Venture Zephyr Snowboard Review
I was excited to get on the Venture Zephyr Snowboard as soon as humanly possible, the first thing I noticed was the stability of this board, and it never washed out once. I lived in southwest Colorado for ten years and went to the Silverton Avalanche School, years before Silverton put a lift in. I used to hike on Red Mountain and Coal Bank pass in Venture Snowboards country.
I have several friends from Durango, Silverton and Telluride that raved about Venture and I knew I needed to get on one of their decks. Also being a Colorado native, nothing makes me happier than riding a board made here. So needless to say the Venture Zephyr passed that out of the box test, with flying colors. When I received a shipment from Venture Snowboards I was excited to open the box, a Venture Zephyr and a Venture Helix were waiting inside. I did not know which one I wanted to ride first. I sent the Helix to Crested Butte for Brady Snow to ride (see Venture Storm review here).
The Zephyr is a directional board with rocker in the tip and tail, with a flat profile under foot. The board has a twinish look, without actually being a twin tip. The Rocker shape is designed to allow the rider to float through the snow, and also allow for precision turning. Venture also makes splitboard models, for those who are interested in skiing uphill but snowboarding down. The Zephyr is tapered and makes riding powder a real treat.
The Board is solid and probably weighs more than those made outside of the country, but it floats like a feather in the powder and is bomb proof. I ran across a few buried rocks and stumps in the snow and though I might have gouged the bottom of the board. To my surprise the Zephyr was unscathed, I have a good 40 plus days on this board and it has minimal wear, hats off to Venture for building a board this strong.The splitboards are heavier than the standard snowboards due to the devices used to hold the boards together and mount the splitboard bindings.
Venture rates the Zephyr at a 7 out of 11 on their flex meter while most companies ratings go to 10, Venture goes to 11, Nigel Toughnell would be proud.The stiffness of the board allows it to be so damn stable; it is really unlike any other board I have ridden. The stability factor is key and you know it will be faithful in all conditions; this is what you look for in an all mountain board. The Zephyr still has enough flex to pop ollies, do nose rolls and flexes when landing big jumps but still has the superior stability for the big mountain riding it was designed for. It lays down deep carves and laughs at ice and hard pack.
The Zephyr turns with precision and ease, it handles trees like a dream and cuts through powder allowing you to charge past your friends. It makes quick turns when needed but handles big Cadillac style turns in it’s sleep. This board was made to handle it all; it covers the whole mountain and all types of snow conditions. It chops through crud and turns with a steady deep fluidity. The quadratic side cut makes turning on a dime as simple as pie.
This is the most stable board I have ever ridden and I have been snowboarding since 1988. Once you learn how to ride the Rocker and not let it ride you, you will be amazed at the control this board has. It is easy to control in all snow conditions, sure anything is easy in light powder, but this board it solid everyday no matter what the weather has thrown at you. Luckily lots of powder this winter, but not everyday, it’s the days that are not average that will make you love your Venture even more. Stable edge-to-edge turns at high speed is what the Zephyr was designed for.
The board is not as flexible as some of the others I have ridden this winter, but it still ollies well. It is great for big jumps and cliff drops, and it handles well in the park. Mad style points to anyone jibbing the park on a Venture, then slaying past the park kids on the knee deep days. The stiffness gives the board some spring, but this board was designed to be stable and it is. But don’t be confused this board has pop, the stability factor is key to stomp those big landings.
The Zephyr rides switch with ease and due to it superior stability it handles just as well when riding switch as it does when riding forward. The tail does not have as prominent of a lift as the nose so, switch in powder is possible and is easy to land but prolonged switch riding in powder will cause the tail to eventually submarine, but the rocker profile in both tip and tail will keep it afloat longer than most.
Venture does not make men or woman specific boards, but makes boards that are the best designed for the weight, height and foot size of the rider. Therefore they make different length boards with in that concept. Sizes are: 146, 150, 154(24 cm Waist) 155, 159, 163 (25 cm Waist) 160, 164, 168 (26 cm Waist) 165, 169 (27 cm Waist) 159 used for testing
Venture uses sustainable harvested woods, their factory has been wind powdered since 2004, longer than some have been snowboarding for. They are committed to conservation and they use recycled materials and low impact materials as well. They live in the mountains they ride and live in harmony with nature and try to produce products that fit into this lifestyle. I think Venture deserves credit for this and as someone who loves the mountains, I respect that Venture runs their business in this manner.
If I could describe this board in one word it would be stable. This board is hands down in the top 5 boards I have ever ridden and is the best big mountain board I have ever been on. But it is much more than a big mountain board, which makes it such a great ride. This board is great on any part of the mountain and a dream in the powder, it was a real treat to ride. The board is well built and is bomber, it has a 2-year warranty and Venture is the official snowboard of Silverton Mountain. That is a pretty big deal if you have ever ridden Silverton or know the terrain in the San Juan Mountains. I have received several compliments on the graphics and one woman told me that it made her want to quit skiing and start snowboarding because she thought it looked so cool. Due to the stable nature of this board it allowed me to ride with confidence, knowing that is wasn’t going to wash out or break. I can ride harder, faster and jump bigger when I am on the Venture Zephyr because it is so stable; this is my favorite feature of this board. This board was amazing in the Back Bowls at Vail and on powder days it floats like a dream, allowing me to charge through the snow and lap my favorite runs. Next time you are in Silverton look into riding one of their boards to find out for yourself.
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