Photos: Mike Yoshida
After riding a handful of next season’s best snowboards, here are several we’re hyped on.
The most fun part of the annual snowsports tradeshow that goes down each January in Denver is not in Denver. It is the on-snow demo portion that takes place at Copper Mountain. The chance to be in the mountains and ride the upcoming season’s product is a welcome reprieve following days of fluorescent lights that bleed into neon ones during late nights. On the days following those spent in the convention center talking about snowboarding we did some of that and found a ton of rigs we’re psyched on for the 2018/2019 season. Below are six of them.
Salomon SpeedwayBuilt with Nils Mindnich’s style of riding in mind--fast is probably the best way to describe it--the Speedway is stiff, narrow, and ready to point it. Shunning the stubby ‘size down’ trend seen over the last five years, the Speedway is actually designed to be ridden longer than your standard board. It rode aggressive, held its edge, and felt increasingly comfortable the more gas we gave it. This board means business and performs best with the throttle wide open.
Bataleon Goliath BYND x MDLSBataleon boards are not like the others. The brand’s unique Triple Base Technology, 3BT for short, lifts the contact points of the board. The result takes a run or so to get used to, but once you understand its advantages, it can be quite confidence inspiring. The Goliath felt catch-free across the mountain, in the park and out, and its mid flex seemed appropriate everywhere we took it, which makes sense given the riding style of the man endorsing it--Tor Lundstrom.
Never Summer Insta/GatorPart of Never Summer’s Shaper Series, a surf-inspired collection of boards designed to be ridden accordingly and made in the brand’s Colorado factory, the Insta/Gator is intended to be ridden 10 centimeters shorter than your traditional board. 12 centimeters of taper compensate for lack of length in terms of float, but that same absence of centimeters creates a nimble ride that spins like a top and dips through the trees with ease.
Lib Tech TittyfishMervin Manufacturing is undeniably among the most innovative brands--or three brands--in snowboarding. But what about those who appreciate Lib Tech’s bombproof made-in-the-USA construction yet want to ride a fully regular rig: traditional camber with radial sidecut and no Magne-Traction? Jamie Lynn is one of those people, and the Tittyfish is one his boards. It’s got a weird nose and a regular design. A little taper and a lot of rigidity. It’s the type of board you take to Baker to point it.
DC PlyThe DC Ply is a park board, but it can do more than that. Its predominantly positive camber profile--it has a bit of early rise--helps it hold an edge on hardpack like some of its noodley counterparts can’t. We ripped slashes, snapped ollies, and pressed rails and couldn’t find much that it didn’t like. Its sub $400 price tag makes the deal even sweeter.
Burton StungunThe Stungun is a mashup of just about every board in Burton’s Family Tree line. And with its wide, spooned out nose and short stubby tail this thing is designed to float. Unfortunately we didn’t get to experience that, but what we did realize is that the Stungun is fun just about anywhere you take it. It’s the mark of a great powder board because fresh snow doesn’t fall every day.