Expert Review: Bataleon the Party Wave Snowboard · 2022Published on 07/13/2022 · 8 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2022.
I hiked to the top of the summit at Crested Butte. I had a nice lunch and enjoyed the view before a hard and bumpy ride down on the Party Wave. All photos courtesy of Max Joyce
About this Review: This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2022.
The Bataleon Party Wave Snowboard is a mellow and super-fun board that shines in the slush and powder. Any intermediate or advanced rider could have a blast on this thing as long as they aren’t trying to get into any very technical terrain.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Bataleon Party Wave
- Size: 149cm
- Height: 6ft 0in
- Weight: 170lb
- Experience: 12 years
- When I bought it: February 2022
- Days tested: 15
- Mount position: 15/-9, 21.5 in stance
- Boots: 2019 thirtytwo® TM2 XLT
- Boot Size: 11 (US men’s)
- Bindings: 2018 Burton Mission, 2022 Burton Cartel X
- Where I’ve used it: Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, Crystal Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Mt. Hoodoo, Lost Trail
- Terrain: Powder, groomers, hardpack, bumps, slush, side hits, and a small amount of park
How it performs
What I was looking for
Before I bought this board, I had a powder board, a park/all-mountain board, and a stiffer freeride board. I wanted something to add that could replace my powder board when it dies (probably 1 more season), and also something more playful and fun than my previous powder board that would handle well when it was super slushy.
Why I chose this gear
I went with the Party Wave over some of the other similar options for the most part because of the mellow flex and 3BT (triple base technology) profile that Bataleon is known for. It was also on sale when I got it, so that always helps.
I also considered the Salomon® Dancehaul and the CAPiTA Spring Break Slush Slasher. I ruled out the Dancehaul because I thought it would be too stiff for the playful niche I wanted to fill. The Slush Slasher seemed like a great option as well, but it is flat between the feet and I wanted something with a little bit of camber to load up.
What I love about it
- Turns: The turns on this board feel super and fun. It has a mellow flex so it prefers slower turns, but with the camber, I can feel it engage on a turn, and the 3D shaping on the base helps me effortlessly engage the edge. It’s more or less impossible to catch an edge with it. Faster turns I can feel it start to wash out because it’s just not strong enough for those higher speeds.
- Groomers: Groomers are a bit of a mixed bag on this board. If the conditions are softer, like slush or a bit of recent snow, then they’re great. If it’s an icy or hardpack day, it can be a little less fun. Slower-moving carves on groomers are super fun as well as butters and presses with the mellow flex. With the 3BT, it’s easy to press out on the very corner of the tail, which is fun on a slower groomer. It’s also fun to do spins off side hits because the 3BT makes it super forgiving and hard to catch an edge landing.
- Powder: This board definitely excels in the powder. With the wide waist and shorter length, the Party Wave floats very well. The setback stance forms a huge nose that easily stays above powder with the help of the exaggerated 3BT. The snow almost shoots out in two channels that the nose creates with its 3D shape. It’s great in low-angle powder and trees, but if steep lines and big drops are the goal for the day, then this might not be my first choice.
- Trees: If the conditions are soft, this board will do well in the trees. Because of some edge-hold issues, it can be a bit sketchy in firmer conditions. The 3BT helps the wider board get from edge to edge a bit faster than boards of similar width to help make faster turns, and the shorter nature helps it fit through tighter spaces a bit easier.
- Backcountry: I didn’t take this board out into the true backcountry, but I did do some lift-accessed backcountry laps with it and a good amount of in-bounds hikes as well. The shorter board is super easy to carry while hiking, but the wide shape might make it too big to fit comfortably on some packs. It does great in the powder, but bigger and steeper lines are pretty nerve wracking on it with the soft flex.
- Durability: I told myself this would be my slush and powder board, and I’d treat it nice. Of course, that didn’t go as planned as I tend to be a bit rough on my boards overall. I slammed it hard on a rock that was just barely covered in snow on a powder day and it took some damage, but I expected much more. The topsheet still looks great, and all the dings near the edge didn’t create any bumps or push the edge in or out.
- Weight: The weight feels a bit lighter than my other boards, and the shorter nature makes it a bit lighter than “normal” as well.
- Switch riding: For a directional-shaped board with as big of a nose as it has, this board does very surprisingly well switch. The 3BT in the tail kicks up the tips so it won’t catch anything. I found landing and taking off switch to be a breeze, and I loved messing around with some switch carves as well. Of course it will never ride switch like something with a twin shape, but it’s still surprisingly effective.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: I’ll be honest, this thing does not handle speed well at all. With the massive nose and the mellow flex, as well as the 3BT profile, it starts to feel very sketchy as it starts to get going fast, especially if it’s not in powder or slushy turns. It also gets a bit of nose chatter at higher speeds. I don’t think this is a massive negative because that’s not really what this board is made for, but it’s something to note.
- Edge hold: The edge hold on this board isn’t the best at all for a few reasons. It is volume shifted, meaning there is less edge to grip onto the snow. Also, the 3D shaping on the base is so exaggerated on the nose that it basically doesn’t contact with the snow until the front foot.
- Moguls: The Party Wave does all right in moguls and bumps, but if they’re hard and slippery, it’s a struggle to maintain good grip. It can also can be hard to get the board onto the other edge as fast as I want to.
- Park: This board is pretty difficult to use in the park. On side hits and small jumps, it’s pretty sick with the 3BT saving me from catching edges when I otherwise probably would have. On rails, it seems pretty sketchy with the exaggerated 3BT. The more mellow flex is also an issue on medium or large jumps as it’s hard to land at high speeds both because of the soft tail and after landing, it feels pretty unstable. Also with the mellow flex, it’s hard to get much pop off this thing.
- Stability: With this board I could feel pretty much everything under my feet, if I was feeling chatter I was REALLY feeling it, especially when the snow was harder. This nose is prone to chattering as well at higher speeds due to its large size. The pop on this board is all right, but with the mellow flex, it doesn’t really give me back all the power I might want.
- Any workarounds? One workaround for some of the issues is to take a look at the Party Wave +. It’s a very similar board but a bit stiffer, which would help with carving at high speeds and general stability, as well as probably give it a little more pop.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was at Hoodoo for the first time for two days, and the conditions were very slushy. Hoodoo is a smaller mountain with not too many staff so it didn’t have a terrain park this year and didn’t have much terrain open, so I just started lapping the main trail over and over again, doing some fun side hits and messing around. I started jumping off the ramp down for the midway off-loading (something you could never get away with at places like Alterra or Vail), and the lifty there was stoked when I did it. He kept saying how much he loved my board, and he started building a small slush jump on the edge of the ramp for me and some others to send off of. I ended up sending a little too hard after a few more runs and bruising my rib, but it was still one of the best days I had this season and the best one on the Party Wave for sure.
Value for the money vs. other options
This board is pretty good for the money. The Salomon Dancehaul is about the same price, the Slush Slasher is a bit less expensive, the K2 Party Platter is slightly more expensive, so compared to some others in its class, the Party Wave is about in the middle. The only issue is that I wouldn’t ride it as my only board, so in that way it’s a bit cost prohibitive because it’s a second (or third or fourth) board.
This board unlocked a lot of playful fun on slushy days that I really enjoyed. It filled a super-fun niche of a board that can hit side hits, ride switch, butter, and press easily, while also providing fantastic float on powder days. It’s also really mellow and great for when I’ve been riding many days in a row and want to take it a bit easier.