Kessler W-C Plate and VIST Snowboard Plate – A Brief Review
Head Coach, EMSC Snowboard Team
This is a brief review of the Kessler World Cup (W-C) Plate and VIST snowboard plate. I used each for about ½ the 2012-2013 season; the Kessler W-C on a 166 F2 Speedster SL slalom board and the VIST on a 185 SG Snowboard Pro Team GS race board. Both boards were set up with F2 Race Titanium bindings. Time spent on the plates was about 50% in gates and 50% free riding with a total of about 15 days on each. Both are compared to the same boards set up without riser plates.
I found both plates to be very similar performance-wise, providing significantly increased power in the turn and the ability to better hold an edge through rough terrain. Both also seemed to increase leverage, allowing less pressure to create a similar turn radius as compared to having no plate. I found that in gates I could use a straighter line because I knew the board would not wash out as easily with heavy and late pressure. The most fun however was free riding; as I could really let the board go and trust that it would hold as the speed increased.
All in all I found that riding with the plates to be a dramatic improvement over going without, with the only downside being the slight increase in weight and time to set up. On that front, the Kessler won out slightly being both a bit lighter than the VIST and also a little quicker to set up due to having less screws. All in all, I like them so much that I purchased one of each.
Kessler W-C Plate and VIST Plate vs. none:
Pros: Increased turn power with same effort
Pros: Less likely to wash out of a turn
Pros: Faster in a course and faster freeriding
Cons: Take longer to set up and adjust
Cons: Increase board stiffness (This could be a Pro depending on board/rider)
Kessler W-C vs. VIST:
Kessler: Pros: Faster set up and adjustment due to less screws.
Pros:Ability to adjust for width.
Pros:Slight weight advantage.