Whether its your first or your twentieth, buying the best snowboard for you is always a big decision. Boots and bindings play their part, of course, but no bit of hardware is as likely to define your riding – or cost you more – than your deck.
We’re blessed with an abundance of choice, from those made by tiny start-ups in garages to the output of massive multinational companies. Naturally, this can make deciding which one to buy pretty daunting. The tech spiel can often baffle and confuse, even as it tries to help, and definitely takes some getting used to.
“Whether its your first or your twentieth, buying the best snowboard for you is always a big decision”
With that in mind, we’ve done the legwork for you and boiled down the jargon into plain English, making the board’s purpose – and target customer – clear in every case. For the ones our Test Team got their hands on, you’ll also find in-depth reviews on what the board is actually like to ride.
Along with price and sizes, we’ve included the key categories that define each board – check out our guide to Flex, Shape and Profile for more on those. Details on everything else, from core weight to effective edge, can be found simply by visiting the brands’ websites; or better yet, by perusing the range in your local shop.
For now, though, here are the best snowboards for 2015/2016 as chosen by Whitelines:
Scroll through the list to your heart’s content, or skip to your favourite brand using the links below.
Amplid | Arbor | Bataleon | Burton | CAPiTA | DC | Drake | Elan | Endeavor | Flow | Gnu | Head | Jones | K2 | Korua | Lib Tech | Never Summer | Nidecker | Nitro | Ride | Rome | Roxy | Salomon | Slash | Smokin | Stepchild | Technine | Volkl | YES
All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi
Production: Ed Blomfield / Mike Brindley / Andrew Duthie / Sami Tuoriniemi
Amplid Paradigma Snowboard 2015-2016
Amplid’s all mountain Paradigma has had a good revamp for the coming season, mellowing out on camber, and sticking in an early rise outside the inserts to make it more powder-hungry than ever. Built with a directional shape, it’s dead easy to ride and comes in with a mid-stiff flex, carbon stringers for extra pop
Arbor A-Frame Snowboard 2015-2016
Freeriders with a thirst for speed should look no further than the Arbor A-Frame. Its poplar/paulownia core is reinforced with carbon rods, and the directional camber profile is definitely made for high octane gunning in deep snow. Extra contact points under the bindings are in place for extra edge hold, and the traditional contact points are slightly raised for a slightly looser feel until you engage the edge. A stiff whip, recommended for experienced riders.
Arbor Foundation Snowboard 2015-2016
The Arbor Foundation sits happily as the entry-level stick in their range, and utilises a mellow rocker profile and directional twin that’ll give any rider a warm welcome and forgiving feel.
Built with a mid flex to allow for a fair bit of versatility, it’s got a simple but effective poplar core and biax glass, as well extruded base that’ll repair easily – all kindly reflected in a very reasonable price point.
Arbor Swoon Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Available in both Camber and Rocker variations – the Arbor Swoon is an effective all mountain whip for ladies with intermediate skills looking to progress. Its mountain-twin shape and flex is paired up with ‘Thunderhead’ tips to give extra speed when you’re riding deep snow, and Griptech sidecuts with raised contact points give extra hold when you commit to a turn, but won’t punish you for every little wobble in between.
Bataleon Disaster Snowboard 2015-2016
The Bataleon Disaster is about as jib focussed as it gets, especially if you’re a fan of triple base technology. Bataleon have loaded it with a soft camber profile with Jib TBT, which has the widest middle section they offer, giving you max surface area for pressing on rails and buttering around – ideal for rail-heavy park setups or taking to the streets.
Bataleon Evil Twin Snowboard 2015-2016
The Bataleon Evil Twin needs no introduction for many. Its TBT peddling, mid-flex formula has been exceedingly popular for a good long time now.
Classic but mellow camber meets subtly raised edge sections in the tip and tail, making it more difficult to unintentionally bury an edge and end up face down on this all rounder. Thankfully that also translates to happy days floating in powder too.
Bataleon Magic Carpet Snowboard 2015-2016
Brand new to the range this season – the Bataleon Magic Carpet is intended to help you fly through the powder like nothing else – but our testers also loved it on side hits, piste and in the trees.
Its supercharged TBT has wider side sections for ultimate float, and although its true twin shape rides shorter than usual, carbon reinforcement and lightweight Kevlar give it a responsive and stability feel, without making it overly stiff.
Burton Barracuda Snowboard 2015-2016
Ooooh, Barracuda! The perfect whip for cruising through all terrain with Heart ringing in your headphones – Burton’s Barracuda is a directional ripper with a clean new topsheet, and a fresh Directional Flying V profile to go with it.
Long rocker in the nose makes it ideal for powdery pillow lines, and Frostbite edges cut through icy conditions with ease, but its not too stiff to have a bit of a play on the piste either.
Burton Blunt Snowboard 2015-2016
Coming in with a very reasonable price point, and considerable tech – the Burton Blunt aims to offer the best of both worlds with its Flying V profile; an overall rocker profile is forgiving, but comes backed by camber sections under foot for snap and clean turning. Twin in flex and shape, it’s a versatile freestyler that will probably be most at home with beginner to intermediate riders.
Burton Clash Snowboard 2015-2016
The long-standing standard setter for entry level boards, Burton’s Clash might be intended for beginners, but when it came to carving our testers found it compared favourably to boards a lot higher up the food chain.
Built with a flat profile and directional twin shape – it’s been flattened out slightly this year, making it more versatile in the long run, and an upward bend at the contact points apparently makes it easier to turn than ever before.
Burton Custom Snowboard 2015-2016
The Burton Custom is more of a family of boards than a single model nowadays, with six variations this year – all based on the original camber version we have here.
