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Amplid Morning Glory Review

Amplid are one of the few brands who are active in the ski and snowboard markets and remain credible in both. This speaks volumes for their products, which have a reputation for being both progressive and well made.

I went on a splitboarding trip with a friend last winter who was riding the split version of the Morning Glory, the Morning Split. After having a great experience with the Amplid Creamer, the Morning Glory really caught my eye. Pow turns on the Morning Split looked effortless and my mate would often cruise past me on deep, flat sections. Since then I’ve been hankering for a ride on the Morning Glory.

Amplid bill the Morning Glory as a powder board, but as everyone seems to be using their pow boards for pretty much everything outside the park these days, I was keen to ride it all over the mountain and not just carry it along as a quiver board for deep days. With that in mind it was the only board I packed on a recent trip to Whistler, followed by a couple of days in the Alps.

First Impressions

The main thing that struck me when taking the MG out of the box was the board’s weight. Advanced construction techniques and materials like HEX02 areas in the core (lightweight recycled paper honeycomb) helps keep the weight low, which is always a bonus. Second thing I noticed was the shape. Along with the cut away tail, the nose in particular was striking – its smooth, elliptical outline looks like it’s made for floating (which of course, it is!)

The topsheet graphics are subtle, simple and timeless with flares of blue and green and the ‘coffee and pow’ message is one all freeriders will recognise. The black and white base, again, is pretty simple and there’s more coffee stoke on the nose.

Shape and Profile

The Morning Glory’s shape is geared towards performance in pow. The cut away in the tail helps the board’s rear to sink and the nose to pop up. The nose itself is smooth, long and elliptical in shape which is designed to keep friction to a minimum and help the board to plane in deep snow.

Flex wise the MG is moderately stiff from the centre backwards and pretty flexible from the centre forwards. There is trad camber under the rear foot and long, smooth rocker that extends from the front binding to the nose. The waist is a wide-ish 260mm and the board has 9mm of taper. The sidecut comes in at 7.75m and the stance is set back 50mm.

In Powder

The Morning Glory really shines when let loose in wide, open pow. Big effortless turns are what this thing is about and, although I haven’t had it in really deep snow yet, it certainly felt good making steep turns off Flute Shoulder after a 30 min hike up Flute Bowl on a 30cm powder day. In tight spots the board is still pretty nimble – the low overall weight and decent sidecut means navigating trees and roller coaster tracks back to the lifts for another lap isn’t a problem.

Riding powder on the Morning Glory feels good because the ride is so balanced. The sidecut is shaped around the 50mm set back stance, so everything feels pretty centered. Rear leg burn is minimized and at the same time it doesn’t feel like you’re riding a board that is all nose and no tail. In the past whenever I’ve ridden pow boards with a very set back stance and a lot of taper (a Burton Fish, for example) I’ve missed the stability and power a tail can provide. The Morning Glory doesn’t feel like you’re stepping onto a completely different kind of board like my old Fish did. It doesn’t feel ‘extreme’, it feels ‘normal’, yet in powder it’s a dream. Sure, the MG feels directional when compared to a true twin – but not overly so – and that’s something I really like.

Perhaps the most important of the Morning Glory’s features is the nose. It glides above the snow with ease and is almost impossible to submarine. It also acts as a kind of safety feature and saved me from going over a few times, especially in choppy, mixed snow conditions on variable terrain when it’s easy to lose control. The extra length of the nose meant I could ‘drive’ off the front foot too when needed, without fear of becoming too unbalanced.Due to its directional nature, the Morning Glory isn’t really a deck that will appeal to the rider who is looking for freestyle performance in a powder board. The Morning Glory is all about going forward. That rider should check out another other pow deck in the Amplid line, the Pillow Talk.

On Piste

This is where the Morning Glory really surprised me as this thing is fun all over the mountain and not just in powder. The sintered base is lightening fast and I found myself gliding along flat spots and traverses with ease. The board’s shortish tail and long nose made riding the banks and berms that litter the sides of the pistes on Whistler Mountain super fun too. Carved backside slashes are particularly awesome, with the combination of the rear foot camber that locks into the turn and the floaty nose that just rides over everything.

The MG’s rear foot camber also provides extra security on sketchy terrain in the backcountry along with enabling the board to carve pretty well on hardpack. The board doesn’t wash out on icy sections and the camber provides snap in the turn and pop off of rollers.

Negatives?

Well, maybe just one thing – I found the contact points at the tail to be a little catchy. This was really only noticeable on flat sections of hardpack which, to be fair, is not the kind of terrain the Morning Glory is shaped for. An increasing number of brands are beveling the contact points a little to reduce this ‘hooky’ feeling and loosen the board up a touch. I’d be interested to see if Amplid follow suit on this. It would amplify the surfy nature of the MG, but on the downside it might have a negative effect on the board’s carving performance. Either way, it’s a small point and not something that dampens my overall enthusiasm for the board as it is now. I’ve also managed to chip the topsheet in a few places but In my experience that’s no big deal, given the number of days the board’s had on snow.

The Bottom Line

The secret behind the success of the Morning Glory lies in the way the board’s attributes and features interact with and complement each other. The nose shape and rocker, combined with the subtle taper and cut away tail, means it’s a great board in deep snow. Yet none of these features compromise hard snow performance which is enhanced by the rear foot camber and a decent sidecut. It’s all about how the different features interplay with one another and Amplid really have found the sweet spot with the Morning Glory.

Don’t be fooled by the board’s relatively long 163cm overall length either. In a sense the overall length is somewhat irrelevant. In reality the sidecut and running length makes the board feel shorter than the 163cm, whilst the waist width, tail shape and rockered nose gives the board deep snow performance indicative of a deck that’s longer than 163cm. It all comes down to a balanced and thoughtful combination of shape and profile.

Amplid have created a stellar powder orientated all mountain snowboard that, for me at least, constitutes a freeride quiver of one. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a high-end deck that will take them all over the mountain, in all conditions and make those deep days extra special.