Expert Review: 2023 Capita Defenders of Awesome [with Video]
Snowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton tested the 2023 Capita Defenders of Awesome snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Snowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton tested the 2023 Capita Defenders of Awesome snowboard at Powder Mountain in Utah. Read on to find out how the it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but remember that every snowboarder is different and what works for one may not work for all. Any questions you have on the Capita Defenders of Awesome or any other board can be answered by reaching out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated. They can help you find the right board for you.
Just so you know, we're not sponsored by any brands, so all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Capita claim about the Defender of Awesome? [Everett] The CAPiTA Defenders of Awesome is that park board that is tried and true and it knows what it's doing.
[Mike] It's a seven time Good Wood award winner from TransWorld. It is an all-mountain freestyle, go-anywhere board that's got a cult following for good reason.
What is your overall impression of the snowboard? [Everett] The pressing ability, the smooth spin initiation, it really just unlocks all the features. You can get this board down so quick and really progress your skills in the park so fast. That's what makes this such a good reliable board. You can start off as a more intermediate park rider and learn so much so quickly.
You know, this board I thought was going to be loose because it's softer outside your foot, but somehow it's still stable in those content points even though that's like the soft spot. That pop was still good. Initiating turns felt really good, especially for spins, like trying to hit an edge and then pop out and fluidly spin. This thing comes around quick.
[Mike] That was the most fun I've had so far. This board is super lightweight. You can feel it. Where this board really shines is in the freestyle world. It's light, there's not a lot of swing weight in the tip and the tail. That turn initiation is really easy with that flat rocker into that rocker. The camber underneath the feet, it's going to help you lock into rails. It's going to help you lock into your edge, it's pressable. It’s got a ton of pop. It's at home in the park and outside the park.
Anything else about its construction? [Mike] I think the one thing I will note is it does feel a little narrow, which helps make it really nimble. But if you're someone with bigger feet, just be aware of the waist width size. It does come in wider sizes. So no matter your boot size, you should be okay.
What is the edge hold like? [Everett] So carving on this board is not necessarily where it's going to shine or thrive, but you can actually handle it better than expected. It does have some soft spots in the tip and tail, so if you're not ready for that, you can quickly overpower it. You can still hold an edge, which is again, the fact park boards are starting to get much better at handling harder turns, that's awesome to me. That opens up so many more possibilities.
[Mike] It’s really steep tip and tail, so in carving a turn, the DOA is going to feel really comfortable. It's going to feel really familiar. It has a traditional side profile. So as a result, when it gets up on edge, the turn initiation with that rocker and that flat rocker is going to be really easy, really approachable. Once you get up on edge and you're riding that camber in between the feet, it's going to hold an edge. It really feels at home up on edge turning, whether that's out on the open trail, whether that's taking off on the lip of a jump onto a rail, a box, whatever, it's going to be approachable, it's going to be familiar. It's going to be confidence-inspiring.
How is it at speed? [Everett] I wouldn't say this is the hardest charger that you want to be ripping the next banked slalom on or on the iciest days to really be trying to lay in those turns without losing out grip - this board is not something that is designed for that. This board is a true freestyle board, but if you want to take it on the mountain, you're still going to have a blast.
Any playfulness in the Defender of Awesome? [Everett] This thing has the benefits of camber and the flexibility of rocker built into it at just the right spots. So you get that snap stability and pop when you need it. It has that twist and flexibility so you can tweak out some of the biggest grabs you want. You can really put this board to this test as a true park board. This thing, honestly, I think would be sick on rails.
This board is purely to try new tricks in new places. It'll help you make sure that you are lock and loading and getting that new-board confidence of learning that new trick or using that creativity in your head and trying something new you didn't think was possible.
[Mike] It comes in right around a five and a half out of 10 flex. So that means it's extremely pressable without kind of being too noodle-ly. It's going to be stable on landings, it's going to be stable on takeoffs. If you want to lock into a nose press, tail press, you want to butter it around, it's going to do that for you.
How is it riding switch? [Mike] With that true twin shape, switch, regular whatever direction you want to be facing, it's comfortable.
What is the float like with the Defender of Awesome? [Everett] So in terms of freeriding capabilities, it's not its strong suit yet again, but it is still a fun board. It has that nimbleness so you can get into tighter sections, quick turns, really finessing around wherever you want it to go, while having a pure smile on your face the entire time.
[Mike] In the freeride world, because it's a five of 10 flex and it has a more traditional camber profile, it's not going to handle deep snow.
How is it in uneven terrain? [Everett] In uneven, chundery terrain, you will feel the board underneath your feet. It is not the most damp board out there, but that's not what it's meant to do. It's not trying to absorb everything you throw at it. It is a park board all day, but it can still leave that orange area when you want to do a little bit more.
[Mike] It does have that bit of that wa-pow kick in the tip and the tail, so it will float over some stuff. But this isn't getting to be your best bet if you're riding a lot of choppy, chundery conditions. This board really wants to just be playful wherever you're taking it.
What types of terrain should be avoided with this board? [Everett] Backcountry-style stuff, I wouldn’t recommend taking it there, but the occasional powder day you're going to get, you could still go out there and you’re not going to have a bad day on this.
Who would you recommend this snowboard to? [Everett] You can be a little bit more of a softer rider that's learning how to push their limits with a board like this, but you can take it all the way to the more advanced park and freestyle rider, it is going to handle all those capabilities.
[Mike] I would recommend this board honestly to riders anywhere looking for their first setup all the way to expert level riders playing in the park. It's one of those boards, it's approachable to everyone. It's predictable. It's something you can grow with, you can progress with. It's not overly intimidating. If you are a rider who is looking for something that can be a one-board quiver, that is going to be at home out west, on the East Coast, the DOA is a great option for you.
Who would you not recommend this snowboard to?
[Everett] I wouldn't recommend this board for a true beginner, but you could still get away at a lower level rider as your first own setup.
[Mike] I wouldn't recommend this board if you're looking to do mostly freeriding. If you're looking to charge steeper conditions, a lot of fresh snow, there are better options from CAPiTA, everything from the Kazu Pro to the Black Snowboard of Death, and others. But if you're looking for something that's playful all over the mountain that really just excels in not excelling anywhere, well except for in the freestyle realm, let's be fair to that, the D.O.A. is a great option for you for that one-board quiver.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you'd like help finding the right board for you, reach out to Everett, Mike, or another Snowboard Expert on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best setup for you.