SkiboardMagazine Co-Founder Jason lays down the Spliff

The newest RVL8 offering, the Spliffs are the result of 4 years of experimentation with rocker skiboards. With a rocker-camber combo they lean more towards a traditional camber skiboard feel than RVL8’s previous rockered offerings, less of the “surf-like” feel than the Blunt XL skiboards.

This makes them a freerider’s one quiver dream, having a big performance envelope. They are fairly big skiboards, at 109cm long and 13cm wider underfoot, but the rockered tips make them feel and control much more like shorter skiboards on groomers, as the rocker elevates the tips out of the way. The rockered tips jump into play when pushed into carves and turns, giving them the edge control of the full 109cm when you need it. Like any wider skiboard they do take a bit more effort and are a little slower to get up on edge, but the rockered tips make initiating turns effortless, rarely catching an edge.

On piste, it takes a bit of time to get acquainted with the point at which skiboards are pushed enough for the tips to engage and the full edge length can be relied upon. I sometimes find myself thinking the tips will engage, when they don’t, or vice-verse, but this confusion has slowly eroded the more I ride them. The 6.5m turning radius is not out of the ordinary for the size, allowing for the deep short carves most skiboarders love. Thanks to the underfoot camber, skating around flats is a breeze, added bonus!

The Spliffs shine in deep snow and off-piste. I felt not acquaintance time here, they just perform. The rockered tips aided by their width give a great amount of lift in soft deep snow with that lively pop from the camber. The flex range that the rocker-camber provides feels amazing. I feel like I have butterfly wings under my feet feeling poppy and light, with a large reach of support and lift. I find a 2-4cm setback is preferable for powder to put more weight on the tails and prop the front tips up and found myself leaving them setback without noticeable difference in performance on groomed snow.

I have had virtually no issues with tail support like I felt on zero-camber rockered skiboards. I can count on the tails to support me, rarely feeling like they will slip out from under me. Landing drops and pressing the tails rarely feeling the need to hold back thanks to the extra support the extension of the under foot camber provides.

They are not undefeated however. On a very heavy concrete sticky powder day, I found myself wishing for a pair of Blunt XL’s, struggling to keep the tips up, heavier and taller riders might have less of an issue with that as their extra leverage could more easily bring the tips up in these conditions, and in such harsh conditions its hard to expect miracles anyways.

Being pretty big skiboards, freestylers, park rats, and fancy foot-workers will feel the size and they can be a lot to throw around without the precise edge of fully cambered skiboards. This is where they felt the most rocker “surf-like”, by not being able to rely heavier on the full pop and full edge control of the 109cm length. They aren’t terrible, in the park, just a little confusing, as the rockered tips rarely engage enough in the park unless pushing a deep carve off a kicker or fully pressing down on the tips. They do however feel less sloppy than fully rockered skiboards in the park. That said, these favor freeriders, and the rockered tips are super fun and effortless to press around, doing butters and presses over hips even in powder, hitting choppy banks and natural features, in a more freeride style and knowing the support of that wide range, rocker-camber tail will catch you on the way down!

These have been by far what I consider to be the best freeride skiboards I’ve tried, impressive for a sub-110cm category, skiboard. Thanks to the rocker-camber combo, they have a huge performance envelope, but they need to be ridden fairly aggressively in order for them to show their true potential, being geared towards intermediates to advanced riders, heavier and taller riders, those looking at going off-piste looking for steep and deep, while still maintaining very decent on-piste performance. Beginner and non-aggressive riders don’t stand to gain much from riding the Spliffs over other options.

I would love to see variations in length for this rocker-camber combination. The point at which these skiboards are pushed enough for the tips to engage enough and the full edge can be relied upon is very subjective to the rider. Chopping 10cm off the length while keeping the same rocker-camber ratio and same width would give lighter and shorter their own freeride possibilities, (or even adding an extra 10cm for even larger riders!)

Rider – Jason Roussel Co-Founder – Expert Skiboarder’s Editor Andrew tackles the RVL8 KTP’s

Over the years I have tried many different boards and have found I really enjoy a stiff board as I sit back seat when I ride. For the past few seasons I’ve been using the Loken CT8’s which are 99cm and super stiff. I’ve always been told to try out the RVL8 KTP for that reason, as it’s just a bit longer than the CT8’s and they are nice and stiff.

I had my opportunity at the 2015 Midwest Meet in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at Mount Bohemia, which is all backcountry tree skiing. The width and stiffness of the boards is what I noticed right off the bat. Several times I found myself sitting too far backseat and on softer boards I would have went down, but not on the KTP’s.

