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Thread: 2010 rockered Rad Air Tankers

  1. #1
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    2010 rockered Rad Air Tankers

    2010 rockered Radair Tanker 172 review

    Context: I love riding powder and am always after a better powder board. I get to ride a lot of inbounds powder here in Utah. I weigh 145 pounds. I typically ride softies in inbounds powder. I love to make high speed, hard powder turns. I also ride a lot in the trees. Any powder board I own needs to be able to ride open powder and trees extremely well. I tested the 172 rockered Tanker against the 168 rockered K2 Gyrator and the 166 Prior Spearhead in powder (the two favorite powder boards I have ridden to date). I also rode it back to back with a 165 Prior MFR on soft groom and hero groom in softboots and in hardboots with F2 bindings. I also rode it back to back on hero groom against a new Coiler metal, but that was not really fair to the Tanker.

    For powder related board comparison, I have owned (all but the 182, 192 Tankers, and 157 Volkl Cashew) and ridden:
    07 - 200 Tanker, 05 - 192 Tanker, 08 - 182 Tanker
    08 - 167 Never Summer Summit.
    07 - 164 Steepwater Steep
    06 - 156 Burton Fish, 07 - 156 Burton Fish, 08 - 160 Burton Fish
    07 - 165 Prior MFR, 07 - 160 Prior Khyber, 07 - 176 Prior Powstick, 08 - 176 Prior Powstick, 08 - 166 Prior Spearhead
    07 - 180 Pogo Longboard
    06 - 6' Dupraz
    07 - 185 Rossi Undertaker
    178 Voile Swallowtail splitboard
    04 - 178 Nitro Swallowtail
    09 - 162 and 168 rockered K2 Gyrators
    09 - 165 rockered Libtech Snowmullet
    10 - 162 Venture Storm rockered splitboard
    11 - 156 Hovercraft
    11 - 160 Prior Khyber hybrid rocker splitboard
    11 - 162 Prior MFR hybrid rocker
    11 - 157 Volkl Cashew
    12 - 148 Burton Nug Directional (a little small for me)
    12 - 162 Furberg
    12 - 159 Venture Zephyr
    12 - 159 K2 Turbo Dream
    12 - 159 GNU Billy Goat

    Impressions: The 172 Tanker is a beautiful board. The topsheet is a matte dark blue (snow sticking is a bit of problem). It is very light for its size. It has a full rocker curve from tip to tail. The amount of rocker is such that when the board is put on edge, full contact is made alone the entire effective edge (unlike the K2 Gyrators which still have the nose and tail off the snow on a groomer). This is the only board that I know of with a smooth continuous rocker (except for the Lib Tech Banana Hammock). Other rockered boards have some combination of flat or camber mixed with the rocker in different locations on the board. It is stiff, proportionally quite a bit stiffer than the rockered Tanker 200, and also stiffer than other cambered boards of this size and type I have ridden or hand flexed. It has a large sidecut radius of 10.75m, an effective edge of 134 cm, 18 mm of taper, and is 258 mm wide.


    Ride: Extremely Impressive across a variety of conditions.

    Powder: Outstanding. The one of the best boards I have ridden in powder. The ride is fairly centered and the nose and tail feel very balanced (the nose does not push you around like on some tapered, set back boards). The float is incredible, better than both the 168 K2 and the 166 Spearhead. The rockered turn is so smooth and effortless. It must be experienced to be believed. The closest powder turn to a carved turn on a groomer I have experienced. You can also make a tapered board quick turn by pushing hard on the tail. It can be turned tighter than a comparable cambered board, or just as big, but much less speed is lost during the turn due to the lack of camber pushing against the powder. The Tanker's stiffness holds up extremely well to a really hard, nose driving turn in deeper snow. The Tanker turns bigger than both the K2 and the SH with its much bigger sidecut and longer effective edge but can be forced into a really quick change of direction. I expect it has a higher top end than the 166 SH and it definitely has a much higher top end than the 168 Gyrator. This board handles open bowls extremely well! It works in fairly tight trees, but I would choose the 166 SH or the 168 Gyrator if I were going to be riding in lots of really tight trees. I did not ride it on plates in the powder, but from my testing with hardboots on groom and in some crud, I certainly expect it would perform extremely well with plates in powder due to its stiffness (better than other powder boards I have ridden).

