Now, it’s likely that with every with every review on SOTN we should be posting some sort of transparency disclaimer. After all we want to be above the board, transparent, honest and giving a good sense of what our motivations are. This one was pretty easy in terms of motivation: awkwardness. You see Dave Tran: Monument Founder, Press and Head dude in charge is a buddy of mine. We ride all the time and I typically get endless amounts of grief for having some Burton, Lib, Gnu, Ride, Rome, Signal, Omatic or snow sliding contraption other than Monument beneath my feet. When I say endless I mean heckling that is so subtle but cutting you might as well have been shanked in prison. Nasty stuff I tell you.
The awkward point comes into play for three reasons:
1. Monument typically doesn’t make many bigger boards as in 157cm and up.
2. When there was a board for my size, and style of riding it was typically heavy.
3. I had some pretty low expectations for the boards. That’s right I was snobbing it up.
Now, over the past two years several things have happened. The first was the Monument graphics began to go through a curation that ensures a unique look and visual style running through each seasons lineup. The next was the expansion of the size range. Not a full size run in every board but closer to it than ever before. That ‘closer” is actually a quantum leap into a more diverse size run. Coming in after that on the agenda whatever factory they’ve switched to has lightend up the boards and it’s a noticeable difference. All of this doesn’t curb the preconceived notion that I thought the boards would be sloppy and loose at speed. But more on that later … OK, now I’ve been babbling so lets proceed with the review.
Location: Ski Liberty, PA
Conditions: packed powder, groomed corduroy, an inch or two of pow on the sides
Set-up: 2010 Monument Momento Mori 158, 2009 Union Force bindings (medium), 2009 Burton Ion (10)
At first glance last year the graphics seemed all too familiar. OK, where have I seen this art before. Ah yes it’s Kelsey Brookes who took part in the Vans Sky Gallery a few years back. Next up early this season the board was dropped off at my house by one of Dave’s henchmen. I picked it up and was pretty amazed at how light it was compared to previous boards. Actually, I was amazed at how light it was compared other boards in the quiver. Who knew the bamboo would lighten it up so much.
Turning, Basic Snowshralping?
Sweet jeebus this thing turns like a Lambo on rails. Granted, I had my forward lean jacked up to compensate for the anticipated conditions the Ice Coast tends to bring but on one occaision as I lost an edge due to an errant skier coming into my path the ollie to cranking to side ollie resulted in a euro carve that Peter Bauer and Jean Nerva would be proud of! that shocked the crap out fo me.
Even the straight cruising turn allowed to mellow out and float into some nice big sweeping turns, that once you pumped through went back to a sharp edge-to-edge line. I would gather out west a 160 in this deck would be about perfect but in the more than crowded hill we were on the board moved nimbly and never squirrly. No surprises were to be had which is plus in it’s own right.
Camber? Rocker? Reverse camber?
Camber and plenty of it. This is a traditional board and for the East coast rider who’s going to spend more than their share of time gouging the mountain in less than stellar conditions it provided plenty of snap coming out of each turn. The shock value on this board was pretty high. I didn’t expect it to take me out of each turn with so little effort. How the Mori held the line until I wanted to track out was solid. Thank you bamboo!
You can load up the tail on this deck for days and get a great result. After poppin’ a few small death cookies I stepped it up to the old safety fence test and sure enough up , over and away. I was pretty stoked after last years reverse camber ollie debacle.
I’m 200+ lbs. yeah, I’m a big guy. Which is pretty cool. What’s not cool is how boards tend to get loose in the goose at speed. Again, the Mori was built for charging and then includes letting it run flat. On a few occasions when the snow got weird the Morie simple let itself glide and didn’t wrap or flex in any weird way. Instead, the base was a solid snow sucker keeping it stable at top speed.
For the price (MSRP: $459) the deck is steal. This board as true twin was ripping as hard as any Lib Phoenix160 or Burton Custom X 162 and is fraction fo what those boards cost My immediate thought was relief and then I was going to have to come clean to Dave. This board was built to pop, go fast, cut tight and get all sorts of nasty with all mountain freestyle. if you ride the hill the same way a skater like John Cardiel charges a city block you’ll have fun on this deck.
The tech details:
- E.S.P. ULTRA Core
- TERRA WALLS (E.S.P.)
- BASALT TRIAX GLASS (E.S.P.)
- RUBBER FOIL DAMPENING SYSTEM
- ULTRA SPEED 4000 BASE
- FULL WRAP AROUND CARBON STEEL EDGE
- 12 STAINLESS STELL INSERTS 6X2 PATTERN
- MSRP: $459
- SIZE: 156CM, 158CM, 160CM, 163CM
Where can I find one?
Check in at MonumentSnowboards.com for more info