Company Line
“The Artec 3.2 is the answer to the quest of most jibbers on the hill. With all its special sliding features, it’s the ultimate answer to all the obstacles that might turn up in the park.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board was so much fun in variable conditions.”
- “It had the perfect amount of flex and awesome pop.
- “Rad on trannies.”

Cons:
- “Nose and tail could be a little stiffer.”

 

 

Elan Inverse 155
Weight, weight, weight! That’s what sets this board apart from the rest on the hill, according to the folks at Elan. They claim the unique and patented Advanced DG Top Technology is the foundation for the lightest boards in the world. Jared definitely picked up on how “light and responsive” it is, and it came through as the ultimate park board-eerily aware of your moves almost before you are …

Company line
“The use of only the lightest materials available allows this board to act superior in spinning, jibbing, and all-mountain performance.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “It had just the right flex.”
- “Landings felt like jumping into pillows.”
- “If you ride jumps, rails, boxes, trees, junk, trash, cars, street rails-whatever you ride-the board is amazing.”

Cons:
- “The inserts could be more centered.”

 

 

Gnu Rider’s Choice 157.5 MTX
Every single tester loved this board-it’s as simple as that. And it’s not that surprising: the board has shown its ability plenty in the past, with pro rider Zach Leach working it on rails and Hampus Mosseson sweeping gold on it in the Air And Style last year. The words we kept hearing were “versatility,” “stability,” and “flex,” some of which can probably be attributed to its Magne-traction sidewall technology. It seems a great board for the rider who really wants to progress, unless, according to Ami, you are on the heavy side.

Company Line
“This board is a great all-around freestyle board that works every day in every condition.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board is so versatile and dialed in on everything-it did most of the work for you!”
- “Good snappy flex. Soft enough for jibs yet poppy enough for ollies and stable on landings.”
- “Going fast or spinning the board is easy to control and lots of fun.”
- “Really provided a great edge in the pipe.”
- “Turns very responsive. Light and nimble.”

Cons:
- “Seems like it would be a little edgy on rails.”

 

Lib Tech TRS MTX 159
MTX equals Magne-traction, the sidecut technology Lib Tech is offering riders for the ultimate edge hold and control. The nontraditional edges have seven bumps on each side, with the deepest bumps being around your feet, allowing you to steer from your feet rather than initiating your turns from the tip and tail. The advanced edge hold didn’t go unnoticed by the testers, who all found it to be a really solid and stable park shred-must be why it’s made it into the Good Wood for the second year in a row.

Company Line
“The board feels more like a skateboard. Control is at your feet where your balance is generated, and the tip and tails primary function is dealing with transions, lift, and ollie platforms.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “It was there when I needed it on flat landings and in different types of snow.”
- “It carves great and holds an edge well.”
- “Pure greatness all-round. Super stability, nice pop, and a sweet controlled edge in the stunt ditch.”

Cons:
- “Stiff for rails.”

 

Lib Tech Travis Rice “The Contradiction” 157 MTX

Travis Rice is a powerhouse of a rider, and his board has been designed exactly to his tastes. It’s a super fast, responsive, solid carver with enough pop to help you fulfill your biggest big-kicker dreams. With plastic tip and tail to enable a low swing weight, you can spin to your heart’s delight, and the Magne-traction sidewalls seemed to grip the pipe wall like a treat, with just a couple of questions being thrown up regarding its jib-ability. If it’s good enough for Travis … Well, you know the rest.

Company Line
“It is a power freestyle board that can handle anything you throw at it-turns, checks, landings, jibs.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Carves like a steak knife.”
- “Good for somebody who likes riding a fast and responsive board.”
- “Sweet in the pipe-actually, it grabs the walls like it owns them!”
- “Good stability going switch.”

Cons:
- “The flex was a little stiff for jibbing and butters.”

 

 

 

 

M4 GT 159
When a tester tells you he would buy this board, you know you’ve got a winner, and Ami declared just that. It was big-teethed grins all around for the GT 159, which stormed its way into this year’s top rides. “Phenomenal,” “awesome,” and “sweet” were just some of the words used to describe the board. Created to be a very high-performance snowboard, it came up with the goods, scoring top marks on flex, versatility, edging, and overall performance.

 

Company Line
“It is quick edge to edge for precision, with a smooth flex for freestyle riding.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Loved this board-really forgiving and easy to ride.”
- “Super fun nose and tail shape.”
- “Great on rails. Rad consistency, and it thrashes the pipe wall.”

Cons:
- “I had to really force it to ollie.”

 

Ride DH 157
Ride rose to the challenge this year with an offering in both the men’s and women’s boards. Board Designer Harold Waldron says a lot of it is owed to the Slimewalls, which are 85A durameter urethane sidewalls that, according to Waldron, “are softer than the rest of the world’s sidewalls-they really smooth out your line.” The DH 157 was created for the freestyle-minded.

