The Moss Snowstick U4 is a small super surfy off the tail ride for a smaller guy. Even though we didn’t quite mesh up spec wise we had a good time on the board and were starting to get use to the very unique Moss style of snowsurf. It’s not for everyone but for some it might be everything they have ever wanted with snowsurfing.
Conditions: Some Spring Sierra Cement, Some hard spring snow and some good soft spring groomers
Riders: James, Jimbo
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings: Union Atlas, Burton Genesis X,
Set Up: With Jimbo 18 front -9 back and about 22.75″ wide. The other days I rode it 18 front 0 back and about 22.5″ wide
Approximate Weight: It felt normal for it’s size.
Flex: Nice normal mid to med/stiff flex except for in the tail on snow. It really butters you on to your ass in a super easy way.
Sizing: Felt small for us and we liked the U5 better for our specs and the U4 felt pretty small for us.
On Snow Feel: The off the tail ride is pretty unique compared to other really set back snowsurfers and its not something you instantly get use to. The rocker starts pretty much where the last insert on the back foot ends so even though you see some tail there it’s not what you think when you lean back. It felt like a little more tail going on than the PQ 54 but not by enough to say it will correct that scary butter right on to your ass feel. So you need lots of weight on the back foot to steer and weight the edge correctly but you just can’t lean back in a buttery way. So basically it’s a very very surfy ride. Is this bad? No not at all…..it’s just a very different way to ride that requires a little time and commitment to get to know it. On about day 3 I was starting to get it but still felt like I had a lot to learn about the Moss Snowstick style of riding.
Edge Hold: Very good edge hold and we felt it could keep it’s edge on a moderate turn in harder snow.
Turn Initiation: Super quick and there might be subtle nuances between the other Moss boards in different conditions but we found them all to be super quick compared to most other snowsurfers we tried. I would never be worried weaving in and out of tight spots on this ride.
Skidded Turns: It’s pretty easy to skid turns but it’s not a board for those who can’t help but skid their turns. It’s still more for advanced to expert riders that know the mechanics of turning really well.
Carving: If you can get the weighting down on the back foot, which is pretty tricky at first, then it’s on and carving is the preferred method of turning with the Moss Snowstick U4. It’s a very quick surfy very much off the back foot kind of carve.
Speed: This isn’t a fast board and we didn’t really feel like it was made for pointing it. It’s more for slowing it down and turning as much as possible on the way down.
Uneven Terrain: So this would would kill it on a messy mid winter Saturday at a crowded resort. I don’t think there was a bump I wouldn’t be able to turn around.
Powder: There is so much directional float, a good bit of rocker in the nose and so much set back on board so the board will not sink. The tail will sink deep but the nose will be really hard to sink. You will have to go out of your way to try to sink it.
Switch: Better than the Performance Quads but still not that doable.
Pipe: I felt like this could be fun surfing the pipe but not riding the pipe the way you would with a double ender in the traditional manner most visualize when riding the pipe.
Jumps: Pretty tail light so you cant land on the back seat. Every landing should be done 100% correct or you will butter onto your ass.
So if you want super surfy, have a narrow directional stance and want a really off the tail surfy kind of ride that has a lot of history behind it this might work if it fit’s your specs. For us we’d prefer the U5 or PQ 160 for our specs but if you are smaller this could work really well.