tapered. But you can still ride it switch if you want. It doesn’t feel super backwards.
Rails/Jibs: Not made for jibbing.
Pipe: Maybe fun to make some slashy, spring time turns in the pipe. But too big of a board for me to feel good riding in the halfpipe.
Jumps: I didn’t take it in the park, but I did take it off some small natural features and little drops. The Koi has a very stable feel when dropping off small rocks or cliffs. It has a good wide platform for landings as well.
Overall: The Womens Koi from Borealis would be a good fit for someone who has a freeride style of riding. The Koi thrives making big open turns, riding fast, and powder. It rides fast, and can make big carve turns on groomers too. The waist width is wide enough for bigger boot sizes. And the stability is enough for heavier riders too. The Womens Koi has a lively and fun personality when turning, but also likes to keep it a bit hard charging while throwing in some slashy surf style in the mix as well.
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