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Spruce Sherpa - A Personal Reevaluation and comparison with the Revel8 Condor

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  • Spruce Sherpa - A Personal Reevaluation and comparison with the Revel8 Condor

    As many of you know I started out a Sherpa maniac and then for the last season and a half or so ditched the Sherpa in favor of the Condor . I think I rode the Sherpa once all last season . Today I got back on the Sherpa in great conditions at Sierra at Tahoe after having ridden the Condor just two days before in similar conditions. It is sometimes very instructive going back to a board that has been your favorite in the past and reevaluate it in light of your experience on another board. Here is the Jue family at Sierra on a perfect cold day ... Jack on Sherpas, Liz on 170cm long skis .. and Jordan on a snowboard.


    The fascinating thing about the Sherpa and the Condor is they both have almost exactly the same surface area but the design of these boards is very different . Here is picture of my favorite Sherpa model , a two plate low riser installation by Jeff Singer for the Fritschi backcountry touring binding. It is sandwiched in between Condors with prototype touring bindings for the Revel8 Receptor .


    So both have similar fat tips but the Sherpa is skinnier in the waist , asymmetrical in shape and signficantly longer while the Condor is fatter in the waist , shorter and symmmetrical in shape . The Condor is a very soft flexing board whereas the Sherpa is signficantly stiffer and considered a moderately stiff board.

    First thing I notice snapping back into the Sherpa is how long it seems , is this a ski???


    Interesting comparo shot of my Sherpa and my wife's long skis in the lift line ...


    Ok off to the races, high speed turns on perfect turns on the groomers with my wife and then into the off piste pow with my son ... .
    nice snow .. .lift line shot



    pow in the trees


    So here is the scoop .. jumping back on the Sherpa is like getting back with an old friend .. but with a new appreciation born of becoming a Condor devotee. The Sherpa is no ski . it is a skiboard through and through .. It turns just like as skiboard , skates like a skiboard , is compact enough to feel like a skiboard . and just feels like a skiboard everywhere on the mountain , whether it is bombing moguls , plowing through powder in the trees ,or cruising the groomers at mach speed.

    But it is a skiboard with a difference.. .this is no ordinary skiboard. It is a skiboard that gives away absolutely nothing to skis and snowboards. The length , the moderately firm flex ploughs through everything , neck and neck in all conditions at speed it matches snowboards and skis . Yes I can match skis and snowboards on my Condor as well , and the condor has similar speed through pow and on the groomers but the Condor is a rougher ride .. more road feel ... the Sherpa has a damped ride that is very smooth and relaxing ... longboard skiboard for sure .. i draw out my turns longer and a bit wider then the Condor .. dead tired from a 9 hr backcountry trek 2 days ago ... i am not tired at all on the Sherpa .. it takes me through anything and everything , smoothly , without any effort . On the Condor I pay attention more to fore and aft balance , my body is working a bit to make all the minute changes necessary to drive the Condor smoothly .. the Sherpa does all that work and damps the ride right down , no matter how fast I go . Like Skafreak and Mahatma have said you need to drive the Sherpa hard and aggressively , but when you do that lt becomes a pussycat .. turns smoothly and easily , totally in control .

    Does it replace my Condor as my favorite skiboard ? No , I love the minimalist feel of the Condor with my non release bindings, the way it follows every nuanace of motion of my body.. the soft flex and the way I can play in the snow with it, it does ALMOST everything the Sherpa does .. but yes I have to pay more attention , yes I have to be more attentive to getting my balance just right , yes it takes more energy from this ageing 58 year old bod... but everything about skiboarding is getting the most direct experience on the slope with the most competence and the Condor is all that .

    But will I sell my Sherpa ?... Never ! the Sherpa ride is in a class all by itself , something that must be experienced to be understood. I think every all mountain skiboarder needs both boards in their quiver !

    ps .. both boards are sold out .. but in a couple of weeks make their reappearance with new skin ! Both boards will be ready for those ready to take skiboarding right out to the limits !
    Sweet !
    Boards :
    Spliffs
    DLPs
    Condors
    Slingshots
    Sherpa

    Boot:
    K2 BFC 100

    Bindings:
    Zero Pro Non release Binding
    Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
    Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
    Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

  • #2
    Hey Jack,

    I loved reading this. I was considering selling my Sherpas, but now I'm not. I've only been out on them a couple of times. The first time I really loved them, the second time not so much. The conditions were similar both times. The second time out they just seemed too big and heavy for me. I wish I had some real powder to try them out again in.

