Bataleon’s 2012 Evil Twin review by Cab Five Snowboard Shop!

Posted on Tuesday 30th August, 2011 Times Viewed: 11548
Cab Five Snowboard Shop is about to start its second season in Newcastle upon Tyne and James, the owner, managed to get hold of Bataleon’s 2012 Evil Twin to test out last spring and has written up a review for GONEboarding.

You can receive 10% off all purchases through Cab Five using the discount code ‘CAB11GBMD’ at the checkout.
Bataleon are renowned for the Triple Base Technology that gives their boards a unique feel that many boarders now swear by. I managed to get hold of the 2012 Evil Twin earlier this year and got to try it out for myself. As I mentioned in the Capita Green Machine review a few months back, I was brought up on cambered boards and this is what I have always bought in the past. I’ve heard so many good things about Bataleon and their TBT that I had to test it out and see what all the fuss is about. It’s a brand that I’ve been interested in for quite a while now and after testing the Evil Twin, I’m extremely happy to be able to stock their boards in my shop as brand selection is something I take really seriously. I only buy into the stuff that I can really get excited about myself.

I’ve followed the technology of reverse camber since its inception and never been a massive fan. Bataleon offer something different and in many ways, I was expecting the board to be the perfect match for me. I wanted a twin freestyle board that would be able to cope well outside the park and the Evil Twin, their flagship model, seemed like the ideal choice for my first foray into TBT. You get to keep the traditional camber shape (which is great for carving and pop retention that reverse camber struggles to produce) while enjoying the benefits of a less catchy, more forgiving ride that you can chuck around without worrying about the consequences. The Triple Base Tech has also been refined for the 2011/12 season, most noticeably extending all the way through to the tip and tail instead of ending shortly after the contact points. To say my expectations were high is an understatement; this board had a lot to live up to.

The board has a flex rating of 6-7-6 from tip to tail (with 1 being a plank of wood and 10 being a complete noodle) which is a fairly mid-flex when compared with the rest of Bataleon’s range. Bearing in mind I’ve never tested a different Bataleon model for comparison, I would say that this seems about right. The board itself is pretty well featured with the following spec:

Twin TBT profile.
Sintered Base.
Poplar wood core with hardwood enforcements along the insert rows.
Tri-ax Laminate under and over the core.
Bataleon’s Lightning Edges for better precision.
The graphics are unmistakably Bataleon and more colourful than last year’s but still pretty clean looking and simple in design. The base isn’t too dissimilar to the topsheet featuring the classic logo pointing in from the tip and tail in the colour scheme of whichever size you choose.
I tested out the 154 with the following stats:
Contact Length: 1160
Waist: 25.10
Nose/tail: 29.10
Sidecut: 7.90

Click to view full imageClick to view full image

The board was tested with my 2009/10 Union Data M/L bindings with a width of a little under 23 inches and stance angles of +6/-6 (goofy). I’m 5ft 10 and weigh approx 73kg. My boots are 2006 Burton Freestyles and I was riding in La Clusaz from 8th - 16th March. As I mentioned in the previous review, the conditions weren’t good for the time of year with icy, hard pack in the morning turning to slush almost instantaneously at midday. Towards the end of the week there were large muddy patches showing through and stones all over the slopes! Unfortunately, riding ‘powder’ with the Evil Twin consisted of 5cm of fresh snow one morning on the very top run which lasted all of 30 minutes. Not good..

Handling
This is where I expected the Evil Twin and Bataleon’s TBT to really shine. I had already been boarding for a day or two before trying out the Evil Twin, so I was fully confident first thing despite the icy conditions. My first few runs down were pretty uneventful and everything behaved the way I thought it ought to. The board was really nice to carve on and held its edge well which is very important to me as I tend to spend quite a bit of time charging the pistes when I go abroad. After a few early morning runs to warm up I started to ride a little harder and straight lined a couple of sections on my way down. This is where I first experienced the feeling of the Triple Base take effect and it threw me off guard a little. When riding on a completely flat base using no edge whatsoever, I could start to feel a little lateral movement and the board was starting to get a bit twitchy under foot. To be honest this was a bit unnerving as it came on pretty suddenly while travelling at high speed.

After experiencing this a couple of times, I was a little worried that the board might not be all I had hoped for when riding outside of the park, but by the end of the week, I didn’t even notice it. The TBT is definitely something you need to give a little time to get used to and don’t be put off if everything feels a bit foreign to begin with. I didn’t even have to consciously alter my riding at all, and within an afternoon, I had adapted to the technology and was riding like I had used the board for years, even when straight lining on a flat base! Over the course of a week, I would say that the benefits of the TBT are well worth the small learning curve and short time it takes to adjust.
In the park and when messing around, the Triple Base works just how I thought/hoped it would. It’s really forgiving and I didn’t come close to catching an edge all week in some pretty horrible snow conditions. Landing spins is made easier and rails (something I very rarely ride) are like second nature. The best bit of all is that you get these benefits on a traditional camber shape with unbelievable pop and edge hold when you just want to ride hard. It really does provide the best of both worlds.

Pop
For me to be surprised at the pop of a cambered board that I already have high expectations for is pretty impressive. Ollies from a completely flat piste are absolutely effortless and the board really seems to channel your power through the core. You can get some really decent height with relatively minimal effort and that’s before you take it off lips, rollers and kickers. Great off the nose as well due to its true twin shape.

Flex
The flex of 6-8-6 on Bataleon’s scale means that it is marginally stiffer in the tip and tail which I guess adds to the board’s snappy, lively feel. While I was away, I used this board a lot outside of the park and it felt stiff enough to be responsive and powerful through turns. Since returning to the UK I’ve used it at Cas on rails where I initially wondered if it may be a little stiff, but that hasn’t been a problem whatsoever. (I should point out again that I‘m certainly no expert when it comes to riding rails though!)

Powder
I would love to give a detailed view on how well the Evil Twin coped in powder, but I would be making it all up. What I can say, is that the 300 meter length of 5cm fresh snow we experienced one morning was both oddly exciting and quite depressing at the same time. Oh, and the Bataleon coped fine

Final Thoughts
After my initial day of getting to grips with riding a completely different technology, the Bataleon lived up to all of my expectations and a little bit more. I had heard a couple of bad things about the sintered bases on Bataleons but I had no such trouble with the Evil Twin. The board was as fast as any of the others I used in less than ideal snow conditions and although it didn’t take quite the same beating that the Green Machine took, it came through the week looking pretty much completely unscathed and only in need of a wax.

At £369.99 the Evil Twin is Bataleon’s flagship, best selling board and with good reason. The board is great in the park, providing a staggering amount of pop and a really forgiving platform to land on. Take it outside of the park and you have a board that is much more than competent; it gives you lots of power through turns and really good edge hold while keeping a loose enough feeling at slower speeds so that you can really throw it about when you just want to have fun. I ended up buying the test model off Bataleon and I’m currently using it when I travel down to Cas. The boards are already selling just two days after arriving in store!

Check out the Capita Green Machine review James also did for us here

Cab Fives website and facebook page
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