Take the Condors out when the snow is fresh

I was pumped to get ahold of a pair of 2014 Condors right before the start of last season, not only are the graphics killer but I was long overdue in having the legendary all mountain powder board in my quiver. Riding powder with finesse has always taken more skill and effort on skiboards, so to finally have boards designed for it in my hands felt like getting a car with 4-wheel drive. The first thing I noticed about the Condors was the sheer mass of the boards, they’re huge! At 16.5/13.7/16.5 there just isn’t a wider skiboard period. I ended up riding the Condors all the way through the peak of the season thanks to a handful of powder filled weeks. While not for everyone this board is definitely for anyone who is a semi to very aggressive rider looking to boldly shred lots of powder. They just handle it like a champ! The camber design means a slight lean back (keep your tips up) rule of thumb applies when entering a stash or hitting a steep pocket, standard technique but the float and power/stability of these boards is a feeling to behold. The boards have a bit of flex to them not really particularly stiff nor too soft. The combination of powder performance and softbooting is pure bliss and a good way to put your softboot binding setup/boot combo to the test. I hunted powder relentlessly and plunged into deep stashes with speed that I wouldn’t have taken on other boards, the performance increase in powder was that astonishing. I also had some of the smoothest drop landings ever with these, such a nice foot print for landing, and even being the widest model I never found myself stuck in any of the tree filled chutes I love to fly through.

I was actually quite surprised how well I could edge to edge in groomed to mildly hard conditions, at times the Condor felt like a DLP on steroids, but on the real hard to icy stuff the width wasn’t fun if not dangerous on the terrain I frequent. This kind of gets into the binding setup a bit, I can see how Line FF-Pros or RVL8 Receptors with hard ski boots would provide enough rigidity to compensate for the Condors gargantuan size in on-piste hard packed conditions. While the soft setup is a little more lose in the ride, perfect for powder, the Condor needs to be ridden with intention and concentration.

I’d stress only taking these out when the snow is fresh however, preferably deep. The one draw back is the mass of these boards can really work against you on hard pack, I really would not want to crash on hard stuff with a setup like this. Whip out your Revolts or DLP’s on those days. On a final note, softboot all mountain shredding in deep powder is a reality, and an absolute dream come true. The fun now is finding the end-all base binding and boot combo. Let the experiments begin!

Boots Used: 2013 Salomon Synapse Flex rating – 7
Base Binding: SnowJam Team Stark Pro binding (orange)
Binding Mod: Rvl8 Saavi Wing system
Riser: Missouri Riser
Mountain: Mt. Bohemia
Skill Level: Expert

Rider – George- Expert Rider

Condors are fun to ride…

This is my first pair of fat skiboards. I am an experienced skier who also rides sometimes ‘blades’. I was always dreaming of a slightly longer and fat skiboard compared to the ‘standard’ blades you can find in Europe. So when I found out about the Condors I ordered them immediately.

After a few crappy ski seasons, this year we have an amazing winter here in Brasov, Romania with lots of snow so I took the Condors through the woods in 70cm (2ft) fresh powder. I would say that they are the perfect tool for skiing through the forest! I can take them anywhere. They are very easy to control and steer, ideal for thick woods. I could take them in places where I would not go on normal skis; moreover, I was enjoying every bit of the descent.

Yesterday we went down on thinly wooded south mountain face. First half of the descent, for about 600m altitude drop we had slopes of 40-50%. The powder snow was almost 1 meter deep. There was a bit of crust and the snow was a bit wet and heavy, but it was a joy to ride this mountain face on the Condors. My friends, (one on powder fat and long skis and one on standard all mountain skis) had quite some trouble controlling and steering their long skis and were complaining about the heavy snow. Riding on the Condors I had no idea what they were talking about! Down on the valley, when the slope become less than 5-10% it was clear that the Condors would not glide as fast as normal skis, but it was OK as I am always using ski poles – they are very useful for off-piste skiing.

I also rode the Condors on hard packed well prepared slopes and I was surprised on how stable they were, even at a quite high speed. Carving on them is a joy. Even though they are perfectly fine on hard packed snow and I enjoyed the run, in this conditions I would rather chose a narrower ski/skiboard.

I rode them with both race stiff ski boots and soft touring ski boots. In powder I prefer the softer option as I felt more relaxed. On hard-pack I only tried the stiff ones.

I also tried the Condors on soft bumps and they are fun to ride. I would probably avoid hard bumps as I would not recommend this skiboard for icy conditions – in fact they are not designed for icy conditions.

