The United Shapes Covert was just barely edged out for a Top Pick award. It has shaping tactics, which provide a versatile ride, and can hold high speed riding down corn snow of the Sierra. It also provides a user-friendly yet snappy experience when surfing your favorite low angle terrain. This model is a blast to ride, but it wouldn't be our first choice for consistently icy days or areas. It's proficient but not mind-blowing. The Covert is for splitters looking for a quiver killing board that is capable in steep terrain but fun to ride when things aren't as gnarly.
United Shapes Covert Review
Cons: Proficient firm snow performance
Manufacturer: United Shapes
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United Shapes Covert
|Price||$799 List||$899.95 at REI|
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|$898.95 at Backcountry|
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|$919 List||$848.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Durable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes||Stable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectives||Durable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less base||Fun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float||Lightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheet|
|Cons||Proficient firm snow performance||Expensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose rise||Expensive, switch riding||Slightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ish||Expensive to use standard hook clips|
|Bottom Line||Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.||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.||User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific design.|
|Rating Categories||United Shapes Covert||Jones Solution Splitboard||Backwoods||Venture Storm||G3 Axle|
|Firm Snow (27.5%)|
|Binding Adjustability (5%)|
|Specs||United Shapes Covert||Jones Solution...||Backwoods||Venture Storm||G3 Axle|
|Weight||7.45 lbs||7.38 lbs||7.33 lbs||7.91 lbs||7.15 lbs|
|Flex||Medium||Stiff||Medium - stiff||Medium Stiff||Stiff|
|Weight||3382 g||3346 g||3325 g||3587 g||3245 g|
|Weight Per Surface Area||0.75||0.74||0.74||0.8||0.7|
|Available Lengths||149,152,158,161,166||154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W||152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w)||157,161, 162, 166, 171||154, 158, 162, 166|
|Core Material||Blended wood||Wood||Wood/ bamboo||Wood||Wood|
|Camber/Rocker||Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker||Directional rocker||Rock camber rocker||Straightline rocker||Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The United Shapes Covert blends shaping techniques from freeride, freestyle, and surfboards to resemble the character from each discipline. It has 5mm of camber between the bindings, which is a healthy dose of camber for power, pop, and stability. It then transitions into rocker near the contact points of the tip and tail. The all-around design of the Covert provides a fun user experience in all conditions.
The Covert is diverse and a strong performer when it comes to firm snow performance. It has a predominantly camber profile that lends itself to handling icy, steep couloirs, surfing the earth, or arching turns down your favorite corn run. The medium to stiff flex and medium length effective edge creates a stable platform that provokes confidence.
The Covert found a good balance between stiff and responsive and blends that with a playful and surfy feel. The blended wood core provides the unique plush and lively feel we have begun to associate with the United Shapes brand. This board is user-friendly, responsive, and quick edge to edge, which makes for a fun turning experience. Whether you are looking to slash corn lips like your favorite surfer, rail turns like a pro giant slalom racer, or make hop turns like Jeremy Jones, the Covert is happy to oblige and excel.
The Convert is a component of our spring 2019 update. Due to the snowfall cycles, we haven't been able to extensively test this model in powder yet, but testing is in progress. Based on the shape of the Covert, float and maneuverability shouldn't be an issue. In fact, we expect it to be a strength.
Weight, stability, and edge security are three metrics that create a solid performing split board on the way up. The Covert provided diligent performance in each aspect. It's relatively lightweight and fell in the middle of the bell curve for our surface area to gram comparison.
The camber provides a tip to tail stability as we were skinning up steep slopes. When we need to traverse an icy slope, the Covert provided us with ample edge contact to make it across. For heavy riders, the torsional flex could be a little soft for sidehilling as the board breaks in more.
We all have scraped our inner edge along the side of our splitboard. With the Covert, you don't have to worry as much - the durable top sheet is very resistant to scratching or peeling.
The Covert features the standard splitboard insert pattern. Splitters can expect to take off the pucks or entirely to switch up their stance.
The Covert finds the same character as the United Shapes brand, and the alluring feel of the board is fun. Its medium flex creates a stable ride but isn't necessarily aggressive. It provides a lively and snappy feel with a good amount of feedback.
The tail that has plenty of kick to bolster the freestyle abilities of this board. It looks more reminiscent of the snowboard legend Craig Kelly's pro model, the Burton Air. You can take off and land switch or maneuver switch to adjust your positioning.
The Covert has a middle of the road pricing structure between value and performance splitboards. That being said, it is featured and rides like a performance splitboard, giving it plenty of inherent value.
The United Shapes Covert has influences from a variety of snowboard disciplines and provides a versatile ride. Our favorite thing is the feel of this board, which is lively, snappy, and plush. A fine-tuned balance that stays true and supportive in firm snow, the Covert is a good quiver of one board that is capable in all conditions without being overbearingly stiff.
— Isaac Laredo