Capita Green Machine Review.

Posted on Tuesday 10th May, 2011 Times Viewed: 6396
Cab Five Snowboard Shop opened for its first season this year in Newcastle upon Tyne and James, the owner, managed to get hold of Capita’s 2012 Green Machine to test out 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.
After Capita’s successful 10 year anniversary, the Seattle based company are back with arguably their best line-up yet for the 2011/12 season. Their extensive range of boards feature a number of different ‘flat kick’ cambers including a new zero camber profile on their 2012 Mid Life Zero. I managed to get hold of next years Green Machine, a board I have been meaning to try out for a couple of years now, and it comes with Capita’s Freestyle Flat Kick Camber. There’s no option for a cambered version anymore which is probably what I would have gone with previously. I have always preferred positive camber (being brought up with this technology and having got used to its benefits for so many years) and I’m always slightly sceptical when trying out any form of rocker board.

The older I get, the less time I seem to spend in the park and nowadays I tend to look for boards that can handle the whole mountain rather than the short, soft flexing park boards I would buy when I was 15. The freestyle FK camber is supposed to do it all, ‘Flat based from insert to insert provides stability at high speeds on groomed runs. Elevated contact points turn on a dime and float effortlessly while stomping in powder.’ Sounds a little too perfect and I was certainly taking the manufacturer’s description with a pinch of salt.

The board has a flex rating of 5 which is mid-soft when compared with the other boards in the Capita range - only the Stairmaster and Horrorscope being softer. Retailing at 489.99 it is Capita’s second most expensive board just behind their flagship Black Snowboard Of Death.

This is probably somewhat due to the fact that it is their most environmentally friendly board with the following tech:

Reforestation Certified Sustainable DUAL Core.

95% Recycled Beeswax Modified Sintered Speed Base.

100% Recycled Sintered ABS Sidewalls.

Special Blend EVO Tech with an optimum blend of triaxial and biaxial glass weaves.

Lay-up process requiring lower energy consumption.

Adhesion process containing less harsh chemicals than other resins.

4x20mm Basalt Load Bars.

The first thing that struck me about the board was the awesome graphics. I have always been a fan of Capita’s graphical style which often evokes a love it or hate it opinion and this is no different throughout their 2012 range. However, with the Green Machine it’s hard to imagine many people strongly disliking its look and the board certainly stands out from the crowd, although all of this is a matter of opinion and taste. The black, sintered base is fairly understated with the green RFC Sustainable Core logo towards the nose.

I tested out the 154 with the following stats:

Effective edge: 1150

Waist: 24.80

Nose/tail: 29.07

Sidecut: 7.70

Max Stance: 24

The board was tested with Union’s Contact Pro M/L bindings with a width of a little over 22 inches and stance angles of +3/-3 (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. The conditions were pretty terrible 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 was mud showing through in large patches lower down and stones everywhere! Off piste was pretty much non-existent and I only attempted one hike during the week; needless to say it wasn’t worth the effort. This was slightly disappointing as I really wanted to try this board out thoroughly across all types of terrain.

Handling

Easily the aspect that impressed me most about the Green Machine. I was expecting a fairly average ride on-piste from this board having ridden a 157, cambered, Food Court Gansta for the last couple of years with great edge hold and stability. I could not believe how well the Green Machine coped with the first runs of the day in really icy conditions. On my first morning I was first on the lift and headed straight up to the top of La Balme. Having been starved of any real snowboarding in just over a year and with a completely empty run lying ahead, I couldn’t resist pointing the board straight down and not stopping until I reached the bottom. After the first couple of turns I already had complete confidence in the board and it really did feel like I had been using it for years.

The edge hold is staggering and I have never ridden a reverse camber board that performs in such a stable and controlled manner when you need it to. No matter how fast or tight I carved on this thing it never seemed to let go unless you hit sheet ice. I expected to be using the FCG on the first few runs of each day before switching to the Green Machine when things had softened up a bit but there really was no need.

Buttering was a breeze, catch-free and the board was nice and playful when messing around on the edge of pistes. The biggest benefit of the Freestyle FK Camber was how easy it was to ride away from sketchy landings when spinning off side hits. It was certainly more forgiving than any cambered board but I felt in full control at all times regardless of speed.

Pop

More pop than any other board that I tested apart from the Bataleon Evil Twin 154 which I would say it was on a par with. Equally good off the nose and tail making nollies over rollers awesome fun and it also made spins that little bit easier off smaller hits. The board was light and easily manoeuvrable in the air and landings were catch free if slightly less stable than the FCG I’m used to. By the end of each day, you could pop chest high ollies off the massive, slush moguls with relative ease.

Flex

As I said earlier, Capita have given the Green Machine a flex rating of 5 but there are only two boards that are softer in their range. Having said this, I would describe this board as having a fairly mid flex and I’ve certainly used much softer boards. In my opinion, Capita get the torsional flex pretty much spot on for a nice balance between stability during carving and a more playful feel when you just want to mess around. Being a true twin, the board flexes evenly making switch riding as easy as possible.

Powder

The conditions weren’t good enough to test this board out in deep powder which is a shame because the indication I got from the very little powder I rode were positive. We had 20cm of snow one night and so I decided to hike over La Balme into the Combe De Bellachat. You could barely tell there had been any snowfall and the vast majority of the face was tracked out and extremely firm. Towards the bottom, through the trees there were patches of softer powder and the board seemed to float pretty easily without giving you leg burn. It was surprisingly good for such a short board and I reckon the FK camber would definitely help out in the deep stuff. Unfortunately most of the run was spent avoiding rocks and I can’t provide much more information than this.

Final Thoughts

The recycled sintered base had to stand up to a lot of abuse during the week as many runs were absolutely littered with stones. This is the only board I took off piste and it did suffer a number of nasty impacts with barely hidden rocks but the base held up reasonably well considering. There was only one gash worth noting that some p-tex would have taken care of and to be honest, some of the slopes were in such bad condition I would have only taken my old boards out.

At £489.99 the Green Machine is certainly a higher end board aimed at intermediate to advanced riders. If you are looking for a reverse camber, freestyle board that can handle all types of terrain and conditions then this could be exactly what you’re after. I have been completely won over with Capita’s FK camber and it certainly suits my riding style better than many other reverse camber boards I have tried – I ordered one for myself as soon as I got back. If you are interested in purchasing one, it may be worth speaking to a Capita retailer before next season as the board has never been stocked in large quantities in the UK.

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