    When I lived in AZ, I drove up to Brian Head, UT. It snowed like crazy one of the days I was there. I had my ALPs and 120s. I could have taken my Sherpas with, but I didn't. I regret that decision so much. I bet the Sherpas would have provided an awesome experience in all that powder. The 120s did up until a point, but then the snow got too deep. For a while it was like floating on a cloud. It was such an incredible feeling. It was the first and only time that I've experienced a powder day like that. I bet if I had been on the Sherpas, it would have been an even more glorious experience.

    I look so forward to the day that I can put the Sherpas through a proper powder day workout.

    Skiboards:
    2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
    2015 RVL8 Blunt XLs w/Tyrolia Attack 13s
    2018 Spruce Crossbows w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
    2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Ickys w/Tyrolia SX 10s


    Boots:
    Salomon X-Pro 80

    Past boards: Salomon Snowblades, Line MNPs 89 & 98 cm, Five-Os, Bullets, Jedis, Spruce 120s, LE 125s, Ospreys
    Summit 110s, Nomads, Jades, RVL8 ALPs, BWPs, KTPs, Tanshos, Rockets, DLPs, Blunts, Condors, RCs, Revolts, Spliffs

    Comment


    • #3
      Please sell me your Sherpas.
      If you are going to do something wrong. Do it Right.

      Comment


      • #4
        More .....

        Today in deep powder , skiing the Sherpa like a twintip with poles... after spending my whole season on Condors at the resort without poles. with snowboard boots and bindings. , It occurs to me that there is more to be said about the Sherpa .. it really IS THE crossover skiboard/twintip product ....
        ridden without poles like a skiboard , it needs to be ridden faster and harder and driven with authority and is for me not as easy a ride as the Condor . BUT ridden like a twintip ski with poles and some unweighting thrown in ... it is a pussycat , just the easist and most fun twintip to throw around .Today with all the skiers sporting their huge Fat y pus skis which look like my Sherpa in dimensions but blown up to 180 cm , I absolutely held my own riding my Sherpas exactly like a skier with poles and all the same techniques but with a 130 skiboard instead of a fat 180 to 190cm twin tip . , riding fast and furious in deep broken pow .. relaxed and comfortable with amazing manuverability ... just a joy to ride......absolutely a pussycat ,no work at all !
        By the way ,. riding skiboard style without poles absolutely transfers to riding skier style with poles ..I am a better skier by riding my skiboards without poles and am a better skiboarder riding like a skier at times with poles.... Skafreak also moved easily between using and not using poles.. using his poles on the Sherpa in the deep backcountry pow at Shredfest , and charging hard and fast on the Sherpa without the poles at Kirkwood on the resort day .. just a joy to watch either way !
        Boards :
        Spliffs
        DLPs
        Condors
        Slingshots
        Sherpa

        Boot:
        K2 BFC 100

        Bindings:
        Zero Pro Non release Binding
        Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
        Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
        Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jjue View Post
          it needs to be ridden faster and harder and driven with authority and is for me not as easy a ride as the Condor
          Jack, can you explain what you mean by driven harder? Does it mean you put more force into the boards when turning i.e weighing the downhill leg more an dactively pushing down?

          Would you say that it is really about actively forcing the turn, rather than lazy, relaxed turning as what is possible on shorter boards?
          Current: '20 Spruce Slingshot 119s, '20 Spruce Crossbow 115s, '18 Spruce Osprey 103s (touring)
          Also: '11 Allz Elaila 94s, '12 Rockered Condor 110s, '15 Spruce Osprey 132s (touring), '18 Spruce Crossbow 115s
          Previous: Gaspo Hot Wax 84s, Mantrax 98s, Summit Nomad 99s, Spruce Yellow 120s, Eman Uprise 104s

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
            Jack, can you explain what you mean by driven harder? Does it mean you put more force into the boards when turning i.e weighing the downhill leg more an dactively pushing down?

