Widths (nose-mid-tail): 29.78-25.0-28.93 cm
Lengths (nose/tail): 22.5/15.5 cm
Effective Edge: 123.0 cm
Sidecut Depth/shape: 21.7mm Quadratic / 8.73m equivalent sidecut radius
Stance Location: -3.0cm in the back
Stance min/max: 50.0-62.0 cm / 19.7-24.4 in
Flex: 7 out of 10
Days Tested: 37
Location: Taos Ski Valley
Boots: K2 Thraxis
Bindings: Flow NXT-ATSE
When I first saw the Venture Storm, I had a few hunches about how it would ride.
The Storm has a visually striking shape and design that only a few companies are producing. It’s a “directional” plan, with a longer nose and shorter tail. The extended nose rounds out in the tip and funnels back into a soft point, a design that would seem best for floating in big, open lines with deep powder. The design also made me think the board would turn wide and take some good effort to drive.
Venture’s line of boards also have rockered tips and tails, with a flat base under foot. This allows for added ease of float in powder (as well as the ability to take unexpected bumps without getting thrown forward), but less edge contact at the nose can often sacrifice stability.
I had all these things in mind when I finally had a chance to ride the Storm, and simply put, its responsiveness took me by surprise.
The shorter edge contact at the nose gives a longer board the responsiveness of a shorter board, with more maneuverability and stability in all conditions. And while the Storm does perform amazingly well in deep pow, the performance was just as good in tight trees, crunchy mogul fields, icy aprons, choppy wind drifts, melt freeze chicken heads, and certainly corduroy. I’d been expecting the ride to feel like a Jeep; instead, it handled like a mountain bike.
The closer you look at the board, the more you can see the advantage of its shape. In addition to the rockered nose, the Storm is flat underfoot from the front foot placement to a few inches behind the back foot. This gives you free edge control and seamless grip under your feet, where the power comes from. On open groomers, this board sliced like an alpine setup.
The tail has less surface rise above the snow than the nose, which adds to the contact on the back foot in steeps and powder, all without limiting maneuverability in tighter terrain.
During one run in Arnie Lunn, off Taos’s prominent east-facing ridge, the Storm felt like it was running on the tail. Basically, as the nose floats, it forces the tail to maintain contact. The tail snapped around as I turned through little trees and stumps, effortlessly avoiding early season hazards. You can guide the nose with your front foot and have the tail counteract with snappy response. The shorter contact length on the tail (because of the directional shape) allows quick turns.
The rockered tip/tail and flat section under foot also provide the perfect recipe for scrubbing speed without having to change direction. Certainly great speed control can come through linking turns, but when the snow is too hard and icy for a good link, the fall line toe-to-heel speed scrub is very helpful. The Storm is designed to pivot, and does so very well, maintaining very high stability while traveling the fall line.