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.
Venture Storm Review
Cons: Difficult to adjust the bindings, slightly soft tail
Manufacturer: Venture Snowboards
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This splitboard has the standard insert pattern.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Storm is one of the best splitboards we have tested.
— David Reichel