|Overall Rating||Loved it!|
|Riding Style||All Mountain Freestyle|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Salomon Assassin 2018 - 2014 Review by The Good Ride
The Salomon Aassassin is a board that we have ridden for a few years now and each time we ride it we like it more. It checks a lot of boxes for a solid mountain freestyle ride. The 2018 Salomon Assassin has not changed from 2016 but it grew on us.
2016-2017 Salomon Assassin Review
Conditions: Really good groomers but starting to get a little messy.
Riders: James, Stephen and Peter
Boots: Burton Ion Nike Kaiju
Bindings: Salomon Caliber, Salomon Defender
Set Up: Centered 23″ wide 15 front -15 back
Approximate Weight: Feels pretty normal
On Snow Feel: So this board feels stable between the feet and pretty catch free for having as much camber as it does. The first time we rode it we all felt the Salomon Assasin feel like it was trying to auto butter on a long drawn out turn at moderate to high speeds. It was not a good feeling. Then the second time I rode it a few years later that sensation was gone. It must of been a demo model construction issue. It’s got a good camber feel but also doesn’t feel catchy. It’s easy to one foot and flat base. It’s the kind of board that works well for a wide variety of riders that plan to stay centered and ride fakie a lot.
Powder: No powder in our time of trying but it seems like it might be a little bit of work with the extra camber going on.
Turn Initiation: We had a good time riding the Salomon Assassin. It springs from edge to edge quickly and its a fun board to turn. if you know how to turn it’s got a fun thing going for it and its lively.
Carving: Carving was really fun and the board rewards you at the end of the turn with a little spring out of it. There is definietly enough camber and edge hold to make this a fun board for those that like to lay it over regular or switch.
Skidded Turns: It’s pretty easy to skid your turns and if you are an intermediate rider that get’s off you game you might not have to pay for it.
Speed: The Assassin has a good base and feels stable enough. It’s not a bomber board but it’s got good mountain speed.
Uneven Terrain: We love when Salomon put’s a lot of rubber in their rails and we were a little skeptical with the Cork thing but it works and doesn’t feel bad at all in the messy snow we were riding on. It’s not like some Salomon boards that can get cranky and pass some slow speed chatter up to your knees.
Edge Hold: Really solid upper level grip. It gripped but didn’t grab in the soft snow we encountered. It’s good from Hard to Soft snow. It’s not an ice specialist but we often find that ice specialists aren’t the best in soft snow.
Flex: Nice Middle ground flex that was easy to butter and press even though there was a good amount of camber going on.
Switch: It felt the same either way
Jibbing: We hit a few mellow jibs in the park and it wasn’t bad.
Pipe: It seemed like it would be a good pipe board that would hold the edge well and the auto butter effect wouldn’t come into play at the slower pipe speeds. It’s also pretty forgiving so that is what we like for a pipe board.
Jumps: Nice poppy ride going on here. It was easy to ollie and was a lot of fun for all of us involved. It also had a nice stable camber feel to the approach of a park kicker but had a forgiving hybrid shape feel landing.
So I’m not sure why the board auto buttered on us but if that one issue wasn’t there this would probably be a favorite. If it was just me I’d say I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue but since it was Peter and I it seems like this wasn’t just some fluke. That’s the only thing holding us back from really loving that board.
Salomon Assassin Past Reviews
Salomon Assassin Specs
Salomon Assassin Images
Salomon Company Information
Salomon Assassin User Reviews
2017 Salomon Assassin 157w
Board: 2017 Salomon Assassin 157w
Boots: 32 Lashed, size 12
Bindings: Rome 390 Boss, Union ST
Set Up: Goofy, 22.25”, 18/12, 0.125” set back
I contacted James to get his feedback on some all mountain freestyle boards. I was looking at the DOA, Buck Ferton, Proto Type II, and a couple others. He brought up the Assassin, and it was never on my radar. In spite of being a brand I have avoided my whole life, it checked all the boxes.
Approximate Weight: Normal, maybe towards the light side.
