The Highlife UL is a serious snowboard for hard-charging snowboarders. If you’re looking for a board that is equally at home on steep and deep backcountry faces as it is on icy pistes then this could definitely make your snowboard shortlist. More carbon reinforcements than a Formula 1 car and Ride’s new Hybrid All-Mountain rocker, which has a large camber section, mean that this board is powerful and poppy through turns and will definitely grip the snow. The Highlife UL also has a rockered nose and lightweight construction for added float in the pow.
Debuting the latest in sidewall technology, the Highlife UL snowboard showcases our potent new Popwalls™ that combine our urethane Slimewalls® with our carbon Pop Rods® for the max in pop and enhanced response. The Highlife UL also features our Hybrid All Mountain shape boasting a loose and playful rocker in the tip, and the grippy stability of camber under foot and through the tail. Complete with all of our latest UL techs, Membrain® fabric top sheet and Carbon Array 5™, this versatile directional snowboard is truly an all mountain masterpiece that Ride’s effortless in pow, is fun cruisin’ with the crew or maching laps at warp speed.
Available Lengths (cm):
155, 158, 161, 164, 167, 159W, 163W, 168W, 172W
Riding Style: All Mountain
Hybrid All Mountain Profile
Carbon Array 5™
2 x 4 Inserts
Similar boards: Ride Highlife UL - 2012
Watch the 2013 Ride Highlife UL Video Snowboard Review
The Ride Highlife UL and Ride Berserker are practically identical boards; at least that is what I was led to believe from Ride’s marketing waffle. I can tell you having ridden both this spring, that in my opinion they are worlds apart. If the Berserker is based on the Highlife UL, Canadian uber pro Jake Blauvelt’s creative control has performed wonders. Ah but this review is about the Highlife UL so if you want to read an extremely positive review you’d be better finding the Berzerker’s.
I’ll start with the positives. Well if you like stiff boards and by stiff I mean the Highlife has a flex pattern presumably modelled on an iron girder, then you’ll love the Highlife UL. For everything I disliked about this merciless stiffness, the Highlife didn’t suffer from a lack of edge hold. Then there’s the UL construction which does tip the Highlife’s weight into the lighter half of the market, although I’ll save the fanfare for another snowboard because its weight savings are nowhere near the featherweight antigravity construction of Burton’s Method. My favourite feature on the Highlife UL was the base, it flies down all types of snow conditions like the proverbial sh*t off a shovel.
You’ve heard the good, now it’s time for the bad and the Ugly. Unless protein shakes, weight lifting or week long fast food binges are regular leisure pursuits, you’ll probably find the Highlife is too stiff. I’m not coming at this from a cheesed-off jibber made to trade-in a World Wide Weapon to put some laps in on the Highlife UL; I regularly ride stiff snowboards like the Rossi Experience and Burton Custom X but these boards can’t hold a candle to the Highlife, it is unheeding, as stiff as a snowboard can get. Then there’s the shape. The blunted tip shape has been taken one step too far with the Highlife. The blend from the start/end of the effective edge to the kick is so aggressive that it creates an indent which is perfectly placed to catch on soft snow and cut aggressively into hardpack when carving. Despite its stiff flex and early rise camber profile these catchy kicks strip away any stability benefits. Drill a carve into fresh groomers and you will feel the transition area between the start of the effective edge and the nose kick catching. As far as I can tell, it’s purely for aesthetics so this is a definite design flaw.
My advice if you are considering buying the Ride Highlife UL would be to make sure that you ride it before you spend your hard earned currency. Be warned that for me (75kg) the 158 was far too stiff so size down appropriately and make sure that for you the tips aren’t catchy when on an edge. The best advice I can offer is to skip the Highlife UL and just buy the Ride Berserker instead which is an aswesome snowboard and completely outclasses the Highlife UL.
Too stiff for 90% of riders
Catchy nose kick shape when the board is on an edge
Not exactly a barrel of laughs
Posted by Rich Ewbank in • Ride
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