2018 Gear Guide | Park Board Test
Check out the 2018 Park Board Test from the Gear Guide Issue!
Park rats rejoice! The 2017 Alliance Park Board Test is back and set to get you on your next rail/kicker water shredding device. Just like the Boat Board Test, we had some boards that we’ve seen before and some that are seeing daylight for the first time. We’re not here to tell you that every board is awesome, we are here to keep things real. Some are good, some not so good … but you’ll just have to read on to find out! This time around, we decided to pack up the van with all the dudes (and dudettes) and sent it to Velocity Island Park in Woodland, CA. Velocity is such an incredible park and the people who inhabit it are even better. With plenty of solid rails and kickers, we knew we had the perfect spot to put these boards to the test.
Similar to the Boat Test, each rider rode each board and gave us their honest opinion on it. We took those reviews, along with the scores, and threw them all together to give you a solid insight on how each board performed. The park boards share the same “On The Water” ratings as the boat boards but we traded in “Off The Wake” and “In The Air” for “On The Obstacles” so pay attention checking out the scores!
The Rating System: Pretty simple….each board is scored on different aspects in your standard “1-10” scale. But remember, 1 doesn’t necessarily mean bad and 10 doesn’t mean good, it all depends on what trait is being tested.
On The Water: Speed (1 = Sloth, 10 = Cheetah), Turning (1 = Won’t turn, 10 = Carves all day), Edging (1 = Slick, 10 = Locked in), Tracking (1 = Loose, 10 = Locked in), Landing (1 = Brick, 10 = Feather), Ollie (1 = Stuck to the water, 10 = Springy)
On The Obstacles: Sliding Speed (1 = Where’s the wax?, 10 = Speed demon), Pressability (1 = No give, 10 = Presses for days)
Byerly Slayer 144
(Brenton Priestly Pro Model)
Brenton Priestley is known for his raw style on and off the water, so it’s no surprise that his board is as raw as they come. With it’s full wood core construction, a first for the Byerly crew, and it’s exclusive Rocker Lock construction that seals the top and bottom sheets of the board together for plenty of strength, this board will take a beating and keep on kicking. BP expects a lot out of his board and the Slayer definitely delivers. Our riders definitely noticed the stiffer flex pattern of the Slayer as compared to the other boards tested. “It was definitely the stiffest board we tested but I liked the way it tracked and edged on the water,” said Tim. While some of the riders wanted a softer board, Kelly pointed out that the even though it didn’t have a lot of flex, “the rocker made up for the lack of flex while still staying nice and stable on the rails.”
MSRP – $529.99
Sizes – 139 cm, 144 cm
Connelly Woodro 140
The Woodro has been in the Connelly line up for a few years now and for good reason. With its 100% Paulownia wood core which gives plenty of flex and rebound off rails, the Woodro is a park rider’s best friend. Independent channels run down near the edges of the board to help with tracking while leaving the majority of the base for sliding across rails. Jake was stoked on the Woodro saying, “this board has awesome flex and feels super stable on rails.” For riders looking to boost the kickers, this board can definitely hang. The test riders loved its predictability and could feel the board’s overall durability.
MSRP – $479.99
Sizes – 140 cm, 146 cm
Hyperlite Jam 140
The Jam has taken a step back this year and been completely overhauled for 2018. Reshaped with a much thinner profile from tip to tail, the board keeps the full flex pattern through the entire length of the deck that park riders are looking for. Combining wood and foam for the best of both worlds, the Jam’s Crossover Flex Core allows for solid flex while still maintaining the board’s shape and durability. Our testers seemed to enjoy it so much so that Kelly said, “This was by far my favorite board for the park. It’s light on your feet, light on the water, and has flex and pop that never stops!”
MSRP – $499.99
Sizes – 140 cm, 145 cm
Liquid Force Noodle 146
Brand new for 2018, the Liquid Force Noodle is a snow-inspired, rail rider’s dream! With its asymmetrical, snowboard-inspired shape, full wood-profiled core, and sintered grind base, our riders felt like they were on the mountain rather than the cable. “It’s such a fun board”, Kelly said, “It’s so quick to respond to your movements, just like a snowboard!” The testers loved it on the rails and for buttering around the corners, but could quickly tell that it was not meant for high impact landings. “The Noodle is fast on the rails with no hang ups,” said Tim, “but too soft for the kickers. Not a board to send it on!”
MSRP – $469.99
Sizes – 142 cm, 146 cm
Jobe Concord 145
The Concord is Jobe’s go-to when it comes to the park. When you combine a super thin profile with a wide base, you’re bound to come up with a board that feels right at home on the rails. Coupled with its full wood core, hybrid rocker, and ABS sidewalls, this board is meant to take a beating. “The Concord tracks really well in the water,” said Jake, “plus it’s nice and consistent so you’re confident coming into whatever gnarly set up you have in front of you.” Kelly was also stoked on it saying, “I like the width of the board a lot. It makes you feel a lot more stable on the rails and it still slides fast for the amount of surface area.”
MSRP – $449.99
Sizes – 137 cm, 141 cm, 145 cm
Never Summer Mind Bender 141
The Mind Bender is Never Summer’s first offering in the wake/cable department. Tim noticed right off the bat that this was the kind of board that any rider could jump on and have a good time. Calling it “first turn friendly” and an “overall super fun board for the all-around rider”, it seems like Never Summer might know a thing or two about riding melted snow. They even drew their inspiration for the flex pattern straight from the snowboard designs and it shows. Kelly noticed too saying, “The flex on this board is rad! It feels like it was made to lock into rails without even trying!”
MSRP – $529.99
Sizes – 136 cm, 141 cm, 146 cm
Ronix High Life 140
Ronix has always been known for innovation when it comes to board designs and the High Life is no exception. New for 2018, this cable-specific shape was designed with floaty air tricks and boosty kickers in mind. It has the most amount of rocker and bottom features of any board in the Ronix line up, which translates to solid edge hold and releases off the water with more power and amplitude. The rail riders are definitely not forgotten with this board though. It features Ronix’s Flexbox 2 technology and wood running horizontally in the tip and tail which gives the rider a unique flex pattern to get down on at the park.
MSRP – $499.99
Sizes – 130 cm, 135 cm, 140 cm, 145 cm
Slingshot Nomad 160
The original “longboard” is back again for another season and riders everywhere are stoked. Known as a boat board the past few seasons, Slingshot gave the people what they wanted with the Nomad by throwing their grind base on it for the park. With the increased length and surface area, this board was engineered to be as user-friendly as they come. With plenty of tip and tail to press on and a wide belly for soft landings, this board is all about fun. Kelly seemed to enjoy it saying, “The Nomad has the perfect amount of flex to respond to your best presses. It’s super smooth on the water, the rails, and off the kickers!”
MSRP – $449
Sizes – 150 cm, 155 cm, 160 cm