TransWorld SNOWboarding set the standard for snowboard product testing more than six years ago by introducing the Good Wood board test (Good Wood because, traditionally, the best boards have been made with a wood core). For 2007, we evolved the test in two important ways. We started by adding a second category for boards under 400 dollars. Then we recruited more testers.

Womens Boards:

Arbor Push 152
Arbor is coming in hot with its eco-friendly bamboo topsheet. Not only does it look good, but bamboo is strong and light. The Push is a big performer, described as fun, easy to control, and a good board to learn and progress on. It pleased our ladies in the park.

Company Line
“Ideal for park, powder, natural hits, trees, steeps, groomers, and more.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “It’s a light board with good flex.”
- “I liked this board because I felt safe.”
- “Good stance options.”

Cons:
“Probably not the best for pipe or hauling ass.”
Endeavor Diamond 148
The ladies were virtually unanimous in their praise for this board and most would quite happily have ridden off with it. Created to suit both the “progressive woman rider who wants to destroy the mountain, but also perfect for the rider who wants a stylish board under her feet while she learns to turn,” it seems the Diamond does exactly that. This board is a versatile package, delivering on rails and in the park, as well as being smooth on initiating turns. What more can a girl ask for?

Company Line
“The shape, flex, and stance are key to making this board perfect. A progressive sidecut mixed with a perfect waist width and the perfect nose and tail height makes it an amazing shape.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “It was easy to pop off the jumps.”
- “Pretty fun jib stick-butters smooth and sweet on rails.”
- “It felt like your own board quickly.”

Cons:
“Too soft for pipe; lacked a little edge hold in the pipe.”

 

Never Summer Infinity 151
The freestyle-oriented Infinity gave its best in the park and on rails, with its butter-ability getting some serious love. Recommended by our testers for intermediate to advanced riders, it’s fun and light when pulling spins. The insert pattern was found to be a bit restrictive on stance options, but you can’t question Never Summer’s confidence in its product with a whopping three-year warranty.

Company Line
“We set ourselves apart from other boards by using a highly durable, pre-tensioned, pre-hardened fiberglass called STS advanced.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Butterific-easy to press and jib with.”
- “A fun park board! Sexy flexy!”
- “Fun to spin with-good contact points.”

Cons:
- “Sometimes it had a mind of its own.”

 

Ride Fever 150
Not one to dish out the compliments freely, Sara couldn’t say enough about this one: “Best do-everything board I rode.” And with Mrs. Phillips’ seal of approval, the other testers were not far behind. With a soft freestyle feel, it could work well for a newer rider but really came into its own when pushed in the park.

Company Line
“The fever is freestyle maneuverability and twin-tip trickery, a mobile feel that is solid on transitions and at speed.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Stable for jumping, but still a good flex for jibbing.”
- “Really lively with good camber.”
- “It will make you go huge in the pipe!”

Cons:
“Not super stable at speed.”

 

Santa Cruz Muse 151
Taking up residence in the Good Wood board test, the Muse makes an appearance for its third year. Designed for intermediate to advanced riders, it has a narrow-radius sidecut-perfecfor smaller feet. According to our ladies, this board has great pop and will rip in the pipe and park, but maybe leave it at home for your afternoon rail sessions.

Company Line
“Light, snappy, and super forgiving. Always there for you when you need it.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “It ripped in the pipe-not super stiff, but stiff enough to hold an edge.”
- “Good pop in the tail-very versatile.”
- “Flexes well, great on jumps-very responsive and stable.”

Cons:
- “A little too soft for an aggressive rider.”

 

Women’s Good Wood Under $400

 

Elan Aurora 150
If you’re looking for a board to start out on but that allows you to progress, the Aurora steps up to the job. An easy rider, it has just enough pop to help you out on those first kickers, but not so much it will send you flying. Oh yeah, don’t forget to look out for all the customized design possibilities at elanchicas.com.

Company Line
“Allows girls at beginner to intermediate level quick progression with their riding skills.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Comfortable and easy to ride.”
- “Good pop and fun on every feature.”
- “Has a real nice flex.”

Cons:
“Feels good to jump, but it’s not as stable to land on.”

 

Flow Myriad 149

Flow has succeeded in bridging the gap between a freestyle and a freeride board with the Myriad, now in its second consecutive season in the Good Wood listings. Its directional twin shape and mellow sidecut allow it to excel in pretty much every condition. Sara really took to this as her favorite jib board from the test, while the rest of the crew found it to be a really fun and super versatile ride for everything.

