Reviewing snowboards is serious business and if you don’t have your own take on awards you’re blowing it, or at least that’s what I was told after doing this for years. After slaving away riding countless snowboards, compiling data, and of course taking corporate kick backs it’s time to unveil the inaugural award winners of The Best Good Platinum Wood Test Award Picks.
Anyone can make a high end board that’s the best on the planet, but what takes real skill is making something anyone can ride from beginner to advanced and still have fun. That’s what we look for when checking out these entry to mid level boards that are designed for those on a budget just getting into snowboarding.
Best Entry Level Stunt Stick
Here’s what sticks out for it being a solid ride aside from the price:
- Center reverse camber giving it a playful feel in varying snow conditions.
- Griptech for superior edge hold and a solid sidecut that doesn’t limit how hard you can carve.
- Enough pop to get on park features but not so overwhelming it causes you to work harder to snap onto a obstacle, this also allows it to play around on the snow when making the mountain your skatepark.
In the realm of all mountain there’s two trains of thought: Freestyle and Freeride. This division if you look at it that way allows for boards that border more towards one end of the spectrum than the other. Dividing it into two segments really helps.
Best All Mountain Freeride
Why this board stands out:
- The alternate camber and convex base plus the addition of the ABT for dampening.
- Flow knows how to make a sidecut that allows you to rail precision turns without having to fear wash out.
- This board was meant to send big jumps, cliffs, and drops between its flex, pop, and over all shape.
Best All Mountain Freestyle
Yes The Greats
Why this board made the cut:
- Finally dialing in their Camrocker so that it didn’t ride like traditional camber helped.
- The asymetrical sidecut performed amazing while laying down hard carves.
- The shape is unique but fully functional.
Park boards represent the biggest category in snowboarding and also the broadest spectrum. You can have boards for jibbing, jumping, and all around park riding. Finding ones that stand out in any of these categories is a bit difficult.
Best Jib Board
What makes it so jibtacular:
- The soft flex coupled with a center reverse camber.
- Utilizing their 3D Lite base the edges don’t catch but you can keep them sharp if need be.
- A carbon fiber X in the tips gives snap where it’s needed but doesn’t sacrifice the softer flex.
Best Jump Board
Why it’s the best at boosting:
- The blunt shape gives a great flat spot to snap off the tips this is activated by having an integrated canting giving a 2.5 degree wedge. Think of it like snapping off a tranny on a skateboard.
- Sidecut allows you to set up perfectly going into a lip.
- It’s designed to pop and not feel like you have to work twice as hard.
Best All Around Park Slayer
Why it destroys all:
- Blunt shape, center reverse camber, and a perfect park flex for anything put in front of it.
- It’s been my go to board for everything for two seasons now.
- For you narrow waisted people check out the Westmark
Realistically we wish there were more boards we could have ridden for this year but due to factors beyond our control it just wasn’t possible. Think of this as the precursor to what we have in store for 2014.