Company Line
“The DH feels familiar, and it’s confidence building-almost like you’ve ridden it somewhere before.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board had an awesome flex.”
- “Stable when sliding boxes.”
- “Versatility of this board is one of the best yet.”

 

Cons:
-

 

 

Rome Graft 155
When Rome created the Graft, it was with the freestyle-park rider who also likes to hit a backcountry jump or two in mind. It definitely offers a mellow flex, which some of our testers loved and others felt was a touch too soft. Either way, it made it a bundle of buttery fun on jibs and a solid park deck whether you’re pro or part time.

Company Line
“A ton of our teamriders like Brendan Hayes ride it, but its mellow flex and feel make it great for all levels of freestyle riders.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Easy to set up your stance.”
- “Soft nose and tail are great for pressing.”
- “Every time I spun, it was stable into jumps and in the air.”

Cons:
- “Could use more snap.”

 

Santa Cruz Seth Huot TT 157
Designed as an all-around ride, the Seth Huot has made its way into the Good Wood top players for the second year running. Good edge hold, stability, and shape seem to be the most consistent comments from our crew of testers. There was no agreement on whether it was a jib package or not, with some testers getting their jib on with joy, while others felt it was not the board’s game.

Company Line
“Intermediate to advanced riders who are looking for an all-around freestyle board … Seth is ripping on them.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board is super consistent. It never threw me any curve balls and felt stable in everything.”
- “Sweet stance options.”
- “It definitely edged well.”

Cons:
- “I would put a little more pop into it.”

 

Sapient Evolution 157
A bona-fide freestyle board designed for the competent park and rail rider. Our testers also thought it was a fun, go-everywhere ride that would work for all ability levels. The exclusive “rail lock flex” was designed to create the perfect rail hold. According to the guys at Sapient, “It’s all about response.”

Company Line
“It’s an easy ride when you need it to be and a hard ride when you need it to be super-responsive.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Easy to ride and get used to.”
- “Great board for big park and pipes.”
- “All-round banger-I would recommend this board to the average Joe or Jill, or even more of an advanced shredder.”

Cons:
- “Turned really easy, but didn’t hold an edge that sweet.”

 

***

Good Wood Under $400

5150 Dealer 157
If you don’t want to lay down last month’s paycheck on your rail board, look no further than the 5150 Dealer 157, a twin-tip for park, rails, and general jib fun. It still boasts high-end construction such as a full tip-to-tail wood core and full-wrap metal edges. Although Matt and Ami disagreed on what level of rider this should be aimed at, most were in agreement that the Dealer is a fun stick.

Company Line
“Like Diet Coke and Mentos-a sweet explosion of jibtastic fun.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Fun, buttery flex.”
- “Pop was really good and responsive.”
- “Fun on rails and medium-size jumps.”

Cons:
- “Pipe was difficult because it is a softer board.”

 

Artec 3.3 157
Artec wanted a board that would work for the all-around intermediate freestyler who splits his time between the pipe, park, and rails, occasionally heading off to hit the powder when it falls. The 3.3 does all of the above and came out as a super fun, easy board to ride, whether in an icy pipe or soft powder.

Company Line
“Easy to spin and maneuver in the air, the Artec 3.3 makes rotations in the pipe and park an almost effortless pleasure. A mix of the 3.1 and 3.2, the Artec 3.3 is the most versatile board in the series.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Sounds crazy, but I feel like I’ve been riding this board forever.”
- “Boosts in the pipe.”
- “Proper flex and snap for rails and box maneuvers.”

Cons:
- “Feels a little long for jibs.”

 

Elan Prodigy 159
Feel like decking your boss? Save your job and go abuse the Prodigy instead, because this board is designed to take a beating in the park and on rails. It’s a mid-wide board, which gives it stability as well as the ability to accommodate a wide range of foot sizes. This is a good overall park board that’s soft enough for fun-packed jib sessions.

 

Company Line
“With its twin-tip shape and superb flex, the Prodigy will give you inspiring performance no matter how hard you ride it in the park or on rails.”

Test Crew Feedback

Company Line
“Intermediate to advanced riders who are looking for an all-around freestyle board … Seth is ripping on them.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board is super consistent. It never threw me any curve balls and felt stable in everything.”
- “Sweet stance options.”
- “It definitely edged well.”

Cons:
- “I would put a little more pop into it.”

 

Sapient Evolution 157
A bona-fide freestyle board designed for the competent park and rail rider. Our testers also thought it was a fun, go-everywhere ride that would work for all ability levels. The exclusive “rail lock flex” was designed to create the perfect rail hold. According to the guys at Sapient, “It’s all about response.”

Company Line
“It’s an easy ride when you need it to be and a hard ride when you need it to be super-responsive.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Easy to ride and get used to.”
- “Great board for big park and pipes.”
- “All-round banger-I would recommend this board to the average Joe or Jill, or even more of an advanced shredder.”

Cons:
- “Turned really easy, but didn’t hold an edge that sweet.”