The concept is nothing new: (slightly) directional twin shape, mid-stiff flex, do-it-all ethos – but the Custom has inherited new tech in ‘Squeezebox’ construction and carbon-augmented glass, making it feel like an updated classic!
Burton Custom Flying V Snowboard 2015-2016
Personal preference is essentially what’s going to help you decide whether you want the classic camber Burton Custom, or the Flying V version here.
With a rockered bend at waist, camber towards either end, slightly stiff mid-flex, this will obviously have a slightly less natural pop and edge hold than it’s big brother, but there’s still nothing you can’t take it – and it’s down in price since last year too!
Burton Custom Twin Snowboard 2015-2016
You’ll find heaps of options if you’re looking in to Burton’s Custom snowboard range, but the Custom Twin stood out particularly for us this season.
Its variation on the traditional quiver killing Custom formula is, you guessed it, a true twin shape and flex, leaning this more towards days in the park. Asymmetric arrangement of the Frostbite edges means this maintains a mirror image shape, but engages at different points on the heel and toe for a balanced feel.
Burton Custom X Snowboard 2015-2016
The supercharged Burton Custom X is, as always – the Burton Custom turned up to eleven; and in the process it is of course turned into its own beast, which makes it more suited to a different style of rider.
Laced with carbon fleece, it’s been built for a responsive, speedy ride, which will carve clean lines through corduroy. Standard camber and a stiffer flex keep it aggressive and sharp – and undoubtedly this isn’t one for first time buyers.
Burton Feelgood Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Available in both standard camber and Flying V profiles, the Burton Feelgood is Kelly Clark’s ride of choice, and comes in in a directional twin package that’ll help you take it beyond the contest killing circuit that she’s renowned for.
Squeezebox profiling reduces weight on this one, while carbon highlights add strength and response to a freestyle friendly package that will be plenty stable when you’re coming in for big hits.
Burton Fish Snowboard 2015-2016
If you have aspirations of finding yourself swimming in seas of crisp dry powder, this fine-finned friend could well be your best choice of steed. It’s surf inspired, and Terje Haakonsen has had a hand in the design!
The flat profile with a rockered nose is built to float, and a short swallowtail sinks quickly to give you rapid turning abilities in deep snow. It’s probably one for the quiver builders unless you have Niseko, Japan hidden in your backyard.
Burton Flight Attendant Snowboard 2015-2016
Burton’s Flight Attendant is a firm favourite of a certain Morzine-based member of the Whitelines staff – and as an all-terrain ready freestyler, you can probably see how it’s an ideal one-board quiver for powder favouring riders, who like to tear around resort too.
Built with a directional camber profile and freeride geometry, it’s balanced out for a twin freestyle feel too – and offers turning power, all in one package!
Burton Lip-Stick Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
The Burton Lip-Stick is a true twin with a versatile mid flex, and a flat-rocker profile that’ll help you float in deeper terrain. It’s meant to sit as a more playful version of the Feelgood in Burton’s range.
Packed with Squeezebox tech to keep weight down, Frostbite edges for added traction, and a speedy sintered base – it’s certainly got a lot going for it.
Burton Nug Snowboard 2015-2016
The short, wide construction of the Burton Nug has divided opinions in the past – but the Flying V profile version has certainly got our testers convinced! Ridden 10cm shorter than your normal board, it’s a playfull lightweight addition to your quiver that’ll have you spinning off side-hits like a whirling dervish.
Burton Parkitect Snowboard 2015-2016
If you’re into traditional camber, and want a poppy whip with plenty of edge hold for big features, the freestyle-focussed Burton Parkitect should be right up your street.
It’s had its core asymmetrically built to work with the natural movements you make when you turn – and the traditional formula with a mid-flex works to help this charge and carve on piste too.
Burton Process Snowboard 2015-2016
Frequently found under the feet of one Mark McMorris – the Burton Process is a true twin board absolutely built to push your freestyle chops beyond their current boundaries.
Available in classic camber, as well as a few variants for the less traditional, you’ll find it’s easy to ride, and provides heaps of control on its edges, as well as a tonne of pop – especially if you go with the original profile.
Burton Process Off-Axis Snowboard 2015-2016
While we’ve already mentioned the McMorris carrying Burton Process – the Burton Process Off-Axis has been realigned so that the Frostbite Edges and Squeezebox profiling are tuned to work with a park rider’s twin stance.
Elsewhere it’s still the softer version of the Custom Twin, with a powerful camber profile, mid flex, speedy sintered base and true twin shape.
Burton Socialite Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
A soft flex asymmetrical twin board for ladies who are keen to ride piste, park and powder – the Burton Socialite has plenty to offer, regardless of your ability level.
Profile wise, it draws a flat line to give you the best of both worlds – there’s enough pop on offer, but it’s still buttery, and a soft and forgiving feel doesn’t necessarily mean you’re left lacking when you want to progress.
Burton Talent Scout Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Now in its second year, the Burton Talent Scout is a hybrid creation based on the classic camber model. To take the edge off, however, the Big B have put in flat zones just outside the bindings so you’re less likely to catch an edge or hang up on rails.
Best suited to piste and park chargers, it’s mid-stiff with an asymmetrical twin shape and has received plenty of praise from testers in a short amount of time so far. Take a run on this year’s version, and we’re sure you’ll see why.
Burton Tough Cat Snowboard 2015-2016
Burton’s Tough Cat has clearly been made for heavy hitting riders, who want a board that’ll sail both on and off piste. Stiff flex, setback camber, directional shape and exclusively large sizes help set this one apart from the pack.
Built for all terrain speed, hard carving, and instant control when you demand it – you might have to put more in to get the most of this one, but it’ll give back in spades.
Burton Trick Pony Snowboard 2015-2016
Flat base and true in its twin shape, the Burton Trick Pony sticks to its guns this year, keeping hold of its freestyle focussed all-rounder assets.