    Chopped powder / Crud: Again, one of the best. The rockered K2 is similar in the crud and bumps. The rockered boards have a way of smoothly slicing through the crud compared to cambered boards. After riding a rocked board in chopped up snow, you realize that a cambered board's nose gets a noticeable bounce off the chop that makes it more difficult to ride. Additionally, rockered boards have a turn in which you weight the front foot and easily pivot the board through bumps and crud that is different than a cambered board. The 168 Gyrator is quicker at this pivot turn than the Tanker, I expect due to its additional rocker, shorter effective edge and tighter sidecut.

    Powder day soft groom: Best board I have carved on super soft and choppy powder day groom!

    Hero groom: I rode the Tanker in softboots back to back with my 165 Prior MFR. It definitely out carves the MFR. It carves extremely well. A 10.75 m sidecut is bigger than I like for softboots, but it will turn tighter than the sidecut suggest. The Tanker is not damp, but it is smooth. The rocker just runs over grooming imperfections that I must absorb on the Prior. As I have mentioned, it is longitudinally stiff. It is also very torsionally stiff and this really helps a board of this width carve without the nose or tail twisting off as much. The board tracks straight at high speeds on cat tracks and it traverses as well as a cambered board. It is absurdly quick and easy edge to edge. My theory is that the nose and tail are off the ground until you put it on edge. This means that the width of the board you must put up on edge is the width at the center of the board. On a cambered board, that width is the width at the nose and the tail since they are pressing into the snow.

    It also carves very well on hardboots. It would hold carves up to a steep blue run that was pretty torn up by the time I got on it with the Tanker. It will likely ride steeper if the run is cleaner, but good groom is what alpine boards are for anyway. It will turn tighter with plates than with softboots and hold an edge better. On the hero groom and hardboots, I was sure happy to get back on my Coiler metal but the Tanker will be a huge asset for carving on days that are too soft or slushy to ride the alpine deck. I would suggest softer hardboot bindings for the Tankers to avoid damaging them.

    Conclusion: Buy one! I have tested so many boards and not only is this the best powder board I have ridden, it is also the best all around freeride board I have ridden (great powder boards are not often worthy freeride boards). This Tanker is an aggressive powder board that will also turn tight enough to ride trees, even for a rider my weight. It will carve and it is great in cut up snow. It is my new go to powder board.

    I expect the 172 would work well for riders who weigh more than me, especially if you want to ride it in tighter trees. Otherwise there is also a 182 and 200. The 200 is proportionally softer, hopefully we can get a review of those as well.
    Last edited by Buell; March 30th, 2012 at 04:21 PM. Reason: update boards owned and ridden

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Great Job !

    Thanks Buell for the review. I find it very precise, systematic and quite convincing.
    Does the pow comes with the parcel when you order one ?


  3. #3
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    Another Angle

    Great rockered Tanker review.

    Not much to add, except that I rode the same model and weigh 170# . My stance was centered.

    That day was my first chunk and chop day on Sierra cement that did not bother me.
    Chop did not radiate from board to my legs like a cambered board and control on trashed off-piste areas at higher speeds was excellent.
    Crossing deep day old pow lines fast/slow was effortless without much impact or feeling squirrely.

    So finding any clean pow on the day after a dump was only in the tree sections with flat zones where others feared to swim out.
    Manueverablility in trees was better than all boards Id ridden except the Prior Spearhead. Nose lift was perfect.
    Another nice surprise was (after crashing) how easily the board would restart in mild terrain that can choke most other cambered boards to a stop.
    Near flat stretches from trees back to the runs were no problem. In fact I never had to walk/swim out all day.

    I can see why the board was a little stiffer than average to compensate for the rocker, but it wasnt that much more. There was no wandering or flopping around when bombing back to the lift on chewed up runs either.

    Nose and tail flex were noticeably different when hand-flexed, though switching to fakey in the trees was more like a twintip. My angles were 15*/5*. Next time I will go 15*/-5* to explore further switchfoot potential.

