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The Head Intelligence Snowboard

Mark Weissenberger
From the Print Edition:
Tyson vs. King, Jan/Feb 04

Carving headlong through an obscure powdery slope in Banff, you reach a patch of rough ice sure to send you skidding down the mountain on your rump. But a peculiar thing happens. Your new snowboard stiffens up, providing more grip. You cut through the patch, onward down the black diamond trail, laughing in the face of an angry Canadian snow god. "Blast that Intelligence!" you imagine the deity shouting, fist shaking in the air.

Head NV, makers of outdoor extreme and mainstream sports equipment, has infused a unique material that's commonly used in Army helicopter blades into the new Intelligence snowboard. The material is made up of something called Intellifibers, and inside the board, it senses the mountain terrain and the aggressiveness of the rider to adapt to the specific setting. If the mountain is soft and powdery, the board remains flexible and allows the rider more give in his downhill assault; if the mountain is rugged and icy, the board becomes stiffer, allowing the rider to better cut into the slope. Regardless of conditions, the Intellifibers help the board maintain that all-important contact with the snow.

Here's how the Intelligence works. The Intellifibers, located in the front tip of the board, generate energy from the board's vibrations, then transfer that energy into a microchip located in the center of the board between the bindings. From there the microchip amplifies the impulses and sends them back to the Intellifibers, which stiffen the snowboard accordingly.

All this happens in .005 seconds, or much, much faster than it takes to cerebrally process the information.

Built for downhill speed and maneuverability, the Head Intelligence Snowboard, which retails for $579, is not meant for the novice rider. It's a combination of all-mountain and free-ride board for steep terrain, ready for ripping through knee-deep drifts or weaving through trees on a glade run. However, the board's flex allows for enough versatility to pull off those insane tricks you're afraid that one day your kid will want to try. Catch sick air on a ridiculous half-pipe, or pull a 360 off a rail slide in a treacherous terrain park without losing your Oakleys.

Translation? The Head Intelligence Snowboard is your all-in-one board.

Visit www.ridehead.com or call 800-874-3235.

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