Rider – Mihai – Expert Rider

Bloom gives the Condors a 9.5

Okay, maybe I’m a bit late on this considering I’ve had them for quite a while, especially since the 2012 rockered model will be available soon. But, yesterday was the first time I had the 2011 RVL8 Condors out for a test drive. I mean, I’m 30 now and being outside the park by choice for an entire day is something I am starting to lean towards. Before I go and discuss their pure rideability (Is that even a word?) I did get into some natural terrain jibbing and hit a rail a few times. But, for the most part I had intended for it to be a cruising day, which is something I have not really gone out to do at all. Wolf Creek is certainly the place to do it because there is no park and they get on average the most snow in Colorado every year. It is an all natural mountain with no snowmaking (to my knowledge), wind powered energy for the resort, and only organic food (other than bottled beverages) served in the lodges. Even the lift tickets are generic with different words of the day printed on them. So, this was the place for me to test the boards without hiking over and over throughout the day (I’ll leave that to you, Jack). But, let me digress and get back to the boards.

I have never been on KTPs (101cm-wide) and have only ridden ALPs (110cm-traditional R8 width proportion) once. For me, the main transition was that of 5cm in length and several cm in width as well as a less flexier board. All of this factored on the basis that I ride on Revolts 100% of the time in all conditions; park, all mountain, powder, trees, backyard jibs, urban, etc… I am 5’6″ and weigh 140lbs (dropped 15lbs of muscle since the dislocations of my shoulder over the past ten months). Thus far Revolts have been the ideal skiboard for what I desired in all conditions.

My first concern while riding up the lift (I probably should have thought things through at least the day before, but I didn’t even bring any other boards to the resort just in case this was an unsuccessful test), was whether or not I would have troubles getting on edge. I am a pretty active guy, skating 2-3 times a week outside of the summer months and training in the gym regularly with high-impact explosive training workouts. Even with that we all know that getting on edge and working on powder with skiboards can be quite a quad-killer for your legs. My second concern was that with the width and flex, would I be able to ride how I normally do? Everyone has their specific flow on skiboards, or anything for that matter, and would it work out well for me? Or, would I feel incredibly uncomfortable for the day? These, among other thoughts are what went through my mind as I rode up my first time.

To my surprise I came off the lift and flew down the first trail (black diamond) and rode typically how I would in a cruising situation, boards close and parallel while just leaning back and forth. They rode incredibly smoothly on the groomed trail and when any sort of powder popped showed up in random spots I floated effortlessly over the patches as if they weren’t there. Throughout the day I tested them in various areas to see how they would handle, including groomers, light pow (4 inches deep, sugary), trees, steep hard-pack, natural banks to tree taps, buttering at lower and higher speeds, popping off of rollers, the feel of grabs and moving the boards around in the air (shifties and spins), and even hitting a rail (Wolf has one random rail sitting at the bottom by one of the lifts that is super sketch to hit and even in the extremely narrow ride-up these boards made the cut).

Overall, I must say that I was very pleased. Even for my height and weight they rode rather fluidly. After a conscious first run of pay attention specifically to how they felt I cruised run after run without even adjusting anything in how I rode or how I thought about approaching things. I definitely felt the width throughout the day as a much wider base to be on top of, but it didn’t actually affect how I rode. The lean-back method came pretty natural in the deeper spots (keep in mind that it is still early season snow and the resort had 4′ but that was several weeks ago before getting warm temps since). My edges were fresh and leaning far from side to side made it quite easy to get on edge fast and smoothly. The extra flex was of no concern because it made the ride smooth. I was cruising fast and taking sharp turns with ease not only because of how easy it was to get on edge, but because of how light the boards felt because of the flex. Yes, the boards tend to fool your mind and make it think they are lighter when in fact it is the flex. Odd, but refreshing. I was even popping off of high banks, tail-tapping trees, and then landing deep in the transition. Because of the flex it was easy to just sink in and ride out. I even hit a rail several times and the boards seemed to lock easier because of the width (I can understand the park love for KTPs now). Between runs I was buttering around doing 360 nose presses and such, and while they were flexier than what I am usually used to there was no problem at all. I just had to compensate by leaning a little more into the trick.

I really don’t have any complaints. The Condors were a fantastic all-around board. The only slight issue I had and needed to compensate for was when coming down steeps where the terrain was slightly moguly and broken up the boards did not handle as well as a narrower board. I would imagine that had it been powder they would have championed the entire section.

I have yet to test them in deep powder, but that will be on the docket next.

On a scale from 1 to 10, for all around use I give them a 9.5

For reference, I was using RVL8 2010 Receptors and Dalbello Rampage boots.

Rider – Dave Bloom – RVL8 Skiboards Event Coordinator, Assistant Team Manager, and RVL8 Team Rider

Condors float on powder…

Made a total of 16 runs between 9am-1pm at Stratton, going from summit to mid-mountain, back up to summit, from summit to base, from mid-mountain to base.