The boards are just .5cm larger at the tip and the tail than the CT8’s but the extra length and 1cm larger at the waist made them feel much larger. The width did surprise me at first and it took a good day of riding to get used to them, but by day 2 it had all come together.

Taking quick turns through the dense areas of Bohemia wasn’t a chore once I got used to these. I was able to point downhill and just go, and not stop or scrub speed. I’m in my mid 30’s and there have been times in years past I wasn’t able to keep up with the youngsters in our group, this year I did a lot better job of keeping up, and even over taking some.

The KTP’s were there pushing me to do more, pushing me to go faster, to cut turns sharper, to slide through that narrow tree opening, to take that steeper elevation with more aggression than I had in years past.

I’m not a cliff dropper or a park rat, I don’t grind anything, so I don’t need the KTP’s to do that for me, I was looking for responsiveness and stiffness to allow me to move seamlessly through the glades and to allow me to sit back seat and float if we get some Londer (Inside joke, but that’s referring to powder at Bohemia). We didn’t run into much der when we were there, but what we did find I floated nicely through.

Cutting through trees quickly and easily was the name of the game, and the KTP’s shined at every turn. I had borrowed a pair of 2011’s at the meet, but no more than 2 days after I returned I put in my order for 2015’s, which have arrived.

The length is right on, the width is big, but very manageable and the stiffness is where I need it. I don’t have any complaints about these boards, they are now going to be my go to board. For me, these boards are exactly what I was needing in a skiboard.

That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

Rider – Andrew Deehr – Editor of

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’s Jason Review the Dynastar 99cm Twin Board

The first thing I noticed from these boards was the big turning radius. At around 8.5 meters, it’s comparable to the RVL8 Rumspringas, but much wider, 13.5 cm wide at the tips and 11.5 at the waist, making its width up to par with boards made today (these boards are from the early 2000s)

Combine that turning radius with a pretty stiff board, and these are short carving monsters! They really can be pushed aggressively on steep and fast terrain like no other boards made today, but with much wider turns.

The stiffness makes them a little unforgiving, and you’ll definitely feel the terrain more than with softer boards.

In the park the big turning radius makes landings pretty solid, but the stiffness a little unforgiving. They are completely symmetrical, so great for fakie riding. The big turning radius was a bit of hindrance to getting spinney and creative, but if that’s not your thing you’ll might really enjoy them in the park.

They are not the longest boards so in soft snow there isn’t as much lift, but the waist underfoot is pretty wide giving them a pretty large surface area for their size.

If you want to bomb hills and do long aggressive carves, these are great, and are pretty impressive for their size! Dynastar really packed in a lot of punch with the 99cm old time size limit!

I’d recommend pairing these up with a fairly stiff boot, as a soft boot might have trouble keeping up with the boards.

Note: These usually come with 4×4 Dynastar bindings but I swapped those out for my own bindings are the quality didn’t look that great, so the review doesn’t include the Dynastar bindings.

Rider – Jason Roussel – Expert Skiboarder – Co-Founder’s Andrew reviews the Rocker Bindings…

During the 2011/2012 season I picked up a set of the new Rocker soft boot bindings for skiboards. I also bought a pair of soft snowboard boots so I could get the full experience. Right out of the box I was impressed with the bindings.

The solid construction and material used instantly made me feel like they were going to be able to hold up to my 6’ 2” 225lb frame. I proceeded to mount them onto a pair of RVL8 Revolts. I started using a regular socket wrench for attaching them to the boards, but quickly found that it was a little more difficult with the height of the back and side of the bindings to use that socket. So I got out the extended socket wrench and had installed them easily.

Also during installation I checked on the bumpers which are solid rubber secured with a screw so the base plate. Those rubber bumpers are really a great idea and help keep the screws in place during use of the bindings. I needed to tighten one bumper and that caused a problem. The base of the binding has a thick sole glued to it to provide cushion for your boots, and it’s a great idea because you definitely don’t want to be standing directly on metal when skiboarding, it would be quiet uncomfortable. It also covered up the screws for the bumpers making it difficult to tighten once they become loose, but it can be done.

Never having been a snowboarder I wasn’t sure how comfortable it would be to be using soft boots while on skiboards. But I took a recommendation and got the stiffest boots I could find and went out with them.

Bindings are now secure to my satisfaction, time to hit the slopes!

