To the casual observer, a snowboard is simply … well, an oblong board with boot bindings on it. Cheetah Ultra Sports' new carbon composite The Whip FR-II, however, looks decidedly more high-tech. Reportedly "inspired by fighter jets and exotic cars," it's claimed to offer several advantages over conventional boards – besides looking like something that Batman would take to the slopes.
Using the company's earlier The Whip FR-117 as a jumping-off point, the FR-II is designed primarily as a freestyle board for use in groomed, hard-packed or icy conditions. It features what is known as the The Whip Riding System (WRS).
The first part of that system is an open slot running down the middle. Not only does this minimize weight and friction, but also adds two straight edges (besides the two along the outside of the board) for added directional stability. It additionally features a bottom surface that's V-shaped in cross-section, which is said to aid in quick edge-to-edge transitions.
Other aspects of the WRS include two main arches that reportedly place the rider in a natural stance, providing "the most efficient pathways for the rider's energy to travel to and from the edges;" chatter-dampening blades that neutralize vibrations before they reach the rider; and, twin "power spines" designed to enhance traction while in turns.
The Whip FR-II weighs 3.4 kg (7.5 lb), is compatible with most 4x4 mounting systems, and is priced at US$2,200.
Should snowboarding not be your thing, but you still like the idea of taking something light and techy down the slopes, you might want to check out the Snolo carbon fiber sled.