After using the KTPs on Saturday, I had no problems with the width of the Condors, the only problem was skating, with the added length and width, there were a couple of times I did clang the tails. As far as how they performed compared to other 110s, they feel just like the ALPs, except bigger. They turn and performance just like the ALPs, but am able to plow through powder even better. I was able to made a few runs down an area that was roped off due to heavy duty snowmaking, with almost no visibility due to the snowmaking, I was able to go through the area in ankle-deep powder without any problems. With other 110s, I would need to sit back a bit more such that the tips can raise up and go through the powder, but with the Condors, I didn’t need to do this. For me, this is definitely the skiboard I would use when I want to hit it out west, going to backbowls and other areas where there is lots and lots of powder. Previously, I would have used my Spruce 120s, but now that there is a 110 length with the added width for floatation, the Condors will take over that spot. The Condors have the same flex as the ALPs, which is less stiff than the Summits or the Lacroix that I own in the 110cm size.

I also had a chance to take these to Snowmass and Aspen Highlands and they didn’t miss a beat, able to handle both east coast and west coast conditions.

Rider – Edward Ho – Expert Skiboarder

Get the CONDORS people!

I have been riding skiboards since the first year they hit the market. I have shredded all sorts of sizes and brands. But last year was my first season on R8 boards. It was also the first time I had ever been on anything longer than 100cm.After riding the ALP I knew that we needed a powder hog. What I was unaware of though is the fact that it would have my name on it.

The first time I took them out if the box I had a pair of BWPs on the floor. when they came out of the box I set them up to the b-dubs and was shocked by how massive these things are. They even dwarf the alps. I knew that they would kill it in the powder but I was unprepared for the park . Riding into jumps is a whole new feeling because of the extra suface area. I dont find myself skating for speed as much as I used to . They just want to get up and go. Landing is now a little easier ,once again because of the extra surface area. I was a little skeptical of them on rails . I thaught they would feel like tanks but the boards are suprizingly lite. they just seemed to lock on tighter than the thinner counter parts.I have had more funin the park on these boards than anything else I have eve riddin.

Now these boards were designed to ride the back country of Colorado. Thats what I do the most of for sure. I have about 30 or so days in the BC this year. With 6-8 weeks left to the season of pow possibilties we have plenty of time. These boards perform very well in pow 10-30 inches with out a problem. We just havnt had the big storms this season to test them on anything deeper than that. I have been dropping cliffs on average of 20 -30 ft but have only once dropped anything bigger. On the smaller drops, the ride away facter has been increased 2 fold. I have just bomb holed on anything over 35 ft. Its just hard for me to want to land more forward. The older boards always made me land backseat. It will just take some retraining on my part to trust the surfacr area that I now have. The one thing the condors have def done for the sport is the intoduction of inverts in the back country. These bad boys float so nice you really dont have to worry about falling through the edge of what you want to boost off. This has been great for learning how hard to rotate when hucking meat off of cliffs.The condors arem poised to show the rest of the snow sliding world whats up. All we need now are a few more kooks . I sincerly hope that if you are a rider who fancies him or herself as a hardcore rider that wants the ultimate skiboard for every job. It should be a no brainer. Get the CONDORS people. You wont regret it. Keep shredding and spreading the love Brett Connor

Rider – Brett Connor – Expert Skiboarder (inspiration for the RVL8 Condor)

Condors are beasts!

These things are beasts! and im not a big guy, at 6’2, 135 lbs (yeah I’m mad skinny, its annoying). So i had my doubts about how well id be able to handle the condors.
Well, as everyone knows, there was mad pow in the east coast tonight. About a foot or so. Perfect opportunity to bring out the Condors.

I strapped them on at the lift, and took a deep breath as i boarded the lift, to a comment of “where in the world did you buy those snowblades, they’re massive” from the lift operator.
I got to talking to a snowboarder on the lift, who was in awe of the size of the condors, and he was interested in seeing the rest of the boards. I gave him a business card and told him there were many pictures on the forums of most of the boards. Now it was windy going up, and the wind was catching under the boards and pushing them up, the condors were wanting to fly. I exited the lift, and traversed a little on the way to “green/blue” runs, which were covered in powder and basically, skier mad moguls, piles of powder that were pushed by boarders and skiers, then packed down by people going over them, then more powder on top. They were so much fun. I would hit one, pop up my tips, have my tails be planted, then bounce into another one. The flex on these made for fun shredding in the powder.