 

***

Good Wood Under $400

5150 Dealer 157
If you don’t want to lay down last month’s paycheck on your rail board, look no further than the 5150 Dealer 157, a twin-tip for park, rails, and general jib fun. It still boasts high-end construction such as a full tip-to-tail wood core and full-wrap metal edges. Although Matt and Ami disagreed on what level of rider this should be aimed at, most were in agreement that the Dealer is a fun stick.

Company Line
“Like Diet Coke and Mentos-a sweet explosion of jibtastic fun.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Fun, buttery flex.”
- “Pop was really good and responsive.”
- “Fun on rails and medium-size jumps.”

Cons:
- “Pipe was difficult because it is a softer board.”

 

Artec 3.3 157
Artec wanted a board that would work for the all-around intermediate freestyler who splits his time between the pipe, park, and rails, occasionally heading off to hit the powder when it falls. The 3.3 does all of the above and came out as a super fun, easy board to ride, whether in an icy pipe or soft powder.

Company Line
“Easy to spin and maneuver in the air, the Artec 3.3 makes rotations in the pipe and park an almost effortless pleasure. A mix of the 3.1 and 3.2, the Artec 3.3 is the most versatile board in the series.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Sounds crazy, but I feel like I’ve been riding this board forever.”
- “Boosts in the pipe.”
- “Proper flex and snap for rails and box maneuvers.”

Cons:
- “Feels a little long for jibs.”

 

Elan Prodigy 159
Feel like decking your boss? Save your job and go abuse the Prodigy instead, because this board is designed to take a beating in the park and on rails. It’s a mid-wide board, which gives it stability as well as the ability to accommodate a wide range of foot sizes. This is a good overall park board that’s soft enough for fun-packed jib sessions.

 

Company Line
“With its twin-tip shape and superb flex, the Prodigy will give you inspiring performance no matter how hard you ride it in the park or on rails.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Good and responsive into and out of turns.”
- “Great presses on rails and boxes.”
- “Super fun to butter around.”

Cons:
- “Too soft for big or aggressive shredders.”

 

Flow Quantum 156
“Park, park, park-someone give this board a bone!” There’s no hiding a real park player from Clayton. The true twin shape of the Quantum is designed to help you master every transition or jib. It came out as a park board through and through, reinforced for heavy handrail action, with enough snap to set you up for some sweet jumps, and still stiff enough to come out strong even in the pipe.

Company Line
“The board is perfect for the intermediate rider to the advanced pro looking for the top-of-the-line freestyle-shaped board.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Felt super stable when I was turning.”
- “Jibbing was easy with a board with this sick of a flex.”
- “This board fit me and my riding, so if you are 5’9″ and 155 pounds and love snowboarding, ride this board!”

Cons:
- “A little on the stiff side, especially for rails.”

 

M4 Discord 156.5
With three boards showing up in the Good Wood this year, M4 must be doing something right. According to the company, the Discord is the “ideal freestyle board,” so our testers put it through the works and came back pretty much convinced that it is exactly that. With a great shape and feel, it turned out to be a confidence-building, fun park board for nearly everyone.

Company Line
“The Discord has a twin shape and buttery overall flex. It rides smoothly forward and backward.”

 

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “This board made the run through every feature in the park comfortable.”
- “It made me feel super confident.”
- “Spinning switch and regular was smooth.”

Cons:
- “Prone to catch an edge.”

 

Nidecker Advanced 157
I’m not sure if there’s room to fit in all the superlatives the guys were throwing out after testing this one, but it made Kisiel’s day and Clayton confidently declared it “one of the best yet.” What stood out was how close the test feedback was to how Nidecker describes the Advanced-”Soft on rails but snappy on jumps.” If you’re looking for a directional twin for freestyle action, you hit the spot with this one.

Company Line
“Great pop for ollies onto high street rails, but not too stiff that it shocks you off the rail.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Poppy off jumps and onto jibs.”
- “Fun to butter between features.”
- “It was so stable in the pipe and on hips.”

Cons:
- “Needs more stance options.”

 

Rome Artifact 153
“This board was made for jibbing, and that’s what it will do, someday this board is gonna jib all over you,” rapped our man Clayton. And he’s right on point, because the Artifact is a true twin-shaped jib board built for the rider who can switch nosepress an urban rail. It’s soft in the tip and tail for easy five-0s but stiffer between the feet for gapping onto rails.

Company Line
“Some people think the Artifact is so easy to press it’s almost cheating.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Had great pop for being a softer board.”
- “Real lazy style.”
- “Impressive jump ability.”

Cons:
“Chattered out a little on the heel edge.”

 

Technine Icon 157
Freestyle assassins, watch out for the Icon. Technine brought us a board that’s fun and easy to ride and destined to spend its days on jumps, rails, jibs, and whatever else you want to throw it at. The testers found it to be perfect for the rider who likes to jib, spin, butter, and tweak his grabs.

Company Line
“This is a top-perfo