There really isn’t a difference between men and women when it comes to snowboarding, right? Then why are so many snowboard companies making “women-specific” boards? It’s not because women prefer flowery graphics, it’s because we are generally physically smaller (egos included) than men. Our feet are smaller, we weigh less, and we need boards that cater to our unique riding styles. Women’s boards have come a long way in the last few years. There’s more attention now to construction and design, and less to pastel-colored topsheets. This in mind, we decided it was time to put some of these rides through the ringer. That meant adding another day of riding to the already long and tedious (violins, please) week of board testing.

Snowboard Life invited thirteen companies to each send in their top-of-the-line women’s model. All these brands show strong support for women riders. Eager to see what snowboard companies think women want in a snowboard, Janet, Lisa, and I tested these boards under the same strict criteria as the freeride models, and ultimately we narrowed the field down to the top six. Yes, the article’s title claims top five, but we had a tie for fifth place and so welcomed another board into the elite. Read on for descriptions of the cream of the crop.

Avalanche X-elle
GNU Barrett
K2 Luna
MLY Tempest
Nitro Glide
Sims Collection