If we really want to get down to the basics of snowboarding the greatest trick ever invented was the turn. It’s the basis for everything from the carve to a quadruple cork 1440. It all starts with that first turn. Although it seems that as the emphasis from the gate keepers of snowboarding has been to push an agenda of a more youthful focus of freestyle being the predominately “cool” aspect of snowboarding, turning has always been there.
While hard booters, a slight throwback to our roots of yesteryear have known this, we as a culture haven’t until recently paid as much attention to it as possible. Slowly it’s crept into our consciousness from small brands like Korua and United Shapes to the unlikely heroes of snowboarding The Yawgoons and Warp Wave crew.
Take a look at any brands catalog of decks for this season or next and it’s inundated with unique shapes that aren’t delegated to just shredding powder. There’s a whole new class of boards built around carving long cruiser runs. Brands from Japan like Moss Snow Sticks and Gentem Sticks; where snow surfing has arguably been a part of the culture for longer than elsewhere are emerging into the collective consciousness.
Many have said that the late 90’s and early 2000’s were snowboarding’s Golden Age, but frankly I feel that would be a bit misleading. I would say now is the true golden age. We have boards for everything and anything.
As someone that has ridden everything under the sun for snowboarding in some shape or brand I can tell you it’s awesome to see a new generation loving the art of the turn. Taking out a board that was 184.5 cm’s with a 26 meter sidecut radius makes you re-evaluate what it means to be a snowboarder. It changes the way you have to drive the board as well as how you see the mountain. Perhaps it’s because the board has the turning radius of a 77 Cadillac Eldorado that does this. For someone like myself that has ridden consecutively for over 20 years and can say they’ve strapped in to a snowboard in four different decades I welcome this as I transition out of the shred and destroy phase of my life and into the turn and burn. For those days where the conditions aren’t exactly perfect for powder hounding around or ripping park laps with my friends it’s nice to know that there are decks there for you to soulfully carve the white wave.
I know for this next season as we delve into our product reviews we’re actually opening up a new award for boards designed around snow surfing. Those decks that make you appreciate the art of the carve and the ability to turn.