A buyer’s guide that actually delivers buying guidance-hmm? Too much toask? Judging from what’s been published by all the snowboarding magazines over the years, it seems to be.But you’ve gotta admit, it’s a damn good idea. So good, in fact, that we actually made it happen, tossing therote formula aside and starting from scratch. That’s how the “Snowboard Life Top 25 Snowboard Review”was born, a bold departure from the tired “cool graphics, zero insight” format, and our first stab at providingwhat you truly need right about now-board-buying guidance.

Revolutionary, no? We invited themost-respected board manufacturers in the business to send us their best-performing freeriding models, thentook them to Mammoth Mountain, California to see how well they work. Our mission was to find the 25best boards on the market-two dozen can’t-lose sticks worthy of your attention. Within this immaculatecollection, you’re sure to find several solid options to fit your size, experience level, and riding style. Therevolution is on-evident in pieces like the “Top 25,” cutting-edge projects that reflect Snowboard Life’sconstant evolution.

Give yourself a little high five for clipping into the only magazine delivering trueboard-buying insight as you flip to page 76. Column Shift Snowboard Life’s evolution also affects ourdepartments, those regular columns that provide timely tips on everything from tuning and waxing, to whichbackcountry pack to buy. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve them, and you’ll notice some greatadditions in this issue. One of snowboarding’s most talented storytellers flew the coop a little over a yearago, giving up his post as the editor of TransWorld SNOWboarding to embark on an around-the-world tripof a lifetime.

Now Eric Blehm’s back, and he’s full of far-flung tales. We knew all along his writingsensibilities were right in line with Snowboard Life, so we created a place to milk Eric for all he’s worth. Theguidelines for his new monthly column, dubbed Sideways Glance, were straightforward: make us smile,make us laugh, for God’s sake make us do something. But seriously, we’re stoked at the opportunity tofeature his writing on a regular basis, and his first-ever Sideways Glance can be found on page 120. He’salso responsible for this issue’s “Our Own Private Tatlayoko,” a gripping tale of life, death, and first descentsin deepest British Columbia. A new page called Travelogic is aimed at facilitating your global powder questwith snowboard-specific travel insight.

Fit To Ride will highlight ways to keep your body and soul tuned andready to ride. And we’re fine-tuning the regulars, enlisting the help of veteran technical guru Chris Doyle towrite the Tech column and Utah-based backcountry-charger Kern Barta to help us with Backtracks.Snowboard Life’s Senior Editor Kurt Hoy recruited current racing-hardman Mark Fawcett andup-and-coming pro-snowboarder Travis McLain to add some new perspectives to the instructional Steps.This Thing Of Ours It’s funny thinking about this humble little magazine of ours; we’re breaking the mold,doing our own thing. Not by being more extreme, shocking, or out there. We’re just foregoing image and fadfor unmatched insight and inspiration.

There’s no denying the (r)evolution, and you the reader are guilty byassociation, an active instigator rising up for the best. Accept nothing less. Best Regards, Ewan MorrisonManaging Editor