Company Line
“The Myriad offers an incredible value and versatile all-mountain shape specifically for ladies.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
“Really soft flex. A great jib board.”
“Great for aggressive riders.”
“Torsionally flexible enough where I was comfortable buttering it, yet it still had a favorable pop.”

Cons:
“Too soft for bigger jumps-it would wash out on landing.”

 

Nitro T1w 146
If you’re looking for a board that will be patient with you while you’re learning to link turns but that’ll also be your friend once you’re nosepressing your way down boxes, it seems the T1w could be the package. Its soft flex makes it easy to initiate and control turns, while also creating the ideal jib stick-perfect for butters and presses. A great for progressing in the park-although you might spend more time jibbing than jumping.

Company Line
“The best bang for your buck-huge value and great performance.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Can press and butter-awesome for jibbing, but still stable jumping.”
- “Initiates turns well and holds an edge.”
- “I feel like I could learn lots of new tricks with this snowboard.”

Cons:
“Speed wobbles.”

 

M4 Vixen 149
“You can jump on this board and call yourself ‘Spinderella,’” according to Maribeth. Not bad backing for a board that also firmly entrenched itself in this year’s Good Wood for its control, stability, pop, and overall appeal. M4 has pulled off a strong contender with the Vixen, worthy of our ladies’ praise.

Company Line
“The Vixen series is designed with a softer flex and narrower waist for enhanced maneuverability.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Good for people wanting a soft, forgiving board to learn rails, jibs, and jumps.”
- “Super stable and poppy.”
- “Amazing edge response.”

Cons:
- “Not as great in the pipe.”

 

Roxy Ally 151
The Ally has a secret weapon, and it comes under the name of Magne-traction, which is basically a wiggly edge that provides increased edge hold with control being greatest at, and between, your feet-just where you need it. Every tester noticed the difference, with “good edge hold” and “good response” feedback from all of them. Ride it all over the mountain or play it in the park-either way, you should feel in control with the Ally.

Company Line
“Nothing can compare to the control you’ll have. It’s the kind of board that can help take your riding to the next level, no matter where you’re starting from.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Very responsive and good pop.”
- “Felt really lively, lots of fun-good grip and powerful turning.”
- “Feels good and solid all over the mountain.”

Cons:
- “Not sure about this edge on rails.”

***********

THE TESTERS: WOMEN

 

BEC BALE
Age: 28
Height: nearly 5’6″
Weight: 132 pounds
Boot size: 6.5
Stance width: 22 inches
Hometown: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Local Mountain: Beaver Creek and Steamboat, Colorado. Cardrona in New Zealand

The land of sun, surf and stubbies that brought us Kylie, now brings us Bec Bale, and this Aussie sure likes to snowboard. With the sneaky trick of dodging between hemispheres, she has managed to pull off 12 back-to-back winters of snowboard instruction in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. Not only that, but she also trains and examines other snowboard instructors, so we think that she must be pretty good at her game. But what does all this mean for tester Bec? “I see all sorts of levels of riders and all sorts of gear in all sorts of snow conditions, so I have a pretty good idea of what set-ups suit what sort of rider.”

Bec’s own riding style is pretty aggressive, and she is always looking for natural jibs when playing on the whole mountain. She’s also something of a park lass. Her ideal board has a lot of pop for ollies and jumps but is soft enough for rails and jibs

TOP 5 PICKS
Academy Serenity 148
Flow Myriad 149
Third Drawer Van Vu 148
Endeavor diamond 148
Santa Cruz Muse 151

 

 

MARIBETH SWETKOFF
Age: 24
Height: 5’2″
Weight: 110 pounds
Boot size: 6 1/2
Stance width: 20.5″
Hometown: Ridgeway, Colorado
Local Mountain: June Mountain

Maribeth spends most of her life with a snowboard strapped to her feet and when there is no snow in sight, she just swaps it up for a skateboard. As a pro rider she travels all over and covers every kind of terrain. Her job takes her to various competitions and she has filmed for the all girl shred movie ‘Misschief”. Having tried out more boards in her time than you have had hot dinners her test feedback was invaluable, and she offered a really good insight into which type of board would suit which level of rider. Describing her riding style as “I’ll try anything”, her personal preference for a snowboard is quite open: “I like boards that are really responsive to my movements. Twin tip, light, flexy, easy to control, good pop. I like both sidewall and cap construction. Basically, I just like to ride whatever feels good.” Can’t say fairer than that.

