They say no two snowflakes are alike. The same could be said for snowboards. Each one is unique, but they all pack the power to transform every one of those pristine snowflakes into a decimated shell of its former self. It’s all just a matter of how you’re going to do it. Are you going to charge the steeps? Punish the park? Thrash the groomers? However you choose to annihilate the snow, there is perfect plank for you to get it done. Fortunately, we have gathered the best snowboards of the season so you can take your pick of these dynomite decks.
Best Snowboards 2018 – 2019
1. Lib Tech T.Rice Orca Snowboard – ($599)
Become the pride of your pod with the T. Rice Orca Snowboard from the mad minds at Lib Tech. Travis designed this magnificent creature to be his Jackson Hole partner in crime, so you know it’s going to get out there and rage with you wherever you ride. The Orca is at its finest when you set it free in a sea of snow as deep as the Mariana Trench, but it thrives all over the mountain. This directional board is certainly on the stiff side, which keeps it stable at high speeds, and boy does it like to go. It accelerates like there’s blood in the water and it’s aggressive enough to bring down your own personal great white whale of a line. Featuring a bit of rocker between the feet and serious camber underfoot, the nose is lifted for that pow float, but there is a considerable amount of effective edge that keeps it nimble toe-to-heal on groomers and through chunder. Compact and a bit on the wide side, the T. Rice Orca lets you dive in with confidence to prey upon your terrain of choice. [Purchase: $599]
You better call ahead to schedule your appointment this winter with the Never Summer Chairman Snowboard. This freeride favorite has elected to go all in on stability, carving, and speed. A maximized effective edge and ramped up dampening gives you a feeling of ultimate control. Lay down the deepest carves to truly experience what the Chairman is capable of unloading. Now with a Ripsaw profile to complete its résumé as an absolute boss anywhere it roams, from chutes to trees, this tapered directional, firm board has a true passion for technical expertise. We heart the Never Summer 3-year warranty as they truly stand behind their boards in an industry where just 365 days is the standard. Plus, you get that carbonium topsheet that enhances traction and eliminates the need for a goofy stomp pad. Become the CEO of sick lines with the Chairman from Never Summer. [Purchase: $599]
Summit to suds, the Yes. Pick Your Line Snowboard decimates everything in its path. The PYL is a freeride focused board that’s really more of a 2-in-1 as it has the profile to float powder AND lay down the most aggressive turns. The advanced tech loaded into this rip stick includes a weightless core that packs stability and pop with a mid/strong flex. Riders dropping a deep carve won’t come up empty as the PYL powers through every turn with energy to spare. Speed, pop, and responsiveness push at the seams of this favorite as a blended sidecut delivers massively solid stability when you exterminate the boundaries your own adventure. Refuse to take “no” for an answer with the Pick Your Line Snowboard from Yes. [Purchase: $599]
Loaded with versatility and hard-charging power, the Arbor Wasteland Snowboard is back for another season, and this might just be its best yet. Arbor ups the ante once more as they have stocked the Wasteland with the types of tech that advanced riders crave. A rockered profile keeps the nose lofted out of deep snow and an incredibly light core combined with ideal contact points make this all-mountain machine super maneuverable. Seriously, it must have some mind-reading intelligence installed, because all you have to do is think it and the Wasteland is already responding with smooth turns and plenty of pop. A stiffer flex and impressive edge hold guarantee that you can tackle technical terrain, but it’s not overly aggressive to the point where you have to man handle it in order to have fun. Mount up with the Wasteland and create your own wilderness of clean lines and good times. [Purchase: $649]
“Excuse me. I’m just going to slip right through here. Pardon. Is this seat taken? Well, don’t mind if I do.” There isn’t much space left on the bandwagon, but snag a spot if you can, because the hype is real when it comes to the CAPiTA Defenders of Awesome Snowboard. This freestyle phenom absolutely punishes the park, but make no mistake as it can massacre the entire mountain. As a true twin with a perfectly mild flex, the DOA features carbon fiber beams through the center that equate to massive amounts of pop and response. Butter, press, grind, and slide your way through the park, but don’t forget to really send it off some of the mega hits. A lightweight, yet stable core can hold its own in the hairier terrain, and Kevlar Bound sidewalls beef up the durability so you can push this piece harder than you may dare with other decks. Thanks to its advanced profile, you really do get the power and precision of a cambered board, yet all the predictability and simple turn initiation of a flat or reverse camber board remains intact. A low maintenance base and a surprisingly modest price point round out all the many, many things tasty bits to salivate over when it comes to the CAPiTA Defenders of Awesome Snowboard. [Purchase: $439]
Much more than just your standard stubby chubby, the Ride Warpig Snowboard is a versatile volume shifted shredcicle that knows how to have fun all over the bump. Like other boards that are a bit on the short and wide side, the Warpig is certainly a surfer, but it’s got a freestyle feel that can slaughter pow, hoof it through the trees, and sizzle in the park. This directional rocker is stable, yet lively as it’s actually got a pleasant amount of pop without really much of a need to load up. Those Ride Slimewalls mute chatter, plus they really dial up the durability. All in all, this edition of the Warpig is more snarky and snappy than you might expect, but with a medium flex that leads to a lively and stable experience. Far beyond simply a fun groom cruiser, the Warpig Snowboard from Ride is an insanely maneuverable menace that insists on hogging the whole hill. [Purchase: $459]
Ready to rip yet? You better snag your stick, because Old Man Winter is about to get wicked.
