The Korua Puzzle is a very unique, well built, directional, carvy, surfy ride for those that love to turn. There was instant love with the Puzzle after my first turn and its a great all condition surfy ride.
Conditions: A little bit of new snow on top of hard snow one day, another pretty hard and windy and a few with really good spring snow.
Riders: James, Jimbo, Matt
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton Rover,
Bindings: Union Atlas, Burton Genesis X,
Set Up: Set all the way up I could and set all the way back I could. Approximately 22.5″ to 22.75″ 18 front and -3 to -6 back
Approximate Weight: Feels a little on the heavy side of normal but not heavy.
Flex: Pretty stiff and it feels like it’s more stiff than medium stiff compared to most boards out there these days.
Sizing: With this board it’s not ideal to go by waist width or nose width. It’s more about the tail width (29.3cm) which seems like it’s best for size 9-10 US boots. It wasn’t quite right for Jimbo (size 11 reduced footprint boots) who could carve with it but not really lay it out like I could with my size 9 boots and even worse for Zobel (size 11.5).
On Snow Feel: Man this is a surfy off the tail ride for those that feel turning is their favorite trick. It’s directional camber which is camber from the tail to past the front binding. It’s not a board for those who skid their turns and it can be a little catchy. This is all about surfing snow and it reminds me of an 80’s tri-fin thruster made into a snowboard.
Edge Hold: Really good grip for nothing that I can see going on with the side cut in terms of extensions to the edge. We all found it to hold really well in hard snow. Wouldn’t want to get out there in icy conditions but it’s fine for holding an edge in harder snow if you don’t commit to it too much.
Turn Initiation: Really off the tail but also not quite as fast as I would of expected. The Korua Puzzle likes a more responsive binding like the Union Atlas or Union T.Rice to really make it snap edge to edge better but I would say that with the Genesis X and Atlas the Puzzle turns medium on quick edge to edge turns. The turn initiation will most likely get faster in powder due to that big ass nose and tapered tail so I should have no problems in deeper snow turning in tight spots or through a tree line.
Skidded Turns: Not a board for skidding turns. Only those that know how to keep a thin line behind you at all times.
Carving: The Korua Puzzle is such a joy to make surfy carvy turns with. It can be a little washy but no where near as washy as I would of thought for how tapered it is. All I want to do with this board is carve and I loved how all that camber gave it such a strong spring out of the turn setting you up for the next.
Speed: It’s fast and can bomb if you want but you would be wasting the Korua Puzzle’s best feature by not turning this.
Uneven Terrain: We didn’t really get into much uneven terrain except for a little messy spring snow at the end of the day. It felt like even though it’s light on the tail it can hammer through a little chopped up powder really well. I would like to be on smaller boards for weaving in and out of messy bumpy resort snow because that big nose won’t be ready to weave through them.
Powder: No real powder to speak of for this late spring demo but you can tell with the rocker in the nose, wide ass nose (32.4cm), super tapered tail (29.3cm) and especially the massive set back on board of 14″ at a 21.75″ stance width it can float in the deepest of deep. For me with about a 22.5″ stance width I can still get around 13.5″ back which is further back than most powder boards I own or have tried.
Switch: Tried it once and didn’t like it.
Jibbing: No fucking way.
Pipe: If the pipe was open I would of loved to give it a go but Mammoth, in typical fashion, had it blocked off for some event so us average guys were skunked.
Jumps: Great for a method and nice pop off the tail.
So all in all the Korua Puzzle 161 was a really special ride. It’s well built