TOM’S SWALLOWTAIL REVIEW

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swallowtail

Swallowtail Review

The technology of the swallow has been discovered and now copied. 

What has distinguished the Swallow all these years?  Rocker.  You’ve heard that rocker is the new solution. But the Swallowtail had it in 1976 (that’s 33 years ago) when Dmitrije Milovich designed it to turn like a rockered surfboard in bottomless Utah fluff. Rocker is a big deal with today’s snowboard and ski companies, but the Swallowtail has had nose rocker from the beginning.

The whole front of the board all the way to the front foot is rockered. This gives incredible lift, so you when you lean forward in powder and drive your turns it’s almost impossible to go out the front or dive your board. Watch people ride powder leaning back with most of their weight on their back leg. What’s that about? It’s the worst possible riding position and I laugh at people complaining about how their back leg is sore from riding powder. The Swallowtail’s nose lift gives the board the drive to glide through powder. There’s no slogging or plowing. Just ease and enjoyment.

So now you add the rest of the features the Swallowtail has: taper, sidecut, a little camber, and of course the swallow itself. These combined features give the board smooth easy tracking through the snow. There’s no catching edges while pointing down the hill.  With the camber in the back of the board you get a stable ride without chatter and good edge pressure through any turn. The sidecut allows quick turns when you need them, like for riding the trees. The Swallowtail, along with taper, allows the tail of the board to sink in powder to carve out the kind turns you dream about. At the same time the rocker and nose shape lift you right back on the snow, accelerating easily out of each powder turn. 

So now for what Winterstick did to improve the ride this year:

  • First we narrowed the nose by a couple of millimeters to help you keep the board on edge in crud and hardpack. This makes riding easier at a resort or on hard snow.
  • Then we fine-tuned the flex pattern, making for easier turns especially on the crud and hardpack.
  • Third, we improved the durability with fully wrapped edges even through the inside edges of the swallow; we added a thick base material and sidewalls. This construction also gives the board great damping and it does not vibrate.

Add all these together and the new Swallowtail rules the mountain.

Who should ride a Swallow?  Anyone headed for deep powder riding. The design teaches a new powder rider the powerful graceful carving technique that would be used in any conditions, and performs to incredibly high standards for the veteran expert. Dare to try one. It could change your life.

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9 Responses to “TOM’S SWALLOWTAIL REVIEW”

  1. stew flanders Says:

    i have a 4 yr old one maybe 5ys i think it s 181 has it been lengthend to 184 i n the last cpl, of yrs? if so i want another one im 105 kilos and its the only board beside regis rolands 187 master piece apo i can use in really deep stuff. i ride only pow sticks. volkl selekta, dupraz, burton fish, nitro sabre , all i like for differnt things but hte winterstick is for my days in niseko back bowls on deep days. shud i get a new one, mine is 100% perfect but id like the extra length and smaller nose, all i nall magnificent board.

    • tomburt Says:

      The new Swallow has the two features main features that have been changed compared to the board you are on. One is as you mentioned the Nose width but that combined with the flex pattern that is now put into the board makes it a better ride all around. You will really notice the nose and flex in any variable terrain or snow you hit. It turns easier and you will have better control.

      Tom Burt

  2. Alex Says:

    Hey Tom – great blog.

    I am based in France, and where we are is national park so heli/cat/snomobiles are a no go – as a result getting to any stash inevitably involves a fair bit of resort riding on the piste – how does the Winterstick Swallow handle the hard stuff, is it just going to be painfull, or is it fine to cruze down a piste on inbetween getting to the goods.

    Many thanks, and thanks for all the years of inspiration !

    Alex

    • tomburt Says:

      Hey Alex,

      The Swallow will cruise on the hard pack. With the wider nose it takes more energy than a regular board if you want to really tip it onto a hard edge, but if you just need to ride it down the mountain it rides well.

  3. Dimitrije Milovich Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I’m a big fan of yours and was excited to read this review.

    It’s the first analysis of how a swallowtail works in pow, or how a snowboard should be ridden in pow, for that matter, that I’ve ever been able to relate to: “…drive foward…glide through powder”. Spot on.

    But then again, you would know!

    Keep your powder dry,

    Dimitrije

    • tomburt Says:

      Hi Dimitrije,

      Like wise, I am a big fan of yours.

      I love the ability to pressure my front leg when riding powder and power a turn. My style is based on that, thanks to you for showing the way.

      Tom

  4. Scott Bucknell Says:

    Hi,
    So I am back into skiing and saw a picture of a friend laying his coiler over like a surfboard.

    I have the winterstick swallow and roundtail.
    No keels or foot straps I’m afraid.. Any Parts ?
    I had them supplied at Steamboat 30 yrs ago with Hank Kaiser (skiing magazine) at USSA National ski week.

    They wouldn’t let me on the lifts with them then !

    I can’t seem to find pictures of the bottoms of the new ones. No keel I suppose.

    Do they use ski boots and bindings now or do they still have the elastic straps ?

    Do the new wintersticks work on groomed hills and in less than powder, icy stuff ?

    That’s enough questions.

    I don’t suppose you could send pictures of deck and bottoms with whatever’s used ?

    Thank you,

    Scott Bucknell
    Race Hawaii

  5. Renee Evanoff Says:

    That is one beautiful board. You do the name “Winterstick” proud. Wish I could have known you. I was one of Dimitrije’s original partners. Where are you located? Do you have a larger photo. I am a graphic designer and would love to see the board larger. It reminds of me of a swallow. Gorgeous.

    • mike mccollum Says:

      Sorry Renee, I just caught up with this thread. I have a 07/80 swallowtail that I bought new. So I can send any pics you might want. Hit me @ mmccollum58@gmail.com. Or if not, It’s all good, I am late to the party…… Mike

      Make only single tracks!

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