The 2014 Bataleon Bill Stewart Edition Camel Toe Snowboard

This winter will be the third season for the Bataleon Camel Toe snowboard. In this time it has quickly picked up fans ranging from single week holidaymakers to committed season shredders. A cut down tail allows the Camel Toe to be ridden 5-10 cms shorter than a usual backcountry board, without sacrificing any float while keeping it very maneuverable in tight trees. As well as being unsurpassed on powder and in the backcountry, the camel toe also handles incredibly well for all mountain riding, where its soft-mid flex keeps things playful and forgiving. The eye catching outline shape is just a bonus!

For this season, we made a good thing even better and in the process paid homage to an almost forgotten piece of snowboard history. A random meeting occurred between us and one Bill Stewart at his surf shop in San Clemente, CA. As luck would have it, he was in! Bill Stewart needs no introduction to surfers: He started his company, Stewart Surfboards, 30 years ago and is widely hailed as one of the fathers of modern longboards. His legacy includes the invention of the 2+1 fin set up on long boards, the Hydro Hull beveled rail and much else besides. On top of all that he is one of the most prolific airbrush artists in surfing and is widely credited with being one of the originators of this type of art.

Having listened to the explanation of the Triple Base Technology that Bataleon uses on its snowboard range, Bill stunned us by dropping the bombshell that he had created a prototype snowboard back in 1981 that employed similar outline and base shapes. Using his expertise from surf shaping, ski manufacturing and water ski design, over 30 years ago Bill had already designed and built a snowboard that included side cut, steel edges, a front foot binding and an advanced 3D base with upturned side bases and offset base channels. Having dropped this revelation, Bill then agreed to show us round his man cave so we could see the original for ourselves.

The board did not disappoint. The construction was experimental by today’s standards so when comparing it to the other boards out there in ’81, this one looked like it had arrived from the future! Bill had somehow managed to marry a wooden top sheet to a foam core and a polyester resin, laminated base, creating a snowboard that was years, if not decades, ahead of its time. Even the looks were amazing! Unfortunately the lift attendants at Bill’s local hill did not share his vision and would not let him even try it out (how times have changed), so after a couple of test runs scraping down a non-groomed hill, the snowboard was retired to the Man Cave and has been there ever since.

In addition to its 3D base, Bills prototype snowboard shared a very similar outline shape to our ‘Camel Toe’ and featured an awesome paint splatter design. A plan was quickly hatched to create the Bill Stewart X Bataleon collaboration Camel Toe, resurrecting this piece of snowboard history and giving it the credit that it deserves. We are very pleased and proud that Bill allowed us to do this, not least because it gave us an excuse to hang out with this OG!

As well as the similar outline shapes, which allowed the original’s awesome graphic to be transferred straight over, there were other reasons that it made sense for the collaboration to be on a Camel Toe: The base shape on Bill’s prototype featured a deeply concaved nose and a flatter tail. This shape is closely mimicked in the POW 3BT shape used on the Camel Toe, where a deeply concaved nose aids float and keeps the board playful in powder, while the flatter tail allows the rider to power through turns. Both also feature a set back stance and a shorter overall length.

While the construction materials of the boards differ, the Camel Toe includes a soft-mid flex full poplar core, reinforced with hard wood along the sidewalls. This reinforcement equalizes power delivery along the full contact edges, maximizing stability and keeps the longer nose more torsionally stable, doing a similar job to Bill’s wooden top sheet. At the same time Bi-Ax laminates ensure that the board is not overly stiff, keeping it playful all over the hill, like Bill’s foam core.

We released the Camel Toe as a dedicated powder surfer, but over the last two years it has become very apparent that the board performs amazingly well everywhere and consequently is well loved by the team: Shayne Pospisil using his for big mountain descents, DBK throwing switch back 7s on powder kickers as well as riding it hard in parks and on resort runs. Tor Lundstrom even throws down on one in the pipe!

So pick up your Bill Stewart X Bataleon Camel Toe, ride it in powder and over the whole hill and fall in love with its awesome looks and performance, just like the Bataleon team. The Camel Toe will be released as both a regular edition and the special ‘Stewart Edition’ in sizes 153, 158 and 162, so look out for them!

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