Gear Review: Salomon Gypsy 2018
I’ve ridden the Salomon Gypsy for well over a year now and ridden mostly between four months in Whistler, BC and two in Big White. It was a decent season for snow and rode in lots of conditions from damp West Coast chowder to dry champagne powder and everything in between. Here’s what I had to say about it…
The Gypsy is a park-specific board given it’s true twin shape. This board earned Jenny Jones her Bronze in Sochi back in 2014, but don’t be fooled that you have to hang out in the park all day to be able to own it. It’s a board that can be taken everywhere and boasts great pop to make the mountain a playground. Snappy, playful, charging and balls out fun in my opinion.
Salomon tend to boast a great deal of tech in their boards with a fairly modest price point. This is designed for the low-intermediate through to the advanced rider, playful enough to pop butter and jib, but can for sure hold up a decent carve on the groomer.
True twin, centred stance and twin flex (same flex in the nose and tail) It’s intentions are freestyle. It utilises Salomon’s ‘Rock Out Camber’ Profile, starting with rocker in the nose and tail to a camber ‘lift’ just outside the bindings to a flat between the feet. Predominately a camber board but designed to be less catchy than full traditional camber. The Quadrilizer sidecut is four straight sections shaped into the arc. It offers more sidecut length, so increasing edge hold and bite (think Lib Tech’s Magne Traction) It’s slightly wider on the width than most boards of this size and sort making it quite the stable platform.
It sits as a mid-flexing board, however I would say it was slightly shy of the mid-flexing label. Carbon stringers can be seen through the top sheet, giving the board the ‘snap’ and ‘pop’. Stringers tend to transfer energy from the bindings through the board faster, making the board more responsive. Responsiveness can sometimes lack in the softer boards but not for the Gypsy. Rubber dampener pads are visible on the sidewall under the bindings helping to neutralise vibrations on choppy terrain or making landing on two feet smoother.
I’m 168cm and weigh 68kg and rode a 151cm. I rode it with Burton Escapade Bindings and Salomon Moxie boots.
How it rides
On the groomers…
The first thing to mention about the Gypsy is how snappy it is. When you get to a moderate speed you can definitely feel a spring in and out of turns if you are riding it on an edge. This board can carve! The sidecut gives sufficient bite for carving and the camber-like profile helps with this. At slower speeds, the softer flex makes it manoeuvrable and forgiving for sliding turns.
On the bumps…
The Gypsy handled the bumps well and was fun to ride. The flex allowed the board to absorb and felt pretty responsive to turn in between the bumps. It’s very confidence inspiring if you are just getting into riding uneven terrain. However, when the bumps get icier and you want to charge it a bit more, the flex can work against you in getting that stability and edge purchase. Works well, but not so much at higher speeds.
In the powder…
This board isn’t designed for powder. It will handle powder in the resort boundaries that’s not too deep. Although, the rocker in the nose and tail and a slightly wider waist width will aid floatation, let’s say I’d be dubious to take it on a backcountry adventure. Nothing to say you can’t setback the bindings if your stance width allows.
Through the park..
The main boasting point of this board is the pop and spring you get if you like to jump or intend to jump. For me, ollies became more consistent and strong with time spent on this board. The rocker nose and tail allows you to shift your weight back easily and the carbon stringers and camber profile together help to give it that spring. With this, it was really pleasant to butter and felt strong progression in this area. A great stick for the beginner jibber to the seasoned parkie. In hindsight, a 147cm would be easier to ride in the park for me, but would feel I would of compromised on the all-mountain stability.
What we love about the Gypsy…
Pop, snap, fun, butter-ability. It opens up the whole mountain as a playground and reminds us we don’t have to charge everywhere. It’s progressional for all levels of rider.
What we dislike about the Gypsy…
Not a charger or a powder boat, but that’s something I do not expect from this board. At higher speeds it can feel quite ‘washy’.
The Gypsy is made for…
If you ride happily all over the mountain but enjoy playful side hits, this will be a good option for you. Great pop and confidence inspiring from the low-intermediate to the pro.
I bought my Salomon Gypsy from Comor Sports in Whistler, BC
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