I sent my pair of Osprey protos to Bruce Decesare after I got back from Shredfest. He owns 13 pair of Spruce boards, mostly Sherpas which he rides mainly side-country in Vermont. He's one of our most valuable testers because he is very aggressive and if there is any weak spot in a design, he will find it. Here's what he had to say about the Ospreys. (He knows them as the "Rockered Sherpas", so when he says the "old board" he means Sherpas.
"Being primarily a downhiller, I put my regular bindings on the rockered boards and have about 12 days on the setup in a variety of conditions. Conditions have included everything but snow deeper than 6 inches. I've been to Jay Peak, MRG, and Killington. The rocker is awesome! Better everywhere except frozen hard groomers as to be expected. What I noticed is not that they don't hold the ice but that the degree of lower leg angulation requires a significant committment and a lot of force. With the traditional camber, I could just lean them into a turn and they would hold and pop you out of the turn. The rocked boards will give you some pop but you really have to push really hard outward. You can get plenty of edge grip but you really have to commit. They are 2 mm thinner which didn't seem to matter too much to me but in combination with the rocker it should make them easier for everybody, park riders included. They now turn like 99cm skiboards. Another thing I noticed is that you can carve slightly bigger radius turns by not pressing so hard on the outside leg. With the rocker you have to be much more centered balance wise when carving, harder to be lazy and turn them from the tails, it can be done but your balance point is smaller. I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself but these boards are easier to be lazy on because you can ride them flat and just smear down the mountain if you ride that way. Myself, I carve as much as possible so you really have to be centered and press hard to make them carve trenches. In the woods, off trail, they flat out rock, lightning quick effortless turns, tip dive non existent. Rear rocker really helps make turning easier. I have taken these things everywhere, the most difficult steeps, trees,crap, crud, ice, you name it, they have been put through the wringer. In short, easier and more capable than the old boards. Spring bumps, totally awesome, so far they have survived 3 days in these conditions. Absolutely bashed moguls for the last two days in 60 degree sunshine. Yee hah! They rock for spring conditions. Other things I noticed include : ptex seems to be of higher quality, amazingly no dings there yet. Thinner, should make them better for lighter, less experienced riders.
Suggestions for future, 5 point sidecut, tapered tips and tails, camber under foot, 1 mm thicker, 10 cm longer in the front only. Design the ski with rocker in mind from the get go. Keep the stance centered in the center of sidecut (as is now). Camber under foot, longer contact patch. Present rocker has about 24 inch effective edge length, the old skis had about 36-39 inch length by my primitive measurements. Maybe add 2-3 inches longer on either end before the rocker starts?"
I guess there is always one more better ski."
Rick Modlin 5-1-2015
I got to try the Ospreys at Shredfest this season. Wendell was kind enough to lend me his for a few hours one morning. I have to say, I was a little nervous because it was the first time Id ridden on anything over 110c in 15 seasons. Back when Bnuff and Dave Lyman were both in elementary school.. After a few runs, I got use to the heavier feel of the boards with full release bindings and was able to start laying down beautiful deep hard turns at ease. The boards have full bite from side to side in firmer conditions and have enough float with stability when you hit some crud. In high speeds, it's as if you're wearing a seat belt.. they're that stable! * Side Note * I got to ride them with the Godfather himself ( no, not James Brown ) Jeff Singer! Matching turn for turn with Jeff is a true thrill and is a must do for any true Skiboards Bucket List! I hope Jeff and Spruce Mountain Skiboards does another production run so I can purchase a pair for myself. Any negative Critique? These boards are near perfect... The only thing I might tweak is the stiffness. I cant even believe I'm going to say this.. but.. I might like them a more.. slightly stiffer. I know, I said stiffer.
Bill Janssen 4-15-2015
At shredfest, I had a chance to ride Wendell's Osprey's for a day in the icy conditions we had and they were a delight. The Sherpa has great ice hold and I for me at least the Osprey is even better, similar to the 120/Raptor in that the 120 has good ice hold and the Raptor is better by an unexpectedly large margin. Where the comparison falls apart is ride quality. The 120 has an incomparable smoothness and easy ride quality on most surfaces but the Raptor can be a bit rougher. On sheet ice and in certain other conditions the trade off is worth the price. I didn't notice this same ride quality difference between the Sherpa and the Osprey, I thought the Osprey handled as smooth, maybe smoother than the Sherpa. I'm not sure why, but it was a pleasant surprise.
The Osprey is great. I would offer to wrestle Wendell for his pair but I'm not sure he would be interested and I really don't want to wrestle Wendell anyway ;-)