Capita Defenders Of Awesome Review by Cab Five

Posted on Friday 19th October, 2012 Times Viewed: 12108
James from Cab Five Snowboard Shop got hold of the brand new Capita Defenders of Awesome board to test out last January and has written up a review for GONEboarding.
Capita are back for their 12th season this year, and with it they’ve brought an industry-first snowboard collaboration and 3 new models, one with a brand new camber profile. Volcom have had their own Volcom Stone branded snowboards for a while now, featuring in movie parts and Volcom product adverts. Many boarders around the world have been desperate to get their hands on one but this has proved impossible due to the fact that they’re only given to team riders. All that has changed this year with an industry first collaboration between Capita and Volcom resulting in the Dan Brisse Experience (DBX) snowboard. The board Features graphics by Volcom (including a Volcom Stone logo on the base!) and a very similar design to Capita’s flagship Black Snowboard Of Death with Freeride FK camber. The only major differences being the Sustainable Bamboo Dual Core on the DBX which comes in 0.5 stiffer on Capita’s scale and the fact that it’s only available in one size, a 157.


Unfortunately, the DBX wasn’t available at the La Clusaz test and neither was one of the other new models, the Scott Stevens Pro, which is based on the Ultrafear with an awesome Sleepy Stevens graphic. This brings me onto their third new board for this season. The Defenders of Awesome, named after Capita’s (awesome) DVD release last year, is a new model with a brand new true twin, hybrid camber profile which is somewhat unsurprisingly called ‘Hybrid FK’ camber. Thankfully, this board was available to try out and the conditions were much better this year for a thorough test; no dirt, grass or rocks in sight! Remind me never to wait until late March to try out any of the new gear again..

Click to view full image


It took a while to actually get a chance to ride the Defenders Of Awesome (DOA) because it always seemed to be out with someone else. To say this board was popular during the three days is an understatement! I’m not sure whether it was the striking look of the board and magenta Union Forces that partnered each other for the majority of the test, or whether it was the constant suggestions you’d overhear that this was a standout performer whenever you got close to the Capita stand, but this board was definitely hard to get hold of! I finally got my chance as a buyer for another UK retailer brought the board back with a grin from ear to ear. After all of the waiting I was really hoping this board wouldn’t disappoint. Before going into any details on how the DOA rides, I’ll just take a look into the specs and what Capita themselves have to say about the new model.


Capita give this board a flex rating of 5 which is pretty middle of the road, not too soft and not too stiff. The board comes with their SS Select Core which is tip to tail poplar wood and one of only 2 of Capita’s cores that aren’t RFC sustainable, probably the reason they have managed to keep the board at the price it is (£369.99). They’ve also thrown in 2x10mm Carbon Kevlar Beams that run from contact point to contact point, either side of the inserts. These, along with the zero degree and 90 degree biaxial fibreglass that’s placed either side of the SS Select Core give you a ton of pop along with easy turn initiation. The main feature of the DOA however is the brand new Hybrid FK Camber profile which attempts to combine the best of camber and rocker technology, and this is what really makes the board stand out. The centre portion of the board is traditional camber which extends just past the inserts before turning into a zero camber, flat section either side. You then get a few mm of reverse camber right at the tip and tail just lifting up the contact points for that forgiving, catch-free ride.
In my opinion, this is the most intuitive way to combine camber and rocker, and I think it definitely gives significantly better results. Having rocker in the middle and camber under foot just seems to give you the worst aspects of each profile in my opinion. You have a ride that’s pretty unstable at high speeds, lacks snap and power through your turns and contact points are raised imprecisely from the centre of the board. When you put camber in the centre, you keep all of the pop, edge hold and high speed stability while lifting the nose and tail right where it’s needed. Anyway, I guess it all comes down to personal preference and the fact that I really like camber probably sways my opinion slightly.

For anyone who’s interested, here is a list of all of the board’s specs taken straight from the catalogue:

· True Twin Shape
· SS Select Core
· Form 6-K Fibreglass Construction
· 2 x 20mm Carbon Kevlar Beams
· HMC Extruded Base
· Sublimation + Silkscreened + Die Cut Base
· PLT Topsheet Technology
· Direct Digital + Silkscreened Topsheet
· 360 Degree Steel Edges
· Aluminium Logo Base Inlay

I tried out the 156 and here are the stats for that specific size:

· Effective Edge: 1240
· Waist Width: 25.20
· Nose/Tail Width: 29.77
· Sidecut: 8.00
· Max Stance: 25

As I mentioned earlier, I tried this board out with a pair M/L Union Forces and a stance width of 22.5 inches with angles of +6/-6. The conditions were pretty good while being very cold. Pistes were slightly on the icy side in the morning and whilst there was no fresh powder during the test, you could find it if you hiked.

Handling
From the minute I strapped the DOA on it felt really natural, despite primarily riding a 154 for the last number of years. By the time I’d got my hands on the board it was mid afternoon and the pistes were starting to get pretty chopped up and full of moguls which allowed me to test how playful the board was. It was so easy to throw about and cut sharply between all of the moguls and the board seemed extremely agile, even for a slightly longer length than I'm used to; it really reminded me of Capita’s other FK cambers. This was great news but it left me wondering how much difference I would notice on a freshly groomed piste with the camber section between my feet.

