Board 5: DC Space Echo
In a sea of choices, it can be challenging, if not impossible, to determine which snowboard is the right one for you strap into. That is why SNOWBOARDER Magazine created The Blackboard Experiment, to shine a light on some of the season's best freestyle snowboards in hopes that when you head to your local shop, you can find a deck that fits your riding, regardless of whether you're sending 50-footers or hotlapping the old guys' line.
Scotty James, two-time Olympian and X Games gold medalist. p: Mike Yoshida
With nine boards to the test in the 2017 edition of The Blackboard Experiment, we tapped Aussie pipe phenom, Scotty James, to put the collection of blank snowboards through the paces. Just as Sage Kotsenburg before him, Scotty doesn't have a board sponsor, so he can ride anything he wants. The two-time Olympian has medaled at X Games and the US Open, and possesses an innate edge control honed from years riding transition and lapping his home parks of Perisher.
Once again partnering with Mammoth Mountain we had Scotty test out all nine anonymous park boards, rating them in four categories over five days. The scores were tallied at the end in jibbing, jumping, transition, and carving to determine which deck stood out in each category, as well as the overall park destroyer. Check back in the coming days as we announce the different winners as well as the ratings for each deck tested!
Board 5: DC Space Echo
Model Length Tested: 158cm
Additional Lengths: 154cm, 162cm
Shape: Directional Twin
Core: Stratus Core
Base: Sintered Supreme
We sat down with Iikka Backstrom in the French Alps and asked him what he was looking for in a snowboard to meet his needs. What we came up with is one board to do it all. From Powder to all mountain groomers, the Space Echo blends reliable traditional camber with torsional responsive Triax Fiberglass neatly packed into a directional shape with a twin flex. Snowboarders everywhere love traditional camber because this profile naturally offers explosive ollies and powerful turns by inherently loading up the tip and tail. The Space Echo series unlocks your all-terrain potential with its mind-bending blend of directional shape and twin flex. Developed with Iikka for all-mountain adaptability, these boards take progression to the next dimension.
– David Appel, Global Director Hardgoods, DC Snowboarding
Board #5 might have won best jib board, but it looks like it cast a pretty big shadow on the jumps as well. p: Mike Yoshida
Overall Score: 30.5
Scotty's First Impression:
It is softer. I really like how it’s just a regular-shaped board with regular camber. It seems pretty centered. A little squirrelly out of turns, though, it doesn’t really hold an edge super well.
Jib Score: 9
It’s really fun to press. The flex of the board is really consistent, so you know how much pressure and weight you can put through it. Set up before rails is good. Full control. Easy to ride. Cuts through the slush on the run in.
Jump Score: 8
It feels pretty small under my feet in terms of maneuvering it in the air. You can make quick adjustments. Looking down on it and grabbing feels really good. It feels good landing in soft snow. It’s definitely a little squirrelly underneath your feet just because it’s softer, but it’s also solid. I think it’s perfect for park, rails and jumps and all that stuff.
Tranny Score: 7
It’s a little tougher in the pipe. You don’t quite get the response out of the transition when it’s put through force. Landing flat in the pipe, it kind of folds. You can’t quite get the response out of the board you need if you were to come a little bit unstuck and need to fix your line again. Pretty good pop off the wall, but still a little bit soft off the transition.
Carve Score: 6.5
I actually liked it through the snakerun. I could really toss it around into the sharp turns. The board, not being as stiff, you don’t feel the force out of the turns as much, which is good for those sharper banks. On the flat ground it was not as fun to carve. I just didn’t really feel the energy back from the camber that the other boards had. It wasn’t as snappy and you have to put more work into the turns.
Overall Score: 30.5
Scotty James riding the 2018 DC Space Echo through the snake run at Mammoth Mountain for the 2017 Blackboard Experiment. p: Mike Yoshida