Expert Review: Salomon Abstract SnowboardPublished on 09/16/2022 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in May of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Tyese Messerman
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in May of 2022.
The Salomon Abstract is a fantastic park board for any intermediate or advanced park rider. It is fun to carve on and ride on groomers, but it really excels on jumps, in the halfpipe, and on rails and boxes.
About the gear I tested
- Model: Salomon Abstract 2023
- Size: I tried the 147 and 153
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130 lbs
- Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding
- When I tested these: Tested in May 2022
- Days tested: 2
- Mount position: +15/-15
- Boots: Salomon Ivy Boa
- Boot Size: 8.5
- Bindings: Salomon Highlander
- Where I’ve used it: Oregon
- Terrain: Park, Groomers, Off-piste, 3 inches of powder
How it performs
What I was looking for
I am more of a freerider at heart, but I was on the hunt for a twin-tip freestyle board that I could have fun on in the park that still carved well. I wanted something designed for freestyle riding but wasn’t so flexible that it couldn’t hold high speeds on groomers.
Why I chose this gear to test
I really enjoyed this board. It was the perfect mix of playful and poppy while still feeling like I had solid edge control and could maintain speed on groomers. Hitting jumps was really fun on this board, and the more I put into my ollies, the more pop I got out of it. It has a nice amount of flex for buttering and is easy to throw around and spin on.
I looked into the Capita Defenders of Awesome board and the Arbor Relapse. However, I liked the Abstract the best because I wanted some rocker at the tip and tail, which the Arbor board did not have, and I thought the topsheet of the Abstract was more solid and durable than the Capita.
What I love about it
- Speed: I was impressed with how fast I could go on this board and still feel stable. Being more of a park board, I didn’t expect the speed that this board offered, and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, it doesn’t quite compare to a freeride stiff board of course, but for a softer flexing park board, this definitely checks off the box of holding high speeds.
- Edge hold: The edges are perfect for an all-mountain freestyle board. The bevel changes from a 2 to 3-degree bevel, providing the perfect combo for holding an edge while carving but not catching an edge on boxes and rails. I rode this on fairly icy groomers, in the park, and in a few inches of fresh powder, and I felt like I had great control in all of those conditions.
- Turns: Being a slightly softer freestyle board, I found this board to be very nimble and playful at slower speeds. I could turn quickly and spin easily while riding through the park. Salomon uses a ‘Quadralizer Sidecut,’ and even at faster speeds, I believe this type of sidecut helps make turns at higher speeds and maintain stability.
- Groomers: I had a great time riding groomers on the Abstract. I felt like it could carve well and hold pretty good speed. It isn’t the board to point straight down and race your friends on, but it is fun on groomers. Riding this board constantly made me want to look for any little bump or kicker to play around on. I think it is a fun board for spring riding, where most of my time is spent on groomers or in the park.
- Park: This is a park board. It was so much fun in the park. It is a true twin with solid and durable base for rails and boxes. It also has the perfect amount of flex to be playful on smaller jumps yet stiff enough to land bigger jumps as well. I generally would choose a board around a 150, and since that was not available for demo, I tried both the 147 and 153. Hands down, I would buy the 147. The 153 felt almost too stiff for my size and weight to be playful, while the 147 was really fun, nimble, and easy to throw around. I would say to size down if anything on this board.
- Durability: The base seems really solid and geared towards doing rails and boxes, so it feels very durable in that regard. The topsheet is mostly white and had a fairly smooth feel to it but felt quite durable overall. Also, if the board gets little chips, they are hard to see on the white.
- Weight: Overall, the board felt pretty lightweight. The core thins out underfoot and then thickens again towards the tip and tail, so this sheds weight ever so slightly.
- Switch riding: This is the perfect board for riding switch. It is a true twin, and especially if one sets their bindings evenly like I do (+15,-15), it feels exactly the same whether riding regular or switch. This makes it ideal for spins and big airs, or simply riding playfully down the slopes.
- Stability: This board has great pop, and the more someone gears up for it, the more pop they get. It is also a nice flex for buttering, and it is easy to ride playfully down the slopes. Underfoot chatter was minimal until I hit some ungroomed icy patches. This board isn’t great at going over really uneven and bumpy terrain, but it excelled and felt very stable anywhere on groomers.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Powder: The Abstract is a true twin design, meaning that it is exactly the same width at the tip and tail and is designed to be ridden center-stance with no setback. Of course, this is not ideal for deep powder, but it was still fine in a few inches of powder. I had to lean back on my back leg more than if I were riding a board that was setback. If one is looking for a powder board, this is not it, but it can still perform decently in a few inches.
- Trees: While the Abstract has good edge-hold and is pretty nimble, I personally prefer more of a freeride board in trees. This board is not the fastest in tight conditions or making quick turns, so it wasn’t ideal in trees, although again, for a park board, I would say it was above average.
- Moguls: This board is not quite as fast at making tight turns as other boards so it wouldn’t be my top pick for moguls. Riding the Abstract in moguls makes it feel more like a little playground, and instead of carving through moguls, this board seems to want to playfully ride over them and spin on them.
- Backcountry: I prefer a directional, stiffer board for the backcountry. This board shines on-piste and in the park, so it wouldn’t be my choice to take out of bounds in the backcountry over uneven terrain and in powder.
Favorite moment with this gear
Riding in a train of over 10 people through a flow park was one of the highlights while riding this board. The park had over 20 small to medium-sized hits, and riding close together with so many people was so fun! Of course, cruising the groomers was fun, too, but we spent most of our time practicing our moves in the park.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think this board is definitely worth the money. It is about the same cost as the Capita Defenders of Awesome, but personally, I think it is a little higher quality. The Arbor Relapse is a little bit cheaper, but overall I think the Abstract is at a very average price point for a board like this, and Salomon, in general, is a great company that makes high-quality boards and stands behind their gear.
The Abstract is an extremely fun board for a solid intermediate to advanced park rider. It is quite versatile, easy to carve groomers, and even rides in small amounts of powder while having explosive pop on jumps, in the halfpipe, and on rails and boxes. If choosing between sizes, I would definitely size a little down if one wants it to feel more flexible and buttery or a little longer if they want it to be stiffer.