Expert Review: 2023 Ride Shadowban Snowboard [with Video]Published on 08/28/2023 · 8 min readSnowboard Expert Victor Von Claus tested the 2023 Ride Shadowban snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Victor Von Claus, Curated Snowboard Expert, tested out the Ride Shadowban on a 154cm this past spring at Powder Mountain, Utah. Check out how it performed, but don’t forget, every rider is unique. If you have any questions about the Shadowban or would like recommendations on what board would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated. Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored or affiliated with any company or brand. We are here to give you a totally unbiased review. This is Victor’s direct scoop after riding this out on the hill.
What does Ride claim about this board? Ride’s made an interesting claim about this board and it really piqued my interest when I looked up the specs. It's a directional twin with traditional camber and it has a mellow flex which leaves some consumers a little bit of a shadow in there. I will clear that up for you guys, I would say for me, at 5'7” and 160 pounds, the 154cm felt more towards a softer mid flex. I would say if it's closer to your all-mountain size, it's going to feel softer. Ride considers it more of an all-mountain park board. It certainly rode just like your rad resort board. That's what I got out of Ride’s claim.
What were your first impressions? My first impressions, from someone who screams to the ends of the earth about how much I love traditional camber from growing up on it in the late '90s and early 2000s. So having this OG style traditional camber that was very kind of directionally placed, a little bit more kind of towards the back foot it felt like, at least when riding it. But I loved the way that it just has that aggressive pop and feel even with something a little softer. You get the best of both worlds that feels like you can jib around on it, but also if you need that really punchy response from how camber responds on snow, this definitely provides that. Depending on the conditions, with a softer flex, I would suggest this as more of a park focused board. Overall, on the conditions I rode on today, I would say that if I had to put it on a 10 scale, I would say it held up around about a seven just about all over the mountain.
How does it carve? It carved well on groomer terrain and conditions that were a bit more on the mellower side and not variable conditions.
How does it feel at speed? At speed, this board was an absolute blast. Again, most of my riding experience is with traditional camber throughout my snowboarding evolution, career. With the traditional camber, it helped me feel when that edge wanted to hold true when I was picking up the speed. Whether I was digging in the toe or heel side edge and even at certain sections where you would just flat it out to get the maximum speed out of your line, it never felt like it was unstable underfoot. If I had sized down a little closer to 150cm, I would say that might compromise some stability just because it's supposed to be softer. If you ride it a little longer you can certainly get more out of the variable terrain out. That’s my little quick pro tip for you if you're thinking about riding this board on variable terrain.
What about pop, playfulness, buttering, switch? With the traditional camber, the pop was certainly there. You can load up on the nose or tail especially with that directional twin shape. You could definitely pop ollies if you were feeling it on side hits or even on a roller off the boardercross track, you could certainly boost off of them quite easily.
Buttering with that traditional camber, that's going to depend on the rider. I personally like it because it gives me a point where it almost starts to max out and you can leverage that into a sweet little lock in spot. Riders who are usually leaning more towards softer or rocker type boards, they might find it's a little hard to press this guy, but I wouldn't let that dissuade you. Go ahead and try it out for yourself and you'll know. It's very versatile in the more freestyle and jibbing side of riding that you can experience out here.
Jumps and stability on landings? That's going to depend on snow conditions, there's a spot where I tomahawked hard on this board, but I think it was because I sunk into some hot pow! That being said, there were definitely plenty of just quick little side hits and transitions that you could find. I felt that even when I was popping as hard as I could off of some to clear doubles, it responded to every last bit of what I wanted from. I can accredit that to the traditional camber profile.
How would it be in powder? In powder, that's going to rely heavily on the rider’s preference. For me, if I were to ride this in powder, which I think it's very feasible to do so, the nose definitely has a little bit more for you. You can work that to your advantage, and I would set the stance back. You do have quite few stance options available here and that's going to give you an advantage. If you are riding your reference 22 stance based on what Ride recommends, I think it's going to be a little rough. This board wouldn't be my first preference for powder. I would consider looking into the Pig Series from Ride if powder is more your forte.
Riding on uneven terrain and chunder? With uneven terrain and chunder, it was kind of a hit and miss. There were definitely a couple sections where it felt a little dicey, especially where you would find new snow and then some hard pack that kind of froze over and mixed in between. I feel like the camber is going to help you a little bit, but it’s not going to hold your hand through it. It might throw you around a little bit depending on your riding experience with camber boards that are more park-focused versus an all-mountain board. You can go out and free ride on some more difficult terrain, it's doable, but I wouldn't say it's going to be the best board to hold up in uneven terrain.
How does it ride in trees? In trees, I think that the camber was really helping me out again, just personal preference here, so you can light me up in the comments if you think otherwise, but I felt that it was pretty nimble with the variable terrain. On a better snow condition day, I would say this would be a great option. If you're looking at 5 to 10 inches or more, as long as it's not stupid deep you'd have fun in the trees. If it's uneven terrain that you are going through and it's a little choppy with some ice mixed in, I probably wouldn't recommend going for it.
Who would you recommend this board to? I would say if you're a bigger park rat and you want to go hit bigger jumps, side hits or a plethora of other features like rails or hips, or even a little bit of a 13-foot pipe, you would have a blast on this. Even your rad dads, who are just cruising around and hitting groomers, the camber's really going to hold you tried and true especially with that softer flex. It won't be an aggressive ride, so you can really have a more playful feel. Overall, I feel like there's a pretty good plethora of people who could ride this.
Who should probably avoid this board versus other options? I would suggest if you're not really feeling the whole traditional standard camber with that more aggressive pop and response that you would get out of a softer board, perhaps lean away from this board. Sizing accordingly is going to make a big difference, because this definitely felt a little stiffer than what they claimed as this board was a little big for me. I would say if you're riding big mountain terrain, this is not going to be the board for you. If you’re a general resort rider or if you lap in the park, you will certainly have a lot of fun on this board.
All boards are different just like us as riders, so we definitely got to make it a point to get the right gear for the right mission. If you're looking for help to find that perfect next board for your needs, hit up Victor or another Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. Note that the 2024 version of the Ride Shadowban is linked below - same tech, just different graphic: