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First of all, my quick bio: I'm 6'3" - 195 lbs - size 10.5-11 boot - 22" stance - regular +18*, 0*. I'm an advanced 15 year rider and have spent the last 7 seasons on a 164 Burton Triumph. It is a tapered directional big mountain board that I have loved and thought was at the apex of the big mountain slaying boards... until now. I just spent my first day on the 2013 164 Raptor yesterday and all I can say is AMAZING. Conditions were 32-35* with 2-3 inches of fresh Utah snow on ten day old ice which led to soft, chopped up crud on with ice underneath. Others have compared the Raptor to a Ferarri or Lambo because you don't realize how fast you are going since the board is so stable at speed. That pretty much sums it up! Hard packed bowls were a breeze compared to my old 164 Burton Triumph. I was keeping up with my expert skier friends before... now I'm beating them down the mountain by a good margin. After 15 years of riding, this board has taught an old dog new tricks and improved my riding significantly. The board also worked WONDERS on my fatigue. I don't know if it is the dampening or the RC hybrid, but when I would usually be spent and need a break for my style of hard agressive riding, I was still going strong and my legs were still fresh. That alone made this board worth its weight in gold. I'm a weekend warrior so I have to make the most of my days on the mountain.
The RC hybrid led to effortless edge to edge transition while carving and incredible edge hold on the ice. I could feel the additional edge digging in when needed from the the rocker portion of the board that I was missing in my old cambered Burton. The Vario/RC combo makes this a viable alternative to magnetraction. Other boarders were sliding out on some bad patches of ice but the Raptor allowed to me to hit those areas with confidence. The Raptor is a perfect board for me... an agressive hard charging free rider that doesn't hit the park.
I got these for my wife and she loves them. She finally has a flip flop that will not cause her feet to hurt after walking and standing around in the all day. This is due to the arch and heel support the flip flop provides. She wears a size 8-8.5 and these are true to size. I got her a size 8... her feet go right up to the edges and almost look too small but she says they fit perfect. To each their own I guee. I just hope she doesn't get any stubbed toes.