The trend for 2010 in the industry seems to be towards the green movement. Eco-friendly materials and recycled construction. Stepchild too claims to be going green, and by green, they mean the colour green. That's it. Stepchild founder Sean Johnson sums up the decisions to take a jab at companies claim green by saying "...It's not poking fun at the companies that are really making a difference in the world today with the environmental issues. It's more aimed at the companies that claim to be green for the sole purpose to increase sales....If you take this catalog too seriously, you need to lighten up - it's snowboarding."
If anyone understands snowboarding, it's Stepchild. Since day one, they've been about putting the shred before the paper pushing. Entering their seventh year of business, the continue to look into more eco-friendly materials and construction methods. In the meantime, they promise to reduce their footprint by wearing smaller shoes and building boards that last longer. Here's a peek at the boards they're talking about for 2010.
First of all, it's worth mentioning that select models will be available with RETT (Round Edge Tapered Tuning). Team rider JP Walker describes RETT as "The board comes from the factory with the option of pre-dulled edges between the bindings that gradually gets sharper as it reaches the nose and tail. Basically, you can put bindings on it and dive into your local double kink without any hesitation." Stepchild's entry level board, the Latchkey, is geared towards park and rails. It's got a soft flex and a true twin shape. If you're looking to dive into park next season, take a look at the Latchkey. It rides great and have an affordable price tag to boot.
Slightly stiffer flexing than the Latchkey, Everything Sucks is next years version of the Powder Sucks board from this season. They graphics are sick and you know it's legit when a company can say they suck with ease. The board also names a bunch of other things that suck, but don't get distracted while riding.
New for next season is the Chi Borg. This twin tip board features 6mm of reverse camber to keep it buttery and give you smoother pop. It's got a medium flex rating, but falls more on the softer side of medium when riding. Perfect for all you mountain needs, it handles itself well in the park but also in the deep, fluffy stuff.
The Jib Stick is back next season with 3 different sizes of reverse camber corresponding to the size of the board. The 148 will feature 4mm rocker, the 153 will have 6mm of rocker and rounding the line up with 8mm of rocker will be the 156. Once again, this is a medium flexing board, but feels much softer when you're actually riding it. Specific to the Jib Stick is the Trojan rubber...strip inserted into the sidewall for shock absorption purposes. It also has the option of RETT. PS: I love this board.
JP's pro model for 2010 features a new mini 138 and a 157 in the size line up. This board is a twin tip, but it designed with a Kicker III core, basically meaning that it can cross over from street to backcountry with no problems. It's also got a 14 hole insert pattern on each foot so you can dial your stance in. No need for Buton ESTs!
Long time team rider, Simon Chamberlain's new pro model should remind a lot of you about those good times as a kid, playing with Lego. Simon went with a directional nose shape this season to stay above the snow in the pow, but has a centered stance and a twin core shape, to keep it riding like a twin in the park. The carbon stringers in the core add hecka pop!
Everyone's doing collabs, so why not Stepchild? Upcoming is the Thirty Two/Stepchild collaboration using the Everything Sucks board. It comes in a limited colourway and Thirty Two will be putting out its Lashed boot in a matching, collab colour too!
On the women's side of things, Stepchild offers you two boards. The Harlequin, which is the entry level twin tip with soft flex, or the Moustache Rider, a narrower twin tip featuring Kicker I core (Read: smoother flexing and poppy!) for those with small feet and a slightly stiffer flex.
Thanks to Perry Pugh at OB1 Enterprises for helping me out and allowing me to take a Jib Stick out to the hill for some testing. Like I said, I loved the board. Keep your eyes peeled for all the product reviews to start falling in a matter of days.
Hit the foam pits!