This was the board I wanted the most, I was even close to buying it myself before my Boss told me to chill my beans when we heard of the demo fleet. I still love freestyle so I normally favour twin tip boards and the 157cm size is right in the middle for me.

The first thing that jumped out at me on the Proto was how much pop I could generate out of it. I was concerned the rocker part of the profile coupled with a medium flex would mean less pop but it wasnt a factor at all, I was ollie-ing and nollie-ing nicely off everything and it gave me confidence when doing side hits with spins etc.

Screenshot 2016-01-28 at 10.18.11 AMThe board feels nice and light underfoot, and has a nice swing weight for throwing cheeky 1’s and 3’s off of cat tracks. The ease at which you can press this badboy and butter around the mountain is also apparent the second you strap in, even with the camber part of the board I never felt worried I was going to trip an edge.

The harmonic dampeners at the nose and tail did a great job of removing chatter when traversing which can be a problem for boards that have a rocker to their profile. They kept everything quiet and smooth.

Fernie Alpine Resort doesn’t really like terrain parks, I mean they haven’t had kickers for a long time and they don’t invest in their rail park enough to call it “good”. So while I have hit almost all the features in the park that they do have on the Proto I haven’t truly put it through its paces on a large portion of what the board was made for. That being said I felt comfortable hitting up rails and it felt nice and stable on all the features that I’m able to hit successfully and with some style, I feel that with a perfectly groomed kicker/rail set up the Proto would inspire confidence.

The reason why I say perfectly groomed above is because I did feel that, in comparison to the other boards in this review, that it did struggle at times in less than ideal conditions. Thats not to say it did badly, far from it, just the other boards in the quiver performed better. The board holds a nice edge and carves well, but when it gets choppy and not so pristeen on the slopes it was a bit harder to keep it going.

With the true twin nature of the Proto and centred stance I tried to keep with it, I felt that with some turns the nose and tail were a bit too soft to really force the issue. The same can be said for when hitting drops in the slackcountry, the tail felt washy on landings and made me a bit more timid rather than building confidence, or when the powder got a little heavy and I lost the nose it was easy to flop over the nose at times.

Overall I had, and will continue to have, a lot of fun on this board. I felt it raised my game on spinning and pressing the second I started to ride it. And it did perform really well in all conditions, just not as much as I feel I need this season when freestyle is not so much at the forefront of my riding. On those days where conditions are perfect it it will be outstanding for carving, powder and park laps, but if you want a true all mountain destroyer I think there are better options in our line up. Definitely great for the freestyler who wants to hit the whole mountain but still have enough playfulness to make park laps or jib laps a blast.

*Note, I took the Proto out again just before I finished writing this piece to give it another crack after riding all the other boards. I still stand by my overall review, however conditions were great on-piste and for the side hits and when you understand where the board excels and where it has its (minor) limitations it was heaps amount of fun and I felt even more positive about the board overall.

More reviews by Paul>