Positives: Hyper stable, fast, great acceleration, inspires confidence
Negatives: Stiff, lack of forgivingness
Still as light and always as desirable, the Milligram returns with micro modifications, but it’s still a very serious, stable and fast splitboard. A board that accelerates quickly and holds its line, handy between the trees and confident in the steeps, it's a freeride board, not a toy. Great in ascent mode, its lightness and especially its balance are wonderful, with a finely tuned flex and grip on the slope that could make a sticky pipette jealous. A true splitboard of the mountains, for those searching for couloirs without worrying about the obstacles.
Positives: Speed! And confidence at speed.
Negatives: Not for beginners, No fun for freestylers
Innovation of the year, the Millisurf is the split version of the Surfari with the construction of the Milligram. We were impressed by the behaviour of this board when we tried it on the groomers, even though it’s wide and not really made for the piste. It accelerates immediately and makes you want to go fast, with a very pleasant behaviour on the edge, perfect for big carves, but also very lively in small turns because of the width! It’s more in its element in natural snow, the long “spooned" nose is perfect for deep powder, and the board is also stiff enough to ride couloirs and variable snow conditions; here again, it’s for snowboarders that enjoy riding fast, whether that’s fighting through old snow or in the powdery forest. When climbing uphill, the combination of a featherweight construction, its shape and perfect flex make it a weapon for fast ascents even in uneven terrain. With its combination of grip on hard snow and lift in the powder, with the bonus of serene behaviour in just a little new snow, we have a board to ride everything, that will please the strong to very strong riders looking for a unique and powerful splitboard.
Positives: Ultra-carver, grips hard pack, fast acceleration
Negatives: Very stiff, not for freestyles, for big radius carves only
Pentaquark is the new carving toy created by Peter Bauer, the boss and shaper at Amplid, to meet the expectations of the carving renaissance in Europe. Its grip is incredible in large turns, and it’s equipped with the Antiphase system (carbon bands carefully positioned on the core) which enables it to handle vibrations. It doesn’t have lots of different turn shapes, the best option with the Pentaquark it is to load big carves and enjoy the experience of incredible speed, whilst retaining the ability to slip and control speed. Even though it’s far from being its specialty, the Pentaquark works in powder. It’s not a freestyle board, but you can still send good ollies, if you have the necessary leg power. It’s therefore, in all respects, the modern carving board, with plenty of stimulus from carves and which also has the advantage of working very well in switch, while keeping all its qualities; including the aggressiveness to win the Baker Banked Slalom switch! 360 carves on-piste are even possible for proficient riders. It’s really a board for powerful “Dad-carvers” seeking the sensation of grip which was lost for many years.
Positives: Buoyancy, carving
Negatives: Lacking freestyle versatility
The Surfari, like the Pentaquark, is one of the great new boards in Amplid’s 2018 collection. Equipped with the new Antiphase technology, it remains stable and predictable in carves, even at high speed on uneven terrain. It’s also noticeable when carving that in addition to its intended use, powder, it’s extremely versatile. Carving, we immediately feel that it engages all turn shapes; slipped or carved, small or big turns, it's really a carving queen. It has a large nose that gives it incredible buoyancy in the powder, even in very deep and light snow. It pivots easily thanks to its small tail and is agile for its size. It doesn’t just turn easily, with the Surfari it’s possible to ride everywhere, with even a freestyle option in the powder. Only the parks and the switch are beyond its comfort zone. It’s the perfect all-terrain snowboard for riders who aren’t bothered about riding switch, who are looking for a good carving and powder snowboard with the versatility to ride any terrain and conditions.
