Shaped specifically to shred the deepest pow you can find, the 2012 Ride Highlife UL snowboard is an all-mountain hybrid that is also said to be great for packed snow and groomers. You may be familiar with the “Highlife” model from last year’s Ride lineup, but for 2012 they’ve Incorporated their UL (ultra lite) wood core, which is super light, extremely strong, and surprisingly flexible! Several of you asked about this board and we listened! Now we’re here to tell you what it’s all about it…
A few weeks back we got our mitts on a demo Highlife UL board from Ride. Minutes later we slapped on a pair of bindings and were ready to hit the slopes. Only one problem… We had NO snow! Well, the resorts were all making snow, but we didn’t want any of that crap! Honestly, this winter has been odd to say the least, but we decided to set out on a review session for the 13th – 15th of January and pray to the snow gods. As luck would have it our weekend of testing and reviewing was blessed with a little more than 6 inches of the good stuff!
- MemBrain urethane-infused textile topsheet drops weight in half without sacrificing durability.
- 90A urethane Slimewalls absorb edge impacts to subvert blowouts.
- Pop Rods 3.0 provide the pop you crave without to much stiffness.
- Carbon Array 5 in binding zone improves edge-to-edge reaction speed.
- Silencer 5 technology reduces vibration and chatter at high speed.
Design: (9 out of 10) This board is the best of both worlds if you ask us, meaning it’s super versatile. You can float through deep powder in the back country one second and jump back to the resort and have no problems carving up the groomed slopes. Most boards are designed to do one or the other very well, not both. The Highlife UL does both quite well.
Powder: (9 out of 10) In mother nature’s fluffy white pastures is where the Highlife UL truly shines. It’s got a 3mm lifted nose which keeps you cruising atop the powder instead of sinking down. Riding this board through powder is a dream.
Groomers: (8 out of 10) While we feel that this board is exceptional for powder, we don’t discount the fact that it also handles quite well on packed snow, ice, and groomers. The edges really bite! If you’re looking for a board purely to use on groomed slopes there are better choices, but if you’re in between powder and the resort often, it’s second to none.
Flex: (8 out of 10) When Ride gave the Highlife a UL makeover they also made the board slightly more flexible, which we loved. It’s not the super springy, but it feels nice and makes for softer landings and epic tail rides!
Durability: (9.5 out of 10) It’s all about the Slimewalls! Rides 90A urethane Slmewalls absorb nasty impacts small and large. Oh, and did we mention Slimewalls are virtually indestructible and are currently the most durable sidewalls in snowboarding… Yeah, it’s a beast!
Value: (9 out of 10) For what this board is capable of you’d typically need two separate boards, making the Highlife well worth is’t retail price. And if you can’t spring the half grand price tag this year, hold out till next year and pick it up in the bargain bin at your local ski shop!
The Bottom Line: If you’re the kind of rider who can’t decide where you’re going on the mountain from one moment to the next we highly recommend the 2012 Ride Highlife UL snowboard. It’s a hybrid that truly is a hybrid. It’ll take you anywhere you want to go with out having to work for it. Do yourself a favor and check out the board in person for yourself at your local ski shop or sporting goods store and see what all the fuss is about.
Available Sizes: 155, 158, 161, 164, 167
Impressed with the Highlife UL? Check out the embedded video below to see Ride’s all-mountain hybrid in action along with a cameo from Jake Blauvelt as he explains what makes this design work so well…