When I was a little younger, I snowboarded a lot. I grew up in a place with a handful of fantastic mountains within spitting distance, and from the time the mountain opened to the time it closed, I was there as much as humanly possible. Then life got in the way and I slowly stopped riding as much until eventually I realized it had been years. But in all that time, I never ever figured out how to properly ride switch. I could make my way down without looking as though everything felt backwards, but it never felt… right. I generally ride snowboards with a surfer’s mindset — mostly just doing little slashes when the terrain allows, getting as close to the snow as possible when carving, and just enjoying the glide. If I do hit a jump, it’s straight airs only. Back when I was riding a lot, directional snowboards weren’t really a thing on my radar. It was around the same time that skateboards had wheels the size of pennies, and the snowboards everyone I knew were riding were short and narrow, made to spin. If I had only known what was to come.
Last August, a friend of mine mentioned he’d landed a job with a snowboard company called Korua. I’d never heard of them, but he’s a guy I trust when he makes a gear recommendation. He’s got a nickname that suits him better than just about any nickname given to any person: the Godfrother.
He has more stoke than anyone I know, whether it’s about surfing, snowboarding, or mountain biking. I asked about the brand, and he explained that it was started by a group of friends who love riding deep powder. They decided they’d fire up a company that focussed on making boards that rode exceptionally well in their home mountains, which are the Alps.
Anyway, all that said, I got an email last week from the Korua crew. They passed along the video above, and on watching, I realized the way it was shot and edited was very familiar. On closer inspection, I found that it was made by who I suspected: Morgan Maassen, creator of some of the most beautiful films in all of surfing.
This particular video shines a light on a board called the Café Racer, as ridden by Nicholas Wolken. It’s a classic softboot carving shape, which is pretty ideal if you’re a person who loves to put it on edge and lean into the tightest carve you can possibly do, the kind of carve where you can feel the mountain on your cheek. Although it is indeed made for carving, if it’s powder you’re interested in, it excels in that too. It’s got a full camber profile which lends itself to a crazy amount of stability because the full length of the edge hits the snow. There’s a smooth transition into the nose, which helps in the softer, deeper stuff. Korua recommends riding it with a steeper angle in your bindings and a little narrower stance so the board has a little more room to flex, but to each their own. And if you’re anything like me, deep powder and radical carves are what makes the heart go boom.