Skiboardmagazine’s Jason lays down the R8 Blunt XL review…

This was my first time riding rockered skiboards and immediately I felt comfortable with them. My first impression was this felt a lot more like I was “surfing” on the snow, initiating turns was effortless. I was pleasantly surprised and that the edges hold up very well for a wide library of turns, from slow to fairly high speed carves. They don’t pop out of turns, but this is to be expected without and camber to spring them out of turns, making them much more of a easy going kind of ride, even at high speeds.

They did not feel as cumbersome as other wide boards I’ve tried, holding up on ice better than I thought they would and easier to get up on edge thanks to the rocker. The interesting thing about the rocker is that the boards are always ready to be put up on edge and carve no matter the speed or conditions.

The combination of width and rocker is a dream in powder and soft snow, and they were easy to pull up over the snow when I felt I was sinking. They handled wonderfully center mounted in some light powder and even better set back when I hit deeper stuff, but I kept on wishing the tails were a little stiffer to give more support when the noses needed to be pulled up like drops or when coming into soft snow and crud, especially when riding them set back. I was falling back seat pretty frequently even after adjusting my riding. Their mid size makes them enjoyable in glades, able to pick tight turns in trees.

The rocker unfortunately doesn’t help much for skating around on the flats, and I felt the boards seemed slower to pick up speed than cambered skiboards.

For park I had to adjust my riding much more. These skiboards where not really conceived for park of course but I tried them out anyways. Without the pop of the tails take off on lips feels a little dull, I needed to pick up more speed to hit features and initiate spins. But once I adjusted it was an interesting feeling as if I was “surfing” off jumps and lips. The rocker on rails really was no fun, sloppy and easily falling off. But they are incredible fun to butter and press around on, never catching and edge when pivoting on the tails or nose.

If you’re looking for a powder board that doesn’t compromise too much on the rest of the mountain and if you’re into cruising around effortlessly these are wonderful. Best for freeriding down steeps, powder, and glades, and after mellow carves on the lower mountain back to the chair.

Rider – Jason Roussel – Expert Skiboarder Co-Founder of Skiboardmagazine.com

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