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United Shapes Covert Review

Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.
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Price:  $799 List
Pros:  Durable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons:  Proficient firm snow performance
Manufacturer:   United Shapes
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Powder - 25% 6
  • Firm Snow - 27.5% 7
  • Climbing - 27.5% 8
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 8

Our Verdict

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.


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Price $799 List$899.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Durable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizesStable, 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 floatLightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheet
Cons Proficient firm snow performanceExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseExpensive, switch ridingSlightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ishExpensive 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
Powder (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
Firm Snow (27.5%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
8
Climbing (27.5%)
10
0
8
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
0
5
10
0
5
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
6
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
Tested Length 158 158 157 157 162
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
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Blended wood Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood Wood
Waist Width 25.7cm 24.7cm 25.6cm 25cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Radius 7.5m 8.5m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.48m 9.8m
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.

Performance Comparison


The Covert has a surf styled look and feel.
The Covert has a surf styled look and feel.

Firm Snow


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.

Bottom turns on the smooth corn of the Sierra. Board: Covert.
Bottom turns on the smooth corn of the Sierra. Board: Covert.

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.

Powder


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.

Climbing


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 Covert on the Scale.
The Covert on the Scale.

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.

Storming the castle.
Storming the castle.

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.

Binding Adjustablity


The Covert features the standard splitboard insert pattern. Splitters can expect to take off the pucks or entirely to switch up their stance.

Playfulness


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 Covert supports diverse styles of riding.
The Covert supports diverse styles of riding.

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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

The Covert gets a thumbs up from our tester.
The Covert gets a thumbs up from our tester.


Isaac Laredo