    That was by far is the best powderboard I had ridden out of about 7. Pretty impressive for one day on destroyed inbounds junk. Oh yeah, I bought the board. Anyone want a 165 Prior Khyber?

    Well, time to get back to work.

  4. #4
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    Jim, sounds like you have a great new pow board!!! Nice!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjulezD View Post
    Thanks Buell for the review. I find it very precise, systematic and quite convincing.
    Does the pow comes with the parcel when you order one ?

    Once again Buell has done an amazing job on a board review!!

    I hope to get in another big pow day on the 200cm Limited Tanker Silver Edition this season. We have had a few 4-8" days but nothing to get excited about in January.

  6. #6
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    I just bought one

    Partly due to your review, Buell, I just purchased a 172 from RJ at Exotic. Stoked! Will also be getting a Khyber or Spearhead for below tree line at Bachelor, still weighing between them.

    Curious about the 167 Never Summer Summit -- what are your impressions of this board? Looks interesting.

  7. #7
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    Awesome! I was just saying that I wish there were more of the smaller rockered Tankers out there. I just asked RJ if he had any demos left, but he doesn't. Let us know what you think!

  8. #8
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    Smaller Tankers

    Does anyone have a good feel for how much difference the extra width on the 167 Tankers makes. I currently have an older, 2004, 172 which I have really enjoyed but find that there are times in tighter steep trees, that I think that a shorter board would be nice. I don't have big feet, so I don't need the extra width of the 167, but the shorter length and extra float in powder could be an advantage. Would I be losing the advantage of going shorter by being slower edge to edge? I think what I really would like is the 162, but they don't seem to be available. Does the reduced rocker of the newer Tankers make much difference? Would the new 172 be much different than my older one?

    Thanks,

    budge

  9. #9
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    I got a 11-12 172 from RJ and all I can say is... WOW.

    Buell hit it on the head. Bought the board based on his review and he was spot on in all aspects of the review. I'm about the same size but probably not nearly as good a rider. It's sort of like that Holiday Inn Express commercial, I felt like an expert. The first thing you notice is when you load onto the lift and go up and it feels like all you got on are boots. Hit a blue rutted out afternoon groomer and it was super easy to glide over the bumps but it also blasted through the grub when carving. Wanted to try it on some powder so it was onto some trails I've never been on at Meadows and the float was as good as my 4807 (sold it) but felt more balanced. Did this a few times and wanted to check out the carve so headed off to Shooting Star Ridge and OMG! the thing carves as well as my Coiler AMT just a bit slower edge to edge because of the width but what surprised me the most was the pop out of the turn despite the rocker in front and back. The only thing I noticed different from Buell's amazing review was that it looks like the board I got (11-12) was flat under the bindings with the rocker starting about just about at the middle inserts. Turning was unbelievably easy on the steeps. If it was 1-2cm narrower it would be a quiver killer and I could ride it anywhere anytime - just don't know if it would have the float that it does at 25.x wide. Thanks to RJ at exoticboards.com for the end of season deal and thanks to Buell for the amazing review.

    oh forgot to mention I was on 225's BTS with Proflex titanflex binders.
    Last edited by astrokel; March 20th, 2012 at 08:48 PM. Reason: added link, thanks Bryan.

  10. #10
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    Personal Messaging is NOT working. Please post your email to make contact.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrokel View Post
    I got a 11-12 172 from RJ and all I can say is... WOW.

    Buell hit it on the head. Bought the board based on his review and he was spot on in all aspects of the review. I'm about the same size but probably not nearly as good a rider. It's sort of like that Holiday Inn Express commercial, I felt like an expert. The first thing you notice is when you load onto the lift and go up and it feels like all you got on are boots. Hit a blue rutted out afternoon groomer and it was super easy to glide over the bumps but it also blasted through the grub when carving. Wanted to try it on some powder so it was onto some trails I've never been on at Meadows and the float was as good as my 4807 (sold it) but felt more balanced. Did this a few times and wanted to check out the carve so headed off to Shooting Star Ridge and OMG! the thing carves as well as my Coiler AMT just a bit slower edge to edge because of the width but what surprised me the most was the pop out of the turn despite the rocker in front and back. The only thing I noticed different from Buell's amazing review was that it looks like the board I got (11-12) was flat under the bindings with the rocker starting about just about at the middle inserts. Turning was unbelievably easy on the steeps. If it was 1-2cm narrower it would be a quiver killer and I could ride it anywhere anytime - just don't know if it would have the float that it does at 25.x wide. Thanks to RJ at exoticboards.com for the end of season deal and thanks to Buell for the amazing review.
    Awesome!

