Well I finally got out to ride in central illinois and probably couldn't of picked a worst day to start the season windy, low 40s and pouring rain but the lake was 64 due to the power plant. I only got 4 passes before i dislocated my shoulder but it was enough to get a feel and know what this setup was about.
I have ridden the ps3 the past two years and this is a great board to step up to. It is much more advanced than the ps3 and will be a great board to move up to. The s4 makes the ps3 feel very slow but at the same time I appreciate the edge technique i have built up while ridding the ps3 and find that tricks feel more effortless on the s4 and really will bring a new energy to my ridding. My favorite thing over the ps3 is that the thing gets on edge in a lot shorter of an arc and you can crank on it right away without the thing slipping out. Landings are much softer, it has a center spine that goes from tip to tail in addition to the stand dual spines the ps3 has and the flat spot not near as pronounced as the ps3 is which i really think contributes to the softer landings. As far as how loose the board goes i have the grind base which they tone down the fins size and the thing is about the ps3 was finless so i was very happy with that. As far as pop goes this thing is a booter. This thing has an awesome straight up pop and my buddy who rides the watson commented that the thing has more pop then the watson.
My overall impression of the board is this is not one for a beginner and that if you do not have good technique i recommend a season or 2 on the ps3 which i feel is an awesome board to take you from intermediate to advance. My ridding did plateau last year on the ps3 but i feel the s4 will help me break that and it tends to be a trend when i switch shapes i usually have a very progressive season.
Now the limited vantage are pretty much a dream come true. I had last years vantages and what i disliked about those was they were fairly heavy and did have a closed toe option. Obviously they fixed those two things and this binding rocks. It is extremely light and really balances out the extra weight the grind series has. The setup is the same weight as my 133 ps3 with ronix ones. Now these boots are quite a bit stiffer then the original vantages which i do not mind a bit as i prefer a more supportive boot. To be honest when i first tried the boots on i did not get that awesome impression i did with the original vantages. I felt that i could not get them tight enough and felt some heel lift. Well the bindings have molded to my feet and the leather has loosened up a bit and these bindings blow last years away. The air bag base provides for nice cooshy landings and just looks awesome. The toes feel much tighter then my ronix ones and really makes for a more efficient heelside cut and overall improved leverage.
The setup paired together is just awesome and I truly feel there is not a setup on the market that I would be happier with. The lightness of the binding really provides a setup that is fairly light and at the same time extremely durable providing a best of both worlds scenario.