On Snow Feel: The Assassin can be as loose or locked in as you want it to be. The early rise tip/tail combined with the 2-3 degree edge bevel are very forgiving when flat basing, being lazy, or after a couple beers. With that being said, the camber of the board can be leveraged when you need pop or want to lay down a carve. The board is lively but the added dampening features help keep down chatter.
Powder: The early rise combined with a mellow tip transition make this board easy to float. It is marketed as a “freestyle powder twin” and that was evident after a few days in the champagne. Even without taper the Assassin was compliant with a surfy feel. I run pretty close to a centered stance which made some eyes roll at Mammoth during the biggest storms of the year, but I never felt the need to set back.
Turn Initiation: Between the medium torsional stiffness and the lively core, it would initiate fairly quick, but not necessarily take you for a ride. I never noticed the 2-3 degree edge bevel hindering initiation which I was worried about in the beginning
Carving: Pretty close to traditional camber but with a few caveats. The contact length is relatively short due to the early rise. My 157 feels like a regular camber 152 and this is noticeable when trying to shift weight forward on quick/powerful turns, especially on the heelside. If I shift forward too far I can feel the edge grabbing in the front which makes the nose want to submarine. You have to keep your weight more central and make a conscious effort to distribute pressure evenly along the edge. If you do so, you can lay a trench back up the hill with your armpit in the snow. Force the back knee in, and keep your mass over the bolts. The Assassin has respectable carving capabilities.
Skidded Turns: Smooth and forgiving. The early rise does sacrifice some stability when skidding on ice
Speed: I never felt sluggish and often glided through flats when others had to skate. I wax every 2-3 days, and the base did well with the 4 different waxes I tried. The short contact length can make the board a little nervous at high speeds. I monitored my mountain app one day and everything up to 45mph felt great. I don’t bomb hills very often and some of the most fun I have is meandering through the trees, so high speed stability isn’t an issue for me.
Uneven Terrain: The gradual transition between the camber and tip help to eat up chunder. Combined with the cork sidewalls and other dampening properties this board is less likely to derail in the chop. I felt confident in the trees even when tracked snow was firm in the AM. If there are bigger inconsistencies in the terrain, you may get bucked from the springiness, but that’s the trade-off for having a more lively deck.
Edge Hold: Pretty good. This is due to the Salomon EQ rad sidecut. There is no traditional radius in the sense of having a circular arc, only straight lines. Between the inserts is flat. From insert to tip is flat. Think 3 sides of a stop sign. I was skeptical at first, but they’ve been doing this for a while and it assists in keeping you locked in to your carves through maximizing effective edge. It can feel a bit grabby on soft groomers, but as I mentioned your technique is a factor in how this board turns.
Flex: Salomon calls this a medium flex, so 5/10. My board feels more like a 6/10 but this always seems to be the case when you have a wide version. That extra bit of material adds to the stiffness. The flex seems consistent throughout even though the core is milled to different thicknesses in various parts of the board.
Switch: It’s a twin.
Jibbing/Butters: The edge bevel is beneficial for rails/boxes. I like to jib on snow features vs metal, and it did everything I wanted for being a little stiff compared to park boards. It took me a while to figure out the balance point for presses and butters. The camber doesn’t let you cheat since there isn’t a “hinge” at the waist. Once you find the sweet spot, it locks in.
Pipe: I’m not a good pipe rider, but I felt confident on the Assassin.
Jumps: I like to pop off the lip and this board rewards the effort. I never felt too locked in on run ups, and I could adjust on the face if I had to. It saved me a few times when landing off balance, and didn’t fold or wash out. I’m usually jumping the mid-sized sets which I would say are the 20-30ft range. I always felt in control and I’m sure this board could handle much bigger.
Notes: I think the Assassin is a great all mountain freestyle board for someone who wants to carve, hit natural features, and even spend time in the park. I’m really glad James recommended it. I was a Mervin fan boy for years, but now I look at every option on the market. In all honesty the bigger brands pack a lot of tech and experience into their products at a great price point.
As for sizing I would suggest going up before going down. When I was researching boards I wanted something closer to a 155 for a daily driver. With the cam-rocker boards the contact length is shorter, especially with the Assassin, so I moved closer to 157/58.
