The United Shapes Orbit is a really fun ride that I’d like to get to know better. Its a fun lively short fatty that loves to carve and it reminded me a bit of a Yes Optimistic with more camber which is a pretty good thing. A big thanks to Gravity Sports at Mt Bachelor for letting me take this out.
Conditions: A little bit on the dark side and some snow but not enough to make it a powder day
Boots: Adidas Samba
Bindings: Union Atlas
Set Up: about 22.5″ wide 18 front and -6 back. Set back a bit.
Approximate Weight: Felt light bording 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 feel 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 side cut 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 of 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 it’s size.
Uneven Terrain: I could ride this all day even in messy weekend resort snow.
Powder: Love these set back inserts and with a 21.5″ stance width you can get 11.5″ 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 its doable as you get use 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 were 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.
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.