Gear Tested With: Ride RFLs, Ride Nitrane (9-11), Ride Delta (9-11)Gear Compared to: Palmer Honeycomb 4 with Forum bindings (not sure the name, but with the hilarious "Happy Boarding" painting on the back), Burton Custom 2010 (not sure on the bindings - Ride brand though)Conditions ridden in: Full range, from thin, icy, sketch, up to a good amount of powder (6-10")Days ridden: 12+Impressions: I really, really love this board. I was expecting to have some trouble on steeper/thinner conditions, but honestly, this board slayed everything I could possibly ride through. After I got used to the board (turning is a little different than a camber board, but not any more or less difficult, just a few slight muscle shifts that need to be relearned), I spent a day at Stratton VT switching boards with 2 friends.Compared to a Palmer Honeycomb 4, this board has more flex, more pop, and is a bit less stable at super high speeds. All of these are *slight* differences - honestly, I personally felt more comfortable on the Machete because I felt more maneuverable and agile. It was only very slightly slower when we both pointed and bombed. It might not have even been slower, due to the fact that I am much less experienced than the rider on the HC4.The Burton Custom. Honestly, I did not enjoy riding the Custom at all. I could see how it would be a fun park board, but it didn't have enough firmness for my liking. Too much flex, in my mind, for thin conditions. It was also noticeably slower - I was similar in skill level to the rider on the Custom, and I regularly beat him when we both pointed.Verdict: Sick board. Buy this thing with confidence. It handled all kinds of conditions, let me carve like crazy, yet was still fun to throw around in the park.Lo-Rize Rocker is no joke.
*Obviously, your definition of "best" may differ from mine. I think that Ride's set of compromises for this board really make it a stellar all-mountain stick worthy of purchase from anyone at any skill level. Easily the most fun I've had on a board, period.