Our testers found it exceeded expectations in fresh snow, with a large surface area on the nose and tail providing float. But it also provided plenty of play on piste, with enough power for aggressive runs as well as the freestyle chops that the name suggests.
CAPiTA Black Snowboard of Death Snowboard 2015-2016
CAPiTA’s flagship model, the Black Snowboard of Death is over a decade old, but it’s yet to become stale. Built on an all mountain directional shape and hybrid camber profile, it’s reinforced with four carbon rods for added response.
That’s not to say that it feels particularly stiff or punishing though, we found it cruisey and lightweight – an ideal choice for a seasonaire who wants to kill it all.
CAPiTA Charlie Slasher Snowboard 2015-2016
Built with an internal strip of sidewall material, the CAPiTA Charlie Slasher is a powder board that’s well prepared if you should decide to DIY it into a splitboard for yourself.
Its flat directional profile with a rockered nose has long made it an excellent choice for float – and a slightly tapered tail won’t stop you riding switch, but will aid sinkage in deep snow.
CAPiTA Defenders Of Awesome Snowboard 2015-2016
With two movies now sharing the moniker, Defenders of Awesome has become more of an all-encompassing idea for CAPiTA than just the name on a snowboard – but that’s not to say that this isn’t a rad ride in it’s own rights.
A true twin freestyle, it’s most at home jibbing around and teaching you new tricks in the park, and has certainly been made to take a battering.
CAPiTA Horrorscope Snowboard 2015-2016
Who hasn’t had their head turned by the standout graphics and excellent price point reputation of the CAPiTA Horrorscope?
Packed in a true twin rocker, you’ll find a freestyle board that is made to jib and press like a pro, but isn’t lacking in edge control either. Designed to sustain abuse, it’s a frequent choice for urban features too.
CAPiTA Jess Kimura Pro Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
We would never go so far as to say that if you want to shred like Jess Kimura, you should ride the same snowboard she rides, but if you do seek similar ripping skills, the CAPiTA Jess Kimura Pro isn’t going to hurt.
Canuck tweaked with maple wood in the core, it’s a hybrid camber true twin, with response added by two carbon beams running the length of the core – and it went down a storm with our test team!
CAPiTA Slush Slasher Snowboard 2015-2016
Zero points for guessing where this CAPiTA/Spring Break creation is designed to be ridden – the Slush Slasher is undoubtedly most at home when the sun comes out, and everything starts to get a little softer underfoot.
High in surface area, it rides a little short but has been designed to sink back and float through both powder and crud, while wide contact points allow you to throw surfy carving moves all over the mountain.
CAPiTA Supermacho Snowboard 2015-2016
Built exclusively for riders with bigger boots, the CAPiTA Supermacho is a wide ride that definitely sated the appetite of our tallest tester.
It features a subtle directional twin shape, which still works a treat when riding switch, and a hybrid camber that provides stability at high speed, while leaving enough rocker in the nose to float in deep snow.
CAPiTA The Outsiders Snowboard 2015-2016
Big kicker hunters will find themselves well at home on CAPiTA’s The Outsiders, which sits between the jibby Horrorscope, and more powerful NAS in their range.
Offering a traditional camber, with flat sections at the contact points, it aims to give edge hold and pop, without being too stiff or skittish.
CAPiTA Ultrafear Snowboard 2015-2016
Ask any CAPiTA Ultrafear rider and they’ll have undoubtedly have heaps to say about it, as it’s garnered a significant loyal following in a short space of time.
Flat based with a true twin shape, it fits in the park-focussed (with a distinctive outline) category, and doesn’t lack on tech either with Kevlar stability helping to push it out onto the piste and powder.
DC Biddy Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Thankfully, the price isn’t the only great thing about DC’s Biddy, although even if it were, there would still undoubtedly be heaps of happy ladies with it in their collection.
The Biddy is a true twin rocker with a mid flex that’s forgiving and flexible, but will still hold true on hard pack as long as you’re not gunning it. Perfect for park and side hits.
DC Focus Snowboard 2015-2016
The DC Focus is a rocker board designed for a forgiving flow through your personal progression. It sits bang in the middle in terms of flex so you’re not under-gunned for power, but don’t get bucked off either.
As a true twin, its quite clearly freestyle focussed, and a 3 degree edge bevel will ease things up even when you’re hitting rails and don’t want to hang up.
DC Ply Snowboard 2015-2016
Another board with a beneficial disparity between its price and performance – the DC Ply offers plenty while asking for relatively little in return.
It achieves this through the use of a camber profile with flat sections under the feet, giving it all the pop and power you could ask for while keeping a skatey feel at its core.
Drake Squad Snowboard 2015-2016
Flat profiles work well for fence-sitting riders who want the best of both worlds without having to fork out for multiple boards – and that’s exactly who the Drake Squad has been put in place for.
It’s leaning towards freestyle with a low swing weight blunted nose and tail, detuned edges and extruded base, but equally versatile with a directional twin shape. The flat profile also means it’ll hold an edge but won’t won’t kill you with edge catches – and incase you’re worried about pop, Drake have loaded it with a premium pop core and biax glass for response and a mid-soft feel.
Drake Misty Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
The soft feel of the Drake Misty offers plenty to play with for ladies of the park persuasion, with a subtle Microcamber profile giving easy freestyle pop that isn’t too aggressive.
Pressability is high on the Misty’s list of credentials, and detuned edges work with an extruded base help make this super rail friendly. Obviously it’s a twin tip too, and a blunted shape will keep swing weight down when you’re spinning onto jib features.
Only running in sizes up 149, it’s not going to be one if you’re after a burly all-rounder, but as a fun freestyler it’ll do the job for sure.
