Blackboard Experiment Bataleon

Here at SNOWBOARDER Magazine, we decided to break the mold of traditional snowboard reviews and embark on a completely unbiased blank snowboard test last winter, called The Blackboard Experiment. We hit up ten brands in snowboarding and asked them to provide us with a snowboard of their choice, but the one caveat was that it had to have a black topsheet and base graphic, so as to keep the anonymity of the brand only between them and us. Then, we partnered with Mammoth Mountain, California because of their hallowed Main Park, a trail that has done more for freestyle snowboarding and terrain park design than almost any other mountain on Earth. We selected 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg to ride the boards and record his experiences, because, one: he didn’t have a board sponsor, and two: Sage is one of the best park riders our sport has ever seen. Last April, Sage made the trek to Mammoth for five days of extreme testing. From sunup to sundown, he was strapped into one of these blank decks and when he wasn’t riding them, he was jotting notes about how they rode on jumps, jibs, tranny and on the trail. The result is the most comprehensive snowboard test that we’ve ever put together. Below, you’ll see exactly what Sage thought of these boards without him knowing what brand made them, so read on and take notes, because he will give you all the info you need, from tip to tail. This is SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s 2016 Blackboard Experiment.


Blackboard Experiment Bataleon

Blackboard Experiment Bataleon

Bataleon Fun Kink

Ryan Scardigli, Bataleon Marketing Manager and the Bataleon Fun.Kink. p: Yoshida


Model Length Tested: 157
Additional Lengths: 151, 154, 157, 159W, 162W
Shape: Directional Twin
Camber: Triple Base Technology
Core: Core Core
MSRP: $429.95


We have a diverse line of boards ranging from soft, playful jib boards to elite level freeride shapes. We chose the Bataleon FunKink based on the overall test attributes rather than the provided rider information. With the goal of finding the best “all-around” park board, we knew the directional twin shape of the FunKink would lend itself to every aspect of modern terrain park riding. — Ryan Scardigli, Bataleon Marketing Manager

Bataleon Fun.Kink

photo: Huggy.

Bataleon Fun.Kink

Photo: Huggy

It felt a little strange at first because of the spoony nose and tail, but I liked it more and more every run. When I was on my tail, it felt like it was pulling and then it would just go. It’s playful but it’s a little stiffer than I thought, kind of hard to press, but it felt smooth on rails. On jumps, with the spooned nose and tail, you really need to wait until the last minute to spin, which is actually good because it helps you learn not to prespin. - Sage Kotsenburg, first impression of the Bataleon Fun.Kink

Jib Score: 6

It’s playful, but it’s a little stiff. In the slush it was a little more fun because it’s kind of slidey and washy, so you sort of glide over everything.

Jump Score: 7

Jumping felt really good. It’s stiffer, so it powers through slush. Super good on runways and landings but if you’re a little bit too far back or forward on your tail or nose on a spoony board it’s not as responsive to nuances. It feels like if you’re gonna go down, you’re at the mercy of the board and not yourself. If I was taking more laps I would feel way more comfortable to do bigger spins.

Tranny Score: 6

It was kind of washy and you don’t want that in the pipe. On smaller stuff it’s fun and playful, but on bigger stuff like a superpipe it doesn’t hold an edge as well. There’s super good snap on the board, though. It has a lot of pop and it’s stiff between the bindings.

Carve Score: 6

It felt a little washy when carving but really responsive, and I could definitely hold an edge once I got into it. It kinda tosses you in the slush, though. The spoon nose and tail make it fun to ride. It makes it more fun and you can butter around. It’s super playful.

Overall Score: 25