|Riding Style||Alternative Freeride|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10|
|Camber Profile||Directional Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
United Shapes Orbit 2018 - 2017 Review by The Good Ride
The United Shapes Orbit is a really fun ride that I’m really getting to know well. It’s a fun lively short semi-fatty that loves to carve, make good turns, rides big for its size, pops super well and doesn’t mind picking up speed. Especially for its size.
Ethics Statement: We don’t do reviews in exchange for compensation from the manufacturer. No one is perfect but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders perspective.
How This Review Happened: A big thanks to Gravity Sports at Mt Bachelor for letting me take this out. I liked it so much I bought one after.
Conditions: A little bit on the dark n somewhat stormy side and some snow but not enough to make it a powder day. A few good days in up to 2′ of powder, great groomer day, early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards and some semi-hard groomer days.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs), Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Adidas Samba,
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Falcor (don’t get these if you want to use the setback inserts though), Burton Ruler Step Ons
Set Up: Everything from 22.5″ wide to 21.5″ wide, 18 front and -6 back, 21 front 0 back and a few other angles. Set back all the way, reference stance and a few in between.
Approximate Weight: Felt light bordering on normal.
Flex: Nice snappy lively medium flex that matched up really well for how United Shapes describes the Orbit rides.
Sizing: At the time of this vid I was 185 first thing in the morn after a long piss so I’m right at the end of their weight recommendation and it felt like it could handle me at 210. The waist worked well though for my boot size and it felt like it could handle a 10 no problem while still being able to lay out a nip scratching carve.
On Snow Feel: Very much a camber feels off the tail but not quite as catchy as full camber thanks to a bit of early rise in the nose. I like the United Shapes Orbit camber profile. It doesn’t feel super aggressive but still gives you all that pop and drive out of the turn that you want from a fun carver.
Edge Hold: I couldn’t see anything special going on with the sidecut but it held a good edge in what I say is ice in the vid but is probably more appropriately called hard snow or Snowment. You could see the United Shapes Orbit has no problem keeping an edge in harder stuff if you aren’t too committed into a carve.
Turn Initiation: Felt pretty easy edge to edge even with the super unresponsive Adidas Samba’s. If I had my Tactical ADV’s that day that and the Atlas would have been perfect. I’d love to get out on this with boots more appropriate to the board and see what it can do but overall it turned pretty quick and I felt like it could turn really quickly in trees or tight spots.
Skidded Turns: Not for those who skid their turns. There is a lot of camber going on and it doesn’t allow someone to get off their game as much as some boards do that have rocker in the tail as well as the nose.
Carving: This is what the Orbit is all about and it’s just a joy to carve. Even though the conditions didn’t have that open it up and really lay it out kind of thing going for it you could see the potential. This little 151 did really well. I’d love to take this out and compare it to some of our favorites on a good day.
Speed: Even though it’s short it’s not chattery. It held well any time I had some room to get a little speed. It’s more at home in a banked slalom than a straight line down a deep chute but it’s not going to disappoint anywhere. It’s got a pretty stiff damp flex for its size.
Uneven Terrain: There felt like there was enough tail to help you power through the bumps but it felt more maneuverable than you would think for its width and it did pretty well in soft/messy snow. The one thing is it can get a bit cranky in harder snow with micro bumps and pass that vibration up into your joints more than some boards in its peer group.
Powder: Love these setback inserts and with a 21.5″ stance width you can get 5.75″ back on board. That combined with the taper in the tail and the rocker in the nose you have a board that can float really well in the deep deep. Even though it’s a 151 it’s got the volume and float of a much bigger board.
Switch: I liked the Deep Reach better riding switch but both were far from being Twins. The Deep Reach/Explorer Series is a little better for that. Still, it’s doable as you get used to the way it rides. They market the United Shapes Orbit as a board you can ride switch with and you can but it’s not one I’d personally like to do so with.
Pipe: I’d actually like to give the pipe a try. What hard icy walls left over from the Jerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge was fun to slash and I think I’d prefer this better in the pipe than the Yes Optimistic 151 I own.
Jumps: There is really good pop off the tail and this board not only has spring out of a turn but on an ollie as well. If you like to go medium to big and you have your stance more towards the center this can air it out really well.
So all in all the United Shapes Orbit really shined for the few hours I rode it on a day that can make many boards seem a little off. So really hoping to get some more time on this in the future and compare it to some of our surfy favorites.
United Shapes Orbit Past Reviews
United Shapes Orbit Specs
United Shapes Orbit Images
United Shapes Company Information
United Shapes Orbit User Reviews
Nimble Carver & Fast Charger
I've got a 2019 154cm Orbit. It carves really well and can really charge. It is really fun when you feel like riding fast and aggressively. However, it is pretty stiff and takes some work to ride. It can be a little fatiguing due to the aggressive nature of the board and lack of dampening; I've partially corrected this by pairing with the 2020 Union Falcors, which have good dampening. I would give the Orbit 4.5 stars, but since I can't select that, I'll round up to 5 stars considering it's my favorite board out of the 6 that I own.