I took it slow and leisurely at first, but just like with the first time I was on skiboards, I quickly became comfortable and picked up the pace. The three straps on the binding that hold you in place are solid as a rock, and if tightened properly, hold you in place and give no wiggle room. This allowed me to feel the snow better just like I would in my hard shell boots.

As I got more and more comfortable I put myself on edge more and more and carved harder and harder on groomers. The bindings held true and did not give at all.

The real concern I had was with the long screws from the base of the binding down to the skiboards. I thought with such a long screw that getting on edge and pushing hard would cause the board to separate from the binding and the screws would rip out when given so much side pressure. But that was not the case, they held true and I was as comfortable carving with the Rockers as I am with my Spruce Riser Pros. That’s saying a lot from a soft boot binding system.

I did take them to the Midwest Meet last year up at Mount Bohemia, which is all powder backcountry skiboarding. That is where my comfort ended. I found out quickly that I ride on my heels a lot, not knowingly, almost too far on my heels that I was no longer comfortable. Not being a veteran powder rider I wasn’t prepared for it and lost my footing a lot. Since that trip I’ve learned that the Rockers are prepared for goofs like me with the ability to adjust the back leg rest of the binding forward. Had I been aware of that at the time it could have very well made a huge difference, but I wasn’t able to try that feature out last year during that trip. And the rest of the year all I have are groomers to ride on.

I don’t do park, so I can’t speak for the bindings there, but with as solid as they are, I can’t imagine there would be any issues.

The more I used the Rockers in weeks and months throughout the season, besides Bohemia, I really enjoyed the comfort of a soft shell boot and the knowledge of knowing the Rockers are tanks and would not release on me in any way.

I’d comfortably give this product 4 out of 5, great job Rocker!

Rider – Andrew Deehr – Intermediate Skiboarder –

Skiboardmagazine’s Jason flexes the Summit Nomad…

So I finally got to try these out after years of these being on the market.

Most interesting thing of these skiboards is the flex. They are stiff under foot, and the tips are very soft. This works nice in powder, giving plenty of lift out of the soft snow with little effort. Add that with the 6 cm high tips and you get lots of lift. More lift does make for more drag however, so they are slower in soft snow than other skiboards.

At 6.8 meters, the Nomads have a pretty large turning radius for this size skiboards, combine that with a stiff under foot and you get an amazingly stable and fast ride, as long as you dont rely on the tails, ie ride the tips or backseat.

Park rats might find the turning radius too big and tips too soft to get very creative, but it does make landings and slides super stable. If you enjoy bombing steeps, long carves and frequent powder stashes on occasion, pick yourself up a pair.

Rider – Jason Roussel – Expert Skiboarder Co-founder

Skiboardmagazine’s Jason reviews the Spruce 120’s…

I’ve always be reluctant to ride longboard skiboards, but I’ve got a change to try out the Spruce 120s a few times last season and this season and was pleasantly surprised.

The obvious comes to mind at first; picking wider lines (in the glades mostly) is a must, they are more board to throw around in the park, and skating around is a little bit more of a hassle, and they float great in powder.

The only option for these boards is releasable bindings, which of course is needed for this length of board, and also makes them a little heavier, but its easy to get used to that.

People who like to go big in the park will enjoy the landing surface of these boards, but they might be a little bit too soft for heavier park riders. The fairly sharp turning radius compensates their length for those who want to get creative in the park on rails and jibs, but be warned that there is much more ski to throw around than most skiboards.

On groomers they fairy pretty well. Again I found them to be a little soft, and heavier riders might find them to chatter at high speeds, but for the average rider they will hold up their edge very well thanks to the long edges.

Powder is really fun with these, i wish there was an easier way to set the bindings back, but this can be done by moving the bindings back on the Risers. Again, you’re going to have to pick slightly wider lines than traditional skiboards, but if you’re looking for float in the fresh snow you’ve got it here.

Skiers moving to skiboards will find these an easy transition. I also recommend them to medium or light weight riders looking for larger surface area and more edge control, meaning ripping groomers and shredding powder!

Rider – Jason Roussel – Expert Skiboarder Co-Founder of

Skiboardmagazine’s Courtney rips on the Tanshos…

The 2009 RVL8 Tanshos are great all around boards. The 90cm length gives them great maneuverability and the width gives them plenty of surface area to keep you moving fast and stable. One of the first things I noticed was the flex. I had been used to riding stiff boards and it was nice being able to lean back and feel the board flex a little. The Tanshos are still plenty stiff for me and I haven’t had any problems with them being too flexible.

