With so many snowboards out there to choose from, the addition of all the new technology made available the past two seasons just makes life a whole lot more complicated. Cambers, reverse cambers, dead-flats, rockers, cambered-end rockers… It’s a zoo out there. To make your life easier we took a look at twelve of the best boards for this season, researched the crap out of them, and helped breakdown some of the tech that goes along with them. Here they are, in no particular order…
#1. Lib Tech’s “Skate Banana” ($490)
Although many snowboarding companies have been familiar with reverse camber technology for quite some time, you really have to give props to Lib Tech for reviving it with the Skate Banana. Over the past 2-3 seasons, the company has also been tweaking this board with minor adjustments just to make it better and better. I absolutely LOVE riding this board and so does everyone else who tries it.
The board features Lib Tech’s take on the “reverse camber” where the board is kinked upwards between the feet and from there runs flat to either end of the board. The result? A very loose, fun board that will have you jibbing around and pulling tricks like you never thought possible. Critics will say that this thing is unstable at high speeds but they’re wrong with this board cause the length of it from tip to tail will be on the snow when you carve. With eight contact points digging into the ice on a turn, you’ll also be more stable thanks to the Magne Traction tech.
Sizes: 148N, 151N, 152, 156, 156W, 159, 159W
#2. Ride’s DH2 ($500)
There’s been a lot of talk about the Ride DH2 among the snowboarding community for 2010. The board features a different kind of reverse camber technology with the board running flat underneath your feet and then kicking up outside the bindings. This allows for a fun, relaxed feel that makes it ideal for the pipe, jumps, and pressing rails.
Haven’t tried this board myself but fellow boarders out there have told me that apart from being incredible in the park, the board can be used with no problems for aggressive riding as well. Ride adds what it likes to call “Carbon Pop Rods” in each tip that give a lot of character to the feel of this board. Apart from being lightweight, it also has thicker steel edges to help with the wear and tear that happens from park riding over time.
Sizes: 151, 153, 155, 156W, 157, 159, 159W
#3. Burton’s Joystick ($530)
With a name like “Joystick” you know fun is just around the corner with this board. Had the chance to try out this board from a Burton demo tent early into the season and was thoroughly impressed with it. Featuring Burton’s “rocker” reverse camber design, this board is similar to the Skate Banana in it’s between-the-feet kinkness. The board’s got a slightly wider feel with tips that scoop up (technology similar to Morrow’s spoon).
The Joystick is very fun to ride, whether it be for jibs, jumps, or pipe attacks. The nice thing about it is that it is insanely forgiving, so you can go big trying new tricks on it. The scooped tips maintain the boards very free feel even when you lean hard on it. With a very balanced stiffness and quick edge-to-edge movement, the board can do pretty much whatever you want.
Sizes: 150, 154, 156W, 157, 159W, 161, 163