Click to view full image

I had a couple of quick laps through the park despite being no expert. Off larger kickers it was stable on the approach and in particular when landing. With some rocker boards I’ve tried, the landings can be pretty sketchy and whilst the DOA might not be quite as forgiving when coming up short on a spin, it’s certainly nicer when landing a perfectly executed jump. I don’t ride rails but I had a quick go on some simple boxes, what can I say, it boardslides fine and I didn’t catch my edge. Again, the few mm of reverse camber at either end will help out here. Not really my area of riding to give you much more of an in depth review though to be honest.

I decided to head out for a quick ride in some powder before returning the board and picking it up again first thing in the morning so I could really push it on hard pack. Luckily, I already know the La Clusaz resort pretty well which comes in handy when you want to find some untracked powder. I took the L’Aiguille lift and hiked a few minutes until I found an area of powder that hadn’t been used all that much. I’m sure the extra 2cm helped out a little but this board floats just as well as many rocker boards I’ve tried and the few mm of reverse camber right at the tip and tail really helps to keep the nose above the surface. Turns are effortless and you get that surf-like feeling as you glide down spraying rooster tails. Leg burn isn’t a problem because the board floats perfectly well without having to lean back on your rear leg until you’re travelling slower than you should be anyway in powder. As the light was drawing in I took the board back to the test area and called it a day.

The next morning I was down at the Capita stand as everything was still being put up and snapped up the DOA for a second ride. I really wanted to get this thing on the first chair and give it an hour on some hard, icy groomers. The board performed better than I expected given how easy it was to mess around on the day before. It pretty much feels like a cambered deck when you’re charging hard and this is no doubt down to the camber extending slightly past the inserts. Edge hold is exceptional and you get more power exiting turns than you’d expect which is exactly what I had hoped for. Turn initiation is really easy and smooth whilst giving you loads of precision through your carves. The board can handle everything you throw at it without feeling overly aggressive when you just want to take it easy. After a few high speed runs I took the board back for someone else to try out, satisfied that I’d put it through its paces on every type of terrain. That didn’t stop me coming back on the last day and taking it out for another quick session though!

Pop and Flex
As much pop as you would expect from a board that has a cambered section between your feet. The camber obviously isn’t quite as extreme as a fully cambered board but the 2 x 20mm Carbon Kevlar Beams definitely help make the board feel lively and it has a nice snap to it when you ollie. Popping off the moguls on the first day was a lot of fun; you could get a ton of height and the landing was always super stable. There’s not all that much more you can say about pop but this board definitely has plenty of it to keep you happy.

Like I said earlier, Capita give the board a flex rating of 5 which is right in the middle although the vast majority of Capita boards tend to be 5 or above. Only the Stairmaster and Horrorscope are lower than this. That said, the board certainly felt fairly mid-flexing and is probably least suited to jibbing and butters, although no slouch by any means. For everything else, this board strikes a really nice balance making it suitable for almost any style or terrain. You can still mess around at slower speeds on little side hits, but the torsional flex is perfect for initiating and handling high speed carves and the board is stiff enough to provide you with a stable base when straight lining. I really think the 2 x 20mm Carbon kevlar Beams help out in this regard as well as reducing vibrations and overall unwanted chatter too.

Final Thoughts
The DOA is an amazing board and absolutely perfect for people who don’t want/can’t afford a range of boards for every type of terrain; it is a true, one board quiver. The thing that struck me most was how ‘at home’ the board felt in different situations. Most all-mountain freestyle boards are fairly good at coping with whatever you feel like riding at any particular time, but the DOA somehow feels as though it was made specifically for whatever you’re riding at any particular time. In the park it was poppy, stable and really easy to manoeuvre and throw about. On piste it handles like a lively, traditional cambered board with tons of edge hold, power and precision through your turns. You can also take this deck in powder without stepping up the board size significantly and you will still float with ease. I never once caught my edge or even felt like I came close, but this didn’t come at a compromise to another area of the board’s ability and this is the way it should be!

Overall, I enjoyed this board so much that I ordered one for myself (with the magenta Union Forces!) in the 156 I tested, despite having no plans to add yet another board to my collection this year. I have a separate board for park, piste and powder but I couldn’t resist this board that can do all of the above, almost as well, for those days when you just don’t know what you’re going to ride. Anyone looking for an all-mountain board that’s not going to let you down in any area should seriously consider one of these in my opinion. The hybrid camber profile that utilises camber in the centre and a reverse tip and tail is definitely the way forward in my opinion and I reckon this the direction a lot of brands will start taking. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Capita use this on more of their models next year.

You can find loads of Capita boards including the brand new Defenders Of Awesome at Cab Five using this
link
.

Don’t forget that Scott Stevens, Jess Kimura and the entire UK Capita team will be visiting Cab Five on November 5th at 12pm for signings, photos and more. Anyone who turns up even has the chance to win a free signed Defenders Of Awesome 156 snowboard!!!

And if you have any questions or need some help deciding what board to get, contact the sales team here
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