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Venture Storm Review

Impressive all mountain splitboard that excels in powder.
Venture Storm
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $899 List | $719.96 at Backcountry
Pros:  Fun, lightweight, solid, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float, powder performance
Cons:  Difficult to adjust the bindings, slightly soft tail
Manufacturer:   Venture Snowboards
By David Reichel ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 27, 2018
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 5
  • Powder - 30% 9
  • Firm Snow - 25% 6
  • Climbing - 25% 7
  • Binding Adjustability - 10% 5
  • Playfulness - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Impressive all-mountain splitboard that excels in powder. The Venture Storm is exceptionally capable in soft snow, handles variable mountain conditions with confidence and encourages freestyle fun. This is a highly recommended splitboard for riders looking to explore the entire mountain and who possess a taste for powder. Female riders take note: Venture makes the Tempest splitboard and it shares the general design of the Storm, but in smaller sizes and adjusted flex.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Venture Storm
This Product
Venture Storm
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $719.96 at Backcountry$899.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$649.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$749.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$799.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Fun, lightweight, solid, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float, powder performanceStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, exceptional performance on powder and while climbing and descending firm snow, the use of Mellow MagnetractionVersatile, lightweight, affordable, ease of binding adjustability, strong overall ride with a solid riding experience, highly versatileFreestyle fun, the most bang for your buck, lightweight, impressive performance on powder, playful, the use of Mellow MagnetractionSolid feeling, easy to adjust bindings, good performance on firm snow, stable on fast open alpine terrain
Cons Difficult to adjust the bindings, slightly soft tailStiff, expensive, harder to adjust bindingsCap construction, performance on firm snowSoft for larger riders, performance on firm snow, difficulty to adjust the bindingsHeavy, expensive, below average powder float, sluggish at slow speeds
Bottom Line Impressive all mountain splitboard that excels in powder.Winner of our Editors' Choice Award, the Solution takes the cake, especially in powder and firm snow.One of the most affordable in our review, this Best Buy winner earns high marks across the board.Winner of our Best Buy Award, the Explorer is an outstanding, lightweight option.The Flight Attendant is decent, offering good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindings.
Rating Categories Venture Storm Jones Solution Voile Revelator Jones Explorer Burton Flight Attendant Split
Powder (30%)
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7
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6
Firm Snow (25%)
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6
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7
Climbing (25%)
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6
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6
Binding Adjustability (10%)
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5
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9
Playfulness (10%)
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6
Specs Venture Storm Jones Solution Voile Revelator Jones Explorer Burton Flight...
Tested Length 157 158 159 159 162
Flex Medium Stiff Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Soft Stiff
Weight 8 lb 0.6 oz 6 lb 4.5 oz 6 lb 6 oz 6 lb 15 oz 9 lb 8.6 oz
Weight in grams 3645 2849 2891 3147 4326
Weight Per Surface Area 0.84 0.65 0.65 0.7 0.94
Available Lengths 157,161, 162, 166, 171 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 159, 162, 165, 169 152, 156, 158W, 159, 161W, 162, 164W 154, 158, 162, 168
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood Wood Wood
Waist Width (cm) 25 24.7 25.7 25.2 25.6
Shape Directional Directional Directional twin Directional Directional
Radius (m) 8.48 8.5 8.8 7.5 7.9
Camber/Rocker Straightline rocker Directional rocker Camber/Early rise rocker Directional rocker Directional camber

Our Analysis and Test Results

Silverton Colorado based Venture snowboards has manufactured the Storm splitboard for many years. The current version is a highly evolved ride. Compared to earlier editions, weight has been reduced and firm snow performance has increased. Soft snow performance is excellent, especially considering this is capable all-mountain ride. Venture has a done a great job creating a super fun all-mountain splitboard that should be on nearly everyone's shopping list.

Performance Comparison



Powder


While a powder dedicated design, like a swallowtail or fish type, might be the ultimate tool for shredding soft snow, they are more limited in firm conditions. The Storm is at the very top of the list for powder performance from an all-around shape. The large nose and ample rocker float the board easily and quickly in soft snow. The nose is a touch soft which produces a surfy feel in soft snow, while reducing some of the chatter when crossing through chopped up pow. The Storm also employs taper, making the nose wider than the tail, to help float the front of the board in powder.

Dropping into the Argentinean backcountry on the Venture Storm.
Dropping into the Argentinean backcountry on the Venture Storm.

Firm Snow


While the Storm stands out for soft snow performance, this would not be so remarkable if it came at the cost of firm snow functionality. The Storm maintains solid edge hold when the slope is steep and the snow is hard. Occasionally we may ride blower pow from the peak to the trailhead, but more often we encounter hard snow in multiple locations. We edge over firm wind scoured ridges, while avoiding wind slab below the peak and many routes finish on tracked out logging roads that more resemble iced up bobsled tracks than the epic powder of social media spraying. The Storm performs very well in all these conditions. Its tail is adequate for confident switch riding when lining up narrow couloirs or shooting between narrow gaps in the trees on the exit.

