Prior Slasher Review
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|Price||$751 List||$759.16 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Customization, powder floatation, driven strong turns||Durable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less base||Stable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectives||Durable, affordable, versatile, easy to adjust stance||Durable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes|
|Cons||Hard to smear turns, not for firm complex terrain||Expensive, switch riding||Expensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose rise||Generalist, soft for aggressive riding or heavy snow||Challenging to smear turns in firm snow at slow speeds|
|Bottom Line||Powder specific? Nope||Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board||Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives, the Solution is a satisfying ride||A minimalist board that has everything that you need and nothing that you don't||Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose|
|Rating Categories||Prior Slasher||Weston Backcountry...||Jones Solution Spli...||Voile Spartan Ascent||United Shapes Covert|
|Firm Snow (26%)|
|Binding Adjustability (5%)|
|Specs||Prior Slasher||Weston Backcountry...||Jones Solution Spli...||Voile Spartan Ascent||United Shapes Covert|
|Weight||7.75 lbs||7.33 lbs||7.38 lbs||6.08 lbs||7.45 lbs|
|Flex||Medium||Medium - stiff||Stiff||Soft||Medium|
|Weight in grams||3532 g||3325 g||3346 g||2794 g||3382 g|
|Weight Per Surface Area||0.8||0.74||0.74||0.62||0.75|
|Available Lengths||156, 161, 167||152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w)||154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W||154, 158, 162, 166||149,152,158,161,166|
|Core Material||Wood||Wood/ bamboo||Wood||paulownia, carbon||Blended wood|
|Camber/Rocker||Camber||Rock camber rocker||Directional rocker||Freeride camber||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.
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 increase the difficulty to smear or slash out turns. Smearing is a beneficial tool to help control speed and an attribute of a user-friendly model.
As its shape suggests, the Slasher provides effortless and clean floatation. When the powder is endless, the float of the Slasher will help you ride to "as long as you want" rather than "as long as you can".
The Slasher Split has design characteristics to float above the rest. Its swallow tail shape naturally puts the rider's weight toward the back of the board. This drives the tail of the board into the snow based on the result of the reduced surface area from the tail. Instead of leaning back to submerge the tail, riders can actually lean forward to push the nose down and accelerate. The ability to lean forward in powder has the added benefit of being able to move through lower angle terrain, save energy, and have a more forgiving and comfortable posture.
Another benefit of the swallowtail, which is very pronounced, is added agility. The backfoot and tail are subject to limited resistance and act as a pivot point to quickly change direction. This comes in to play when wiggling through tight trees or making arcing turns with quick finishes. It offers superior flotation and agility to offer a very high-quality powder experience.
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 necessarily 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. 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.
The Slasher features the standard splitboard mounting pattern.
The Slasher is a pretty stiff board that provides more stability than its size would dictate. Be sure to downsize this board around three centimeters 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.
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 powder superiority make it a good buy.
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 supersedes 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.
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