Best Rocker, Reverse Camber Board for 2010
The main problem with Rocker/Reverse camber is that you sacrifice effective edge, which in turns limits your ability to carve. The best way to describe it is that you feel like your effective edge is only as long as your stance is wide.
Why is that bad? When you go to initiate a turn you need to shift your weight forward to flatten out the nose of your board to get the contact point down and initiate the turn. While you're in the turn, when you shift your weight to hold the turn or to start to exit the turn the nose of the board tends to come up, giving you that washy/unstable feeling.
Another problem is the lack of pop in the nose and tail, you simply cannot ollie like you are used to. You have to focus the energy just being your binding to generate enough force to spring, even with that you still don't get the same amount of pop. People give me shit about this saying that it's like doing it on a skateboard and it's not a big deal, but I'm a really bad skater and I'm not looking to get that kind of feel when I ride.
Saying that, Ride has some solid contributions to the technology for 2010. What Ride has done for years that other companies are just starting to jump on with is Carbon Array. Having the carbon run from the binding inserts out to the contact points, but no carbon running tip to tail causing the entire board to stiffen up. What this does for rocker is it keeps the board flat during turns and as you shift your weight to hold the turn or exit the turn the nose doesn't come up and cause a washing unstable feeling. The new Radial Blendz sidecut also allows for smooth transition from the flat section of the board to the rockered sections providing more stability during turns and at higher speeds.
Having the Carbon Array in their boards with Rocker is also a huge advantage as it keeps the nose and tail poppy. You don't have to focus your ollie just behind your binding like you do with other Rocker/Reverse camber boards. The energy trasmission through the carbon array allows for you to ollie like you would on a regular camber deck.
I haven't been a huge fan of Rocker/Reverse Camber, but the machete has changed my mind and is def. a board that I will be adding to my 2010 Quiver. If you were a size 11 or bigger, check out the wide model of this board so you don't get any toe drag. Also, Ride has done some great videos this year that are worth checking out if you want more info about their product.
Edit: For those of you that read Snowboarder Magazine... My review for the Machete is featured in the 2010 Snowboarder Mag Buyers Guide, pg. 139