This is going to be a very hard board for me to review. Not because I couldn’t find anything to like about it, but rather because the Omen Sugar Kick has become my own personal favorite shredder. Now, all that means is it fits my riding style pretty well…there are still pros and cons just like any board. I just happen to love the pros while the cons don’t really bother me. Luckily for me, the point of reviews isn’t to be positive or negative but rather descriptive. So I’m just going to give you the most unbiased overview of this wooden beast possible and by the end of it, you should be able to tell for yourself whether or not the Sugar Kick is primed to be your next quiver killer too. It is quite a strange amalgamation of styles, it’s big, sturdy and a bit heavy…but with an uncommonly short wheelbase for its size and kicks that are angled more like a skateboard deck than a downhill board. So while a standard popsicle DK is clearly going to be swift and nimble and a big 9ply downhill board will tend to be much more grounded and stable, the Sugar Kick seems to bridge that gap with surprisingly little compromise.
Usually you’d figure the more nimble a board, the less stable…and vice versa. Not the case here, you don’t feel sketchy and unstable pulling long checks while quick 180s are still smooth, snappy and don’t have to be forced by throwing your chest around that way you might be used to with heavier decks. Initiating slides is easy and holding them out is effortless, even at higher speeds. The one drawback is that the weight of the board will take charge if you let it. Not that controlling slides is difficult…this deck is very responsive to everything you do…as long as you do it with purpose. On the other hand, if you get lazy (or just indecisive) and start to slide without really knowing where you’re headed with it…this board can, and will, whip you around any way it sees fit. That’s just a side effect of a heavy board…which is the opposite of where the industry is going right now, but still has benefits all its own. Namely, it helps keep all four wheels firmly planned on the ground. Meaning less of your weight has to be tasked with this, and more of it can be off the side of the board. So you can lean hard and still have the traction of a controlled slide. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a sucker for a good long steeze lean.
So usually I’ll have one freeride section and then explain what the board is more geared towards and expand on that. This is going to be a little different, since the Sugar Kick lends itself to a variety of styles. If you’re not holding out long standies at high speeds then you’re either bored out of your mind, or you keep it fresh by adding more technical difficulty. This board is going to keep up with you on both accounts. It’s important to note that it definitely feels like a symmetrical Sugar…it’s not the DK version so much as a KT with a nose. I know that sounds stupid, but what I’m referring to is stance. Trying to keep both your feet between the micro drops is uncomfortable and gives you much to sort a stance to control such a large heavy board. Instead, you’re front foot feels great in the micro drop while the wheel flares and the angle of the kick makes a great pocket for your back foot. You feel really locked in, but that kick is right there for quick rotations, blunt slides, shuvouts, ect…all of them are second nature with this board. In fact, adding flare is where you can grow complacent. I don’t decide if I’m going to try a shuvout or blunt or something until halfway through most slides.
Speaking of the kicks, they’re perfect for street style tricks. You’ll get plenty of leverage and great pop…though it is a little heavy. Ollies don’t feel sluggish like some bigger longboards, and you get good clearance. You won’t be able to flick the front kick for a good arch, the board is to long. Luckily, the micro drop serves this purpose just fine. The drawback of the weight only become apparent after a few runs when you start to realize how tired you’re getting. You won’t have that issue with rotational flip tricks though, the angle of the kicks gives you great leverage…so things like shuvits are effortless, the only thing the weight does is give you a solid landing platform. Also, the shape of the board, the wheelbase, and the fact that you’re foots on the kick and at the ready, makes slappies fun and easy. All this adds up to a board that can be pretty decent flatland or park…but really excels when used to add street and tech tricks to your freeride lines.
The Sugar Kick definitely handles speed well. It’s very stable and really locks you in. I might not have an amazing tuck, but it feels pretty good on this board. It’s not quite designed for this, especially considering the front is essentially the back mirrored. The wheel flare/micro drop combo gives you a nice place to wedge your back foot…but doesn’t give big feet much room in the front. My toes end up right on the drop and it feels a bit weird. Though weird or not, it still works…the board feels glued to my feet during predrifts. All that is great for getting and handling speed for freeride, though I’d hesitate to recommend a board specifically for downhill when it has the huge upturned tails that the Sugar Kick has. You might not win to many races with what is basically two giant wind foils dragging you down…
That’s about it guys, Omen is stepping up their game yet again. If there was ever a board that exemplified a literal “downhill skateboard” it would be the Sugar Kick. Keep an eye out for the rest of their new line up and see the latest Omen news on their Facebook page.
DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.