Best Snowboards for Men & Women Reviewed
Snowboarding is becoming an increasingly popular wintertime sport for all to enjoy. If you enjoy hitting the slopes in your spare time and are looking to treat yourself to a new snowboard for the season, then look no further. Here we round up what we consider to be the top 10 snowboards currently available for both men and women.
As you know, snowboards can often be quite pricey as they need to be made with very high-quality materials. Also, a lot of research goes into their design, in order to optimize their performance on the slopes. It is therefore important for you to invest in a snowboard wisely and to thoroughly research your choices before making a final purchase.
- Gnu Carbon Credit
- Banana technology
- Magne-Traction edges
- Flow Silhouette
- Ideal for beginners
- Truflex Technology
- CAPiTA Spring Break Powder
- Designed for powder terrain
- Surflite Core™
Hopefully, this list will help to narrow down your choices and assist you in choosing the most suitable snowboard for this winter season.
10 Best Snowboards
1. Gnu Carbon Credit
Magne-Traction is basically serrated edges that are incorporated into the sides of the board. This helps to cut into the icier snow, allowing you to maintain high speeds without any worry of losing control over the board. This is especially helpful for snowboarding beginners.
Banana technology reverses the chamber of the snowboard, mimicking the shape of a banana, hence the name. This gives better control to the rider, as contact with the snow is now directly under your feet.
Cost and Value
The Carbon Credit sports an affordable price tag, compared to some snowboards on the market. Considering it does include a lot of performance enhancing technology, it represents good value for money, especially for those just starting out on the slopes.
Great choice for beginners
Magne-Traction edges for excellent control
- Unsuitable for professional snowboarders
2. Flow Silhouette
The core of the Flow Silhouette has a high strength-to-weight wood construction. This is because different densities of popular woods are used in its production. This improves the response of the board when riding through various terrains.
The biaxial glass design ensures the board is highly responsive, whilst still being lightweight. It also provides easy torsional flex to enable the rider to turn more easily and create a more natural movement.
Cost and Value
The Flow Silhouette is always a popular choice if you are looking to buy at the lower end of the price range. The board includes enough technology to make it a wise investment for beginners.
- Lightweight construction
- Low maintenance base
- Great durability
- Affordable price
- Some great performance enhancing technology
- You will probably need to upgrade to a more advanced board as you progress
3. CAPiTA Spring Break Powder
This creates a light, yet strong and buoyant core, enabling the board to float along even very deep powder snow. This is really the very best in technology for powder boards.
PLT Topsheet Technology
This technology is exclusive to Capita and involves binding the top sheet to the board without the use of glue, heat or pressure, as is used for other boards. Other boards are then usually smoothed over with a toxic lacquer. PLT top sheet technology creates a much lighter, smoother and environmentally friendly finish.
Cost and Value
The Capita Spring Break boards are priced at the higher end of the range for snowboards. However, they are extremely popular due to their excellent performance and use of cutting-edge technology.
- 360 degree steel edges
- Lightweight feel
- Turns are surprisingly easy
- Floats effortlessly even over deep snow
- Not suitable on icy or flat surfaces
- Some users mention concerns about the durability of the board
4. Burton Clash
Biax fiberglass provides a stitched laminate which is dual-directional and dual-layer, giving a very snappy and forgiving ride. This is mainly due to the low torsional flex of the material. The fiberglass structure also ensures that the board is highly durable.
Strong and lighter wood is strategically placed throughout the structure of the board. This creates a very strong board which provides the rider with a bit more pop.
Cost and Value
The Burton Clash is a very competitively priced board. When you consider the high-quality materials used for its manufacture, it definitely represents great value for money.
- Very forgiving flex
- Negative core profile
- Competitive price
- Very easy to turn
- Durable and long-lasting sharp edges
- Poor stability at high speeds
- Bindings can be difficult to attach
5. Lib Tech Skate Banana
This construction helps to keep the board very lightweight, whilst still maintaining its durability. It also provides the rider with a crisp pop.
UHMW Sintered Sidewalls
These are an innovative technology produced by Lib Tech. The sidewalls are twice as sintered as those in other boards, making them ultra durable, extra responsive and allow easier control for the rider.
Cost and Value
The Lib Tech Skate Banana sports an average price tag for a snowboard of this quality. Given its versatility for riders of any skill level, it represents a good long-term investment.
- Playful and friendly riding experience
- Medium-to-soft flex
- Suitable for riders of any skill level
- This board makes it very easy to butter
- Banana rocker for better control
The edge hold is not as good as some rival boards
6. CAPiTA Black Snowboard of Death
Introduced from the 2017 model, this uses high yield materials and makes the board lightweight enough to glide across the snow effortlessly.
