TGR Tested: Venture Paragon Split
A predictable, medium-flexing splitboard that immediately felt familiar whether traveling uphill or downhill. - Tyler Macleod
Handcrafting everything at the company factory in the backcountry mecca of Silverton, Colorado, Venture has come quite a long way from their modest beginnings in the back of a garage. While the method of constructing these boards has certainly evolved over the years, one element has remained constant: premium craftsmanship. As Venture details in their mission statement for the 19/20 season, every deck—whether split or solid—is hand built by riders who value building boards just as much as they enjoy riding them. The Paragon Split, which has established itself as one of the most versatile offerings in the lineup over the years, returns for yet another season, proving to be the jack-of-all-trades as advertised.
Relatively unassuming thanks in part to a classic outline and almost twin-like look, the Paragon Split could be considered a bit of a sleeper splitboard in the current market of hip shapes and flashy topsheets. But despite the modest exterior, the Paragon packs plenty of tech under its hood. A directional shape, which features a slender taper and slightly setback stance, is built around Venture’s Straight-Line Rocker profile. With flat camber between the feet, giving way to rocker outside, riders will find a forgiving and even-flexing ride that shines in deep snow and late-spring corn, while still holding its own through variable conditions. With the P-Tex sidewalls and base, there’s also less concern for potential damage when those conditions become even less than desirable. And thanks to the addition of TX30 glass and a mellower core profile this season, the Paragon provides a lighter and more playful ride than in years past.
Aesthetically, the Paragon may look like one of those stiff and aggressive boards of yesteryear, but in all actuality, it’s one of the more playful and forgiving options on the market today. Tester Tyler Macleod found the Paragon to be surprisingly soft and lively off of the nose and tail, making for what he deemed “fun, loose turns in the spring corn and slush.” While it did seem a little chattery in firmer conditions, it still maintained a predictable and stable ride in most scenarios. As for the ascents, the Paragon shined as an easy touring rig, largely in part due to the flat-to-rockered profile. With the additional surface area, the Paragon made uphill travel forgiving enough to complement the beginner splitboarder, which, in turn, could also be preferable for the seasoned vet who just so happens to enjoy late nights in the hut or local watering hole.
Who is it for?
With its middle-of-the-road flex and forgiving profile, the Paragon feels most suitable for the rookie splitboarder or casual backcountry enthusiast. But that’s not to say the Paragon can’t meet the demands of the skin track diehards, either. In fact, due to its impressive durability—made possible by the P-Tex construction and ash stringers through its core—the Paragon is a board specifically designed for the long haul. It’s a touring rig that immediately feels familiar whether ascending or descending, and promises to hold up for years to come. For the splitboarder who enjoys a lively, slightly softer-flexing feel underfoot, Venture’s Paragon is paramount.