Positives: Grip, carving
The UNW8 has been part of the Amplid range for many years and has been incrementally perfected to create a versatile and lightweight carving weapon. On the piste it's the business: small or large carves, it is an exceptional carver, whatever the terrain or the number of "slalom poles", it changes radius without flinching and has relentless grip and power. Antiphase technology (carbon bands strategically positioned on the core) absorb vibrations when the piste is not perfectly smooth, even at high speeds. In an emergency you can easily slip and control its speed, unlike more demanding carving boards. It’s also very versatile, working well in the powder, even if it is a little old fashioned with its classic camber and mini set-back. Its big pop makes you want to freestyle, but be careful, you must pay attention, because it’s stiff and demanding. It’s best to avoid flat-land tricks (except for the beefy guys). It’s the snowboard for open-minded carvers, who are looking for a real carver, while accessing the level of versatility offered by modern boards.
Positives: Playful, powerful comfort
Negatives: Limited performance
The Stereo received a small update to its flex this year; slightly firmer and suddenly it is a bit more powerful for freestyle. With its W camber, it swivels easily on the flat, it carves well and is good for flat-land tricks. Now that its flex has been stiffened, it ollies better too, we feel it right away when we slap an ollie from the side of the piste. Landing, especially on park kickers, we feel immediately that it has more underfoot cushioning, basically it's easier and more effective. The main freestyle board in the Amplid range, solid and flawless.
Positives: Easy, fun, versatile
Negatives: Takes a little time to get used to
This is the second year of the new Paradigma formula, and our high opinion of the board which was selected as a Banger last year has been confirmed. A success on all levels, firstly with its shape, a twin with a small set-back and a bigger nose than the tail, which gives it a versatile backcountry feeling… a domain it masters perfectly. It's the perfect "one quiver board", not so hard that it’ll break your legs during long days of riding, but powerful enough and reactive when you need it. It is a very effective carver, regular and switch, and carves can be slipped to control speed. On the piste, it is perfect in “shred mode” with its easy and powerful ollie. At first, when doing flat-land tricks, the nose’s bending-point is not necessarily the easiest to find, but once familiar you can really have fun. Its pop makes you ambitious. In the park, you can really trust it on kicker landings, to ride rails and it also works well in the pipe. Finally, it pushes the versatility into the powder, it feels so good that we want to ride the trees, big faces or kickers in natural snow. The real all-round freestyle board without limits.
Positives: Freeride performance, comfort, forgivingness
Negatives: A little demanding
The Creamer is the freeride powder board in the Amplid range. Overall very comfortable, it has a classic camber under the rear binding (ollie power, tail-hold, cushioning) and a large rocker in front of the binding (handling, buoyancy in powder). Super on piste, more skidding than cutting carves. Good pop and good switch, but it’s a bit long and can be tiring if your thighs aren’t strong. A snowboard for those who like to ride the slopes of Chamonix and La Grave, with uneven snow conditions and varied terrain, linking top-to-bottom lines with large peaks, cliff jumps and trees.
Positives: Versatility, comfort, pop, glide
Negatives: Limited in the transition, limited choice of sizes
A board that can go in the pipe, park / jib or freeride, thanks to its directional shape, the Lovelife combines precision with a fluid feel and glide. It is comfortable, and its pop will make you fly, even with only the slightest change in gradient, as it does in the park. Special attention must be paid when choosing a size: it is manageable, but not super fun… so it’s necessary to choose a short enough board if you want to enjoy its versatility. For those who are more oriented towards backcountry and freeriding, a larger size should be chosen. It rides everywhere, and the edges engage well in steep and difficult terrain.
Positives: Easy, fun and versatile
Negatives: Performance & Speed
The GoGo returns this year, a toy for mini-shred and jibbing, recommended to small and medium sized women. Extremely manoeuvrable and easy to pivot, it is perfect for trying flat-land tricks. Even experienced snowboarders riding freestyle will discover new subtleties. To ride at low speed, cool, but it’s not made for big carves, although it still has pretty good edge-hold for a board of this type. It’s easy going from edge-to-edge, and is extremely forgiving on the flat. A pleasant board for beginners looking to progress in a freestyle direction.
Read the original reviews, in French, at Snowsurf.com