Elan Aurora Snowboard 2015-2016
With a DG top sheet that allows the design to be printed straight onto the top laminate, the Elan Aurora is not just a women’s all terrain rocker; it’s also a very lightweight board to boot.
Built on a directional twin shape with a soft-mid flex, it’s been made to be buttery smooth and features an extruded base, and impact absorbing ABS S1 sidewalls for optimal energy transfer from bindings to edges.
The formula here means if you’re a beginner or intermediate rider looking for something fun with easy progression you’re in luck – and thanks to that lightweight construction you’ll be happy to have longer days on the hill without the strain.
Elan El Grande Snowboard 2015-2016
Unsurprisingly, Elan’s El Grande is one for larger riders – and it comes with the tag line ‘widest board in the world’ just in case you wanted to be sure.
The waist on this runs up to 284mm for a size 171 board, which is huge! But it’s not just designed with surface space in mind. The board is made for powerful all mountain shred, with a blunted directional shape to reduce weight, and Elan’s most pronounced camber profile. It’s mid-stiff in flex, but utilises sidecuts which promote manoeuvrability and a quick edge to edge transition, so regardless of the size you ride, you won’t find it feeling like a plank.
Endeavor Color Snowboard 2015-2016
Endeavor have made a bit of a switch up this season, becoming the first company to liscence Burton’s ‘Channel’ system, but underneath, the Color is still very much the same long standing favourite as it was last year.
The flat camber base has raised contacts for a friendly feel, and carbon beams combined with a speedy sintered base mean you aren’t going to be lacking in power off hits.
Endeavor Guerilla Snowboard 2015-2016
Endeavor’s take on an all terrain ride with a hybrid camber that provides something for everyone – the Guerilla is built on a camber profile with raised contact points to give riders pop off the hits, and a loose skatey feel on piste.
At it’s heart, the Endeavor Guerilla is has a poplar wood core with birch reinforcement around the Channel binding mount system, as well as seamless sidewall tech so it’ll stand up to a bit of punishment.
It’s got a soft-mid flex, reinforcing that freestyle feel, and an extruded base to allow for easy repairs.
Flow Rush Snowboard 2015-2016
The Flow Rush is displayed here with all its tech on show under a clear topsheet. The production model looks like this, but the inner workings will remain the same.
Packed with urethane Kush technology for impact absorption and reduced chatter, it’s an all mountain rocker ride, with a directional twin shape for cutting lines through all sorts of snow.
Tech-wise it also features bamboo beams and carbon stringers for response and further reduced impact, and comes ready to split with an internal ABS stringer running tip to tail.
Flow Silhouette Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Flow’s entry-level Silhouette is an ideal women’s ride for building confidence and enjoying every step up the ladder as you begin to progress.
Built on a soft flex, with a flat rocker profile, it’s a true twin which will be most at home on mellow piste days and flowing through smaller park features – although thanks to the rocker it should float happily through side-piste powder too.
Hang ups shouldn’t be a problem with the profile as it is, and a smooth 3-DT sidecut will help with first turns – elsewhere the Optix 2000 base, and Tru-Flex core are built to stay strong and handle the school of hard knocks.
Gnu Original Swallowtail Carver Snowboard 2015-2016
Gnu’s Original Swallowtail Carver might look the spitting image of its 1983 inspiration – but under the retro graphic and shape it’s packing all the modern tech you could possibly want.
What this adds up to is a swallowtail ride that carves like a dream, and has heaps of float in powder, but exceeds all expectations when it comes to fun freestyle chops too.
Gnu Velvet Gnuru Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
The Gnu Velvet Gnuru is a choice that Mervin offer for female riders who want one weapon to do it all. Born from a hybrid profile with rocker between the feet and mellow camber under the inserts, it allows you to engage the Magne-traction edges when you want, but equally retain float for deeper snow.
Gnu Zoid Snowboard 2015-2016
Available in options for both goofy and regular riders, the Gnu Zoid is asymmetrical snowboard riding pushed up to eleven.
The instantly distinctive shape is meant to be ergonomically efficient, and comes in combination with a rocker profile between the feet and elliptical camber outside the inserts to help you slay everything.
Watch it in action and you’ll see that it’s a versatile number, despite the unusual directional shape – crafted for laying out carves on the piste, slashing in powder and throwing big stylish shapes in the air; and thanks to the profile and Magne-traction combo it’ll be friendly for all levels of rider too.
Head Force i. KERS Snowboard 2015-2016
With technology borrows from Formula 1 racing, you can bet that the Head Force i. KERS packs a punch.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System it utilises is meant to store energy in the turn and unleash it as you come out, giving you all sorts of extra speed.
Obviously this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a hard charging camber fan who’s into their freestyle, the Force I. KERS could be right up your street. It’s a subtly directional twin, with the inserts set back 1cm, and added basalt stringers and bamboo for pop.
Head Rush Snowboard 2015-2016
The Head Rush is designed to offer an easy entry-level ride, and peddles all the widely accepted features that make for an ideal first foray into snowboarding.
A lightweight poplar core provides the framework for a rocker profile, true twin with an extruded base that’s sure to be reliable and hardwearing – and an incredibly friendly price point gives essential bonus points to a relatively frill-free design. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a first board with limited funds it’ll provide a fun catch-free ride.
Jones Flagship Snowboard 2015-2016
Leading the charge for Jeremy’s line of snowboards, the Jones Flagship is a charging camber ride, with a long rocker nose that lends it perfectly to powder.
Speedy piste days will transfer seamlessly into powder and sluff blasting with ease – and oak dampening will help keep you comfortable through it all.
Jones Hovercraft Snowboard 2015-2016
Powder-chasing professionals (or those that would like to be one) have trusted the Jones Hovercraft since its inception. Its short crescent tail and large spoon nose are ideal for float, but help keep the ride nifty through trees. In short if you dream of heading for Japan, this should be in your board bag.
