The Salomon Man’s Board is a great idea. The marketing idea behind it is cool but who really cares about marketing when you are looking down the hill and making a turn. The good thing is that the Man’s board performs as well or better than its marketing. It’s a very good all conditions ride and the sizing is unique. The waist width is a little wider so it’s a good mid-sized boot choice for those riders right in between a regular size board and a mid/wide board. The 2014 Salomon Man’s Board hasn’t changed much.
Conditions: Pretty hard Colorado snow with a little pushed around light snow here and there one day and good soft practically perfect sierra snow the other.
Riders: James and Peter
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion and DC Status
Bindings: Burton Diode and Union Force SL
Set Up- Centered about 23″ wide 15 front -15 back
There are many hybrid camber boards out there but the Salomon Man’s Board is unique. It lives on the side of the mostly camber hybrid camber profile. It’s a pretty good design for those that love camber and want a little taste of the hybrid world when it comes to powder and having a little more forgiving ride than camber. For us, the 159 rode bigger than its size, but both of us have smaller feet (Size 8.5 and Size 9). Sometimes we have a lot of fun with a little bit wider waist and sometimes we don’t. This was pretty fun and aggressive but we would of been better off riding the 156 for our shoe size. . If you are more in the Size 10 to 11ish range, the 159-165 size Man’s Board might be a great call.
On Snow Feel: The Man’s board is a very fun attack the mountain at high speed kind of ride. It was one of our favorites here when it came to this. It had that camber feel that is so awesome on well groomed runs.
Turn Initiation and Carving– In chewed up and slightly rutted sections that require you to slow down and make good turns, the Man’s board did better than we thought. We liked laying into a carve, but making quick, tight turns took a little work but it was still very responsive for a board this aggressive. We had more fun picking up speed and making bigger turns than playing around but that is what men do right?
Powder: We had no powder but you can tell the big nose/tail and little bit of rocker after the binding section makes the Man’s Board more than a camber board when it gets deep but less than the hybrid shapes with more rocker in it. If you are a camber rider then you will think this is a good improvement.
Speed: The Man’s board is a fast board. We had no problem at any speed and like most high end All Mountain Salomon Boards the Man’s Board is happier at high speeds.
Uneven Terrain: You pay a bit of a price for this race car like board. It’s rough on you in hard uneven terrain. I hit a rough patch of hard uneven snow and you could feel the board pass the shock right up into your knee. Both times I rode this I was on great or excellent shock absorbent bindings and they still couldn’t completely shield me from bumpy hard snow like many boards can. It’s not as bad as some boards because if you have medium size feet it will turn pretty quick around bumps if you know how to turn well.
Approximate Weight- We didn’t really notice it as super light or heavy on the chair lift so it’s nothing to talk about but it’s also not a tank either.
Edge Hold: The edge hold is good but there isn’t that limitless feeling of grip like you get with some boards.
Flex: The medium to stiff flex is no butter board.
Switch: The Man’s Board has a good feeling switch and we had difficulty noticing the difference between regular and switch.
Jibbing– The rails and jibbing world is not that open to the Man’s Board. It’s a pretty stiff board so we wouldn’t go there.
Pipe: If you like a stiffer board in the pipe, the Man’s Board will do a great job here. It has enough edge hold to get up and down an icy pipe wall without too much sketchiness. The little bit of rocker in the nose/tail also helps make the mans board a little more forgiving than an all camber board of the same shape.
Jumps: Again this is a stiff board but it has a lot of pop and can spring up pretty easy. If you like going big in the park, the Man’s board will help you do that. Even though this is hybrid camber it requires a technical approach like you are riding a camber board. If you are okay with that, you will like the way the Man’s Board hits big kickers.
So in conclusion this isn’t a man’s board in the way a small guy buy’s a big truck to compensate. It’s just a good aggressive hybrid camber board that will appeal to a relatively small but very loyal group of riders.