Past Winners 2018 Best Snowboards
With several resorts having already fired up their lifts and many more preparing to do so in the near future, the distinct aroma of shred is in the air as it wafts down from the peaks that are once again becoming blanketed in our favorite fluffy stuff. So what’s your weapon of choice this year? Are you going for a plank that will disassemble the park feature after feature? How about something that’ll keep you afloat when the powder seriously stacks up? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for a quiver killer that’ll thrive no matter what you ride? Whatever you fancy, have no doubt that there are a ton of great boards on the menu season. Here are our picks for the best snowboards of 2017 – 2018.
Salomon Assassin Snowboard – ($449)
Stalk your target and execute through flawless precision with this freestyle focused true twin. A blend of everything you could want in a board profile includes a flat section from one binding to the other for stability you can trust, camber underfoot for incredible responsiveness, and a touch of rocker at the tip/tail for a touch of float and a heap of mean presses. That all adds up to a rip stick that’s supremely obedient to its master as an agile, but fun board that features a medium flex and lightweight, yet bombproof core. If you’re the kind of rider who envisions the whole hill as your park, the Assassin undoubtedly hits the mark. Born to kill and bred to thrill, this bad boy takes no prisoners. [Purchase:$499]
Arbor Westmark Snowboard – ($449)
Our other freestyle fave hails from the wizards at Arbor who have done their fans the favor of crafting this board with both a rocker and camber option. So no more fighting, guys. We’re all winners here. Regardless of which profile you choose, you’re getting a crisp, poppy ride on a true twin with a medium flex and those wide, flat tips that just beg to be buttered, ollied, and nollied in an obsessive manner. Take a glance under the hood and you’ll find a poplar core made of 100% sustainably grown trees that delivers droves of durability. The Westmark simply oozes quality craftsmanship that is backed by Arbor’s unbeatable 3-year warranty. So go ahead and get wicked with it, because this beast can handle the most twisted run you can fathom. [Purchase: $449.95]
Slash Brainstorm Snowboard – ($449)
Get off the groomers and ride the rowdy runs with all the aggression of a roided out wolverine thanks to this epic freeride/powder board from Slash. The Brainstorm fearlessly tackles chunder and crud while effortlessly floating the deep stuff due to its unique Backseat CamRock profile design. Plenty of rocker in the front keeps your nose out of trouble and a setback positioning won’t wear out that rear leg when you’re mobbing through fresh feet of snow. The core, sidecut and laminates all team up to create a poppy, reactive experience that gives you all kinds of confidence in the hairiest conditions. Did we mention there is Kevlar in this thing? While we wouldn’t recommend using it as a shield in a shootout, we can absolutely endorse its ability to hang tough no matter what you throw its way. [Purhcase: $449.95]
GNU Mullair Snowboard – ($599)
For those who roam wherever the mountain calls, this board from Mervyn Manufacturing and Nicolas Muller serves as a skeleton key that unlocks the entire hill. A true all-mountain board at its finest, this piece doesn’t just do everything moderately well, but instead thrives no matter where you ride or what conditions you face. The profile is mostly dominated by camber, but there is still a mild rocker between the bindings, which really adds up to a best of both worlds scenario that enables shredders to charge steep, technical lines. With a flex rating trending towards the stiffer side and that classic Magne-Traction serration, you’ll be hard pressed to find a line this monster can’t devour. The Mullair isn’t all business though as it can still show off its playful side whenever you just feel like goofing off. There really isn’t anything that can stop this board. Well, maybe Superman could. At least we can all agree that Mullair v Superman would have been a better movie. [Purchase: $599.95]
Never Summer Maverix Snowboard – ($529)
Did we save the best for last? That’s certainly the case if you ask our Editor. Snagging the nod as the hands down Editor’s Choice for best snowboard of 2018, the Maverix is unique in many ways. First, you take your normal board length and then size up or down 10 cm depending on whether you dig a wide, agile, versatile plank with supreme edge hold or you’re into more of a floaty, surfy experience with unparalleled stability. Then you lay it all on the line and enjoy whatever Mother Nature offers as this all-mountain master slays in totality with a sense of smoothness that’s just not found in other boards. Ready for some bonus points? Never Summer offers the Maverix in both men and women specific models so everyone can get in on this divine action. [Purchase: $529.95]
These are OUR top picks for the best snowboards of 2018. Get your own. Just kidding, we can share. In fact, we prefer it that way, because we can vouch for how much fun these boards are, and after all, fun is what it’s all about. So take your pick, stay safe, and of course, have a full on blast this season!