There was also a steeper trail that most of the powder blew off. I wanted to see how they would handle steep hard pack. I was surprised, i kept them mostly on edge, and the hold was tremendous, no skidding out or chattering, just bouncing over the occasional powder pocket, and carving up the hard pack. They went above and beyond my expectations on hard pack. But where these behemoths really opened up on the powder. These condors have gone above anything i could’ve ever thought they would do. I was using my height to really drive into carves, and really ride these aggressively, which they responded to amazingly. If i had any advise for riding these, it would be stay on edge and carve, and really put your weight into it.

Thanks Brett Connor for the inspiration and help with choosing the condors. Great all around board.

Rider – Rob Kraebel – Intermediate Skiboarder

Condors are a must have…

In my short time skiboarding (2.5 seasons) I’ve ridden a lot on many different boards (Head Shape 94s, RVL8 Tanshos, RVL8 Mary Janes, RVL8 KTPs, RVL8 ALPs, Spruce 120s, and now the Condors). The Condors are by far the best, most versatile all-mountain boards I’ve ridden. I recently put them through their paces on a full day of riding at Mt. Bachelor. 20 inches of fresh snow, hard packed blue groomers, ungroomed blacks, a steep mogul run, cut-up chop, and finished the day in untouched trackless deep powder on a hike-able inbounds hill.

The Condors handled it all.

They flex great over uneven terrain, float well in the softest powder and hold an edge on aggressive carving on hard pack. They are confidence inspiring and stable and give me great feedback from the terrain without jostling me about like much stiffer boards have a tendency to do. They look great too. The massive width of the things will take some getting used to – my ankles and feet were a bit fatigued by the end of the day. They are not hard to get on edge, but do require more out of a rider to get them there.

Ultimately, I would say this should be a “must have” board for heavier riders (170 lbs +) who want to ride skiboards all mountain and in variable terrain that includes deep, soft powder. Simply fantastic product and fantastic ride.

Rider – Robert – Intermediate Skiboarder

Condors are my favorite…

The Condors have turned out to be the best all round skiboard I have ridden in my six seasons of skiboarding. Here is why:Carving on groomers is very natural and intuitive after the first few runs.

The Condors have excellent edge hold on extreme hard pack (I have yet to have the misfortune of riding glare ice). They have never let me down on high speed carves or when dodging obstacles (skiers, snowboarders or trees). I do not recall ever sliding out on the Condors. At 110 cm long, they are short enough that they do not go squirrelly if you want to take a short break from edging and just flat-base bomb the run. I suspect the extra width helps the Condors be less sensitive to the terrain and therefore they do not catch edges as easily as narrower skiboards.

The Condors are FAST allowing me to hold my own when racing my snowboarding son.Skating is very natural and I very rarely hit the skiboards together. Since the glide is very good, very little effort is required to get around when skating.My motivation for buying the Condors was my minor struggles when riding other skiboards off-piste that translated into fatigue.

None of my other skiboards provide the optimum powder float for my weight. Also with my longest skiboards, I find it difficult to control tip swing at the end of a long day of riding as my legs tire out. The Condor’s float and length have proven to be a perfect combination for me. Their great float is much less tiring on my thighs since there is no need to lean back. The shorter length means I am not fighting / compensating for tips being thrown about in uneven terrain of chopped powder. With the Condors: I do not have to focus on the changing terrain and be as deliberate in the path I take; I feel in total control of the Condors; and they provide a less tiring ride off-piste. This allows me to get a few more runs in at the end of a long day of riding because of less fatigue. Therefore, the Condors are exactly what I was looking for; more control and less fatigue.

I am an older rider at 51 years old, 180 pounds, 5” 11” tall and consider myself an intermediate rider (foolish enough to go where he probably should not be going) who only gets to ride on real mountains up to 10 days a season. I rode the Condors with modified aluminum Spruce risers and releasable bindings (S810 ti) center mounted.

Rider – Yaroslow – Intermediate Skiboarder

I absolutely love the Condors…

Condors: In short, absolutely love them. Was sad when my KTP’s met their end, but now I love these more then I did the KTPs. The stability and float are absolutely great, and though the stiffness of the KTP’s is great for them, the flex of the Condors is perfect for what it is too. Having put enough time in powder and glades in the last part of this season, I never felt wanting for more maneuverability.

I was quite often taking lines that it seemed the skiers and snowboarders avoided through tight trees, and getting fresh lines because of that. On that note though, being ~175lbs + whatever gear I have on, and if I’m wearing a pack, I was glad to get the powder plates for the setback. I had a few pow days without the plates, and it was very good, though the KTP’s with setback I recalled being easier (I wish I could have tested them head to head). Once I was able to get the setback for the powder though, it all opened up, though I’ll admit I did enough backslapping when I was doing drops.

Rider – Mitchell Kuntz – Expert Skiboarder