Jones Mountain Twin Snowboard 2015-2016
In a line up of beardy freeriders, the Jones Mountain Twin is the freestyle-focussed park kid. But don’t think for a moment you’re looking at a noodly jib stick.
Packing a camber-heavy profile, it’s made for powerful hits and pop, and will still handle the whole mountain with stability when you need it to.
Jones Storm Chaser Snowboard 2015-2016
With surf influences introduced from shaper Chris Christenson, the Jones Storm Chaser is a swallowtail stick and off-piste specialist.
In testing we found it really came to life at speed in wide-open cruisey fields, and with a wide design it’ll really float up and over deep snow, like its water-borne cousins.
Jones Twin Sister Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Taking the Mountain Twin and making it work for ladies is more than just giving it a different graphic – and the Jones Twin Sister might be closely related to its male counterpart, but every detail has been tweaked for women.
Nevertheless it’s designed to fill the same gap in the Jones line – an all mountain stick with a freestyle leaning, directional twin shape and hybrid camber to slay it all.
K2 CarveAir Snowboard 2015-2016
Put Tim Eddy at the helm of board design, and the K2 CarveAir is just one of the many wild possibilities you could end up with – but it just so happens that this is what he’ll be favouring coming into this season.
Instantly recognisable from its silhouette, this directional ride is more versatile than it looks – capable of precise carving, big hits, piste and powder charging and much more.
K2 Cool Bean Snowboard 2015-2016
A short 144 build and about as wide as they come – the K2 Cool Bean is a pretty unique specimen in this year’s line up.
Fantastically directional and capable of locking into a carve, it’s obviously at home cutting fast turns in deep snow, but we’ve seen it taken to the park with relative success too. This one might just surprise you.
K2 Fastplant Snowboard 2015-2016
The K2 Fastplant is a freestyle board than many will be familiar with, and if you’ve liked it in the past, chances are this year’s version will still be right up your street. Flat profile, true twin, reinforced with a built in ollie-bar made of carbon Kevlar and urethane, it’s the perfect storm for tricking all over the mountain.
K2 Happy Hour Snowboard 2015-2016
Tim Eddy’s ride of choice before the CarveAir – the K2 Happy Hour is a relatively stiff freestyler which will take a bit of work, but does provide powerful pop in return!
Kickers and side hits are firmly in its territory, but it won’t let you down with a classic carve either.
K2 Joy Driver Snowboard 2015-2016
A fresh one from the workshop, the K2 Joy Driver comes in place of the popular Zeppelin this year, and with the endorsement of big mountain man Lucas Debari.
At its heart it’s an all mountain slayer, with high speeds under control and a pipe-ready camber-based profile, without loosing low-speed fun altogether.
K2 Raygun Snowboard 2015-2016
Pay little heed to the low price tag – you’re getting plenty to play with in the K2 Raygun, even if it’s not armed to the teeth with tech.
This flat profiled, directional ride is about as friendly as they come, and will provide endless happy days on snow, regardless of the conditions. Encouraging you to progress with stability and effortless playfulness and turns.
K2 Turbo Dream Snowboard 2015-2016
The K2 Turbo Dream is an all-terrain ride for plowing through powder, and less friendly textures too.
It’s flat base, directional twin build is happy on its edges, and remains robust thanks to a mid-stiff flex and carbon web, but isn’t too punishing for relaxed riders either.
K2 WWW Snowboard 2015-2016
True twin, flat profile – the K2 World Wide Weapon (WWW) is a long-standing favourite that had a healthy revamp last year.
For 2015-16 it’s back, packing Tweekend tip and tail for presses and powder, and a predictable ride for rails, park and well beyond conventional freestyle boundaries too.
Korua Puzzle Snowboard 2015-2016
Stephan Maurer’s new line-up might not have much to distinguish board-from-board graphically, but fear not, all the focus has been put into size and shaping.
The Korua Puzzle comes only in a 161, and lives primarily in the quick powder turn realm – with a huge spoon nose and stubby tail that’ll feel right at home on pillow lines.
Korua Stealth Snowboard 2015-2016
The Korua Stealth is a stable charger with a more-than-distinctive outline, that is slightly more versatile than the Puzzle in that it can hold its own on the piste as well as in powder.
Perfect for smooth, speedy lines and eurocarving your way down runs, it’ll cleave through terrain leaving all others in your dust.
Lib Tech Skate Banana Snowboard 2015-2016
2007 is already a scarily long time ago, and it’s since then the Lib Tech Skate Banana has been a staple in the annual snowboard line-up.
The popular concept remains relatively unchanged here, rocker in the middle with camber either side, magnetraction for grip – and a ride that’s catch-free, floaty, and butter-ready straight out the box.
Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro Horsepower Snowboard 2015-2016
Lib Tech’s Travis Rice Pro Horsepower Edition is a souped up version of the board designed for the man himself to tackle the whole mountain.
Of course, having seen Travis ride, you’ll have some idea of what this means the original all mountain ride is for, and this stronger, lighter, more environmentally-friendly Horsepower version is an added luxury for people who want to take it to another level.
Lib Tech TRS Snowboard 2015-2016
Confusing, we know, but the Lib Tech TRS isn’t an acronym for another Travis Rice related board– it stands for Total Ripper Series, and it should do exactly what it says on the tin.
Built for backcountry freestyle and freeride, it’s a true twin that’ll let you explore the whole mountain, but also hold it down on park kickers should you need it to.
Never Summer Cobra Snowboard 2015-2016
Never Summer command a loyal following out of their base in Colorado – and the Never Summer Cobra has been one of the whips that keeps those customers coming back for more for a few years now.
Hybrid camber and a mid stiff flex, with a lightweight construction go into making this directional twin work all over the mountain with credentials in all corners.
