The United Shapes Deep Reach is has a pretty soft flex for a board of this type but if you want a surfy/freeride shape with a freestyle flex then this is a board that’s got a lot of good stuff going on. A big thanks to Gravity Sports for letting me take this for a spin.
So after years of trying to get United Shapes up on the site I finally got them up thanks to Gravity Sports at Mt Bachelor. US is pretty small and every time I checked in with them they didn’t have anything to send. So I’m really stoked that Gravity Sports carried US and even better had them to demo.
Conditions: A little Mt Bachelor powder but not enough to say it was a powder day.
Boots: Adidas Superstar
Bindings: Union Atlas
Set Up: Set back a lot
Approximate Weight: Feels normal bordering on light
Flex: Feels softer than you would expect ant this was maybe the one thing holding it back from being a very recommendable snowsurfer for the average rider. Instead it brings it to a narrower group of riders that like the snow surf shape but want more of a playful buttery freestyle flex. So not bad but just different than what you would expect.
Sizing: United Shapes says the Deep Reach is good for 9-12 boots but I would mainly recommend this for those that are 8-10.5 at the max. Based on how my size 9 boots fit on the board I think Jimbo or Zobes with their 11 to 11.5 boots would get some toe drag going on even though they are reduced footprint boots.
On Snow Feel: It’s got a camber feel underfoot that is a bit catchy but the softer flex makes it feel a little more forgiving that you would think. It borders on being a board an intermediate rider might be able to handle. It’s forgiving off the front binding but can be a little catchy off the tail. So more on the stable side of semi-catchy. It’s like they describe. A freestyle flex woven into a surfy personality. It floats like a champ in powder and could easily be called a powder board but it’s also not the kind of board you want to leave on the shelf when there is a groomer day. It’s got the surfy personality of a powder board with the groomer personality of a Freeride board.
Edge Hold: Pretty good. I felt the Orbit had a little more grip due to the stiffer flex but this can handle some hard patches of snow.
Turn Initiation: Really fun to turn and its pretty quick edge to edge when you need to dart in and out of trees or get through some tight spots.
Skidded Turns: Not ideal for skidded turns but it’s more doable that some boards with similar camber.
Carving: It’s fun to carve but it’s a little soft when it comes to laying it out and getting that really good spring out of the turn. Would much rather be on the Orbit for that. It’s not a powerful carver but if you are ok with that then it will be really fun to lay it out.
Speed: A little to much chatter throughout the board for those that like to point it. It’s more for those that like to butter and play around between turns.
Uneven Terrain: Pretty easy to weave in and out of uneven terrain. Very good in the bumps.
Powder: There is so much directional float going on with the United Shapes Deep Reach. When you use the slam back inserts at a 22″ stance width you have 12″ back on board. That’s so much float…..soo much float.
Switch: It’s doable when your stance is up more towards the nose but far from ideal. From a snowsurf perspective it’s good but from a freestyle perspective it’s very different each way.
Jibbing: the flex would make it ok but I wasn’t going there.
Pipe: You can ride the pipe and get a little surfy with it.
Jumps: There is good pop and the softer flex doesn’t hamper the ability to spring. If you like mostly directional air that will work.
So all in all the United Shapes Deep Reach is a pretty fun board for those that want a freestyle flex in a surfy ride.