*** This article was originally posted ont the now defunct ActionXSportsNews.com which was run by a WICed Fest member. The article has been slightly modified to fit within the WICed Fest site. ***
The WICed Fest crew was able to demo a Blak Sheep Gnarly State Park Stik (GSPS) during a 2011 trip to Burke Mountain in Vermont. According to Blak Sheep, these boards are “designed to meet the demands of todays jumps and rails…these boards are capable of anything the Ice Coast can throw at them. A perfect ‘Daily Driver’ for freestyle and general ripping.” What we found was a board that actually lived up to the hype. Now, in an effort of full disclosure, Doug Smith (one of the co-owners of Blak Sheep) is a friend of the WICed Fest and frequently attends our annual snowboard trips. That fact notwithstanding, here’s what we thought about this relatively new company’s latest offering.
Length: 159 Wide
Camber Option: Micrognarockamber
Bindings: Burton Mission
Stance: varied by rider
Angles: varied by rider
Boots: Vans Encore Boa (size 10 & 10.5)
Test Riders’ Weights: 215lbs & 250lbs
Test Riders & Conditions
The GSPS 159W was ridden by two different riders over the course of three days. The first rider was a 215lb advanced rider who rides goofy. His riding style can be described as aggressive with large elements of park riding. The second rider was a 250lbs advanced rider who has a regular stance. His riding style can be described as more all-mountain with little to no park riding.
The board was ridden during a trip to Burke where conditions were excellent with fresh powder and groomed corduroy trails during the entire test period.
Doug had been hyping up his boards over the last year or so to us. For the most part, we brushed it off as a buddy being proud of his creation. Having seen the first prototypes that came out of Blak Sheep, we really didn’t believe these boards would live up to the hype. But, when Doug showed up with the GSPS 159W at Burke, we thought we might be wrong. Our initial skepticism was proven incorrect once we got the board out onto the snow.
This board did everything we wanted it to. It was fast, responsive and had great pop. Stability was never an issue – neither of us felt any vibration or chatter when charging the mountain. The real real feature on this board that stuck out was the pop on this board. It was great, especially considering the size of the board and the size of the riders. Any feature – jumps, rollers or even edge to edge – were noticeable and a great find. Another feature that we really enjoyed was the ability to really turn this board on blazing down the trail. The Micrognarockamber really locked the board into the mountain and made everyone feel confident that they wouldn’t blow an edge even at high speed. For those of you wondering, Blak Sheep describes Micrognarockamber as:
A pinch of curved (not notched) reverse-camber between your feet, with a very subtle amount of camber from the bindings out. This board rides flat, but when you want to press or butter, the tips come up no problem, when you need to ollie you can still ollie with the pinch of camber and the added pop of bamboo and our custom epoxy. The board still carves hard, and holds a line, because Micrognarockamber is very subtle, and will not upset your edge hold anywhere. The flex properties of a rockered board, the edge hold and ollie power of a cambered board, do we need to say anymore? Everyone else has been overthinking the process.
This board gives the 6-foot plus, 200-lb plus rider a great option for a shorter, park-style board that performs terrificly everywhere on the mountain. It’s also nice to see a small American company produce a high quality product. And all this from a first year company? Looks like there’s good things in store down the road! Give Doug and Dave a call and get yourself hooked up!
Blak Sheep Contact Information
Shoot us an email – [email protected] – for email and phone contact information for Blak Sheep!