            Would you say that it is really about actively forcing the turn, rather than lazy, relaxed turning as what is possible on shorter boards?
            Ysb33r, primarily I think the issue is speed , I can turn the 120's , Condors and shorter boards more easily at slower speeds then I can the Sherpa ... once you ramp up the speed on the Sherpa it turns very easily and smoothly without poles .. as skiboarders we turn our boards primarily by engaging the edges and driving them around , the longer and stiffer the board the less easy that is at low speeds .. the Sherpa being longer and moderately stiff needs a little juice to get going ...
            the important thing to understand about skiing with poles , is that skiers who are skilled in using their poles properly , often use the poles to help turn their skis by planting the pole and then using that pole plant to trigger a bit of an unweight and then can easily kind of hop the ski around and not always depend on just engaging the edges and turning along the edges. If you do that with the Sherpa it feels like a very easily manuverable twin tip that is very easy to turn at slow speeds. , that has the advantage of a the float of normal width 180 cm ski with much more manuverability , and maximum stability turning on its edges at speed.

            If you read the reviews of the Sherpa here you will hear words like it is beast and needs to be driven , etc , etc .. I wanted to emphasize that that is from a skiboarding perspective, from a skier perspective it is a pure pussycat and is one of the easist twins to turn . My neighbor who used to ski in college but has not skied for many years . hopped on the Sherpa , used poles and skiied it like a skier having absolutely no problems and was able to negotiate all kinds of difficult slopes and deep pow like he had been riding it for years.

            So bottom line the Sherpa is the biggest , burliest most competent all mountain skiboard in the universe , and while at the same time being one of the most accessible , easy turning , hugely competent short twin tips in the universe.
            Boards :
            Spliffs
            DLPs
            Condors
            Slingshots
            Sherpa

            Boot:
            K2 BFC 100

            Bindings:
            Zero Pro Non release Binding
            Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
            Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
            Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

            Comment


            • #7
              That answers my question exactly!
              Current: '20 Spruce Slingshot 119s, '20 Spruce Crossbow 115s, '18 Spruce Osprey 103s (touring)
              Also: '11 Allz Elaila 94s, '12 Rockered Condor 110s, '15 Spruce Osprey 132s (touring), '18 Spruce Crossbow 115s
              Previous: Gaspo Hot Wax 84s, Mantrax 98s, Summit Nomad 99s, Spruce Yellow 120s, Eman Uprise 104s

              Comment


              • #8
                Would setting it back make it a bigger,pussycat, twintip with poles? What is the NEED to setback a Sherpa anyway? Is it only for deep deep pow?
                Sherpas
                Spruce 120's
                Spruce Risers
                12 Tecnica Crossfire 100

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have ridden the sherpa center, 4cm,8cm back,the further you set it back the more it feels like a short twintip, i like center mount which gives it the most skiboard like feel,.......Because the sherpa is assymetric with a narrower tail then tip, i felt the sherpa does well center mount in deep pow without the need for set back bindings
                  I felt the most comfortable riding skiboard style,poleless, when center mounted
                  Sent from my MID7012 using Tapatalk
                  Boards :
                  Spliffs
                  DLPs
                  Condors
                  Slingshots
                  Sherpa

                  Boot:
                  K2 BFC 100

                  Bindings:
                  Zero Pro Non release Binding
                  Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
                  Spruce ProPrime Plus Binding/Riser with Attack 13 GW binding
                  Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've ridden the Sherpa centered, set back 5 cm with the Spruce powder plate and set back 3.5 cm with the additional drilling in my Spruce riser. Jack is right on about it being like a big powder ski with lots of maneuverability when skied with poles. I ski it centered on hard pack, but I really like it with the 3.5 cm setback in all conditions. I can get so sloppy with my weight distribution and still not faceplant. With the tips being so huge, a little setback on this board doesn't make it feel any bigger. There is tons of tail to support you if you want to ski them . I like to do this sometimes with the poles as it can be so effortless to ski this way without doing the hop turns.
                    Now: 08 Sherpa's (2), Atomic 120's, 2013 125 Protos, 125 LEs, 2014 Sherpas, Osprey protos, 2015 Blunt XL's, 2016 Ospreys, Ethan Too twintip skis,2017 Shredfest One of kind Spliffs, 2018 Crossbows
                    Bindings: Spruce Risers and Tyrolia LD12's
                    Boots: Full Tilt Booters, Tecnica Agent 110
                    History: Atomic shorty's, Sporten, Groove Taxis, Head 94's, ALPs, Spruce 120 Blue boards, Custom Lacroixs, Rocker Condors, 08 Summit 110's, Hagan offlimits 133's, Rossi 130's, 2011 Summit Marauders

