List Price US $479
Prior Wildcard 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

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Overall Rating
Riding Style All Mountain Freestyle
Riding Level Beginner - Expert
Fits Boot size (US) < 8, 8-10, 10-12
Manufactured in Canada by Prior
Shape True Twin
Camber Profile Hybrid Camber
Stance Centered
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Powder Good
Turning Experience Good
Carving Good
Speed Good
Uneven Terrain Great
Switch Great
Jumps Great
Jibbing Good
Pipe Great
On Snow Feel

Stable

Turn Initiation

Medium/Fast

Skidded Turns

Semi-Easy

Flex

Medium

Buttering

Semi-Easy

Edge Hold

Hard Snow

Prior Wildcard 2020 - 2019 Review by The Good Ride

The Prior Wildcard is a really well-built Canadian made ultra-fun mountain freestyle twin that we had a lot of fun on. It matches up well for anyone who wants to ride a twin in all conditions including powder. Prior is more of a custom snowboard company so you order it and they make it. So while that isn’t instantly gratifying it is pretty cool how much you can customize it.

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.
Size: 159 (without carbon in what we call Hybrid Camber but what they call Hybrid Rocker)
Days: 3
Conditions: Varied late spring conditions that were sometimes too hard or too soft but sometimes really good.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Nick (Size 10, 160lbs, 5’8”)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton Imperial
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles,  Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata

Similar Boards (but not the same)Never Summer Proto Type Two, Nitro FuryYes GreatsLib Tech Hot Knife, Stone Message (review coming), Lib Tech Box Knife

About their Custom Made Options: There are a lot of different options to choose from when you order from Prior so this is our take on one of the more popular options that they sent us for demo. You can get it with all these options which is pretty impressive for this price point. Some options cost extra but overall it’s very reasonable for a custom ride.

  1. You can get it with Tri-Glass (like we rode) or a much lighter XCE Carbon construction.
  2. Several different topsheets and you can even send them your own design.
  3. Several different bases including your own design.
  4. You can also choose from 3 different camber profiles. Camber, Hybrid camber or what they call Hybrid Rocker/Hybrid and Micro-camber.
  5. They even give you 3 ways you can get your board tunned before it comes to you.

Construction: This isn’t something we normally talk about at any length but the construction of this board and all the boards we received from them are well beyond the industry standard and they aren’t bullshitting when they talk about quality on their site. We can’t speak to durability with the time we test most boards but with this kind of construction the boards should last longer than the industry average as well.

Set-Up: 22” Wide. 15 front -15 back.  Centered.

Approximate Weight: Feels just right. not too heavy or too light.

Sizing: So the 159 Prior Wildcard is a little long for my normal mountain freestyle ride and I usually prefer a 156 but the 159 felt right. It might be the extra rocker and semi-long tip/tail that made it feel so comfortable on groomers. So I’m torn between the 156 and 159 as a great fit for me. For Nick, the 159 would be a little better for his boot size but the 156 is much better for his weight and height. They have a pretty diverse line that comes in everything from Narrow, Regular and Mid/Wide. After size 12 it’s kinda iffy though.

Flex/Buttering: So the Prior Wildcard has a pretty medium to medium-stiff flex between the feet but then a very easy buttering tip/tail so it’s got a little something for both sides of the riding spectrum. Prior’s aspen/poplar wood core along with the UHMW sidewalls and whatever else they put into the construction makes for a very cool feel underfoot that is almost equally damp and poppy.  It leans more on the damp side but still doesn’t mask all that pop. It’s got one of the most unique and enjoyable core personalities we have recently tried.

On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The camber goes just a little past the inserts and then rockers up pretty hard in comparison to the Legacy and Slasher’s nose rocker. It also rockers up a bit more than most hybrid camber boards we have come across. It is very stable and forgiving but it still tracks well without being loose underfoot when one footing or flat basing. It has a consistent personality in all conditions underfoot. Good for beginners and intermediates without being anything close to being boring for advanced to expert riders.

Edge Hold: The board we had seemed like it had de-tunned edges and it didn’t grip as hard but it’s a demo board. Even so, it had a pretty competent grip. In production, it should have a nice edge to it that grips well in hard snow as long as you don’t commit too hard to a turn.

Turn Initiation: Pretty quick edge to edge and it borders on being fast. This is fine making quick turns in tight spots

Turning Experience/Carving: The Prior Wildcard doesn’t have a full camber board’s spring but it was surprising how much spring it had out of a turn for how little camber there is underfoot. The overall turning experience is fun from everything from quick short S-Turns to hard circle carves.

Powder: We had no powder but just seeing how it sits on the table makes us want to ride it in powder. It seems like a great choice for those that want a true twin one board quiver and it should float as well centered as some all-mountain boards with a set back stance will in powder. Still, if you set it back in powder there are much better boards you can choose.

Speed: The Prior Wildcard has some speed to it and the chatter from the rockered tip/tail isn’t felt much between the feet so that is really good. The base has really good glide to it as well and carries it’s speed through flat areas well.

Uneven Terrain: So good weaving in and out of bumps and it’s not that bad powering over messy tracked snow either. You get a more damp board that you would think for its flex and it’s a great board for all-day resort riding. If you live for the weekends and hammer it all day Saturday this is a great choice.

Switch: the same either way.

Getting Air/Park: So we liked it a lot in the pipe and it was fun but we didn’t get a lot of time in the air. What little natural features we launched off the sides of the runs were great though and had a stable approach/landing. It seems like it would shine hitting natural features off-piste on a powder day and despite the somewhat longer nose/tail it still has a lot going on lapping the kickers in the park. Not an ideal jibber for the average rider.

So, all in all, the Prior Wildcard is the kind of board we’d like to own and have in our quiver.

 
Prior Wildcard Specs

 
Prior Wildcard Images

We try to get as many images of the Prior Wildcard, but forgive us if they're not all there.

2020

 
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