X-ARCS™ Engineered Carbon
The carbon used in the manufacture of the board is computer engineered, pre-shaped and pre-laminated. This optimizes both the strength and the performance of the board.
Cost and Value
This is another mid-price range snowboard. However, its target market is advanced or expert riders, who will usually not mind paying a bit extra money in order to get a reliable and high-performance board, which this is.
- One of the most powerful snowboards on the market
- Hover core with stronger flex pattern
- Can reach high speeds
- Responsive and playful
- Provides great stability
- Too aggressive for beginners
- Not the best board for jibs
7. Burton Ripcord
Two different types of wood are used to manufacture the core. This provides a thicker tip and tail and a thinner midsection, underfoot. This ensures a very responsive and lively board.
An extruded base is the most suitable for a beginner, as it is very durable and requires a lot less maintenance than a sintered base.
Cost and Value
The Burton Ripcord is one of the lower priced boards on the list and therefore provides good value for money for beginners.
- Great for learning beginner tricks
- Great on uneven terrain
- Very soft flex
- Excellent powder board
- Decent spring for jumps
- Some users state it is not as flexible as they would like
- Poor turning experience
8. Burton Flight Attendant
The Flight Attendant’s core is constructed using highly durable, yet lightweight types of wood. These different woods are targeted in specific areas of the board, in order to maximize its durability and pop, whilst maintaining an overall lightweight board.
Sintered WFO base
Sintered bases are much more suited for the advanced to expert riders as they create a much faster riding experience and enhanced durability of the board. This base readily absorbs wax, allowing a fast glide across all terrains.
Cost and Value
This is not the cheapest of boards available. However, if you are an advanced rider, looking to invest in a durable and well-performing board, then the Burton Flight Attendant is a great choice.
- Good stability
- Very fast board
- Excellent for carving
- Provides great turn initiation
- Good edge grip
- Unsuitable for beginners
- Not great for jibbing
9. Lib Tech Travis Rice HP
The Lib Tech Travis Rice HP is constructed using a unique mix of environmentally friendly materials which results in a strong, yet lightweight board. This construction is reinforced with glass and basalt, to ensure a smooth yet snappy ride.
Bio-plastic beans topsheet
The top sheet of this board is made using a super environmentally friendly ingredient - beans! As well as being great for the environment, this bio-plastic skin has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other top sheet available on the market.
Cost and Value
Whilst this is not the cheapest board choice available, you may be willing to spend that little extra on a board which performs well and is also very environmentally friendly. As many materials used in board construction can create a hazard to the environment, this may appeal to you.
- Environmentally friendly construction
- Much improved stronger and lighter core from the Pro version
- Choice of blunt jib nose in shorter lengths and pointy pow nose in longer lengths
- 7-point Magne-Traction edge control
- Great edge to edge stability
- Not easiest of floats on powder
10. Jones Snowboards Flagship
The Jones Snowboards Flagship is constructed using a triple-density wood core. Additionally, the board includes hardwood bamboo stringers which provide extra durability and pop. Paulownia is used to ensure the board remains as lightweight as possible.
Recycled ABS Sidewalls
When making the Snowboards Flagship, Jones also takes into account their effects of its manufacture on the environment. Thus all ABS plastic is recycled to improve the sustainability of the board. Similarly, the oversized steel edges are recycled.
Cost and Value
The Jones Snowboards Flagship is the most expensive snowboard presented on this list. However, despite its high price tag, it remains a highly popular board due to its high-quality construction and excellent performance on the slopes.
- Builds up speed nicely
- Great carver
- Very durable base
- Great performance in powder
- Quick turn initiation
- Not great for jibbing or hitting the pipe
The key thing to really consider as you start your search for the ideal snowboard is; what is your current skill level? Snowboards are designed with your specific abilities in mind. So boards designed for beginners, provide technology and features which enable you to quickly develop your growing skills. Whilst boards designed for advanced riders allow fast speeds and high performance. Boards designed for advanced riders would not be suitable for beginners as the ride they provide is too aggressive. Similarly, beginners boards would not create enough of a challenge for advanced riders.
It is also important to really consider the type of terrain you will be encountering as, even though a lot of boards state that they are all mountain, they may perform well on some terrains and struggle on others.
Finally, when considering the cost, you may want to think of your snowboard as an investment. A high-quality board which is properly maintained and cared for may last you for many, many years and provide you with countless hours of enjoyment on the slopes.