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wjeong View Post
                      I've ridden the Sherpa centered, set back 5 cm with the Spruce powder plate and set back 3.5 cm with the additional drilling in my Spruce riser. Jack is right on about it being like a big powder ski with lots of maneuverability when skied with poles. I ski it centered on hard pack, but I really like it with the 3.5 cm setback in all conditions. I can get so sloppy with my weight distribution and still not faceplant. With the tips being so huge, a little setback on this board doesn't make it feel any bigger. There is tons of tail to support you if you want to ski them . I like to do this sometimes with the poles as it can be so effortless to ski this way without doing the hop turns.
                      I'm planning on spliting my time this year between the ALPs and Sherpas, This post makes be wonder if I should look into trying to mount my schizo binding to the sherpas. Dial them forward when I want to charge, back for mellow.
                      Or does it make that much difference?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I personally always ride mine center mount. It is entirely rider preference though. I tried them using the powder plates that Spruce offered a few years back, and the setback just made them feel wrong to me. In my opinion it lost the skiboard feel, and started to ride like a ski. If I tried to weight a carve evenly, the front had more length and would grab the snow a little more than the back. In order to get them to lock in right, I had to weight the tips a little as you would with skis. With it already being asymmetrical, it was a little too much for me to find enjoyable.
                        I do it because I can.
                        I can because I want to.
                        I want to because you said I couldn't.

                        "The butterflies in my stomach have flown up through my throat and learned to love the open air." - World/Inferno

                        Spruce Sherpas with Prime Pros
                        '08 KTPs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I really love and respect jjue's opinions. He's the searcher. Ever looking for the perfect ride. Just love him to bits. So far this year I am totally enamored with the Sherpa. It's the freedom. The boards are just so capable. I can't tell you the looks I got earlier this week running the Sherpas in literal mid-thigh powder. I think people first noticed I didn't have poles and then they looked down. Then they pointed. The Sherpa is an absolutely preferred tool in all conditions. Nothing offers more freedom, more possibilities for expression or more individuality. The Sherpa gives up nothing to my 188cm skis or 170cm snowboard. The Sherpa stands alone as the tool that provides all needed capacities with its' only demand being you bring you - all of you. Half measures are not accepted. Your reward will boarder on spiritual. The only rules you follow are the ones dictated by your own self-imposed limitations. I'll quote Shawshank Redemption. Salvation lies within.
                          "It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" Jiddu Krisnamurti

                          Spruce Sherpa - RVL8 KTP - RVL8 Blunt XL

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just ordered a pair of Sherpas with the holoday deal after reading this post. I hope I'm as satisfied with them as everyone else. My original plan was just to grab a pair of Rockets, but I'm going to grab both and see which I like better.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tphelps927 View Post
                              I just ordered a pair of Sherpas with the holoday deal after reading this post. I hope I'm as satisfied with them as everyone else. My original plan was just to grab a pair of Rockets, but I'm going to grab both and see which I like better.
                              That's going with two opposite ends of the spectrum.

                              Skiboards:
                              2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                              2015 RVL8 Blunt XLs w/Tyrolia Attack 13s
                              2018 Spruce Crossbows w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                              2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Ickys w/Tyrolia SX 10s


                              Boots:
                              Salomon X-Pro 80

                              Past boards: Salomon Snowblades, Line MNPs 89 & 98 cm, Five-Os, Bullets, Jedis, Spruce 120s, LE 125s, Ospreys
                              Summit 110s, Nomads, Jades, RVL8 ALPs, BWPs, KTPs, Tanshos, Rockets, DLPs, Blunts, Condors, RCs, Revolts, Spliffs

                              Comment

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