    I tend to go through boards pretty fast but my 172 rockered Tanker still has a very solid spot in the quiver and is not going anywhere. I so wish they would make a 162 for me to ride on the mixed condition days.

    A year or two after my review, Rad Air went to a flat in the middle section instead of fully rockered.

  12. #12
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    First things first!!!

    WELCOME BACK BUELL. Glad you have returned. It just wasn't the same without you!!

    I didn't know they made a 162cm Tanker.
    http://www.exoticboards.com/catalog/...73/7395075.htm
    Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; March 20th, 2012 at 09:14 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks Bryan.

    They don't make one anymore, I have even spoken with Harry about it.
    Last edited by Buell; March 20th, 2012 at 09:15 PM.

  14. #14
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    Buell
    This might be moot since it seems Steepwater is gone (or is it?) but why wouldn't the Steep 164 that you have be the answer to your mixed condition board (not enough float?)? I was looking at that for a bit a while back. And yes, welcome back, was bummed to see you were banned for a bit. Missed your input.
    Kelvin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrokel View Post
    Buell
    This might be moot since it seems Steepwater is gone (or is it?) but why wouldn't the Steep 164 that you have be the answer to your mixed condition board (not enough float?)? I was looking at that for a bit a while back. And yes, welcome back, was bummed to see you were banned for a bit. Missed your input.
    Kelvin
    I don't know if there are anymore Steepwaters. Steve Klassen who owns Waverave is who was making them. Some riders on BOL have definitely enjoyed them. Everyone has a different preference and riding style.

    I sold mine a while back. It was a fully cambered board (camber extends all the way to the widepoints of the nose and tail) and I do not find them to be fun in soft snow (or even firm snow). Off trail in softer snow the camber drives the nose down into the snow and that means the rider must compensate by riding too heavy on the back foot. I find that with the nose and tail pushed into the snow by the camber, there is too much edge length in the soft snow when the board is flat, and that limits the types of turns the rider can make. I also have found that a fully cambered board pushes the nose into the bumps and that causes a rougher ride than a board with a softer entry curve.
    Last edited by Buell; March 20th, 2012 at 10:23 PM.

  16. #16
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    Yes, the rocker is really the secret sauce. I think that's also the key to my Coiler with its small front rocker.

  17. #17
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    the 162 Tanker is back!

    Whatever you said to Harry worked Buell, Rad-Air Tanker 162cm are in the model lineup for next year!

  18. #18
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    Woohoo, order placed.

  19. #19
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    Yes, welcome back Buell! Remember my 172 DKM Tanker? it was one of the best boards I ever rode. I know you will love that rockered model. Looking forward to hearing how your new board rides!

  20. #20
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    Welcome back Buell, I hope that you and Rebecca are having fun riding the volcanoes.

    Mick

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ-PS View Post
    Whatever you said to Harry worked Buell, Rad-Air Tanker 162cm are in the model lineup for next year!
    This is good news indeed! A 162 rockered Tanker would be a great Mt. Baker board for me, small for trees and bumps, rocker for float! Will it live with plate bindings? I hope!
    Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.

  22. #22
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    I love my 11/12 Tanker Reverse Camber 172cm that I bought straight from rad air.
    Nose never dives no matter what I do, even with huge amount of forward weight shift.
    Carves fairly OK. Surprisingly light. Durability is OK. Stable on landing.
    Flex-wise it's betwen burton 7 and 8. Sidecut radius is 11m but the board is surprisingly turny.
    Due to length it seems fairly unwieldy on mogul field but it's such a joy to ride on open powder. A perfect board for heli-boarding.


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