Expert Review: 2023 Salomon Highpath Snowboard [with Video]
Snowboard Expert Everett Pelkey tested the 2023 Salomon Highpath snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Snowboard Expert Everett Pelkey got his hands on the 2023 Salomon Highpath this spring and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different. If you have any questions about the Highpath or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does the brand claim about this board? Highpath is a unisex high performance all-mountain directional board. The highlight of the Salomon Highpath is the eco-innovation of sustainable construction and its materials used during the build process. It's the most sustainable board built by Salomon using some of the best recycled materials and it performs at the highest level while you're out there riding.
What is your overall impression of the board? This board was a lot, it told me where I wanted to go on the mountain! It was a very mellow, surfy ride and it worked out perfectly. After I ate a big lunch, it told me where I needed to go and I sat back and enjoyed the ride. Very fun, mellow, surfy feeling board.
Can you tell us about the shape of the snowboard and how it affects the ride? It is more of a powder-centered board, it has more of a narrow taper. Underfoot it felt nimble and allowed you to make turns on those mellow angles we were going for. When you find those open powder sections it definitely floats when you need it to.
Can you describe the profile on this board? This profile has camber in between the feet and rockers out at the tip and tail. It has that extra rocker feature that's giving you the lift while you're riding through it. And it definitely shows up between the softer surfy feel of the overall board as you're riding and will easily keep you up in any powder condition.
What's the flex or stiffness of the board? This is definitely on the softer flex side and you can definitely feel the rocker in the profile. This board with the softer flex is still stable when you're able to keep yourself centered over the board. You do tend to feel it get a little narrow when you start going at higher speeds.
What kind of turns does this board like to make? Easy, graceful turns are the ones that this board wants to go with. It is not something that you're going to be really hard charging on and going down the mountain to rip a new grooming turn. It's a mellow surfing feel that's just going to go where it wants to and you just go for the ride!
What's the edge hold like? The edge is a lot better than you would expect with how soft this board is. This doesn't mean I would push it through the hardest of conditions, but it handles a little bit better than I anticipated, as it felt lighter and smaller underfoot than most other powder boards I have ridden. It does hold an edge really well.
Is this snowboard stable in turns? It would be stable and more mellow with easy, slower initiated turns. As you start doing quicker, more nimble turns, it does feel like it's pushing the limits of this board. Surprisingly with the harsh conditions out here today, it was doing a lot better than I expected.
Can you speak to the dampness of this board? There's not too much give on this board. It doesn't seem like it's too harsh. It's not too heavy. It's a very soft, easy riding board. It’s definitely something that could have either sex riding this board with the way it's designed and carried out through its construction. It's a very mellow, easygoing board to ride.
How is it in terms of speed? At speed it's not its forte, not something that really wants to hard charge. In the right conditions you can push it and it will open up, but it's definitely not the highlight of this board.
Would you say that this board has a lot of energy and accelerates through turns? Honestly, I would say this is one of the least energetic boards, but that does not make it a bad ride. It is more something you put on the back foot and it'll start to speed up when needed, but it's not anything for you to hard charge and go fast on.
How is the pop on this board? I'd say you can make it as poppy as you want. As a free ride board, it's not going to be super poppy and or park oriented. It's not something it does well.
How is playing around with the speed on flat ground, flutters, and similar type of terrain? The rocker comes in handy with that stuff, so you could actually play around a lot more than you would expect on a very directional powder-friendly board. It gives you the playful feel where you need it. It's not going to give you the pop like a full camber board would. When you're trying to take off and get that snap, you can still make it do what you want it to do with how light and mellow it is.
How is it for buttering? I would say this is a much easier than expected board to butter on. It has that rocker out in the front that gives you that playfulness in the nose, not so much on the tail being a heavy directional board.
How is this board on jumps and what is the stability like on landings? The stability is actually really good for a narrower waist width. You would expect it to be a little bit more specific to hitting right on the sweet spot, but it can handle it and It's pretty good at landings. I wouldn't say it's super stellar, but if you hit it right and are not looking to springboard yourself off of it, just stay mellow through it and it will be just fine.
Now talking about freeride, how would you expect this board to ride in powder? Powder is where this board thrives. This is a super powder-oriented board. It's what it's really meant to be. In addition to the eco-friendly construction, the other claim to fame on this board is it’s going to float for days. It does seem smaller than you would expect, but as soon as it hits the softer snow, it brings you right up and it feels where it wants to be the happiest. It'll keep you floating above, cruising and surfing all day long. The more powder you find, the better it rides.
Can you talk about the control that you would have in the powder with this board? Going back to how well this thrives, the control within the powder is definitely where it excels. On groomers, it's so hard packed, it doesn't initiate as hard of an edge and you're not getting exactly what you're looking for. In powder, it's like a surfboard. It's going to take you where you want to go. The rails dig in super nice, you're able to take off and just make all the turns you want all day long.
How does it fare in uneven terrain and chunder? On uneven terrain and chunder, it makes it a little choppy. The dampening is not the greatest for those types of conditions, but it does handle it better than you would expect. I wouldn't say that's the selling point on this board, but it can handle it when you need it to, it's inevitable that you will encounter those conditions at some point.
How is the maneuverability and control in the moguls and trees? You can surprisingly move this board in moguls and trees. It's pretty nimble through that terrain. Since it is more surf style, you're going to wash out a little bit more through those turns, so it's not something you can fly through trees on. In a mellow, more setback way of riding, this thing will cruise right through those bad boys with no problem at all.
Can you give a shortlist of what terrain this board is good for and what terrain riders should avoid on this board?
This board is meant 100% for powder. That is its bread and butter. That's where it excels and it just feels so happy and at home there. I would say to anyone who's looking for just a mellow surfy ride to really enjoy the turns as you're making it through the deepest of snow, this board is perfect for that. Anyone looking for a more aggressive, hard charging, truer free-riding board, this wouldn't be it. Any rider who's more in the beginner stages, this board has its sweet spot in powder and that’s where it wants to be. If you're looking for something really powder specific, it does categorize itself into where it exactly needs to be, which is being a powder hound board.
Where in the United States would you say that this board is not good for? I would say anywhere within the US, this board is not meant to be an East Coast/Ice Coast charging kind of board. It is definitely for somewhere where you get the softest champagne powder snow that you can find. Even in the Pacific Northwest on the heavier snow days, this thing will still keep you afloat even in the dense snow.
Who would you recommend this board to? For the rider ability level on this board, I would recommend it to people that are just easygoing, laid-back riders. That is who this board caters to best. It's loving fresh snow and it’s something that has a mellow ride. If you want to sit back, relax and see where the mountain can take you, this board will show you all the sweet spots.
Who would you not recommend this board to? For someone who's either looking for a more freestyle-oriented deck or someone who's more aggressive on their feet, this board won't hit that spot, you will overpower it pretty quick. Snowboards work differently for different riders and in different conditions. If you're looking for help to find that perfect next board, hit up Everett or another Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.