Never Summer Funslinger Snowboard 2015-2016
The Never Summer Funslinger has an asymmetric design, and is the most park-orientated design in NS’s line.
It’s soft and playful, but this twin board still holds an edge, and has a thin lightweight core, reinforced with carbon in the nose and tail and rubber dampening underfoot.
Never Summer Infinity Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Never Summer’s Infinity has already proven popular as an all-round ride for women who need a one-board quiver.
It features NS’s original rocker camber profile, making it take easily to all sorts of conditions – as well as a grippy sidecut, a lightweight core, and plenty of dampening, giving it all day comfort and control.
P-Tex tip and tail protection, and a full wrap metal edge also mean this is one that should hold on for a good long while before you’re hunting for a new ride.
Never Summer Proto HD Snowboard 2015-2016
For the men – Never Summer’s Proto HD is held up as one to ride all season, no matter what your preference of terrain or style.
It doesn’t come cheap, but does promise a whole heap of tech, and a smooth ride from park to powder, and everywhere in between.
Nidecker Elle Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Best suited to women who are first time buyers, but don’t quite want to go full rocker – the CamRock Nidecker Elle gives a little added headroom, without taking away too much from the laidback feel that most beginners will enjoy.
Soft without being too loose, it’s intended for everything from freestyle to freeride, while a simple full wood core helps keep the price down.
The Elle features a directional shape to increase control in turns, which combines with the larger rockered nose to give it that extra bit of powder capability.
Nidecker Ultralight Snowboard 2015-2016
Nidecker call the Ultralight the pinnacle of their technological knowledge in snowboarding, and as is often the case, this comes with a bit of a price tag attached – but that’s not to say that it’s the wrong board for you. It could we be perfect, as long as you know what you’re getting into.
The Ultralight is a performance freeride snowboard, with carbon fibre, Kevlar and a welded wooden core shaped into a directional powder shape, for speedy turns and response.
Its freeride CamRock profile emphasises control between the feet, with a larger rocker in the nose than the tail to allow you to manoeuvre instead of sinking. Of course this is all capped with an eco-friendly, speedy base with carbon nanoparticles, completing the performance focussed feature list.
Nitro Addict Snowboard 2015-2016
Happy wallet, happy rider, that’s the theory. The Nitro Addict provides a fix at a very friendly price by cutting out some of the bells and whistles you’ll find as the hundreds start stacking up.
This all mountain ride is simple and easy to ride, with a softer flex, but it’ll nevertheless plough through everything in sight.
Nitro Magnum Snowboard 2015-2016
Nitro’s oversized ride shares a ubiquitous name with more than a few other industries – but this Magnum is built for big feet and good times on snow, moving through all types of terrain with a nimble ease that defies its size.
Directional in shape, its Roofchop camber is mostly traditional, with a small flat zone between the feet for heaps of pop and even edge pressure – and a stiffened responsive feel should give plenty of support for riders who normally find boards too soft for their taste.
Nitro Prime Snowboard 2015-2016
About as flat as they come, the Nitro Prime features zero camber for riders who haven’t found a home with either rocker or camber profiles.
As the name suggests, this is a great starting point for anyone working their way through the Nitro range, with a loose flex and an all-mountain freestyle ethos, packed in a directional shape.
It’s been built to be affordable, but still features a premium base for speed, and a poppy Powercore to give you plenty of snap off the hits, both inside the park and further afield.
Nitro Team Snowboard 2015-2016
Even if you’re riding solo, the Nitro Team will be all the squad you need. It’s one-board to ride it all ethos employs classic camber with a directional twin shape to mould a friend for any traditionalist.
Grippy, responsive and ready for rails and kickers, the camber profile might not make it a first choice for powder, but it’ll rise to the occasion if you push it.
Ride Alter Ego Snowboard 2015-2016
Now in its second year, the Ride Alter Ego still sits fairly firmly in its own spotlight, providing riders with two options for different types of backcountry riding.
Unclip the split tail for fast turns in trees, or keep it fastened for hard charging in powder, the choice is up to you.
Ride Buckwild Snowboard 2015-2016
Notably seen under the feet of Billy Morgan in his rise to multi-flipping infamy – the Ride Buckwild is an instantly distinguishable freestyler with a flair for colour.
It’s mostly flat in profile, but obviously provides plenty of power for big kickers – and is happy enough in a powder field too.
Ride Crook Snowboard 2015-2016
The Ride Crook is a jib board with the sole aim of providing performance without an outrageous price tag – and in an urban environment, it’s got the goods to outlast competitors too.
Urethane sidewalls and an extruded base absorb impacts on this flat profile true twin, which is ideal for dome days and park riders alike.
Ride Helix Snowboard 2015-2016
Yuki Kadono has taken the Ride Helix and helped it on its way to stardom with amazing feats since its debut last season, and although the man himself must take some credit, the board also has its own part to play.
Alongside its unique outline, the Helix offers camber performance with subtle rocker tips that give it a playful platform to press on – freestyle fans of all sorts should give it a try.
Ride Highlife UL Snowboard 2015-2016
Sitting pretty at the high end of their range, the Ride Highlife UL is a techy offering that has gone down a storm with riders who like lightweight all-mountain boards.
For smooth riding in all conditions it features a rocker in the nose, and micro camber under the slightly set-back inserts and into the tail, with Slimewall material extending under the binding, and Silencer tech to filter out vibration.
Carbon stringers line an Ultralight wood core to allow for less weight, and a urethane-infused Membrane topsheet allows for a construction that is half as heavy as other options.
Ride Machete Snowboard 2015-2106
Built for riders who want to take off at any opportunity, the Ride Machete is at home with hits all over the mountain. Our testers found it delivered in park, piste and powdery conditions, and with carbon rods and stringers, and urethane in the core of its flat profile construction, it’ll help keep you flying around the mountain all day.