You will also want to make sure you have a good pair of snowboard boots to accompany your new board! It is very important to protect your feet from the extreme levels of cold that they will be experiencing.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Snowboards
Different Types of Snowboard
As mentioned before, the type of snowboard that you choose will depend heavily on the type of terrain you will be frequenting the most. It will also depend on the style of snowboarding that you take part in and if you like to try out the odd trick or two on the slopes! Here is a summary of the different types of snowboard and what terrain and activities they are most suited for:
- All Mountain
As you can probably guess from the name, an all mountain board is suitable for any terrain type and any conditions. All mountain boards are used by the majority of riders and are most appropriate for beginners to start their snowboarding journey with.
Freestyle boards are designed for park riding and specifically allow you to brush up on your tricks. They provide a lively and playful ride as they are shorter and more flexible. However, they give less stability at high speeds, so if you are looking to speed fast down the slopes this board would not be your best option.
These are boards which split in half so that they resemble skis. This enables you to climb up untracked slopes, you can then reconnect the two halves in order to ride back downhill. These are suitable for adventurous riders who have the appropriate knowledge and skills to ride the unmarked slopes.
Most snowboards are specifically designed for either males or females. They incorporate certain characteristics which make them appropriate for their target gender.
As women tend to have smaller frames, their snowboards tend to be narrower and also more lightweight. They also tend to have a softer flex and less of a camber, because women project their energy into the board in a different way to men. These different characteristics have been thoroughly researched over the years to ensure that gender-specific boards provide the best performance.
Women who are taller, or who have a larger than average shoe size, may find a board from the men’s category to be more appropriate for their needs.
As a lot of the differences between the boards are due to weight and height, you may wish to base your choice of board on your individual frame, rather than opting for a gender-specific board.
Length of board
The length of board that you will require will be determined by both your body weight and also how you wish to ride. The length of the board can determine the speed at which you can travel, with longer boards traveling faster and providing greater stability. Shorter boards are usually preferred for tricks at the park.
Shape of board
Snowboards are available in various different shapes, including:
- Directional – These boards are designed for traveling very well in a single direction. They have a wider nose and a narrower tail. This shape of board is best for speed.
- True twin – These boards have a fairly symmetrical shape. These are good for terrain parks as you can ride equally well in both directions.
- Directional twin – The tail and nose of these boards are symmetrical in shape. However, the tail is slightly more flexible. These are good for freestyle and all mountain terrains.
- Rocker type – Flat rockers are most suitable for beginners, whilst a rocker or camber can improve the board’s maneuverability and increase its performance for park tricks.
Flex of board
Snowboards are marketed as either having a soft, medium or stiff flexibility or anywhere in between these three categories, such as soft-medium. A softer flexing board is easier to turn and good for doing jib tricks on. A soft flex is also more suitable for beginners.
A stiffer flex gives increased stability at high speeds. It also gives better edge hold.
Durability and price
Purchasing a board made from high-quality materials will set you back more money, however, it will also provide you with the reassurance of long-lasting durability. If you frequent the slopes regularly then making this initial investment will ensure many years of pleasure from your board. It is very important to thoroughly research a board before making your final purchase. Cheaper boards will almost certainly require more maintenance and possible replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I buy or rent a snowboard?
A: This is a very good question. If you are a beginner, we would recommend that you start out by renting a board. This allows you to give different styles, brands, and models a try to help you to decide which one you would prefer. Once you are comfortable with your style of riding and your preferences, then you will be in a position to invest wisely in your own board.
Q: Where can I buy a snowboard from?
A: You can purchase a snowboard from a range of different vendors. There are a range of different independent snowboard shops on the high street if you prefer to physically see the board you are buying. However, it is becoming increasingly popular to purchase snowboards online, from websites, such as Amazon. You will often find that you can get a better deal when purchasing online too.
Q: Should I buy a board with an extruded or sintered base?
A: This will usually depend on your riding style and your level of ability. Sintered bases are more durable, but are also more expensive. They also absorb wax easier and as such are faster when properly waxed. As extruded bases are slower, cheaper and easier to maintain, they are usually a better choice for beginners.
Q: Can I save money by buying last year’s model of a particular board?
A: Of course you can! This is a great way to get a good quality board at a fantastic price. Whilst some riders like to have the very latest in snowboarding gear, brands often change very little in their new releases of popular boards. Seller’s often discount last year’s models in an attempt to sell them quickly in order to make way for new stock.
Q: Do I need to do any maintenance on my board?
A: In order to get the most out of your board, and to keep it in good condition for many years, you are recommended to carry out some regular maintenance on it. You should wax your board after every couple of days riding. This is not only to help you glide down the slopes, it also provides protection to your board. You should regularly check for any gouges and have these repaired quickly. It is also important to have the edges of your board sharpened regularly. Following good maintenance for your board will help it to last you for a long time.