ProView – Kemper Freestyle 1989/90
With colors that yell “let’s party” and a fun shape, the Kemper Freestyle livens up all mountain riding. In everything but deep powder, it feels spot on with the recommended size for my weight, provides good pop for jibbing around and is stiff enough to blast some high speed turns.
Kemper Freestyle 1989/90
Product Description: The Freestyle was one of the original trick-riding freestyle snowboards with its twin-inspired tip and tail. This freestyle snowboard helped define 'skate-style' halfpipe snowboarding for men and women and paved the way for effortless 'fakie' re-entry and take-offs.
Offer price: MSRP: $525.00
Ease of Use
This board totally surprised me with its ability to truly handle all-mountain conditions. While it doesn’t replace a dedicated park whip or a full rockered powder board, the Kemper Freestyle lands in the middle as a well-rounded quiver-of-one kind of board. I feel like any snowboarder could jump on this and feel comfortable with it. A rider could size up for riding more off-piste or down as I did for a well-rounded freestyle board.
- The shape is lively and confidence-inspiring.
- Graphics are loud enough to bring ya back to MTV in the 90s.
- It’s lightweight easy to get off the ground and spin.
- Smooth topsheet collects slushy snow. Tip and tail edges were really sharp outta the box.
- Could be offered in wide sizes.
The Kemper Freestyle board is designed to be an all mountain board with a directional twin shape and a medium-stiff traditional camber profile.The graphics throw the style back to the early 90s but with some modern tech. I’ve been riding the board through a range of conditions at Crystal Mountain, Washington, where I live and work.
I spend my time riding everything from tight trees to wide open groomers and steep freeride terrain. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how this board handles mixed conditions with a refreshing fun feeling that stiff boards often negate for high-speed stability. While the Freestyle is described as medium stiff (7 of 10) I felt it to be a bit softer, but with really progressive flex and some great pop that absorbs landings with ease. It really felt comfortable riding this board without having to figure out how it wants to be ridden. Nothing about it went against my riding style. This winter has pounded the PNW with quite the snowpack and during a few sneaker powder days I was stoked to take the board out for a rip in some nicely blown in powder stashes. When the sun finally came out and the snow turned to corn was when I felt the board really shined. Taking this board off side hits and jibbing around felt so fluid. The twin shape is super easy to ride switch even when I’m not the best at it. I had no problem maneuvering through slushy steep bumps and carving the piste. The edge hold is confidence inspiring even through icy bits and chunky steeps. At 155cm, the board is slightly shorter than my go-to sizes but it only ever felt short for me in over 8” of fluffy stuff.
Because the board is a directional twin, I set it up a bit set-back and at a slightly ducked-out stance: regular stance at 22.5″ 20+ and -15. That proved to be perfect for riding switch and spinning. Rewaxing the factory wax with some OneBall Jay warm temp wax made the sintered base glide effortlessly. Also after a few rides, I detuned the tip and tail for smoother buttering. While I use a mid-stiff binding and ride with a stiff boot, the Freestyle feels like it could adapt to a softer boot/binding combo and be just as versatile and fun. The Kemper has a sweet retro graphic that catches eyes and invites a few questions from old-school riders who remember those colors. The bright colors definitely fit my personal style. While the smooth top sheet shed snow really well and will easily take stickers, it is slippery enough that adding a stomp pad will be required.
Friendliness to the Earth
Kemper boards are made at the GP87 factory, which is reputed for making high end skis and snowboards. However, information on the environmental impact of Kemper boards is hard to come by.
The Final Word
This board totally surprised me with its ability to truly handle all mountain conditions. While it doesn’t replace a dedicated park whip or a full rockered powder board, the Kemper Freestyle lands in the middle as a well rounded quiver-of-one kind of board. I feel like any snowboarder could jump on this and feel comfortable with it. A rider could size up for riding more off piste or down like I did for a well rounded freestyle board.
Rider Profile. 6’2″ 180lbs, Regular stance at 22.5″ 20+ and -15. Karakoram Connect-R bindings, Salomon Malamute boots.