Weston Japow 2019

A true powder board, Weston's Japow is characterized by a large nose and deep swallowtail, with 25 millimeters of taper between the former and latter. Riders found its mid-stiff flex floaty and responsive and its overall demeanor to excel on elongated, swooping turns. For most riders, the Japow would find its place among a quiver, filling the position of a board broken out when the snow stacks up and float is motivator number one. Though both its 159 and 169 length options will excel at high-speed slashes in wide-open terrain, the longer option, which also has a massive 27-centimeter waist width, will be essentially unsinkable, while the 159 possesses a more maneuverable personality. Its topsheet texture is both durable and sheds snow easily, while the high-performance base holds wax well and, being all black, is conducive to discrete repair jobs—because we've all had the misfortune of finding a rock lurking below an otherwise untouched field of pow. Mild camber in the center of the board blends to slight rocker in the nose and a flat section through the swallowtail. Good luck sinking this thing.

Topsheet texture is both durable and sheds snow easily, while the high-performance base holds wax well. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

MSRP: $600

Sizes: 159, 169

Specs and Features:

  • Tapered directional shape
  • Sintered base
  • Tail V carbon
  • Poplar and bamboo core
  • Medium flex

Characterized by a large nose and deep swallowtail. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

Floaty, responsive and excels on elongated, swooping turns. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

Good luck sinking this thing. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

For most riders, the Japow would find its place among a quiver. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

While it's hard to have a bad time riding powder, doing so on a board designed specifically for that purpose elevates the experience. Float is the ultimate goal of a powder board, which can be achieved through a variety of characteristics. Taper means the board's nose is wider than its tail, allowing the board to plane easier in deep snow. Setback inserts work in a similar way, creating more nose than the tail. Strategically designed rocker and camber profiles can enhance float by affecting the way the board reacts to powder. Additional surface area, especially in the nose, is an especially importance trait in a powder board and can be enhanced through additional length, width, or a blend of both. We found the ideal venue to assess these characteristics, by way of a place called Baldface Lodge. Nestled in the British Columbia backcountry, Baldface is accessible in the winter only by helicopter—or a combination of boat and snowcat when there are too many flakes falling to fly. It is a powder paradise unlike anywhere in the world. We showed up here to a fresh meter and a storm that piled up deeper and deeper. Reviewing powder boards: It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

See more 2019 powder board reviews here.