Riding park on 90cm boards can be a lot of fun – just keep in mind you only have 90cms to land on. Being on point in your landings will be important on these boards as there is less of a back seat to land in compared to longer boards.

The Tanshos aren’t generally considered a powder board but I managed to make it through knee deep powder on them without getting buried alive and getting too caught up. I had to keep my weight on the tails which was quite the work out on my knees but I’m not so used to riding powder. If I were to do a lot of powder riding I’d get something with more float but these do the job for riding the few powder days we get in Minnesota. It is quite tricky riding these on tracked out powder but I had a blast in the untouched stuff.

Overall the 09 Tanshos are high quality and very maneuverable boards. Whether you’re riding all mountain, groomers, park, occasional powder, or bumps you’ll be covered on these boards.

Rider – Courtney Celley – RVL8 Flow Team Rider/Expert Skiboarder –

Skiboardmagazine’s Jason tries out the Tanshos…

In a day when the average skiboard is getting longer and longer, it’s nice to see that RVL8 has stepped up and made a truly high performance shorter skiboard. I’ve been riding these for the past month and a half now and they have exceeded much of my expectations.

Don’t let the shorter length of these boards scare you, they plow through anything. Having ridden other short boards before, I can really say that I feel much more confident on these boards on any kind of terrain.

RVL8’s innovative “blunt tips” combined with the high tips of the Tanshos give them great leverage when ridding through softer snow, and actually give more edge contact the harder they are carved. I do find that the tips give a bit of drag through the snow when carve as fast and as hard as possible, but it’s only a small complaint.

The flex on these boards is amazing. The Tanshos might take a bit more effort for the novice skiboarder, as they are a bit less forgiving then other short boards, but give the performance a big boost. They are stiff enough to hold their edge alomst anywhere. The flex in these boards really shines in the park and on jumps. The tails spring so nicely off kickers feels like it pops off the lip of the jumps.

Inline skaters will really enjoy the tight turning radius and skate like feel of these boards. I did find the turning radius might just be a little too tight at 4.8 meters. It would have been nice to have it maybe a bit bigger, at 5 meters maybe. The tight radius does come in handy in the trees or moguls, but slows down high speed carving a bit.

To to wrap it up, the RVL8 Tanshos give a lot of performance in a small package. They are not for everyone, but those looking for smaller skiboards now have a great high performance option, and don’t need to settle for entry level skiboards. And by the way, they look even better in person, the graphics are truly a work of art.

Rider – Jason Roussel – Intermediate Skiboarder

Skiboardmagazine’s Jason reviews the KTP’s

Probably one of the most innovative products for the 0708 season the RVL8 KTP skiboards are the first Kirk Thompson signature skiboards, feature extra wide tips and waist and have six inserts to give the possibility of setting back bindings by 4 cm.

At first I thought these where really too wide for groomed runs before I even tried them (15.5cm at the tips and 12.5 at the waist.) Although they do take more effort than mid-wide or narrow skiboards to get up on edge and turn, they do pretty well on flat groomed snow. The extra width makes them a little stiffer from tip to tip, but it doesn’t catch ice as well as narrower skiboards.

These mid-length skiboards are stable as hell when going big. For drops and big air they lock like bolts. High speed carving, if you don’t mind the extra effort is pretty stable as well. The tight 5.2 meter turning radius feels just about right for these boards, giving you a little extra push for those tight turns and compliments the extra width.

For butters and presses the width and RVL8 blunt tips makes them super stable as well as for rail slides, but again the width has a bit of a downside were you gotta put more effort to throw these skiboards around.

Now where these boards really shine and give a whole new riding experience is in the powder and soft snow. The width gives you the float of longer 110+ cm skiboards in a smaller mid-size 101 cm ride.

The set back feature. In my opinion, the most innovative feature on any skiboard made up until now. They have the industry standard 4×4 insert pattern, with an extra 2 more inserts behind them. This means that you can set back any binding by 4 cm with ease! This provides just a perfect amount of tail pressure to pop your front tips out of the soft snow, without much effort. I’d love to see this feature on more skiboards. Set back of course give performance boost in soft snow, but on the rest of the mountain, from groomed to park, center mount is much better.

I would definitely recommend these skiboards to rider who are going to be going big in the terrain park, and riding a lot of soft snow, maybe 40% of the time or more. Or if you’re looking for soft snow shredders to add to your collection these are definitely a good choice.

Rider – Jason Roussel – Expert Skiboarder Co-founder