TOP 5 PICKS
Flow Myriad 149
Nitro T1w 146
Lib Tech Rice Rocket 151
Ride Fever 150
Roxy ally 151

SARA PHILLIPS
Age: 24
Height: 5ft 7”
Weight: 130 pounds
Boot size: Wmns US 7
Stance width: 22 3/4
Sponsors: Holden, Anon, Vestal, Atmosphere, Mt Hood Meadows, Exit Real World
Hometown: Mammoth / Mt Hood Meadows
Local Mountain: Mt Hood Meadows

Sara is becoming something of a Good Wood regular, with this her second year running on the test. The British export who recently tied the knot with photographer Neir in a front porch ceremony officiated by nmes under the name of Magne-traction, which is basically a wiggly edge that provides increased edge hold with control being greatest at, and between, your feet-just where you need it. Every tester noticed the difference, with “good edge hold” and “good response” feedback from all of them. Ride it all over the mountain or play it in the park-either way, you should feel in control with the Ally.

Company Line
“Nothing can compare to the control you’ll have. It’s the kind of board that can help take your riding to the next level, no matter where you’re starting from.”

Test Crew Feedback
Pros:
- “Very responsive and good pop.”
- “Felt really lively, lots of fun-good grip and powerful turning.”
- “Feels good and solid all over the mountain.”

Cons:
- “Not sure about this edge on rails.”

***********

THE TESTERS: WOMEN

 

BEC BALE
Age: 28
Height: nearly 5’6″
Weight: 132 pounds
Boot size: 6.5
Stance width: 22 inches
Hometown: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Local Mountain: Beaver Creek and Steamboat, Colorado. Cardrona in New Zealand

The land of sun, surf and stubbies that brought us Kylie, now brings us Bec Bale, and this Aussie sure likes to snowboard. With the sneaky trick of dodging between hemispheres, she has managed to pull off 12 back-to-back winters of snowboard instruction in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. Not only that, but she also trains and examines other snowboard instructors, so we think that she must be pretty good at her game. But what does all this mean for tester Bec? “I see all sorts of levels of riders and all sorts of gear in all sorts of snow conditions, so I have a pretty good idea of what set-ups suit what sort of rider.”

Bec’s own riding style is pretty aggressive, and she is always looking for natural jibs when playing on the whole mountain. She’s also something of a park lass. Her ideal board has a lot of pop for ollies and jumps but is soft enough for rails and jibs

TOP 5 PICKS
Academy Serenity 148
Flow Myriad 149
Third Drawer Van Vu 148
Endeavor diamond 148
Santa Cruz Muse 151

 

 

MARIBETH SWETKOFF
Age: 24
Height: 5’2″
Weight: 110 pounds
Boot size: 6 1/2
Stance width: 20.5″
Hometown: Ridgeway, Colorado
Local Mountain: June Mountain

Maribeth spends most of her life with a snowboard strapped to her feet and when there is no snow in sight, she just swaps it up for a skateboard. As a pro rider she travels all over and covers every kind of terrain. Her job takes her to various competitions and she has filmed for the all girl shred movie ‘Misschief”. Having tried out more boards in her time than you have had hot dinners her test feedback was invaluable, and she offered a really good insight into which type of board would suit which level of rider. Describing her riding style as “I’ll try anything”, her personal preference for a snowboard is quite open: “I like boards that are really responsive to my movements. Twin tip, light, flexy, easy to control, good pop. I like both sidewall and cap construction. Basically, I just like to ride whatever feels good.” Can’t say fairer than that.

TOP 5 PICKS
Flow Myriad 149
Nitro T1w 146
Lib Tech Rice Rocket 151
Ride Fever 150
Roxy ally 151

SARA PHILLIPS
Age: 24
Height: 5ft 7”
Weight: 130 pounds
Boot size: Wmns US 7
Stance width: 22 3/4
Sponsors: Holden, Anon, Vestal, Atmosphere, Mt Hood Meadows, Exit Real World
Hometown: Mammoth / Mt Hood Meadows
Local Mountain: Mt Hood Meadows

Sara is becoming something of a Good Wood regular, with this her second year running on the test. The British export who recently tied the knot with photographer Neir in a front porch ceremony officiated by none other than fellow tester Forgash, is now a permanent Portlander. Never far from the snow, she travels and films in the winter and spends her summer days at camp. A true jibber by heart, Sara likes a twin shape board that is lightweight and playful and also has good snap and pop and is, of course, “soft enough to press straight out of the packet.” A big selling point for Sara is a good range of stance options so she can really get her jib on. Her testing motive was to find a good all rounder: “I tested the boards with a view that one board should suffice and perform well in all aspects of freestyle riding.” Interestingly, she noted some real improvements from last year to this: “There are definitely far fewer bad snowboards – most boards performed well and it was just a matter of finding one suited to your riding style.

