Korua Shapes Cafe Racer Review
The Korua Shapes Cafe Racer is a carving board, that I found to be have a pretty low learning curve, compared to some of their more aggressive shapes.
Features of the Korua Shapes Cafe Racer
A full traditional camber profile, which gives very good edge hold and stability at high speed.
UV Lacquer Topsheet
Poplar Light Wood Core
How the cafe racer Rides
Board size: 156cm
Boots: Salomon Launch Boa 27.5
Bindings: Union Strata
I am 6 foot tall and weigh 158lbs – or 183cm tall and 72kg. As for the binding setup, I tried a couple of different combinations, for the first couple of days I rode with +18/-3, then +21 and +6. I am sure that if I rode it again using steeper angles would help me get more out of the board, but it is tougher on my back knee.
I was riding the Café Racer in Whistler, in a variety of less than ideal conditions. There had been a bit of fresh snow, then some warm weather came through and rained on everything, making the fresh snow very heavy, and freezing the rest into ice. There had been some windblown snow up high, and although it was smooth to ride on, it was still fairly heavy.
This was the first Korua Shapes board that I have ridden that has a full camber profile, the others that I have ridden have all had the Float Camber (camber for most of the board with rocker in the nose).
Normally a flat or a rocker section at the contact points of a board does tone it down a little, giving you a bit of extra forgiveness, or the ability to be a bit messier with your riding and not have the board wanting to catch.
If I hadn’t read up on the board before riding it, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it wasn’t the Float Camber that I was used to.
Flex and Pop
The very first time I got off the lift on this board, my first reaction was how stiff this board felt. Although like a lot of Korua Shapes boards it has a rating of 7/10, I think that the shorter length, short stiff tail and my stance really exaggerated the feeling.
As you would see in the video, I hardly if ever ollied the board, only really using side hits to get it in the air. Whenever I have a positive positive stance, I find it much harder to move my weight like I normally would to ollie.
With a stiff board that has camber, good edge hold is to be expected. The conditions for a few of the days of riding were a very good test of the board.
How the board turns is the most important part of a carving board, and the Café Racer does it really well.
A had recently spent quite a lot of time on my Tranny Finder, so I was making a lot of comparisons between these two boards. The Café Racer is a full 10mm narrower at the waist than the Tranny Finder, and the narrower width made the board feel much more responsive edge to edge.
It didn’t really seem like the board favoured quick and tight or long drawn out turns more, to me it sat nicely in the middle and did both just as well.
On some of my first laps where I was just getting used to the board, I pushed a few turns to the point where I figured I was going to slip out and crash, and was quite surprised about how the tail of the board was able to save me.
Although I wasn’t able to ride it in fresh light powder, I was able to get a good idea of how it reacts in heavier windblown snow, as well as heavy rained on snow. The nose of the board is still quite long, so naturally it wants to float.
The turns felt very smooth and surfy, and flowed together very easily. The very still short tail kept a good feeling of control when I wasn’t sure how deep the snow was, or if I would run into an icy patch.
No issues at all with the speed, it was quick in all the conditions that I rode it in.
If you are looking for a board to primarily carve on, the Café Racer is a very solid option. That isn’t to say that you are going to want to change boards on a powder day as it still does have good float, but if powder is your goal there are might be some more specific shapes to look at instead.
I think that the Café Racer is probably the best intro to riding a Korua Board, as it isn’t a crazy big jump with a steep learning curve. That being said, I don’t feel like I would be able to get to the limits of the board for a long time, I think it would handle whatever I would need, even as I get better and ask more from a board.
Korua Shapes Cafe Racer Technical Specs
|Length (cm)||Effective Edge (mm)||Setback (mm)||Waist Width (mm)||Sidecut (m)|