Salomon Ultimate Ride 2021 Review
A board that was added to the Salomon range in 2017, that won best overall board in the 2018 Blackboard experiment, and for me it is one of the best boards that I have ridden. The first few years the Ultimate Ride was a mid-stiff flexing, twin shaped almost full camber freestyle board. I am guessing because it overlapped too much with the Huck Knife Pro, it has changed now to be a tiny touch softer, with a directional shape, setback stance and taper.
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Features of the Salomon Ultimate Ride
- Quadralizer Sidecut
A mix between Salomon’s Equalizer and Quadratic designs, it is made to get smooth high speed carving, as well as good edge control for tight turns.
- Quad Camber
The Quad Camber is made with a combination of camber sections, with regular camber between your feet, more aggressive camber under your feet out towards the nose and tail, and a small rocker section at the ends.
- Gunslinger Sidewalls
There are carbon inlays that run the whole length of the board, that help absorb shock.
- Tapered Twin
- Responsive Flex
This is the name Salomon use for their stiffer flexing board, that are going to give you better pop and stability than a soft flexing board.
- Triax Fiberglass
With three directions of fiberglass, you get a bit of a stiffer (more responsive) flex, and the third direction helps to make the board a bit stiffer torsionally (twisting).
- Sintered EG Base
The Sintered base holds wax well, keeps you moving quickly no matter if the snow is dry and light, or warm and sticky.
- Area 51
On top of the high density sintered material, it is made with a wax formula added in.
There are varying thick and thin sections of the core, which is made to get a better pop and snap feel, closer to a skateboard.
- Ghost Green Core
The core is made of sustainable polawania wood, which is made to get the best pop, while keeping the core weight down.
- Ghost Carbon Beam
There are two carbon beam inserts on the tip and tail, which help to get the most pop, and give the board more stability at high speeds.
- All Mountain Edge Bevel
The tip and tail of the board are detuned, and there is a 1 degree base edge angle through most of the board, that changes to a 2 degree angle between your feet.
Although the video above is shown for the 2019 model, the information inside is still applies, although the new one is a bit softer, and turns a bit more smoothly and with less effort.
How it Rides
Board size: 155cm
Boots: Salomon Launch Boa SJ
Bindings: Burton Cartel
This review is based on me demoing the 2017 and 2018 model and then a lot of riding the 2019 model that I bought. On those boards I was riding it with Salomon District bindings.
The 2021 model I rode with my Burton Cartel bindings, set up with my regular angles of +12 and -9 with a stance range of around 21 inches.
This is one of the few boards that use the Quad Camber profile – the softer Huck Knife and stiffer Ultimate Ride both have it, and have both separately won Blackboard experiments for the 2017 and 2018 years, so there has to be something good about it. I learnt to ride on traditional camber boards, so I always favoured camber boards that have strong edge hold and pop. Since then they have added a few boards with the Quad Camber, which are the Huck Knife Pro and now the No Drama (womens Huck Knife).
Basically there is a section of mild or light camber between your feet, some more aggressive camber under you feet and then a tiny bit of rocker at the contact points. For all the years I rode the Ultimate Ride, each of them were brand new, had sharp edges and hadn’t been detuned. Overall I would say they rode with the general feel of a traditional camber board, but toned down in a way that made a little less effort to ride, without taking away from the good points. It feels very direct and solid under your feet, though it isn’t too hard to flex, which I imagine is helped by the mild camber between your feet. Not having to flex through and aggressive camber shape in between your feet makes sense to me, and it seems to match up with how it rides. I didn’t really notice the rocker sections at the contact points, it probably wouldn’t be until they got big enough (like in the Assassin or Villain) that I would notice they are there.
Flex and Pop
It has what Salomon call the Responsive Flex, which I guess is to get away from the general soft/medium/stiff ratings. If I had to rate it myself, I would say that it has a medium-stiffish flex to it. It definitely has a solid feel, without being overly stiff. Ollies over rollers and jumps are super fun on this board, it pops back nice and hard. Riding fast through chopped up Australian slush is no problem, you can put tons of weight through the tail and it holds up without a problem. I really noticed this when I would be with friends who ride really fast, the Huck Knife took work to keep stable but the Ultimate Ride did it without a problem.
The board still has enough flex to be able to press, but it does take more work to get it there and hold it. There are a few shots in the video review of me trying to press on rail, as well as some buttering to give an idea of what it is like to flex.
Comparing the earlier models to the 2021 – the flex is quite similar, the new one is just a touch softer.
There is nothing to complain about with the edge hold, which is what I would expect from a (very close to) traditional camber board. I have ridden this in a few different snow conditions, from harder packed by drier Canadian snow, light dry snow, hardpacked frozen spring riding in Australia as well as soft afternoon slush. Even when the snow is very hard, turns were smooth to start, held well throughout the turn, and didn’t have the part in the middle of the turn where if feels like the board might slide out if you hit a patch of ice.
The 2021 model still has the same very strong edge hold, and with the newer tapered shape starting a turn is very smooth and easy, it was such fun to just turn on fresh groomers.
Boards like this (camber mid/stiff flexing) are generally pretty good to ride at high speed, and this wasn’t an exception. The Sintered EG base soaks up wax up well, and comes with a nice fine structure. I didn’t ever have any problems with speed, even flat sections in hot Australian spring didn’t give me any troubles.
- Great camber feel
- Great to turn
Overall, the Ultimate Ride is the best board that I had ever ridden, it suits my style of riding perfectly, and I think they have gotten the balance between a fun board with aggressive features just right.
The camber is just right, it will give you pop and stability when you need it, but isn’t super catchy. For me it is one board that I can ride everywhere.
Normally I don’t care at all how a board looks, I just want something that is fun to ride and will do what I want. To me, the Ultimate ride looks pretty good, and much better in real life than the product photos show.
If you are a confident rider, who likes the feel of camber boards and is looking for a freestyle board that can do it all, this is what you want. It has almost all the high end features that Salomon offer, but with that comes a downside. It is a high priced board, the expensive parts it is made of all add up pretty quickly. If it is out of your price range, the Huck Knife has a similar ride and feel to it, with a cheaper price.
I would be happy recommending any year of the Ultimate Ride, but the changes that were made to the 2021 version were all good – it turned a great board into an excellent one.
This year there is now a few options (161/164) that aren’t called wide boards, but they have big waist widths so they are going to suit bigger riders who have big boots.
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Salomon Ultimate Ride 2019 Technical Specs
|Effective Edge (mm)||1145||1160||1180||1205||1230|
|Nose Width (mm)||302||306||309||312||315|
|Waist Width (mm)||258||260||263||266||269|
|Tail Width (mm)||297||301||303||306||308|
|Stance Setback (mm)||15||15||15||15||15|