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Snoplanks Model A Review

Built for what ever you can throw at it.
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Price:  $850 List | $798.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Progessive flex, edge hold on firm snow, switch performance, stability
Cons:  Expensive, hard to butter
Manufacturer:   Snoplanks
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2019
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 17
  • Edging - 25% 8
  • Float in Powder - 20% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9
  • Playfulness - 20% 6
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Snoplanks Model A is built to go big and fast. It has an all-mountain freeride design to support you when you want to send it, and its bamboo construction has a progressive flex that can blast through chunder and pop high. It has an energetic and responsive ride that is best for advanced riders. The Model A is for advanced riders who want to add a freestyle flair to the mountain and be able to send the resort gnarliest lines.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Snoplanks Model A
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $798.95 at Backcountry$669.95 at Amazon
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$559.99 at Amazon
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$570 List$479.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Progessive flex, edge hold on firm snow, switch performance, stabilityFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulLightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USAUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulGreat value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphic
Cons Expensive, hard to butterTricky to size, unappealing graphicBelow average floatTop sheet scratches easyCan slip on hardback
Bottom Line Built for what ever you can throw at it."That was totally wicked." -The IncrediblesSnowboarding can be hard; help lower the learning curve with this model.Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities.Porsche performance at Honda prices.
Rating Categories Snoplanks Model A Yes. Optimistic Never Summer Proto Type Two United Shapes Cadet Jones Explorer
Edging (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Float In Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
Pop And Jumping (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Snoplanks Model A Yes. Optimistic Never Summer Proto... United Shapes Cadet Jones Explorer
Shape Directional Directional Asymetrical-Twin Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Soft Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber
Flex Stiff Stiff Soft-Medium Medium Stiff
Weight 6.91 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.44 (lb)
Tested Length 158cm 151cm 157 156cm 159cm
Available Lengths 149, 154, 158, 162cm 151, 154, 157cm 152,154,157,160,153X,155X,158X,161X,164X 144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162cm 152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Bambooyah Carbon-wrapped wood Wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Wood
Waist Width 26cm 26.6cm 26.3 25.6cm 25.4cm
Radius Tapered 6.5m 7.6 toe/7.3 heel 7.5m 7.5m
Taper 0mm 6m 0 20mm 0mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Handmade in Bend, Oregon; the Snoplanks Model A has an edge to it. It brings the progressive and lively characteristics of bamboo into an all-mountain freestyle/ ride package. Its seeming burly construction looks likely to have your back no matter how large you send that cat-track or how bumpy the landing is.

Performance Comparison


Strong edge hold from the Snoplanks Model A.
Strong edge hold from the Snoplanks Model A.

Edging


The Snoplank A is a beast on edge. However, you don't have to work hard to get it there. This board was easy to get on edge and transition from heel to toe. This board likes to ride and turn fast. It favors medium and long radius turns at higher speeds and has a strong, soft camber profile reinforced with carbon and fiberglass to provide in turn support and stability when mashing through crud. The medium to stiff camber ride provides knife-like edge hold in firm conditions. The profile of the board maintains a connected feeling with the snow. You can feel the entire edge working to provide security. Sounds pretty good, right? Just wait till you hear about the bamboo.

Bamboo has a progressive flex. This means the more you flex it, the stiffer it gets. We like to think of this as a powerband on a dirt-bike. You can cruise in the regular range, but if you really engage the throttle, the RPM's kick up and amplified power. The turning experience of the Model A is similar because of the bamboo. We felt that we would accelerate out of our turns more than your standard wood core. As the energy was built up throughout the tour and amplified in the power band to accelerate us. This was a very unique feeling to the snowboard, which we enjoyed. It made shorter radius turns require more technique and strength than most other boards. Overall this board has a lively edging style that prefers a high speed and longer turns.

Action Jackson is loving the longer radius turn of the Model A.
Action Jackson is loving the longer radius turn of the Model A.

Float in Powder


This review began in the spring of 2019. Due to snow haven't had the opportunity to test the board in powder, but testing for this metric is currently in progress. With a camber profile, we expect this board to require a fair amount of user effort and most likely would not be out choice for days with six inches of snow or more.

Stablity at Speed


Zoom Zoom. Whether its ice, moguls, or slush bumps, the Snoplanks Model A didn't seem to care what type of surface was below us. Its medium-stiff camber profile showed no signs of chatter when straight-lining. Overall we found this to be a very confidence-inspiring ride for straight line or landing whether the terrain be smooth or bumpy.

We couldn't find the speed threshold on the Model A.
We couldn't find the speed threshold on the Model A.

Playfulness


This board means business. Its meant to be your everyday board and is very versatile, it can handle anything you throw at it. We could hit jumps in the park, slash berms, and pop methods of side hits around the mountain. It still likes to play around. We found we were able to sit into our butters and the bamboo core really locked us. Being a stiffer flex, it did take a little more effort to get them to lock in. The board has a freestyle meaning to the term playfulness. Our testers found it more difficult to maintain a playful style at lower speeds and slashing turns at medium speeds. That is because it is built to handle and excel at the gnarliest of terrain

With the right technique  it's easy to disengage the edge to slash out turns.
With the right technique, it's easy to disengage the edge to slash out turns.

Popping and Jumping


Stability and power are two strengths of this board. It has a subtle directional shape that allows for plenty of tail to pop and land off of. The bamboo core has the same amplifying effect with pop as it does with turning. With some leg strength and technique, you can pop this thing to the moon — although it can prove challenging to harvest this benefit without these components.

Value


As with any craft product, the Model A comes at a higher price tag than most solid boards, primarily because they're using very high-quality materials manufactured by hand in the US. There is definitely a great ethos to supporting brands such as Snoplanks, who are snowboarders making high-quality snowboards. The feeling and ride of the Model A is truly unique, and something you can only get from this brand; this is awesome and adds value to the product. Strictly speaking, talking about price to performance, some boards provide a higher score at a substantially lower price.

Conclusion


The Model A provides a distinct feeling that is exclusive to Snoplanks and their construction. This board is built to be your everyday board that can do whatever you ask and do it well. It provides an incredibly stable ride, which increases your confidence and security when conditions are not the best. Its medium-stiff flex (from the bamboo core) blasts through what is in your way, and it has a versatile directional shape ideal for takes and landings. This board is ideal for a rider who wants to push themselves in advanced terrain and put a freestyle flair all over the mountain. We wouldn't recommend it for beginners because of its love for speed and progressive nature of its core and profile.

The Model A chopping up the firm spring corduroy.
The Model A chopping up the firm spring corduroy.


Isaac Laredo