Top Six (We Had A Tie) Women’s Freestyle Boards

For the sixth season, TWS has organized and executed the most thorough, unbiased, freestyle board test in existence.
Palmer Halo 149

Sometimes things perform best in their most basic and simple state. That’s the case for the Halo. It’s not one of Palmer’s top-of-the-line carbon- , honeycomb- , titanium-accessorized blingers. The Halo depends instead on the subtle effects of the multi-radii Klothoid-shaped sidecut, which provides easy turning and handling without compromising performance, which is exactly what Palmer set out to build for entry-level riders.

The Halo’s solid ride comes from the full sidewall construction and a tip-to-tail woodcore-the factors that made our testers want to place this board firmly underfoot.

According to our testers, all this mellow results in a powerful board. Dana summed up the pop of the Halo in one sentence: “I may have to leave my boyfriend at home, because this board makes me go bigger than him.” Sara said it was “an all-around solid board,” only finding fault when she was riding switch on the directional stance (it’s set back twenty millimeters). Emily found that the Halo is a board that’s good in the pipe and the trees. Choose this board if you want an easy-riding slope cruiser.
Board length: 149
Effective edge: 116.5 cm
Sidecut radius: 6.8 m (klothoid)
Waist width: 23.9 cm
Maximum stance width: 22 in
Available lengths: 146, 149, 152
Price: $389
Web site: palmersnowboards.com

 
Rome Vinyl 151

If we were to buy a board just for the graphics, the entire Vinyl line would make the cut. Luckily, we’d be making a good decision-the Vinyl has been loved by board testers for two years running, and for good reasons. Josh Reid, the man behind Rome snowboards, broke it down for us: “In the Vinyl, we merged the more buttery feeling StraightBiax laminate with a mellow core profile, which results in a board that’s easy to manipulate, super stable on landings, and generally fun underfoot.” The buttery flex does double-duty as a great board for hitting the jumps and rails, and as a less-aggressive board for the weekend warrior who just wants to cruise the mountain without getting bucked off.

Sara liked that the board has “mad pop while still being stable.” Emily commented that the Vinyl is a “fun freeriding board with surprising pop in the tail for jumps-a great riding platform.” Dana gave the board all tens: “It’s perfect for all-around aggressive park riding, and it’s a great board for spinning.”

Sound like something you’d want to ride?
Board length: 151
Effective edge: 113.5 cm
Sidecut radius: 7.3 m
Waist width: 24 cm
Max stance width: 23 1/8 in
Available sizes: 144, 147, 151, 155
Price: $360
Web site: romesnowboards.com

 
TechNine True Love/Lipstick 156

This is the third year TechNine has been pumping out boards to go with its popular bindings, and already it’s making a debut in the board test. TechNine’s slogan for their first women’s board ever says it all, “Move over, diamonds, we are now a girl’s best friend.” TechNine VP Ethan Stone says, “The True Love is designed for every level of riding from pro to beginner. The flex and sidecut are perfect for all conditions, and the snappy pop makes it impossible to not have fun.”

TW tester Dana said, “This is the kind of board that makes you late to work ’cause you just had to do another lap.” Crazy Sara thought the stance options were the shit: “I could get a 22.5-inch centered stance.” She also went off about the great responsiveness and stability on rails: “I actually enjoyed riding it.” It figures that a company with the likes of Bozung onboard would figure out the wider stance options.

And how about them graphics? E-Stone says the graphics were so popular with the rest of the team that they almost ended up on the men’s boards.
Board length: 156
Effective edge: 123.5 cm
Waist width: 24.1 cm
Max stance width: 22.5 in
Available sizes: 144, 151, 156
Price: $375
Web site: technine.com

 
Santa Cruz Muse Tribute 151

The Muse is clocking into the top five for round two. Two years running the board has killed it in the test, but this time it’s the smaller 151 delivering the KO punch. Our testers loved this board. The Muse features a unique sidewall construction, which involves sandwiching strips of shock-absorbing rubber with ABS plates above the edges, the result is a board that absorbs vibrations and chatter, and delivers a smooth damp ride. As a bonus, the rubber is more durable in absorbing edge hits instead of getting all dinged up like straight metal edges.