Having had a 155 Salomon Assassin from 2015 I loved this board, great in soft snow, great on groomers, great for off piste. I used this board in France in Les Arcs which was pretty icy at the time and La Plagne which was perfect with lots of powder off piste. I found this board really playful and fun. It holds an edge well, but not as well as a cambered snowboard. I used this board for freestyle and found it fantastic for kickers and features. I sold this board onto a friend who still uses it to this day and loves it.
I have tried a 2016 153 Assassin (with Fix bindings) which a friend on mine has, I found it very unstable and chattered alot. Very very soft compared to my 2015 assassin.
I currently have a 2017 Assassin (155) with Salomon Quantum bindings. I find it to be fantastic on groomers and in the snow dome. Usually i ride the Salomon Villain but if i need a little more float, i will switch to the assassin. I find this board great again for freestyle, switch riding and carving. With the Quantum bindings the board is very light and responsive. Depending on what your intention is to ride, if only park or dome, get the villain, if park, dome and whole mountain, get the assassin.
In reference to "auto buttering", i have felt this as has a friend on mine. We concluded we thought (not certain) down to fore and aft movement through turns, if you stay centered its super stable.
Light and fun.
Bought the Assassin as my first new board in almost 15 years after reading and hearing lots of positive stuff about it so my expectations were very high. Especially interested in the difference in profile between this All-mountain Rocker and my old camber board.
Ridden it in basically all conditions available from crisp groomers, slush, pow, jumps and icy slopes. Don't ride park at all.
The board is light and responsive. Carves good on groomers, pops nicely and feels very lively but still stable. Works and feels great in powder (haven't tried it in waist deep though) and on groomers and has a nice, fast base (properly waxed of course)
The ice grip could be better and it's not as stable as my old camber board but still stable enough.
Basically the board let's you fokus on your riding and having fun. With that said it's the kind of board that just does the job, and does it good in almost any terrain without you having to worry. Very allround.
Ice grip isn't what I hoped but I'll sharpen the edges by end of this season to whether it has a positive effect or not.
As for profiles I'd say the difference between camber and all mountain rocker is very small (looking at my old camber board and the Assassin). Perhaps my old camber board was a little bit more stable but then it's also a completely different and older board. As for other "technology" in the board I haven't noticed anything special in terms of dampening and so on. It's just light and feels very smooth. The "auto-butter-effect" in high speeds mentioned in the review is something I haven't experienced.
Would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking a good allround board.
Rips in all conditions...
Got this board before a trip to La Thuile/La Rosierre in Dec 2014.. a poor start to the season meant very little snow and varying conditions on the mountain... really testing conditions for any board! One day had a little poweder, another just manmade/machine snow, another very hard packed and right at the end icy conditions..
This board handled all of the conditions thrown at it..
1. Edge hold is awesome! this board can hold an edge through big carving turns and small quick turns in nearly all normal conditions (not so much on sheet ice).. The edge hold gives you the confidence to rip through the whole mountain,
2. Pop/energy is unbelievable.. the pop & energy out of turns makes the board feel responsive to the effort put into the board.. when ollying on a jump... nearly went too big!
3. Great Speed... this board is seriously quick & stable at speed.. a fast base and good edge hold together means you can really fly down the mountain!
A little chatter is evident in the tips at high speed but this is not felt in the knees or feet as the board seems to absorb this. I felt a little twitch at the rear when going at speed with a flat base but put this down to a bit of dodgy snow...
4. Good float - only a little powder but felt floaty & feels like it will be fine... front nose lifts up nicely due to the rocker.
Overall... very very impressed with this board... seems to be playful and fun at slower speeds and a good all mountain charger at higher speeds...great value for money aswell!!
Tried and Tested on Champagne Powder
I got the Assassin when I decided to hit up a trip to Steamboat, Colorado, so I was pretty stoked to have Salomon’s flagship board for the occasion. One huge reason was that I would get to ride Steamboat’s signature snow -champagne powder, which is silky-smooth and dry.
The board was perfect for everything the boat had to throw at it, and even turns on a pinhead around trees. It’s Poppy for rails, kickers and tree stumps and glides through powder like a dream. It’s also really fast on the Piste, so there’s literally nothing bad I can say about it.