We were lucky enough to get some fresh powder for this years WSSF Whistler demo days!
Not quite as lucky as last year when there was also sunshine, but hey, can’t complain about April snow.
The demo days this year took place on April 13th and 14th and again were a part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Unlike last year the visibility wasn’t amazing – wasn’t terrible either. But just like last year, we were treated to mid-April snow.
Saturday April 13th
With around 8 inches (20 centimeters) falling in the 7 days to Sunday the 14th – and just over half of that coming Saturday and Sunday themselves, there was a good amount of fresh snow around. It was dust on crust in places but in others it felt a little deeper and softer.
It was around 20°F (-7°C), with wind chill – so rather cold for April, and the wind was fairly strong too. Really felt like January in April!
The groomers were mostly firm underneath with soft on top – softer in places. No real slush though – except at the very lowest altitude that I was riding to. Off groomer was mostly nice powder! But in some places there were some hard, even icy patches showing up – but those were few and far between (and quite good to have them from a testing perspective).
Sunday April 14th
Sunday teased us with some sunshine in patches. But mostly it was cloudy ans was snowing at times too – even a bit of hail at one point. Very slightly warmer than Saturday – 25°F (-4°C) – and with less wind. Visibility was similar (not amazing but not terrible) for the most part – with those patches of sunshine bringing perfect vis for brief spurts.
Conditions on the ground were very similar, but there had been a bit more snow overnight – so just a little softer. The groomers were a little firmer, especially to start with, making things a little faster day 2 – which I found out the hard way on my first jump of the day – overshooting the landing to land on the flat. Ouch, but no damage done!
As is always the case I followed a set process for testing the boards.
- Firstly doing the same runs that I would do with the test gear on my board, bindings and boots – to get a feel for my gear on that particular day for comparison
- Then replacing on one item (i.e. if I was testing a board I would use my bindings and boots)
- Doing the same runs each time for each new item of gear tested, and doing the same things
- Tightening boots to the same level before each item of gear tested
Since I was also testing Burton EST bindings on day 2 (which I couldn’t test on my control board), I first rode the Burton Flight Attendant on my (Burton Malavita Re:Flex) bindings (which was good as I got to test the Flight Attendant again, which I wanted to do anyway). Then I rode that same Flight Attendant with the 2020 Malavita EST and then 2020 Cartel EST. This was I still got a base from riding my Re:Flex Malavitas with the Flight Attendant and then comparing how the Malavita EST and Cartel EST felt vs my control bindings.
Brands in Attendance
It was a relatively small turnout vs previous years. Hopefully there will be more brands for next year. But it was awesome to see the following there:
- Never Summer
Apologies if I left anyone out.
Gear I Tested
This year I tested the following, with Sunday being mostly focused on bindings and Saturday on boards.
- DC Mega
- Slash ATV
- Never Summer Dipstick
- Slash Happy Place
- Never Summer Funslinger
- Burton Flight Attendant
- Burton Malavita EST (on Flight Attendant)
- Burton Cartel EST (on Flight Attendant)
- Flux SR
- Flux DSW
As always I will release my reviews for these through the year, in addition to all the other gear I’ve tested this year. It’s been a really great year for testing and I’ve had the chance to try out some brands that I hadn’t before, throughout the year (Endeavor, NOW bindings, Jones Bindings, DC – in addition to the regular brands that I test).
Big thanks to WSSF, Whistler/Blackcomb and more importantly all the brands for putting on these demos. I know a lot of work go into and we really appreciate the efforts.
This weekend is always the last demos for me for the season. So now I’m off to enjoy a few final days riding for the season, just to ride!