The editors of Snowboard Life magazine have gathered at Mammoth Mountain, California to do just this. They are conducting the second annual Top 25 Board Review, which pits more than 130 of next year’s boards from 40 different snowboard brands against each other to be judged by seven different testers, and finally whittled down to the top 25 freeriding and top five women’s models of the year.
For six days the group of male and female testers will put the boards through freeriding paces, taking turns on Mammoth’s steeps, groomers, big jumps, rails, and super pipes.
The testers include a mixture of editors, pros and former pros, and snowboard instructors with many, many years of riding experience. The group includes three women and four men to test the different boards.
One of the testers, World Cup Giant Slalom racer and 1998 Nagano Olympic competitor Lisa Kosglow, came into the mounting and storage room after trying out one board and exclaimed with a big smile, “This board carves better than my GS board!” She, like the others, have ridden boards they loved, and ones that stunk as well, just to sort out which are the best boards of the season.
The Top 25 freeriding boards and top five women’s boards will be announced in the October issue of Snowboard Life magazine, which hits newsstands in September right in time to buy a new board. Until then, hang on to your old board because it’d be a waste to spend money on a board that didn’t make the Top 25.