TOP 5 PICKS
Ride Fever 150
Nitro T1w 146
Flow Myriad 149
Roxy ally 151
Endeavor Diamond 148

 

 

MISTY FORDE
Age: 26
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 120 pounds
Boot size: 7
Stance width: 20
Hometown: Breckenridge, Colorado
Local Mountain: Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain, Colorado

Misty’s resume gives some idea of her life as a snowboarder – snowboard coach at Windell’s summer camps, tech rep for Elevation Snowboards, competition regular and more than 100 days a year on snow for the last 5 years. For Misty, snowboarding is about doing it all – halfpipe, quarterpipe, jumps and jibs, and general all over mountain shenanigans: “I guess you could say I am a well rounded kind of rider.”

Her ideal ride is a light and poppy board that is not too soft, basically “a board that can handle all types of terrain.” As a result, this was her main focus when testing out the various boards throughout the week.

TOP 5 PICKS
Ride Fever 150
Flow Myriad 149
Forum Craft 152
Elan Aurora 150
Sims Essence 148

 

JUNE BHONGJAN
Age: 22
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 115 pounds
Boot size: 7.5
Stance width: 23″
Hometown: Hollywood
Local Mountain: Big Bear

June believes that she is a prophecy: “When I was an infant, a Buddhist monk foresaw a future with me in white with great things. I take this as something to do with snowboarding.” Now there’s no way we are going to contradict a wise man. Instead, we can put forward June’s impressive list of contest results, such as 3rd place in the TransWorld TransAm Series Finals, 3rd in the Peanut Butter and Rail Jam, 1st in Oakley’s Big Day Out to mention but a few. June likes to ride a board with a soft flex and plenty of camber with a center stance, good shape, wider profile and responsive edge – a true twin tip is ideal.

It may or may not be important to add that, according to June: “I can do cartwheels on my snowboard!”

TOP 5 PICKS
Atomic Fallen Angel 148
Elan Aurora 150
Flow Infinia 149
Roxy Olly Pop 154
Ride Fever 150 by none other than fellow tester Forgash, is now a permanent Portlander. Never far from the snow, she travels and films in the winter and spends her summer days at camp. A true jibber by heart, Sara likes a twin shape board that is lightweight and playful and also has good snap and pop and is, of course, “soft enough to press straight out of the packet.” A big selling point for Sara is a good range of stance options so she can really get her jib on. Her testing motive was to find a good all rounder: “I tested the boards with a view that one board should suffice and perform well in all aspects of freestyle riding.” Interestingly, she noted some real improvements from last year to this: “There are definitely far fewer bad snowboards – most boards performed well and it was just a matter of finding one suited to your riding style.

TOP 5 PICKS
Ride Fever 150
Nitro T1w 146
Flow Myriad 1499
Roxy ally 151
Endeavor Diamond 148

 

 

MISTY FORDE
Age: 26
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 120 pounds
Boot size: 7
Stance width: 20
Hometown: Breckenridge, Colorado
Local Mountain: Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain, Colorado

Misty’s resume gives some idea of her life as a snowboarder – snowboard coach at Windell’s summer camps, tech rep for Elevation Snowboards, competition regular and more than 100 days a year on snow for the last 5 years. For Misty, snowboarding is about doing it all – halfpipe, quarterpipe, jumps and jibs, and general all over mountain shenanigans: “I guess you could say I am a well rounded kind of rider.”

Her ideal ride is a light and poppy board that is not too soft, basically “a board that can handle all types of terrain.” As a result, this was her main focus when testing out the various boards throughout the week.

TOP 5 PICKS
Ride Fever 150
Flow Myriad 149
Forum Craft 152
Elan Aurora 150
Sims Essence 148

 

JUNE BHONGJAN
Age: 22
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 115 pounds
Boot size: 7.5
Stance width: 23″
Hometown: Hollywood
Local Mountain: Big Bear

June believes that she is a prophecy: “When I was an infant, a Buddhist monk foresaw a future with me in white with great things. I take this as something to do with snowboarding.” Now there’s no way we are going to contradict a wise man. Instead, we can put forward June’s impressive list of contest results, such as 3rd place in the TransWorld TransAm Series Finals, 3rd in the Peanut Butter and Rail Jam, 1st in Oakley’s Big Day Out to mention but a few. June likes to ride a board with a soft flex and plenty of camber with a center stance, good shape, wider profile and responsive edge – a true twin tip is ideal.

It may or may not be important to add that, according to June: “I can do cartwheels on my snowboard!”

TOP 5 PICKS
Atomic Fallen Angel 148
Elan Aurora 150
Flow Infinia 149
Roxy Olly Pop 154
Ride Fever 150