9 of the Best New Snowboards for 2018
Putting a new snowboard under your feet is like finding a new album. When you come across a good one, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Find one that sucks, and you can’t wait to hit ‘next’. We packed into an overloaded truck and drove to Copper Mountain to put a stack of next season’s boards to the test.
It hadn’t snowed in days, but the sun was shining. Conditions were firm and favored models with solid edgehold. After ripping through a slew of shapes and sizes over the course of two days, the following nine stood out. These are the ones that will end up on repeat.
Spring Break / CAPiTA Mini Tree Hunter
Little brother (or sister) to the popular Tree Hunter collaboration between CAPiTA‘s manufacturing and Spring Break‘s design, the Mini is 10 centimeters shorter than its 161 counterpart. Its edgehold is unreal, and its 151 centimeters dart easily through the trees, as its name would suggest.
Dinosaurs Will Die Chris Brewster Pro Model
Building on the success of the Wizard Stick, DWD has added a second directional twin to their line. Brewster’s pro model is a mid-flexing cambered ride ready for both freeride and freestyle scenarios. The version we rode has a core that offers a flex pattern slightly softer than what will end up inside the production version, but it ripped nonetheless.
Gnu Free Spirit
Designed with input from Jamie Anderson, this stubby 143 from Gnu has a wide profile that allows for length reduction with retained float and stability. While we didn’t have a chance to test in anything too deep it confidently rallied groomers and trees with ease.
Nitro Quiver Squash
This season, Nitro is offering six models in Bryan Fox and Austin Smith’s Quiver lineup. The Squash is available in two sizes—153 and 159. With its long nose and short swallowtail, this Gentemstick-esque profile is primed for digging trenches on hardpack and plowing through powder.
Featuring art from Dave Banks, the Ride Wildlife is an adaptation of Jake Blauvelt’s popular directionally cambered Berzerker. It’s wider, with a bit less sidecut, and a slightly softened flex profile. But don’t get the wrong idea; this thing is no noodle, and it dominated off-kilter landings.
Nicolas Müller’s pro model is back for a second season with only a graphic update, but holy cow does this thing handle. Anyone with a small foot and a penchant for performance can appreciate the waist width that hovers around 25 cm across the Müllair’s length spectrum.
Predominantly cambered, with a touch of early-rise rocker before the pointed tip and mini swallowtail, the Rome Blur was comfortable at speed, snapped off lips, and stomped landings.
Salomon Sick Stick
For its tenth season, Salomon‘s iconic Sick Stick gets an update across the line. Camber extends further into the nose, taper is reduced, and each of the three sizes—151, 157, and 163—have a unique tail shape. Replacing the Derby, but riding more lively, the 151 is the widest in the line, designed for riders who like to size down.
YES. Hel Yes
Helen Schettini’s directional twin from YES. is designed with face shots and pillow lines in mind, but it handled hardpack with aggressive ease. We ripped it through the trees and park alike, appreciating its stable directional camber profile on landings and while laying arcs.
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