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Soul Blower snowboard

The Soul Blower rides like a snowboard built to feel as surfy as possible. And it succeeds. Photo: Soul


The Inertia

I am a person who rides a snowboard in a very particular way. When I was younger and all my joints were up to snuff, I followed the crowd and rode a snowboard built for spins and airs. I tried for years to get comfortable in the air and riding switch, but it just never really worked. Oh, I wasn’t terrible, but I’m ashamed to admit how often I rolled down the windows off the smallest of jumps. What felt good, though, was deep powder and big, carving turns. I’d search out places that let me emulate a turn on a surfboard.

I snowboard a lot like I surf (which is to say very averagely), but hey, with time I decided to just simply ride a snowboard the way I like to ride a snowboard. Unfortunately, snowboards in my 20s weren’t made for that, but I tried my best. I recently got my hands on a snowboard, however, that feels as though it is made specifically for me. It’s from a company I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying out before called Soul. The model is called the Soul Blower, which, after riding it, is an apt name given its proficiency in blowing powder.

It’s a bit of a head-turner — a strange shape with a deep swallow tail and a whole lot of rocker in the nose. The tail is narrower than the nose, and on riding it, it’s clear that it was made to ride in a surf-centric style. For tech’s sake, I’m 6’1″ and 185 pounds, and the Blower I’m riding is a 162.

“As a lifelong surfer, I really wanted a board that would handle like a surfboard on snow – whether that’s groomer or powder,” said Corran Addison, who runs Soul. “Every design element was focused on achieving this end, and it’s the most surf-like snowboard I’ve ever ridden.”

One of the first things I noticed was the Blower’s ability to pump in a similar way as one would on a surfboard. Thanks to its unique shape, carving off a lip feels extraordinarily similar to the way it feels to do a top turn on a surfboard. It did take me a few runs to get the hang of it, since it rides quite a bit differently to other snowboards I’ve ridden, but once I figured it out, it was eye-opening.

“It’s a skill you have to develop to maximize the Blower’s potential,” Addison told me, “but once you have it, it’s game changing.”

Since this winter was an absolutely terrible one for snow where I live, I was forced to ride groomers more than I normally would. I expected the Blower to not fare so well, since I assumed it was made for deeper powder, but it surprised me.

“It’s not just a powder board,” Addison explained. “I’ll groomer carve the blower all day long because it’s so surfy feeling.”

When I did finally get a decent powder day, it was clear that the Blower was one of the best powder boards I’ve ever set foot on. I stopped mid-day to shift my bindings so far back it felt and looked odd to me, but a heavy back foot paired with all that rocker in the nose made it float incredibly effortlessly through the deepest snow I could find without ever even considering nose-diving.

“That’s why we designed this the way we did,” Soul’s board description reads. “With relaxed camber underfoot that sweeps into rockered ends, and generous parabolic sidecut, you can both trench dig this down groomer runs, and effortlessly slice and dice the most challenging powder like you’re surfing a cloud.”

If you’re a snowboarder who likes to ride switch (I am not and have given up attempting to get better), the Blower, despite the swallow tail, is made in such a way that it’s entirely possible. The tail has just enough rocker to get you down those steeper runs while riding switch, and although I had a little trouble riding switch in deeper powder — especially with my back foot set so far back — it’s a fun challenge to figure out.

Of all the snowboards I’ve ridden, the Blower was one of the smoothest. The chatter that comes on a groomed run while riding at speed is generally impossible to escape, but the Blower features something called Oscillate technology, which dampens both nose vibration and chatter. I don’t exactly understand what Oscillate technology is, and Soul is keeping its cards close to its chest, but whatever it is, it works.

“We could tell you exactly what Oscillate is,” Addison laughed, “but then everyone would do it, so you’re just going to have to trust us when we say… it’s rad!”

If you’re looking for a board to hit jumps on and butter your way down the mountain, though, the Blower might not be your best choice. The nose is too big and the tail is too small to really excel while doing those particular maneuvers – it’s just not built for that.

What it is built for, though, is what I consider to be the best part of snowboarding: deep powder and a smooth, surfy style. I wouldn’t recommend it for the beginner, but if you’re halfway decent and like to ride fast and carve your way down the hill, this board is made for you.

Editor’s Note: See more from Soul at Soulwaterman.com. For more in-depth reviews of the top snowboard gear in the industry, check out our guides to Snowboard Jackets,  Pants,  Goggles, as well as Gloves and Mittensand Boots, We’ve also reviewed Women’s Jackets and Snowboard Pants. 

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