GET THE RIGHT GEAR FOR YOU
Whether in a shop or on the Internet, sifting through the mass of new snowboarding gear can be daunting—but buying a proper setup is not. Just ask yourself what type of riding you do (or want to do), and follow this simple advice for buying your new kit.
Common Rule: Stiffer (generally more expensive) boards, boots, and bindings are very responsive and supportive—making them ideal for fast, aggressive riding or freeriding. On the other hand, softer gear is more forgiving—better suited for learning the basics, jibbing, and stretching out grabs. There's also plenty of gear that sits right in the middle and does it all.
NAVIGATE THE CAMBER JUNGLE
Never has the snowboard been offered in so many different shapes, accompanied by so many confusing names. These new board shapes give you options and excel in specific conditions and certain riding styles. Whatever your fancy, take a minute to consider the attributes of each, right here.
TWIN: A 100-percent symmetrical snowboard that rides identical in either direction. The nose and tail are the same shape, and the stance and flex are centered.
DIRECTIONAL: A board where the stance and flex pattern (or both) are set back from center. Typically featuring a slightly longer nose than tail; they're designed to ride best forward, but can be ridden switch, too.
DIRECTIONAL TWIN: Combining elements of both the directional and twin shapes, they may have a twin flex pattern but a directional shape or core, or vice versa.
W (Wide): These boards are built wider across the waist to accommodate a bigger boot size. The extra width eliminates toe and heel drag. Wides are recommended for riders with size eleven or larger boots.
MW (Mid-Wide): Mid-wides are built slightly wider for riders with size ten to eleven boots and mellow stance angles, or riders simply looking for a little extra float in a board.
REGULAR: These boards are built with simple, traditional camber. Laying flat with the base down, the profile of the board arcs to its high point at the waist of the snowboard.
ALTERNATIVE: These boards are constructed with some sort of variation on traditional camber. These variations include but aren't limited to reverse camber, rocker, flat, concave, or any possible combination of these.
Board length is the overall measure of a snowboard from nose to tail. Length is measured in centimeters.
Board width is the distance across your snowboard at the waist or middle point. Width is also measured in centimeters.
2011 GOOD WOOD BOARD TEST
Twelve years of testing has led us here, to the largest and most trusted board test in snowboarding. The 2011 Good Wood results present the top performing boards for both park and all-mountain versatility, split into two price categories for men and women. The Good Wood testing process began with 450 snowboards, and throughout the rigors of the week, these winners led the way, resulting in a stack of 40 tried-and-true "best" boards. With these results as your guide, you can easily sift through the mass of snowboards and find the perfect one for you.
Our test crew of eighteen riders took to the slopes of Breckenridge, colorado, for a full week of heavy slashing, jumping, jibbing, and overall shredding of the Peak 8 terrain parks and local freeride runs. Within that weeklong window of testing, they rode ice, hardpack, slush, and even a little pow. Boards were scored on fifteen criteria through it all, including high-speed stability, pop, flex, basic carving, and more. When all was said and done, the boards listed here performed the best. More information on the Good Wood Board Test