Picture this: It’s a perfect day, the sun is out, and a light breeze scrapes a layer of snow from the tall trees lining the slopes. You strap into your bindings and begin making your way down the hill. You carve into and float upon the hard packed snow, and then you hit it. A patch of ice sends your board into a panic and just like that, you’re thrown off your feet. The unforgiving sheet of ice claims another victim and dishes out a few more bruises.
When I first started snowboarding, I rode an old, stiff Rossignol board that had rusted edges and a scratched base. My bindings were weak and clinging to life with whatever they had left. As you could imagine, riding a board in that condition wasn’t very enticing, and I collected a lot of bruises.
After riding the best and worst snowboards, I can guarantee that the Bataleon “Whatever” is one of the smoothest and most reliable rides you’ll ever feel. As a true all-purpose board. It dominates every trick and hill. Moving from my old board, riding the Whatever was a breath of fresh air and a completely new experience for me. I ride with more confidence and skill more than I ever have.
Bataleon really went all out to make this board the best. It’s right there in the name: it does whatever you want it to do. Not only does the Whatever do well in the best and worst conditions, but it also flourishes in the terrain park where riders face a greater challenge of controlling not only their board but also their body. The board thrives in the softest of snow and glides effortlessly on the surface with little to no drag, while my old board would sink because of its immense weight. The sidekick tips (meaning the raised edges of the board and tail) make for a very smooth and easy transition into turning or even simply gliding. But my favourite part about this board is the quality of your ride even on the worst of days. Some boards flex and struggle to carve through the ice, and for those dreaded icy slopes that seem to punish you every chance they get, you need something that holds its edge and keeps you on your feet with relative ease. The Whatever is built with a camber shape, meaning a lot of pressure is put on the nose and tail of the board. With the lifted contact points that the Whatever has, bombing hills and riding with aggressive turns has never been easier. Because less of the board is making contact with the snow, you can go much faster with less resistance and friction.
From tail to nose, I have yet to find a flaw in the making of the Whatever, though I’ve noticed that with the sidekick tips and 3D-like profile, waxing is a little more challenging and time consuming. Still, I don’t mind spending a little more time maintaining and cleaning a board that gives me a great performance every time I ride.
The Whatever is a perfectly manufactured piece of equipment, but like any other purchase sometimes accessories make all the difference. Unlike many other snowboards, the top of the base is matt which offers less grip compared to a base with laminate which grabs onto your boot a bit better. Though this can be remedied with the addition of a board stomp–a grip that you can glue to the top of your snowboard to keep your free foot from sliding around when you are skating outside of the bindings. A board stomp is a great buy regardless of the snowboard you use. A board stomp is. While you’re skating (using one foot to push yourself forward) a board stomp makes it very easy to glide downhill with only one foot strapped in. Even just moving forward towards the chairlift, a stomp pad could help you control your board and direct it as you wish. Not only do board stomps help your foot stay planted, but they also look cool and add texture to your board. Crab Grab, a snowboard accessory and apparel company, carries board stomps of their own that look funky and provide the grip and stability that you are looking for.
Overall, after using Bataleon’s 2017 board, I would definitely be willing to stick with the brand and ride some of their newer products. It’s cool, it’s funky, and it tears through all terrain like an untamed beast. But you know, whatever.
Buttered up Boards is a Snowboarding column, written by King Mad and Simon Snow. Have any questions or comments? Ask King Mad and Simon Snow by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your questions or comments may be used in future columns but your identity will always be kept confidential.