Vimana are a snowboard company out of Norway in their fifth year, known for their freestyle boards and striking graphics by The Shallow Tree. When I set out to pick a board to test out of their lineup, Tronna, the owner, enthusiastically suggested their best selling deck, the Vufo. It’s his favourite board out of the line and that’s probably because the Vufo has been their flagship model since day one. The Vufo is the actual name of the flying snow temple Vimana uses as their logo, and it’s a fusion of eastern Vimana (flying cities from ancient Hindu and Sanskrit texts) and western UFO’s.
The Vimana Vufo is built with a lightweight poplar core in a traditional camber profile. It is a stiffer board, beefed up by carbon stringers. Additionally, kevlar stringers run from tip to tail to absorb vibrations.
The sintered 7200 base comes with a stone grind finish, and it’s really nice to have a board that comes with a cross structure right out of the box. All it needs is a quick contact points detune and a wax, and it’s ready to go.
In the tip and tail, is new tech called V-tips (the ‘V’ stands for Vimana). These are 4cm urethane spacers that come into play in powder, where they provide extra lift and stability. You can see a slight indention in the end of the tips which is different from the straight blunt tips found on lower end Vimana boards. Since they flex more than the wood core, they naturally make the tips want to pop up out of the snow. Be careful when handflexing this board in store though, as more than one person has been fooled by the V-tips flex and thought the Vufo was a soft board, myself included!
How does it ride?
The Vimana Vufo is a stiffer board but in a good way – it feels lively underfoot and has a whole lot of pop. This means that it feels at home hitting big kickers and going really fast. Opening it up when straight lining brought a smile to my face as the board can handle the speed and is confidence-inspiring. It is such a stable platform underfoot. That stability comes in part from the long running length it has for its size (1231mm for the 159cm) which makes it feel like a much longer board. Combine that stability with the vibration-absorbing Kevlar stringers, and you’ll have the confidence to charge all types of features all day. At slower speeds it’s still ok and not sluggish by any means. For butters, you have to work for them as the soft V-tips are right at the tips and do not affect the press zones. They do come in to play when doing tail blocks though.
While the Vufo is not billed as a deep day board, it does hold its own on ‘regular’ powder days. I actually just got back today from a 20cm of fresh day at the local hill, and it was totally fine. If it starts getting deeper than that though, or if you hit a flat zone, it goes without saying you’re going to come to a stop quicker than on a dedicated powder board. In those conditions, if sticking with the Vimana line, the Astro would be the go to.
Getting back to the Vufo, only a quick glance at the tips is needed to realize that it has a lot of surface area in the nose and tail, which makes for good float. However, it’s harder to sink the tail than on anything tapered, and the centered stance prevents you from slamming back your bindings for better float. You’ll be laughing when you throw 1’s and 5’s in the powder while your friends on tail-less pow boards have to hold back, but you will get more back leg burn than they do. That could be a trade off that sounds good to you if you don’t get that many pow days a year.
While the V-tips sounded promising on paper, when doing normal freeriding in powder I could not feel them. Off snow, they flex with hard pressure, so I don’t think they come into play until there is a strong force pushing against them in the wild. High speeds, heavier pow or the impact of landing from a backcountry booter or a cliff drop are the scenarios which should activate the tech.
Vimana have done a good job with the Vufo and it’s easy to see why it’s their most popular board. With the long effective edge, you get the stability of a longer board in a shorter, maneuverable shape. The blunt nose and tail lower swing weight and the V-tips help with deep snow floatation. Add to that the visual impact of the black glossy topsheet with the eye-catching art by The Shallow Tree, and you have a board which stands out in the lift line and on the hill. The Vimana Vufo is for the rider who wants a high performing board to charge the mountain and go big….and ride away cleanly from the rutted landing. If that sounds like you, definitely throw the Vimana Vufo on your short list.