A closer look at Salomon snowboards the Villain, The Assassin and Super8 by The Board Basement
Salomon have been around since forever and with good reason! Their boards are quality pieces of kit and have some sweet bits of tech in there too. This year at The Board Basement we chose a select few boards which we thought are absolute top draw, The Assassin, The Villain and The Super 8.
The Assassin is designed by Salomon in conjunction with austrian super shredder Wolle Nyvelt. If you do not know who Wolle is he is well worth a google he is equally as talented with his feet strapped in or out a snowboard and rips powder like no one else. So the Assassin is his deck which is a true twin shape with Salomon's Rock Out Camber profile which is also used on the Villain, this is a flat mid section between your feet with camber under foot and turned up reverse camber tips. This hybrid profile is really nice and stable thanks to the zero or flat camber mid section giving a super stable platform to land on, Salomon then throw camber under foot to give some precision and pop back into the board and reverse camber tip and tail for that extra float in powder and a nice catch free feel thanks to the contact points being raised away from the snow. This combined with a mid flex of 5/10 gives a really nice feel not too soft not too stiff matched with a wicked camber profile which gives you plenty of pop back.
The Super 8 however takes camber profiles to a different level. The Super 8 uses an excellent back seat camber profile which is standard camber pushed to the back of the board so the highest part sits under your back foot. This then extends to the front foot where zero or flat camber takes over. This gives excellent precision and explosive turning power when combined with Salomon's Quadratic sidecut. The nice thing about this camber profile is when the camber under your back foot is loaded it will naturally make the flat section at the front act like a reverse camber nose. Plus all that power in the tail means awesome ollies and power through your carves.
Another great feature about Salomon boards is their very clever sidecut profiles. On both the Assassin and Villain they use the EQ Rad sidecut which differs quite far away from your regular radial sidecut you find on your average snowboard. The EQ rad sidecut is based around 3 straight lines blended together with 2 radial arcs (see picture I know that sounds confusing!). This makes the contact area of the edge longer giving you more grip back plus really nice and quick turn initiation which = great carves. Then on the awesome Super 8 Salomon get back to a classic sidecut but not your boring one radius sidecut, oh no! Salomon use a Quadratic sidecut which, you guessed it is based on 4 radius' based on eliptical curves blended together to give excellent turn in and turn out while riding very smoothe. This makes edge to edge transitions very fluid and effortless. When this is added to the Super 8 it gives excellent carve-ability and really does hold an edge through a turn very well even when you are going mach 10 and euro carving like mad!
All 3 boards then use a range of additives tailored to each of the boards specific needs. The Super 8 kicks this off with Salomon's Popster technology which is the base for all of the 2017 Salomon boards we stock. Popster is thinner and thicker sections of the board in specific areas to add pop to the board and generally improve the overall response of the board. This works on the tips of the board being thin but then moving into a thicker zone under the feet, tinner cored out again between the feet until the center of the board where it goes back to the thicker section. If you imaging a regular thick board then squeeze the tips and 2 zones inside of your bindings then you get the Popster profile. Not only does this add response and pop but due to the core and profile being cored out it actually reduces weight too, win win!
The Villain takes this one step further with Popster Booster being added to this board. Popster booster is a popster profile with 3 sets of 3 carbon stringers in a V in the tip and tail and then 1 directly down the middle of the board to the inserts. Adding these carbon stringers improves the boards rigidity, pop, response and turn in. This makes for a more lively poppy snowboard.
The Salomon Assassin goes yet another step further being based on the Popster Booster with additional bamboo stingers built into the core. This is known as Popster Eco Booster. Bamboo has a lot more rebound and snap back compared to most woods and takes a lot more abuse. This means even more pop and response over your regular Popster Booster.
So to sum up, if you are after a park slayer, buy The Villain. After an all mountain freestyle stick? The Assassin is for you, after a high speed super carver? Welcome to the Super8 club!