Echelon Snowboards is a relatively new company that’s got their own unique take on board technology in their “effective edge elevation”. Without going full board-geek on you, the base is slightly beveled, raising the edges just slightly to prevent hangups and edge catching whether messing around on the piste or hitting park features.
The Rounds is a true reverse-camber freestyle deck and it’s the first board from Echelon that I’ve had a chance to ride.
Board: Echelon AH-2B Rounds 154cm
Shape: True reverse camber, 3d-lite base
Bindings: NOW IPO
Stats: Dave 6′ 210 lbs stance at ~23″ regs, 15/-15
Conditions: Assorted dirt piles in Michigan
Flex: You’ll get most play out of this board’s nose & tail, balanced out by being more like a medium-soft through the center. Definitely a softer, park oriented snowboard, but not so soft that it’s useless on jumps. Even coming down a bit tail-heavy where some softer boards tend to fold under you, this one felt pretty good on small jumps and natural hits. Sending it on the smaller jumps in to pow was no big deal, and I think this board should be comfortable up to about 30′ jumps.
Handling: Torsionally this deck is pretty responsive and snappy, transitioning edge-to-edge with ease. No problem navigating the terrain park, quick short-radius turns come easily, but with the softer flex pattern it’s not really ideal for laying huge trenches on groomers. Pretty lively, you can feel the corduroy underneath you on this board and you’re going to shmear or skid some turns but that’s just the nature of a reverse camber freestyle board.
Ollie/Pop: I can send it over shrubs and junk pretty effortlessly, no complaints about this board’s ability to get you up and on to park features.
Jibs/Playfulness: Pretty playful what can I say? It’s a true reverse camber with a elevated edges (the 3d-lite is a 0.5mm bevel). The result is a board that rides pretty loose and buttery when you want it to but can still set an edge when you need it to. If you can’t have fun buttering and going sideways on jibs with this board, then you’re probably not alive.
Pricing: At $360, this board will not break the bank!
Overall: I didn’t want to stop riding this board. Although I’m not a park rat by any stretch, everyone should have at least one deck in their quiver that’s this fun to jib, press and butter about on. If you’re looking for a stable ride that’s going to handle big/all-mountain freestyle this probably isn’t the board for you, but if you’re spending most of your time on jibs and rails in the terrain park, the Echelon Rounds would be a great choice.
Disclosure: Echelon provided this snowboard for review and yes, Echelon advertises with us. But if the board was a turd, I’d have no problem saying so. They don’t have anything to gain from circle-jerk “reviews”, and I don’t have anything to gain by sacrificing my reputation as an impartial reviewer.