Rome Agent Rocker Snowboard 2015-2016
Coming in with both rocker and camber versions as per usual – we took out the Rome Agent Rocker in testing to see how this year’s version fared.
The board is peddled for riders who are into all-mountain boards with a freestyle leaning, and has features like a carbon pop rod, and Zylon strip to help make it a responsive ride.
Rome Artifact Rocker Snowboard 2015-2016
Also a member of the rocker/camber club – we tested the Rome Artifact Rocker for this season and came away pretty damn happy.
Of course, this being the modern age, it’s not just a simple rocker, but something closer to a flat profile. Nevertheless we found it forgiving and fun with enough support to play around on the mountain.
Rome Brigade Snowboard 2015-2016
Entry-level pricing with a tweaked camber combo that’s good for much more than learning to turn – the Rome Brigade got hailed as an hidden gem in the line-up by our testers.
Responsive in steeps and buttery smooth in the park, this directional twin packs more than you might expect.
Rome Gang Plank Snowboard 2015-2016
Riding around on the Rome Gang Plank you’ll find none of the bad connotations you might usually associate with the word ‘plank’ in snowboarding – this true twin board might have a flat profile, but it’s a lot more than a strip of timber.
Use it for freestyle, carving and much more, it’ll even ride powder pretty damn well for a twin.
Roxy XOXO Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Designed with input from smiley Aussie Torah Bright, the Roxy XOXO is a soft stick with a lot of Mervin goodness going for it.
Magne-traction edges, a subtly asymmetrical design, and a rocker/camber combo go into this one, making it sturdy enough to take around the hill, while keep jibby fun at its heart.
Salomon Craft Snowboard 2015-2016
Essentially a simplified version of the Salomon Assassin, the Salomon Craft strikes at a noticeably lower price point, and while it might be missing a bit of tech, it’s still a formidable all-rounder for riders rising up through the ranks.
Take it to the park with confidence, and mess around on the piste for days with this true twin whip.
Salomon Derby Snowboard 2015-2016
Designed with the help of one Josh Dirksen, the Salomon Derby is a board for deep powder, tree runs and cranked turns.
Playful and powerful at the same time, it rides short and has a large surface area to compensate, giving it a tight turning circle without washing out.
Salomon Gypsy Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
The Salomon Gypsy is a bit of a no-brainer for freestyling females, especially when you consider its popularity with Jenny Jones and Desiree Melancon.
Softer than you might think given Jenny’s big kicker game, it’s predominantly camber profile is forgiving but poppy, and although the board is park-focussed, it’ll keep you happy around the mountain too.
Salomon Man’s Board Snowboard 2015-2016
Bode Merrill bought forth the Salmon Man’s Board way back in 2011 – and its latest incarnation impressed our testers with is super lightweight powerful design.
This cam-rock, directional twin features a mid-stiff chassis with heaps of tech and eco-friendly credentials – intermediate to advanced freestylers should be the ones to take a look.
Salomon Pillow Talk Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
Ladies aren’t often plied with heaps of options for funky shapes – but thankfully for those looking for a powder whip, the Salomon Pillow Talk provides exactly that.
Standing in as a tweaked version of the men’s Derby, it’s a flat-rocker formula with a very reasonable price point, and approval from Annie Boulanger herself!
Salomon Sabotage Snowboard 2015-2016
This park-ready slayer is turning into a regular favourite, thanks in part to the endorsements of British riders like Jamie Nicholls and Matt McCormick.
Coming in this year with added torsional stiffness thanks to the triax glass, it’s tech is aimed at providing reduced chatter for big hits, heaps of pop and a detuned feel on rails – but it’ll hold its own around the hill too.
Salomon Super 8 Snowboard 2015-2016
Josh Dirksen and Wolle Nyvelt have both provided inspiration for the Salomon Super 8 – which might give you some idea of how and where this is meant to be ridden. If it doesn’t, know that it’s a shorter, wider design with a setback camber profile for surfy feel – powder slashes and carving are thoroughly recommended.
Salomon Villain Snowboard 2015-2016
The Salomon Villain is a powerful freestyle stick that holds mostly true to traditional camber, and makes it work for park and street slaying.
Louif Paradis can often be found at the helm of this one, and it’s undoubtedly poppy for getting onto bigger features, and locks in like a treat. Recommended for advancing park riders who aren’t looking for a loose feel, or seasonaires who lean towards the park.
Salomon Assassin Snowboard 2015-2016
We’ve heard it said more than a few times now – if you’re looking for a genuine quiver killer, the Salomon Assassin comes about as close as is physically possible.
This cam-rock profile, true twin board changes personality with your riding style, pushing harder when you need it to, and easing off when you don’t.
Slash Brainstorm Snowboard 2015-2016
If you’ve been looking into making a powder addition to your line-up, but also want to enjoy the days when the weather isn’t quite on your side, the Slash Brainstorm should be right up your street.
Chopping through rough snow on piste with its setback camber profile is no problem, and a pronounced rocker at the nose is just one of many elements that make this ideal for deep snow.
Slash Happy Place Snowboard 2015-2016
If you’re after the most aggressive board in Gigi’s Slash range, then maybe keep looking. But if you’re into pure enjoyment all over the mountain and beyond, well, the clue’s in the name…
Hybrid camber is used here with flat sections under the feet mellowing out a subtle arch between the inserts. It’s mid-soft in flex, but X shape carbon stringers will give this plenty of snap too.
Slash Nahual Snowboard 2015-2016
Shaped and tested by Manuel Diaz – the Slash Nahual is a directional ride that is unsurprisingly suited to intense terrain.
