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2015-2016 Ride Berzerker

Will Sardinsky reviews the Ride Berzerker, Blister Gear Review.

Ride Berzerker

2015-2016 Ride Berzerker, 159cm

Dimensions:

Effective Edge- 1228mm

Waist Width- 248mm

Sidecut Entry-Radius-8.50mm

Sidecut Focus- Radius- 7.20mm

Sidecut Exit- Radius – 8.20mm

Tip & Tail Width- 297mm

Setback: ¾”

Camber: Directional Hybrid

Features:

  • Pop Rods 2.0
  • Slimewalls
  • Carbon Array 3 Laminates
  • Hybrid Glass
  • Fusion 4000 Base
  • Feel= 5

Reviewer Info: 6”, 160 lbs.

Stance 22.5” wide, 10° front, -8° rear, on reference points

Boots/Bindings: Burton Ruler (size 10)/ 2011 K2 Company (size M)

Test Locations: Snowmass, CO

Days Ridden: 4

For the 2015-2016 season, Ride is bringing back Jake Blauvelt’s pro-model board, the Berzerker. Ride says that the board offers “perfect float and stability for high speed pow charging,” though it’s also billed as a versatile, all-mountain board. I wanted to evaluate those claims.

With four days on the Berzerker, I’ve ridden it in primarily variable, spring conditions and only a little bit of powder. I still need to put more time on the board to get a fuller sense of how it handles in other conditions (I’m especially excited to try it out in deep, fresh snow, obviously) but so far it is clear that the Berzerker is a stable, directional board that charges through firmer, variable conditions very well.

Design

The Berzerker features Ride’s Hybrid All Mountain Camber: a scooped, rockered nose and traditional camber between the feet. This helps the board plane up in deep powder while maintaining a stable, more directional feel in variable and firm conditions.

The Berzerker is also slightly heavier than your average all-mountain board, and is built with Ride’s urethane “Slimewalls” sidewalls, which help reduce chatter.

Ride gives the Berzerker a flex rating of “5”, and I think that’s on point. The board is far from soft, but can still be flexed with some effort. The scooped nose is slightly softer than camber between the feet.  I’ll dig into this more below, but it still maintains good responsiveness, while these design elements give the Berzerker a noticeably damp, stable feel.

Groomers

It took me a little time to get used to the Berzerker’s directional shape, as it takes some effort to initiate turns. But once I got used to it, I had a blast railing turns on high-speed groomers. Its urethane sidewalls, overall weight, and rocker profile keep things very locked down, damp, and stable through fast carves.

When ollieing over rollers, the Berzerker doesn’t provide much pop. It is possible to get some pop out of the board, but I had to work to load up the core in order to do so, overcoming the Berserker’s generally damp, planted feel—and that dampness really helps settle you back onto the snow on landings and keep cruising.

However, you’ll need to make sure to land with a balanced stance over the board because its directional profile doesn’t make it very forgiving. If you don’t land solidly on the Berzerker, then the camber underfoot and non-rockered tail are more likely to catch than help you save a landing.

Firm, Variable Conditions

The Berzerker has a decidedly more directional feel than boards with more playful designs and, as a result, can feel rather catchy and demanding if you’re used to a board with a looser, more playful feel. However in firm, choppy, variable conditions the Berzerker again felt very stable and provided great edge hold.

In this way, it felt like a beefed up version of the K2 Slayblade, which is the stiffest board in K2’s lineup. The two friends I was riding with were having trouble setting their edges in firm chop on more playful boards, but the Berzerker provided nearly as much stability in those variable conditions as it did on freshly groomed snow.

Will Sardinsky reviews the Ride Berzerker, Blister Gear Review.

Will Sardinsky on the Ride Berzerker.

(In this respect, the Berzerker may be quite comparable to the Amplid Creamer, which seems like a very similar board, judging from Jed Doane’s initial review.)

All in all, if you enjoy railing high speed turns in variable conditions and are primarily interested in a board’s dampness and stability, the Berzerker seems like an excellent option.

Spring Slush

What little pop the Berzerker had on firmer groomers was tough to find in soft, slushy spring conditions; the slush absorbed enough energy that I wasn’t able to load up the board enough to get any pop out of it.

However, the Berzerker’s planted, damp feel is a real advantage if stability is what you’re more interested in. At times I felt like I needed to muscle the board out of a turn, but it cut through any heavy, chopped-up slush smoothly at speed. I personally prefer to ride a more playful board on slushy spring days, but if you like ripping fast turns through slush and chop, then the Berzerker is a fun ride.

Trees

As directional and damp as the Berzerker is, it can still maneuver through some pretty tight trees; you just have to really tell the board what to do. Take things slower in the trees and you’ll be fine, but don’t expect to be dropping cliffs into tight trees and getting out without a scare; you really have to take control of the board in tighter spots.

Park & Freestyle Performance

The Berzerker feels unresponsive and out of its element in the park. I found the board to be tough to control going up the walls of the pipe, and punishing on off-kilter landings.

On jumps, this board doesn’t provide much pop at all, feels sluggish when trying to throw spins, and can be hard to get out of the backseat on landings.

When it comes to rails, it’s possible to ride them on the Berzerker, but it’s not very fun. As is the case elsewhere in the park, on rails I felt like I was being taken for a ride on the board, with little control.

The Berzerker is very capable around the rest of the mountain, outside of the park, with a strong, stable, directional feel. Ride’s own description of the board seems quite appropriate in this respect, but I am surprised how directional and demanding the board is, given the more freestyle-oriented riding Jake Blauvelt is know for; the Berzerker wouldn’t be my first choice if I was looking for an everyday board well-suited to park laps or for tricking around the rest of the mountain or the backcountry. For that kind of riding, I’d suggest a more playful board like the Burton Antler, for example.

Powder

I need to put some more time on the Berzerker in powder, but I’ve had fun slashing a few small pockets and have a feel for how it should handle deeper, fresh conditions. Carrying speed, I was able to put a lot of weight into the board’s tail and come out of a huge slash with plenty of control.

The Berzerker won’t pivot and maneuver as easily as a more playful board like the the K2 Fastplant, but it provides a more stable, directional ride in soft snow. And despite having camber between the feet, the Berzerker’s scooped, rockered nose seems to really help keep the board floating well and tracking smoothly in fresh snow. I imagine it will be loads of fun in deeper snow when it comes to taking fast, aggressive lines down the mountain.

Bottom Line

The Ride Berzerker is an aggressive all-mountain board that prefers high-speed charging over a slower, more playful approach to terrain. It absorbs chatter and holds an edge exceptionally well, with an all-around stable feel. I still need to break the Berzerker out on a deep powder day and see if its high-speed stability translates to fresh conditions, but judging from my time on the board so far, I’m confident it will.

 

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