|Riding Style||All Mountain Freestyle|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Soul Samurai 2020 - 2019 Review by The Good Ride
The Soul Samurai is a pretty mid/wide but very poppy and pretty stable mountain freestyle twin. I rode this mid-winter after weeks of powder on very surfy directional shapes. So I was coming down from a powder high when I tested this board so don’t let my lack of enthusiasm in the review turn you off. If I was riding this in spring in a size that worked better for my boot size I would have had a time because it’s a well built pretty fun board.
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.
Conditions: Pretty good mid winter groomers a few days after a storm with only a few hard patches here and there.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles
Bindings: Union Strata
Set-Up: 22” Wide. 12 front -12 back. Centered.
Approximate Weight: Feels on the light side of normal.
Sizing: The 156 was a bit wide for my boot size but felt right for my weight. However, I probably would have had a lot more fun on the 152 as I’d rather be a little heavy for a board and be able to turn it easier. Based on the 156’s flex and overall feel it seems like the 152 could handle my weight no problem but it’s just as a guess. The 152 is more in the 8-10 sizing, the 156 10-12 ish sizing and 161 more for 12 and above but check with Soul for specifics or if you are in-between sizes.
Flex/Buttering: Pretty stiff in the middle and the rocker didn’t bend as easy as I thought it would but it mellowed out in the tip and tail for me on a butter and it’s for sure doable and fun. Soul boards have lots of energy in the flex and this is no exception but it felt like it had a little more dampness going on for its size compared to other Soul boards we tried. So a nice balance of being damp and poppy.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The hybrid rocker profile with a very mellow rocker in the middle transitioning to a very mellow camber to what seems like a little section of early rise before the tip/tail almost feels flat but doesn’t have that dead feeling some flat boards can have. It’s almost as stable as some hybrid camber boards we tried and it tracks pretty well. There were still some times in harder snow it felt a little loose but it’s right on the border of being stable underfoot in all conditions.
Edge Hold: Very good at gripping hard snow and the average rider, like myself, will have to dial back his turns in harder snow but it still holds.
Turn Initiation: So given the waist width in relation to my boot size, the Soul Samurai had easy and smooth turn initiation but it was slow. If I had size 10.5 or 11 boots or if I was on the 152 this would have turned medium-fast edge to edge.
Turning Experience/Carving: After coming off all these mostly camber rides the Samurai felt lacking on a harder turn but it wasn’t dead or boring. One thing that was cool about this hybrid rocker profile is it didn’t hurry you up through the turn like boards with more pronounced rocker can do.
Powder: I didn’t ride it in anything you would call powder but in about a foot of really tracked up messy powder you could see this could have easy float as long as it isn’t too deep for a twin.
Speed: Pretty stable and it’s far from the kind of board that gets that clown shoe effect in the tip/tail. You can point it and get some decent mountain speed but it’s far from a bomber.
Uneven Terrain: Soul makes some pretty poppy boards but as a result, they can chatter at times. The Samurai leans more on the damper side of the Soul spectrum and it can handle uneven snow from micro-bumpy hard snow to messy bumps pretty well.
Switch: Great either way and hadn’t ridden switch in weeks. That was kind of fun.
Getting Air/Park: I was a little uncomfortable taking this width into the pipe. Especially with how big, unmanaged and scary the pipe looked. It had been neglected after all the storms we had. It had good pop for getting air out over the micro camber points and it had a nice stable approach to the smaller hits I came across on the mountain. You could see though, how the Samurai could launch off some medium to medium/large kickers without a problem. Jibbing isn’t my thing with my somewhat old and pretty broken body these days but it felt a little stiff between the feet for a rider of my ability level.
So, all in all, the Soul Samurai is a good mountain freestyle ride. I’d love to ride this again in a 152.
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