The Muse is geared toward intermediate to advanced riders (beginners should check out the Cuna Union). All three girls could agree on one thing, this board performs aggressively. Dana noted that it “likes to go big in the pipe.” Emily said the board was straight-up gangsta: “It has awesome pop for jumps-if you don’t want to go big, steer clear of this board.”
Board length: 151
Effective edge: 113 cm
Sidecut radius: 7.4 m
Waist width: 23.6 cm
Maximum stance width: 23 in
Available sizes: 148, 151, 154, 157
Price: $460
Web site: scskate.com

 
Burton GTwin 150

This women’s twin-tip board was developed over the course of a full year with Natasza Zurek and Anne-Flore Marxer. They built it for a rider who’s looking for an easy-riding, fun snowboard that holds an edge well in a turn, yet is playful and forgiving enough to learn new tricks on and progress your riding. Burton Testing Director John Genrdt says, “This is the freshest, newest, most current shape and construction possible.” He added, “We took our time and dialed this board in exactly how the girls wanted it. For me, this was one of the most rewarding boards to work on in a long time because of the rider-driven process and the final outcome.” The winner of the first U.S. Roxy Chicken Jam, Natasza agreed, “We were allowed to design it totally how we wanted, and what we wanted was a fun freestyle board that was still stable in the turns. Who wouldn’t like a board like that?”

Our testers didn’t have any of this info when they started heel toein’ down the slopes, they just knew they liked what they were riding. Sara said, “It’s easy to ride, popped, and flexed good for the jibs.” Emily remarked that it is an “awesome all-around board that will improve your snowboarding.” Dana said, “This board rode great all over the mountain.” Hmm, a twin that performs both in the park and out on the slopes-perfect.
Board length: 150
Effective edge: 113 cm
Sidecut radius: 7.2 m
Waist width: 24.1 cm
Maximum stance width: 24 in
Available sizes: 150 cm
Price: $450
Web site: burton.com

 
Flow Myriad 149

Talk about a company having a stellar season, the Flow team pretty much podiumed every event this winter, threw the biggest party at the Team Challenge, and made a board good enough to get the Good Wood stamp-it’s one for the record books.

Our testers loved this board but couldn’t agree on why. It’s kind of the Transformer of snowboards. One tester thought it rode stiff; one thought it rode soft-pretty confusing. It turns out that that’s what the board is built for-everything. It’s a directional twin-tip board, so it comes with a set-back stance option for all-over mountain performance.

The testers only had good things to say about the Myriad, from Sara’s comments about it “pressing well, but still holding an edge and turning nicely” to Emily’s stoke on the twin-tip shreddability of the board: “It’s fun to flip around and ride both ways.”

This board is built for intermediate to expert riders. Flow teamrider Emily Akerblom helped design this board to be lighter, softer, and narrower. The Myriad leans more toward freestyle than freeride with its twin-tip shape, but the slightly set-back stance and wide variety of stance options opens the doors to really any type of terrain.
Board length: 149
Available lengths: 145, 149, 153, 157
Effective edge: 113 cm
Sidecut radius: 8.8/8/8.8 m
Waist width: 23.9 cm
Maximum stance width: 22 in
Price: $365
Web site: flow.com

 

its twin-tip shape, but the slightly set-back stance and wide variety of stance options opens the doors to really any type of terrain.
Board length: 149
Available lengths: 145, 149, 153, 157
Effective edge: 113 cm
Sidecut radius: 8.8/8/8.8 m
Waist width: 23.9 cm
Maximum stance width: 22 in
Price: $365
Web site: flow.com