Expert Review: Salomon Highpath Snowboard
This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I demoed for 2 days in May of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I demoed for 2 days in May of 2022.
The Salomon Highpath is a solid all-mountain freeride board designed for advanced men or women riders. This unisex board is fast and very stable on groomers and can also ride well in powder and over chunder. The Highpath is a great choice for a rider looking for an all-mountain board that excels off-piste.
About the board I tested
- Model: Salomon Highpath 2023
- Size: 150
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130 lbs
- Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding
- When I tested this: I demoed this board in May of 2022
- Days tested: 2
- Mount position: +15/-12
- Boots: Salomon Ivy 2022
- Boot Size: 8.5
- Bindings: Salomon Highlander 2023
- Where I’ve used it: Oregon
- Terrain: 3 inches of fresh powder, groomers, choppy off-piste terrain, trees, park
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a mid-flexing board that would be really fun to carve on, make quick turns in the trees I like to ride in, float through powder at least decently, and be fun to hit some sidehits with. I already had a volume-shifted board that I enjoyed in powder, so that was not my main priority, but I still wanted it to be fun in powder if I decided to travel and take only one board.
Why I tested this gear
The Highpath really impressed me. I was not as familiar with Salomon boards as I was with many other brands, so when this board came up for a demo, I was very excited. It was really fun to ride, it felt like the perfect amount of flex for me to hold high speeds and carve hard, and it had a good amount of pop to be playful on sidehits. I looked at the Season Nexus and the Weston Riva as well. The Highpath carves well and stands out because its construction is very eco-friendly.
What I love about it
- Speed: I felt like I could go as fast as I wanted on this board. It felt very stable at high speeds and didn’t get chattery. The base is made of 50% recycled materials, which is really cool. It didn’t feel like the fastest base I’ve ever tried, but the construction of the board overall handled speed well.
- Edge hold: By the end of the second day, the slopes were lacking any fresh powder and were getting a little icy, and this board still held an edge great. The tail is a bit tapered, which also helped it float in a few inches of powder while holding an edge well.
- Turns: The Highpath features a quadratic sidecut instead of a continuous one, so it’s a deeper sidecut in the middle than at the tip and tail. It helps to make quicker, tighter turns. I felt that the turn initiation was great on this board and that I could easily make tight turns, larger carves, and quick adjustments.
- Groomers: I had a good time on groomers with this board. There are some boards I really don’t enjoy on groomers, but this one was fun. It felt pretty locked in and fairly damp, but if I put a little power into it, I could get some good pop out of it to hit small sidehits too. It is fun to carve on.
- Powder: I only got to try this in about 3 inches of powder, and it was awesome. Its tapered design makes it float well and loosens up the turning-in powder. I wouldn’t say it would be a straight-up powder board, but it did great in the inches I had, and I think it would definitely hold its own if put up against even more snow. I am excited to try it in deeper snow.
- Trees: I enjoyed riding this board in trees. I felt like I could turn it pretty quick when I needed to, and the slightly tapered design gave me a lot of control with my back foot to weave quickly through trees. I also felt like I trusted the edge hold, which gave me the confidence to go faster, knowing I could turn on a dime.
- Backcountry: I would definitely take this board into the backcountry. It has all the qualities I would want to ride unexpected terrain off-piste. It does well over uneven terrain, holds an edge well for icy or crunchy sections, turns quickly in trees, and floats well in powder. It feels very solid over all of those types of terrain.
- Weight: I found that this board felt very lightweight to me. Salomon uses a super lightweight paulownia wood core, and they also have a ‘popster’ core, which thins and thickens in certain places. This gives it a lot of pop, but it also reduces the weight. The board felt very sturdy for how lightweight it felt.
- Stability: I felt stable on the Highpath. It felt pretty damp and locked in while carving, reduced a lot of underfoot chatter, and still maintained great pop. It actually even buttered okay for being on the stiffer side.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Moguls: While I do feel like I was able to turn this board quickly in trees, it was not my favorite in moguls. It felt stiff for the ups and downs, quick turns of moguls, and a little jarring. I prefer a slightly softer flexing board, personally.
- Park: I had a chance to go through the flow park at Mt. Hood a few times with this board. It definitely has some pop to it if one really gears up for the kickers and puts some power into it, but it was too stiff for my liking in the park. I felt like I had to work instead of just enjoying the jumps, and for comparison, when I switched to a park board, I had an amazing time!
- Durability: This board stands out because it is very eco-friendly, and compared to some other brands that use Castor Bean Bio-based topsheets, this one was above average. The topsheet is slightly textured, which is nice, but it still seemed to get small chips in the edges after using it for just a short time. The base got a few scratches in a short amount of time too. I would say this is average in ‘durability’ compared to all of the boards I have tried, but for eco-friendly boards, I would say it is above average.
- Switch riding: Being that it is a tapered directional board generally ridden slightly set-back, I didn’t find it ideal for riding switch.
Favorite moment with this gear
The days that I got to test this board were beyond fun. For being late into the season, we had amazing snow and a big group all riding in unison down the runs and weaving in and out of trees. It was a bluebird day, and Mt. Hood loomed in the background, glowing white all day. The apres ski in the parking lot wasn’t so bad either!
Value for the money vs. other options
To compare the Highpath to some Jones boards, for example, I would put this board right in the middle of the Flagship and the Stratos as far as how aggressive it rides and how stiff it feels. It sits right in the middle price-wise, too, so it is on par being an average price. It is fairly similar to the K2 Excavator but a bit more aggressive and significantly more expensive (at least $100 more), so some options have a similar style that is cheaper. Still, Salomon is an awesome company and is doing cool stuff with their new line-up, so I would say this board is definitely worth the money if one is in the market for an all-mountain freeride board.
I would definitely recommend this board to an advanced rider looking for a medium-stiff flexing board that holds a great edge and is really fun to carve on. This board does everything but key in on speed, carving, trees, and uneven terrain. If someone is looking for a board to ride a lot in the park, this may not be the board to pick, but it is super fun for everything else (and even some natural sidehits!).