Climbing


The relatively lightweight Storm climbs easily. Because it floats so well, it can be ridden a few centimeters smaller than other freeride boards and this provides for an impressively easy climb up the skin track. An added benefit to sizing down is that shorter split skis are much easier to bring around on kick turns. Saving energy on the climb allows for more fun on the down and perhaps even enough juice left for another lap. Some all rockered powder boards grip more poorly than a cambered board. This makes sense since the point of pronounced rocker is to lift the nose higher to lift the board quickly in powder, but this also can reduce the amount of surface area available to grip the snow while skinning.
Venture's Straight-Line Rocker describes the profile of their boards. Essentially flat in the middle with early rise rocker at the nose and tail.
Venture's Straight-Line Rocker describes the profile of their boards. Essentially flat in the middle with early rise rocker at the nose and tail.
Venture uses what they call Straight-Line Rocker, essentially flat (no rocker and no camber) between the inserts with rocker starting just outside the inserts. This works well and enough of the Storms middle section contacts the ground to avoid problems with skinning grip.

Venture Storm outside the gates at Cerro Catedral  Argentina.
Venture Storm outside the gates at Cerro Catedral, Argentina.

In both firm and soft snow conditions the Storm skins well. Venture rates the Storm as a 6 out 11 in their flex scale (they must have watched Spinal Tap a few times during storm days in Silverton). Assuming you buy a size appropriate for your weight, this middle of the road flex is works great for snowboarding. When climbing challenging soft snow conditions or when struggling to side hill while skinning, a stiffer board will skin better than a softer board, so if you are on the heavier side of the suggested weight range, you may encounter skinning conditions where a stiffer board would be better. These are minor points, and the tradeoff is well worth it, but something to consider if you are on the outer limits of the suggested weight range. For comparison's sake, I weigh 150lbs (without gear) and rode a 157 Storm which Venture recommends for riders between 115-175lbs.

Binding Adjustability


This splitboard has the standard insert pattern.

Venture Storm hole pattern.
Venture Storm hole pattern.

Playfulness


The Storm was primarily tested at Cerro Catedral in Argentina during August. Just beyond one side of the resort is a great zone with two long steep pitches of chutes, rock drops, and powder. After skinning to the top of this zone, the Storm loved to crush big arcing powder turns when deep snow was abundant. Between snowfalls, the Patagonian winds often reset these slopes with smaller panels of soft wind buff and the Storm eagerly wheelied and slashed through these pockets. Below the fun steeps, a long track traverses back to the resort.

Patagonian "tree" skiing. This shortcut didn't work out  but it wasn't the splitboard's fault.
Patagonian "tree" skiing. This shortcut didn't work out, but it wasn't the splitboard's fault.

The first portion of the track is fairly steep and whoopee (sort of like a brutal natural boardercross course). It begins with a sunny steep wiggle section that begs for slashes, and the Storm obliges. Next the track transitions to a shadier and icier section, the Storm maintains confidence enough that popping 180s on the features in this section was manageable and made the exit even more entertaining. The middle section traverses through a sunny North facing, that was held thin conditions for much of August. The track out required quick turns and multiple ollies over logs. The final section returned to the piste by passing under a lift while crossing a boulder-strewn creek. Following the narrow path across the creek, with the added pressure of the folks on the lift, required confidence and quick turns. The Storm was agile and inspired enough confidence that it could be ridden out the entire way, and honestly, this funky semi frozen luge track was delightful. This would not be the case with many splitboards.

Karma Score


Venture has a well-deserved reputation for manufacturing quality boards. Holding up the Storm, the two skis were perfectly aligned with zero noticeable gaps between them.
Impeccable craftsmanship by Venture Snowboards. The alignment of the two edges of the Storm splitboard is perfectly tight. This photo was taken after a month of heavy use.
Impeccable craftsmanship by Venture Snowboards. The alignment of the two edges of the Storm splitboard is perfectly tight. This photo was taken after a month of heavy use.
Venture produces high-quality boards from their wind-powered operation in Silverton Colorado, one of the most alpine areas of the United States with substantial avalanche paths and enticing peaks visible from the main street. The venture has long supported grassroots splitboard events like the Silverton Splitfest, which is an excellent opportunity to meet other splitters and enjoy some of the steep terrain surrounding Venture.



Best Applications


The Storm is a great choice for any splitboarder who likes to cruise the whole mountain, but loves powder most of all. It rides powder almost as well as a dedicated powder shape (like a swallow tail) but rides every snow condition besides powder much better than total powder board.

Value


At a suggested retail of $899, the Storm is in the higher end of the range of splitboard prices. It is also one of the best splitboards. Many of the other splitboards are produced at larger factories in Europe or Asia, while Ventures are made in smaller numbers in the Silverton, Colorado. Venture build quality is high, and readily apparent by examining how tightly the board halves fit together.

Conclusion


The Storm is one of the best splitboards we have tested.


David Reichel