** No changes to this snowboard for 2017, this review was carried over from 2016
Board: 2016 Salomon Villain
Type: Freestyle/Park Twin
Camber Option: “Rockout Camber” – flat between the inserts and camber underfoot, creating an elevated camber like shape that pre-loads with your weight, with rocker on the tip and tail
Rider Weight: 155 LBS
Conditions: Well groomed packed powder, pretty standard conditions
Stance: 22” wide with +15°, -15° binding angles
Initial Thoughts: The Villain is a flexible camber dominant board and is a lot of fun on rails; the board gets really playful in the tips, which allows for tall & stylish presses with minimal effort. Overall the Villain is a good option for someone looking for a playful park board that is soft but not a complete noodle.
Carving: This board was really maneuverable and was quick edge to edge. It felt good in longer drawn out turns as well as tight turns and would even give a little spring on the way out of quick turns.
Edge Hold: This board will wash out on you if you go too hard. Its fun and you can do a lot with it before you get to that point, but if you’re laying into high speed carves things might not always go as planned.
Flex: Overall a pretty soft flex that is more stable underfoot and getting really playful in the tips, I would say right around a 2 or 3 out of 10. It has a soft torsional flex, also.
Stability: I’ve seen people go big on the Villain, but I think this board definitely sacrifices some stability in favor of playfulness and flexibility. Focusing on landing with your weight centered is critical.
Butters: One of the standouts on this board. You can lock into presses with ease and the rocker gave a nice catch-free feel while spinning and sliding around on the snow. You can really get a lot of flex in the tips with this one.
Jibbing: Another standout. It provides a catch free feel sliding sideways, its got the pop you need to get on the feature, and it can lock into a press much easier that a lot of other park boards out there. It’s also really maneuverable and can initiate rotations quickly.
Jumps: Double corks have been done on the Villain, but I think the playful tips make this more of a jib specialist. If you are landing with your weight centered you’ll be fine even on big jumps, but the tips can wash out if your weight starts leaning their way.
Pop/Snap: This one has nice pop for how playful it is; I’d say pretty average. The carbon can give you a nice boost if you load it up well.
Recommendations: If you’re looking for a playful board that is really fun on rails and can keep up in the rest of the park as well the Villain may be a good choice for you. This would be a good board for a beginner learning to ride or someone just starting out snowboarding in the park, all the way up to advanced riders.
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