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Prior Slasher Review

Powder specific? Nope.
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Price:  $803 List | $799.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Customization, powder floatation, driven strong turns
Cons:  Hard to smear turns, not for firm complex terrain
Manufacturer:   Prior
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Powder - 25% 6
  • Firm Snow - 27.5% 6
  • Climbing - 27.5% 7
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Prior Slasher has a stunning powder inspired shape, yet it performs in firm snow. It's close to the gun in your quiver, and it loves to make driven long arcing turns. It's for more advanced riders, and intermediate riders should know it's a little harder to smear your turns in firm snow. The model climbs well, and with the carbon option, it can shave some weight. For powder enthusiasts looking for a floaty and nimble ride that can hold it down in simple, open, steep corn days, this board is for you.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Prior Slasher
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $799.00 at Backcountry$899.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$898.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$919 List$799 List
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Pros Customization, powder floatation, driven strong turnsStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseFun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great floatDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Hard to smear turns, not for firm complex terrainExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseExpensive, switch ridingSlightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ishProficient firm snow performance
Bottom Line Powder specific? Nope.Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives.Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board.An even mix of freestyle and free ride that doesn't neglect flotation.Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.
Rating Categories Prior Slasher Jones Solution Splitboard Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Powder (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
Firm Snow (27.5%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
Climbing (27.5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Binding Adjustability (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
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5
10
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5
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs Prior Slasher Jones Solution... Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Weight 7.75 lbs 7.38 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.91 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 156 158 157 157 158
Flex Medium Stiff Medium - stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 3532 g 3346 g 3325 g 3587 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.8 0.74 0.74 0.8 0.75
Available Lengths 156, 161, 167 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 157,161, 162, 166, 171 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood Blended wood
Waist Width 25cm 24.7cm 25.6cm 25cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Radius 6.5m 8.5m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.48m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Camber Directional rocker Rock camber rocker Straightline rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

To get straight to the point, Prior has something really cool going on. The Canadian based brand is still making boards by hand in their specialized shop, and they offer a great line up. Even better if they don't have the size, graphics, or construction (fiberglass or carbon) you want, they will custom build the board for you at no extra cost. The Slasher Split may look like a strict powder board, but its design allows it to hold its own in firm snow. The board has camber starting from the tail and blends into an early rise nose before the contact point. This board is pretty stiff, and its powder appearance is complemented by a 15mm taper, tight sidecut, and wide waist width for solid performance on firm snow.

Performance Comparison


The Slasher Split from Prior is a nice accent to Lake Tahoe.
The Slasher Split from Prior is a nice accent to Lake Tahoe.

Firm Snow


At first glance, you wouldn't expect the Slasher to have the edge bite and stability that it does. It held up well and obtained plenty of edge purchase in firm snow; it just takes a little effort to get on edge at slower speeds. When the speed increases, edging is pretty easy, and it loves to hold long arching turns despite its shorter turn radius. The camber and longer effective edge work to provide stunning security, especially at speed, making it a confidence-inspiring ride. The camber throughout the tail gives the slasher less slashing ability but a strong and powerful drive in the turn finish.

The long effective edge and stiffness make the board a little challenging to smear or slash out turns. Smearing helps to quickly control speed, particularly in soft snow conditions.

The Slasher displaying excellent edge hold on a firm day.
The Slasher displaying excellent edge hold on a firm day.

Powder


The Slasher is part of our Spring 2019 update. Because of the timing, we have not been able to ride this board extensively in powder. Given its shape, our expectations are high. The review update will take place as soon as snow conditions allow.

Climbing


A product climbing performance is largely dictated by its weight and ability to traverse and climb with security in addition to stability.


The Slasher isn't necessary light but isn't heavy. It has one of the highest surface areas to gram value in the category. In larger sizes, the weight could add up, and other lighter options may seem appealing. Fortunately, due to Prior's custom build advantage, the Slasher can be built with a carbon construction. The company states an average of 500 grams or 1.1 pounds of average weight savings per board. The change in construction would change its status from one of the heavier models to one of the lighter offerings in the category.


On the track, the Slasher split performed and did everything we asked it to do. The camber profile provides plenty of stability when motoring straight uphill. When we knocked down the angle to sidehill across firm surfaces, the edges remained secure.

The Slasher climbs well in all conditions. It is worth noting that the model has a straight line and narrow section of the tail where the skin generally attaches to. Some skin tail clips adapt well to this shape, and others don't. The tail clip of the Jones Nomad Pro and G3 Universal provide a secure connection. However, on the Universal, some inconsequential horizontal excess exists.


Binding Adjustablity


The Slasher features the standard splitboard mounting pattern.

Playfulness


The Slasher is a pretty stiff board that provides more stability than its size would dictate. Be sure to downsize this board around three cms if you want to unlock more versatility and maneuverability. It is a little challenging to flex or move around very quickly, which limits its playful capabilities. It does have enough kick in the tail to scootch and move very short distances riding switch.


Value


The Slasher is a darn good value, and the opportunity to custom build one (if you're looking for a different graphic or carbon construction) is practically unmet in the industry. Its firm snow performance and potential for powder superiority make it a good buy.

Conclusion


Don't put the Prior Slasher in a single box; it performs well on hard snow, finding plenty of edge purchase. It loved longer radius turns and provides confidence-inspiring driven turns. On the contrary, it can be challenging to smear turn when speed control is critical. It climbs effectively and looks to supersede most other shapes in powder. The Slasher is suited for riders looking for superior flotation and agility in powder but are still wanting to ride firm snow in simpler terrain.



Isaac Laredo