The most highly marketed sector of snowboarding is that of the freestyle segment. Day in and day out you’re inundated with marketing whether it’s tech speak or visuals about how every board will have you double corking into tomorrow. The truth is a good park board can be the one board that gives you the most fun inside and outside the park as you spread your freestyle stoke all over the slopes. We rode a lot of different park boards for 2016 and here are our top five picks.
Interior Plain Project Harrow: I will always be a strong proponent that everyone should learn to press on traditional camber and then move over to whatever other camber profile there is that might interest them. The Harrow features a minimal camber that makes the board easy to load and unload while still giving it that snap you want from the traditional camber. The flex adds to this a well balanced board that rides like a deck you’ve ridden a hundred times. Because of this it stands out as our top pick. Whether you’re popping onto a rail, boosting a jump, or just slashing a carve between features this is the IT deck for 2016.
Salomon Sabotage: The Sabotage is the overlooked deck in the Salomon line in my opinion and everyone seems to favor The Villain. Well to be honest fuck the Villain get the Sabotage. The board has an uncanny ability to utilize every tranny, bump, jib, lip, and side hit in its path. This is the board for the park guy that doesn’t need marketing hype to tell them it’s good. Much like the Harrow its flex and camber profile give it the powerful performance you want.
Monument FVK: Yes Monument has been around for a while, yes they’re an art focused freestyle company. So if you like a board that looks good and rides amazing then here you go. The hybrid camber profile makes it easy to single foot steer and pop while the blunt shape gives the perfect space to lock into presses. Overall this board stuck out as being one of the best hybrid (camber under foot slight reverse in the middle) decks out there. It’s not as stiff as the Harrow or Sabotage which makes it a bit more forgiving.
Yes Jackpot: This deck has been completely reinvented for 2016 and it shows. The last time I rode this thing it was a pile of suck. The new one though isn’t a one trick pony, it’s a well rounded deck that much like the other boards on this list can handle everything the park has to offer. While not as much of a WOW factor as three boards listed above it, it was still a solid stand out. Don’t sleep on this deck or think that Yes is just the Burton retirement program.
Ride Kink: Kevin couldn’t stop raving about this board, it was like he had just seen his first live stripper or something. This board is reminiscent of the old Kink when it was camber. Some might remember when it had a denim topsheet. Either way this board was more versatile than the older ones that had weird camber profiles or abundances of rocker. It’s closer to the Monument FVK in terms of flex and play as well.