Under the feet of our testers its mellow tail cutaway and zero camber rocker blasted through all sorts, and in the hands of progressing intermediate-advanced freeriders it’ll prove an invaluable ally.
Smokin Lane Knaack Snowboard 2015-2016
With it’s mid-wide design, the Smokin Lane Knaack pro model is suited to riders with bigger feet, looking for a true twin freestyler.
Mostly traditional in camber with flatter sections between the inserts, it gives the feel of a throwback design underfoot, carving like a champ with plenty of edge hold and stability and as it’s Smokin, you know it’s US made through and through.
Stepchild Latchkey Rocker Snowboard 2015-2016
Keeping everyone happy, the Stepchild Latchkey comes in both camber and rocker versions – letting you take your personal preference with their Kevlar reinforced freestyle twin.
Hitting the perfect balance between looseness and grip, the reverse camber version won over our tester (who’s normally more of a traditionalist), proving itself on rails, and slushy spring kickers.
Stepchild OG Pow Snowboard 2015-2016
Bearing the ‘Locals Only’ signage this season, the Stepchild OG Pow is the obviously the most backcountry orientated ride in their range – but that’s not to say it’s a complete specialist.
Made for manoeuvrability in deep snow – its flat profile will also rip around on the piste thanks to a mid-stiff flex, and the directional twin shape won’t cut switch riding from your vocabulary either.
Stepchild Sucks Snowboard 2015-2016
Formerly bearing the words ‘Powder Sucks’ you could be forgiven for thinking the Stepchild Sucks is a bit of a cynic. In reality, it’s actually a positive board that’s perfect for all conditions.
True in twin, its blunted shape is designed for expanding your tricktionary rather than gunning around at speed, but it’s poplar/Kevlar core provides enough a mid flex which is exceedingly versatile too.
Technine Bradshaw Pro Snowboard 2015-2016
Unsurprisingly, the Technine Bradshaw Pro is a freestyle board through and through – toting a dead-flexible traditional camber and classic true twin shape which will suit riders who like their ride to feel a bit old school.
Packing a jib ready edge treatment, and reinforcing carbon V shapes in the nose and tail, it’ll have you ripping around the park at speed with a rapid sintered base – and fans of Terje’s old sword graphic might well appreciate the tip of the cap Chris Brashaw goes for with his own slightly twisted Leatherface version…
Volkl Spade Snowboard 2015-2016
In the introductory stages of snowboarding, many will argue that a forgiving board is preferable, but the Volkl Spade is more than just a rocker infused ride.
Its directional build and mid-soft flex will take riders past their humble beginnings, with a versatile flat-rocker shape that provides that little bit extra over a pure rocker design.
Added features like the grippy lacquer topsheet will not only help with first drag lift experiences, but prove handy when you’re moving onto one footers further down the line; and a classic woodcore is partenered with a V-Flex glass for perfect transmission of power.
Volkl Squad Prime Snowboard 2015-2016
The Volkl Squad Prime is the camber version of their flagship freestyle board. Packed with tech, emphasis here is placed on making the board lightweight and a pro at absorbing impact.
Traditional profiling and a mid-stiff flex add to the impression that you’re dealing with a high-end ride here – and this is certainly a board we’d recommend for riders looking to push the limits of power and pop.
Volkl have worked the geometry here to maximised the effective edge which will make it ideal for clean lines coming through the pipe or off big kickers; and thanks to a mid-wide width it’ll easily handle some hard carving on piste too.
YES 20/20 Snowboard 2015-2016 Snowboard 2015-2016
Expanding on the concepts ingrained in their 420 snowboard, the YES 20/20 has turned plenty of heads coming into this season, and you can’t help but think that the 3D hull has something to do with it.
Short in shape, it’s been designed to provide a true twin version of the short wide design employed by the 420 – offering a unique bit of design that really comes into play when you’re riding in deep snow.
YES 420 Snowboard 2015-2016
The origin of short wide powder rides in the YES line – the YES 420 continues to prove valuable for people after a floaty ride with quick turning capabilities.
No lean-back required on this one, as sinking isn’t an option, giving you confidence, with no risk of going over the handlebars.
YES Basic Snowboard 2015-2016
A misnomer by many accounts, the YES Basic has been going for the lifespan of the company, and with multiple changes in design along the way, it’s actually pretty complex.
The current version comes with UnderBite edges, which step in under the bindings – redistributing energy to the effective edge for confident turning. This one’s truly a board to take everywhere.
YES Greats Snowboard 2015-2016
The graphics might be the headline-snatchers when it comes to this year’s YES Greats snowboards – but it’s worth remembering that this is very much a board that works wonders in practice too.
Redesigned from the ground up for this season, if you’re looking for an asymmetrical all-rounder that’s jumps like a dream, you’re in luck.
YES Hel Yes Women’s Snowboard 2015-2016
The only female-specific board in the YES range – the YES Hel Yes is favoured by team rider Helen Schettini as she explores the reaches of steep and deep terrain.
Recommended mostly for strong riders who share her affinity for out of bounds terrain, its directional hybrid camber is responsive, with bamboo stringers for pop, and a feel that’s more than ready to get airborne.
YES Pick Your Line Snowboard 2015-2016
The term all-rounder is tossed around far too frequently (not least by folks like us) – but it’s worth remembering that even within the category of ‘backcountry’ there are sub-sects, which means you might need different tools for different off-piste conditions.
Not with the Pick Your Line though – this is DCP’s one-board quiver for getting out of bounds, and it charges hard on piste too.
YES Typo Snowboard 2015-2016
The YES Typo pairs up with the Basic in this year’s range, and offers a harder charging version, with added response for more demanding riders.
It’s also slightly directional, with a speedier sintered base, to up its suitability to rapid lines on piste – but it hasn’t lost the ability to shred everything else along the way.