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Salomon - Grip

posted Feb 24, 2013, 12:32 PM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:17 AM by GoOut Project ]

At Go Out Project we are constantly looking for the most versatile products and the Salomon Grip gave us the impression to be exactly one of those. We decided to test it!

Design & Construction 

Developed by Wolfgang Nyvelt, the Salomon Grip is a pure Twin Tip with a peculiar design in which two different profiles coexist: a flat profile between the bindings and a rocker on the nose and tail. 

The sidecut is also very peculiar. Dubbed Equalizer 5, it is composed of five straight edges, instead of the traditional curved shape sidecut.

Nose and tail are large, stumpy, and have a quite prominent rocker at the tips.

The board has a medium flex, with a quite powerful response though. A thin bamboo layer, which is visible through the graphics, enhances the responsiveness. The construction is a classic ABS sandwich with cork rails at the edges to help absorbing chatter and impacts.

It is classified as a Freestyle/Park board by Salomon. 

On the snow

The first thing you notice on the Grip is its high stability under all conditions. Even when pushing the edge's grip to the limit on hard snow, it is very difficult to slide. This is probably due to the synergy of the Equalizer 5 sidecut and the flat section between the bindings. The tips vibrate considerably during turns due to their size and shape, but this does not negatively affect the curving. 
The flex is fairly smooth, mellow, and pleasantly responsive. This gives the board a predictable behavior both in getting out of the curve and in landing jumps. 
Despite being labelled as Freestyle/Park, the Salomon Grip behaves excellently also in powder. The large rocker tips easily stick out of the snow with no need to lay back. The board gives the impression of having a much larger floating surface than the actual one. The twin-tip shape, the stumpy tips, and the centered binding stance invite to a "skate-like" riding style. The board is well balanced and its weight is average.

Our verdict

We loved the Grip! We were expecting a freestyle board. Instead, we discovered with pleasure a true all-around board suited to all conditions. Whether riding on powder, curving on the pistes, or jumping in the park the Grip behaves always very good. During fast turns, it is fairly accurate and it has a very predictable behavior. The board is globally "easy" and pleasant to ride. The Grip surprises for its capability of providing high-level performances at all times. It also has an excellent quality/price ratio.

Marco M. - 172 cm, 62 kg (set up: Drake Fifty, +21°, -6°)
Fabio M. - 175 cm, 73 kg

  Marco Fabio Average
 Lightness 6/10 6/10 6/10
 Flex 6/10 6/10 6/10
 Responsiveness 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Durability 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Grip 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Floating 8/10 8/10 8/10
 Agility 7/10 8/10 7.5/10
 Versatility 8/10 9/10 8.5/10
 Total Score 7.0/10 7.3/10 7.1/10

Possible Alternatives

JONES - Mountain Twin
BATALEON - Goliath
RIDE - Machete GT

Our friends' comments

Federico - I did not know the Salomon Grip and when I saw it for the first time it gave me the impression of being a relatively heavy board, hard to fully exploit, especially in freeride. As soon as I tried it, though, I immediately appreciated its lightness and I immediately had a good feeling. On compact snow, the grip of the Grip is impressive! On powder, the rocker always makes you float. It is a board that can be used everywhere: on the pistes for high-speed curving, on powder, in the woods, fooling around, or for a photo shooting at the chalet! The flex is not too hard and maneuverability is great! It is very similar to my Ride Machete, just longer and lighter!

Fabio - I had the chance to try the Salomon Grip 2012 (157 cm) on both compact snow and powder. The first impression that you get is to handle a very "solid" sandwich-construction board... but when you feel it under your feet it reveals an unexpected lightness and maneuverability. The shape of the Grip is purely twin, with a bamboo layer that increase its responsiveness.... but in the same board you have also large nose and tail with a noticeable rockered tips...in one word: versatility! On compact snow, despite the rocker profile, the Grip reveals a good stability even pushing hardly on the edges. The smooth flex (softer on the tips and stiffer under feet) gives you a very good feeling, keeping a nice and funny ollie pop. On powder I've been pleasantly surprised! Considering that I was riding a twin-shaped board, I had no need to lay on my back foot to float thanks to the considerable surface of the tips and the rocker profile.
I would suggest the Salomon Grip to those who are looking for an all-around board that performs in all conditions.