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Weston Big Chief

- published February 2016

89

2016

RATINGS

Handling/Responsiveness
7
Float
9
Versatility
7
Stiffness
8
Durability/Craftsmanship
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
89

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$899.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Incredible float
  • Stable when pointing down the fall line
  • Stiff and durable

THE BAD

  • Sloppy on slower, flatter pitches
  • Heavy

THE VERDICT

The Big Chief floated beautifully in fresh powder thanks to the rockered tip and tail with a bit of extra rise in the nose. It’s more of a yacht than a jet ski and definitely more of a soul carver than a slasher, but testers appreciated its stability and response when charging bigger, steeper lines.

FULL REVIEW

Handling/Responsiveness
On mellow, flatter terrain, the Big Chief was slow to turn. Once gravity got involved, bigger riders (over 180 lbs.) kicked up big rooster tails while railing this thing through blown-in couloirs and eating up chop from avalanche debris. One hard-charging tester found it “very fast edge-to-edge for a board of this kind.” Lighter riders enjoyed the ride on open faces but not in tight trees.

Float
Setting the stance back on the Big Chief let the nose plane up through deep powder and allowed testers to pivot quickly on the tail through hoppy backseat turns. The high float factor also made the board nice and stable on landings for testers launching bigger cliffs and landing at high speeds.

Versatility
“Definitely more of a pow/big mountain stick but I would ride this thing on all mountain [terrain],” remarked one tester who launched further than anyone off a steep cliff drop. The camber profile gripped the hill quite well on trickier uphill switchbacks, but stability is what makes this board capable of going anywhere, even at the cost of some weight on the skin uphill.

Stiffness
Testers praised the Big Chief’s tip and tail stiffness as plenty adequate for sending big lines, but said it still had just enough torsional flex to initiate arcing turns without too much effort. There’s a surprising amount of pop in this deck, but be prepared to really throw some weight into it for maximum response.

Durability/Craftsmanship
In an aggressive test where many boards were broken, the Big Chef held up through several days of abuse without the slightest top sheet crackle. Even as one of the few splitboards in the test under $900, Weston didn’t skimp on the glass, laying it on extra thick to keep the board damp and durable. Sold out of their local shop in Minturn, Colorado.

How We Tested It

The splitboards in this test were used at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado on resort groomers, backcountry touring, and a cat trip with Irwin Guides.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$899.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Handling/Responsiveness
7
Float
9
Versatility
7
Stiffness
8
Durability/Craftsmanship
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
89

Specs

  • Length(s): 157 cm, 164 cm, 168 cm
  • Gender: Unisex

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