|Riding Style||Alternative Freeride|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10|
|Manufactured in||USA by Gilson|
|Camber Profile||Directional Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Heavy|
|On Snow Feel|
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Gilson Fly 2020 Review by The Good Ride
The Gilson Fly has a unique channel going on along the base that could really stoke some and turn off others.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
How This Review Happened: We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it. We borrowed this for a day and then returned it. We had a couple of laps at a frantic manic demo day. We liked it so much we asked to keep it (we only do this with our favorites). After a demo, we liked it so much we bought it. We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy this and review it.
Conditions: 1 day of some wet thick powder and then a few good spring days.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV,
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata
Set-Up: 21.5″ to 22” Wide. 21 front -3 back and 27 front +6 back. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.
Approximate Weight: Feels a bit on the heavy side.
Sizing: The 156 fit my specs well and it
Flex/Buttering: Very easy flex and it buttered up well. There was some pop to it as well but it had more of a flexy rubbery feel to it.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The soft edge tech aka a base that has a lifted channel from nose to tail has a feel underfoot different than any other board I’ve tried. What I liked about this was that the learning curve was only a few runs to a day for me to start to understand it in the conditions I was riding it in. When flat it feels like you are not completely connected to the snow and hovering slightly above it. Then you get on edge and it turns like a normal snowboard. It only takes a little more lean into a turn to get it on edge. The soft edge tracks well too in softer snow and powder but can feel a little loose in harder snow. It’s not loose like boards with rocker between the feet that wants to auto-spin. It’s loose in a way that kind of tracks on the soft edge and then skids a bit before tracking again. I wasn’t into this feeling at first and it’s my least favorite condition to ride this board in. Good thing it’s more of a powder to softer snow kind of ride. Overall it’s a very forgiving ride. One thing that is weird with this soft edge tech on the base is it seems to make the board look like it has some incorrect bends but on snow it rode as it should.
Edge Hold: Pretty good grip and it can handle a harder day pretty well.
Turn Initiation: Quick edge to edge and it got there when I wanted it.
Turning Experience/Carving: So when the edge is on snow and fully committed there is some pretty fun carving to be had. It isn’t a stiff powerful carver but a softer playful fun carver. The Gilson Fly can make some pretty fun circle carves as well as across the groomer carves.
Powder: The “Pow Channel” seems to lift this board up well and it has a pretty fun glide to it. It isn’t completely like this but it kind of feels like you are on a surfboard with a winged keel. The specs mark it as not tapered but it rode like one. There is a lot of set back on board, a good swallow tail and good directional float with the early rise in the nose. There is a 10.5″ difference from nose to the end of the swallowtail, or a 5.25″ setback on board. That is with a third of that tail missing so it rides like it was even more set back than that.
Speed: Not a bomber but all that base makes for a pretty damp ride for its flex. It’s like adding urethane or ABS or other dampening properties to the core.
Uneven Terrain: Not a board you want to power over bumps too hard but it is better than you would think for the flex. It turned around messy snow and bumps pretty well.
Overall, The Gilson Fly has a unique thing going for it. Some concerns are base grinds on an uneven base like this, and for some the weight of the ride but if you want something very different without a long learning curve this could work.
Gilson Fly Specs
Gilson Fly Images
Gilson Company Information
Gilson Fly User Reviews