2017 was a good year for snowboards. That’s a fact, a cold hard fact. There were less crap products built that we tested, companies seem to have found the perfect balance between fun and technical, and well lets be honest it’s great to see more than popsicle shaped decks on the market. Much like in years past we have some top picks we want to talk about, these are the boards that stood out to us as being quintessential decks for your quiver and are the boards we are 100% backing.
The decision to back these boards does not come lightly, we tested 176 boards. Let that sink in, two guys, one of which predominately tested over 95% of those 176 decks. Yes there are brands that didn’t participate, yes there’s boards you’re probably overly emotionally invested in that you think deserve a top honor, and yes 176 boards is a pain in the ass to ride. But hey, you can pick up a buyers guide from one of those “reputable” sources that has an ad from the top brand sitting next to it or you can read a review from someone that just loves snowboarding. The choice is yours.
These are the boards we would personally build a quiver around for 2017 and their runner ups.
Directional Powder Slashing
Burton Branch Manager: Yes this board is limited and yes it’s going to be hard finding one later on in the season. But who cares, snowboards are meant to be ridden and enjoyed. The Branch Manager slashes pow with a smooth effortless surf style while still having the pop and flex to add freestyle into your powder days. This board is actually more than a powder board and that is evident when you get on a groomer and rail a turn. Sure the channel isn’t for everyone, but sometimes you have to suck it up buttercup because the ride is well worth it.
Twin Powder Slashing
Yes Optimistic: Lets be honest with each other, there’s something about slashing a carve then reverting around and riding switch which never gets old. That’s why the powder twin exists and lately there’s more of them. The Optimistic was a deck I used to hate, but the 2017 model got a drastic overhaul and god damn is this thing awesome. Seriously!
All Mountain Freestyle Slashing
Capita Mercury: There are boards you instantly strap into and know that this is it, you’re just going to have fun. The Mercury was that board for 2017. Whether ripping a hard carve, buttering, or playing around in the park, it did what it needed to do and then some. It’s a true master of none jack of all trades board and that’s what sets it apart from the others in the broadest category in snowboarding.
All Mountain Freeride Slashing
Arbor Sin Nombré: While some might not agree that this board is all mountain freeride, I beg to differ. Yes it’s a twin, but it’s a hard charging twin that doesn’t relent when you’re pushing it through various conditions. You can charge with it, you can jib, you can jump, and most of all it’s a snowboard that does everything with more of a push towards freeride.
Spring Break Twin: Spring Break might be known for their unconventional powder shapes, but they did make one park board that just stood out. Whether ripping a hard carve between features due to the asymmetrical sidecut or pressing hard into a jib on the ultra blunted tips, this board stood out. Perhaps it’s a blend of its flex to shape or maybe I’m just a sucker for these new super blunted shapes, but this board was the best park board I rode for 2017.
Salomon Pulse: People seem to forget that we were all beginners once. It’s a pet peeve of mine that the snowboard industry doesn’t do a bit more marketing towards people purchasing a starter deck, this is why I’ve always made it a priority to get on these starter decks. The Pulse from Salomon isn’t just a starter deck, it’s a progression board. You can learn on it and feel secure, but know that you won’t outgrow it right away. The sidecut is just right to carve on, but not hold you back. While the flex is forgiving enough to start out and then see what you want to do next.
There you go people of the Internet, these are the decks and their runners up that we would personally pick. Do you agree or do you want to argue? Either way that’s up to you, but if you like this site and want to support us remember to buy through our affiliates because this site is severely underfunded. Also keep an eye out on your Youtube Channel for a new board comparison series dropping sometime in the future.