Venture Paragon Review
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$649 List||$700 List|
$559.93 at REI
|$550 List||$679 List||$500 List|
$349.93 at REI
|Pros||User-friendly, versatile, responsive||Great edge hold, lots of pop, incredibly stable, torsional flex pattern||Float, precise edging, good construction, playful||User friendly, turning experience, versatile, playful||Great value, pretty easy to ride, versatile, stable, beautiful graphics|
|Cons||Nose and tail are soft for harder riding||Narrow waist width, hard to butter, suited toward advanced riders, limited size offerings||Switch performance, harder to control in uneven terrain||Topsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slippery||Plank-like feel, decent edge hold in hardpack|
|Bottom Line||A user-friendly, high-performance ride||Our first pick when we demand exceptional performance anywhere on the mountain and won't accept many compromises||Our board of choice for advanced riders on groomer and deeper powder days||Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities||A great value option for those looking for an engaging ride on a budget|
|Rating Categories||Venture Paragon||K2 Alchemist||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Frontier|
|Float in Powder (20%)|
|Stability at Speed (20%)|
|Pop and Jumping (15%)|
|Specs||Venture Paragon||K2 Alchemist||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Frontier|
|Riding Style||Freeride||Big mountain||Alternative Freeride||Freeride||All Mountain|
|Weight||6.72 lbs||6.8 lbs||6.2 lbs||6.22 lbs||6.44 lbs|
|Tested Length||156 cm||157 cm||151 cm||156 cm||159 cm|
|Available Lengths (cm)||156, 157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 170||154, 157, 159W, 160, 163, 164W||151, 154, 157, 161||144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162||152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W, 165, 167W|
|Core Material||Wood||Bamboo, Carbon, Wood||Carbon-wrapped wood||A11x (poplar, bamboo)||Wood|
|Waist Width||25 cm||25.0 cm||26.6 cm||25.6 cm||25.4 cm|
|Radius||8.18 m||7.8||6.5 m||7.5 m||7.5 m|
|Taper||7 mm||6 mm||6 mm||20 mm||0 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Paragon received some updates since our test period, namely in the addition of TX30 glass and a more mellow core profile, which were designed to decrease the weight of the board and increase flex for a poppier ride. There are also new graphics. The version we tested is pictured on the left, followed by the updated board on the right.
The Venture Paragon has a rockered tip and tail, with a flat camber in the middle. This gives the board a playful and versatile persona that we came to really enjoy. The Paragon is versatile in its use and user ability level.
The Paragon has a medium flex complemented by tip and tail rocker with flat camber between the bindings; this makes the board incredibly easy to turn. Both beginners and advanced riders can enjoy this benefit. The rockered tip and tail allow the board to exit and enter turns with ease, and the profile feels like you are riding the edge that is in between your feet. The in-turn experience is very center-weighted, creating a very playful ride where we were able to make a variety of turns.
It also has a fun pivot point underneath the front foot to slash out the tail for surfy-style riding. In particular, it excelled in short and medium radius arcing turns as well as slashing and bashing in the slush.
As a medium flexing board with a rocker in the tips, there are a few trade-offs. The first is an obtainable power threshold of the nose before it was overwhelmed. We were able to overpower the nose while carving hard arcing turns on groomers. The provided stiffness of the nose is more than enough for the average user, especially when focusing on quick edge transitions down the fall line. In certain cases, rocker in the tips can threaten edge security in firm snow conditions. While it did not provide camber-like security, we were pleasantly surprised by the edge and stability at speed hold, even on morning frozen corduroy in the spring.
Float in Powder
The Paragon's profile provides lots of floatation and easy steering capabilities. The flat rocker in the middle allows this board to turn easily in powder, making it great for all snow conditions and ability levels. The rocker in the tip and tail works to promote flotation and have the board work for you. The Paragon is very well-rounded and can easily act as a quiver of one based on the above-average amounts of powder floatation.
Stability at Speed
We were impressed by the Paragon in all forms of stability. Given its flex pattern and profile, it outperformed our expectations. When straight-lining, we observed small levels of nose chatter on groomed surfaces. The Paragon prefers to make quick edge-to-edge movements when trying to hit top speed as opposed to flat base straight-lining. In bumpy and cruddy areas, the board could easily be knocked off its line due to its softer flex. When these areas were encountered, it was best to leverage the quick edging to find the smoother zones within the bumps.
This easy-to-ride and versatile board bodes very well in providing a playful ride. Its rockered tip and tail make it easy to disengage the edges to slash your buddies. Additionally, the medium flex makes initiating butters easier but has a smaller balance, which makes them harder to hold. Its playfulness makes popping off all size side hits a no-brainer.
Popping and Jumping
Pop and landing stability are not inherent features of rocker or flat camber. That being said, this board was very easy to pop. It could easily be popped with limited loading or preparation. When it was loaded, it provided decent pop due to its longer and stiffer tail. When landing, it provided a solid platform to land on, but backseat landings were more challenging to recover from.
The Paragon comes at the market standard for performance snowboards. It's even a little more affordable than most craft boards that are handmade in the US. It performed well, and for the right rider, is definitely worth the money.
The Venture Paragon features a versatile and easy-to-ride shape that can handle most situations. Based on the design, its performance outdid our expectations, and it's a fun board to ride. It can be overwhelmed in powerful or bumpy moments. It's good for beginners to advanced riders who want one board to have fun and charge straightforward advanced terrain.
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