Just the tip: Our 6 favorite new snowboards for 2017… so far
There is nothing more refreshing than heading to the mountains to snowboard after spending days in a busy convention center talking about snowboarding. As SIA wrapped up, brands packed their booths, people waited for flights at DIA alone with their regrets from four nights of industry parties, and we breezed westward out of Denver in a snowstorm, past miles of backed up eastbound traffic, to sleep on couches covered in dog hair and get harassed by two pugs for the duration of the night. We awoke to a foot of new snow and a tent city full of 2017 snowboards to demo.
With only four of us total — Photo Editor, Brandon Parrish, Associate Editor, Taylor Boyd, Online Editor, Jens Heig, and the enlisted help of Bonfire and Nikita‘s Jenna Kuklinski to demo women’s product — there was no way to ride everything in the two days we had. We put an emphasis on riding boards new for the coming season, and these six stood out above the rest.
There is no denying when something just feels right. The matte black topsheet stared back at me with freckles of light snow; it was then that I knew. It was the One. Remarkably light for a 158cm, the newest board to the Bataleon lineup is an adaptation of the Whitegold Proto XV/VI and holy hell does it rip.
We spent most of the day in the trees and it felt like I was glued to the berms. I didn’t get into anything exceptionally deep, but with its sturdy tail and mid-flex, you bet your ass this thing will float. Was it love at first sight? Maybe. Was I sad to hand it back over? Absolutely. — Jens Heig
RIDE War Pig
During last year’s Dirksen Derby, the RIDE crew was ripping around Mt. Bachelor, ollieing stumps, catching air wherever possible and generally bashing. The War Pig was born out of the desire for a board that would do all that, plus rail turns, in a small package. I rode the 151 War Pig, as this little tugboat is designed to be ridden about five centimeters shorter than a standard board, and I spend most days on a 56.
I immediately felt stable at high speeds, which is miraculous given the War Pig’s short length and flat-to-rocker profile. Unlike some boards designed to be ridden in reduced lengths, the War Pig had enough tail — with enough snap — to ollie like I would on my regular board. Because of the taper and extra width, it floated well, but remained nimble enough to the point that I even felt comfortable hitting rails on it. The War Pig will bash. — Taylor Boyd
United Shapes Cadet Women’s
This is United Shapes‘ first foray into a women’s specific snowboard, and let me say, so far they’re doing things right. Carving down groomers I had long, easy and blissful turns. Jumping into the woods on this 144 directional was even better — the shorter shape with narrower waist had me turning and burning through banks at space-warp speed.
I rode it through the park and sought out some side hits in order to test the pop. Though it wasn’t overly springy, it had enough playfulness and stability to let me mess around on jumps, tranny finders, hips and more. I can’t find anything negative about this board outside the fact that I couldn’t take it with me when I left. — Jenna Kuklinski
Salomon The Ultimate Ride
Based on the profile of the popular Man’s Board, Salomon’s new release for 2017, The Ultimate Ride is equally aggressive, if not more so. Its outline is directional, but it’s a twin from contact point to contact point. The first thing I did was send it off a small rock drop and point it through a steep field of chunder. Where another board might have folded, causing me to loop out or tomahawk, the Ultimate Ride and its traditional camber profile held strong.
The board has a slightly wider than normal waist width, and I have a dainty little size 9, so I wouldn’t mind it being a bit narrower. I took it through a variety of terrain, and its stiff profile and prounounced camber excelled everywhere except on rails. As long as your focus isn’t on riding metal — or you’re not intimidated by doing it on a stiff, cambered board — the Ultimate Ride is something you could spend every day on. Next season, I just might. — Taylor Boyd
K2 Party Platter
Serve it up in the pow, trees or groomers; I don’t really care. The Party Platter was a blast to ride. This shape is based off K2‘s Cool Bean model but redesigned for the all-mountain wanderer. A stubbier nose and less directional shape allowed for more versatility than the Cool Bean, while still capturing the surfy feel that board has, which I love. I stand at 5’11” and the 150 was plenty of board to work with, so if you are hesitant about getting out of your comfort zone in terms of length, the Party Platter is a great first step. — Jens Heig
CAPiTA x Spring Break Asymmetrical Twin
Romain De Marchi put a reflective surface (aka mirror) between his feet on the topsheet graphic of his UNINC. pro model some years ago so that when he looked down he could see how big his balls were before he hit a gnarly feature. The only thing better is having a hot chick ogle over your junk while you’re eyeing up that next hit.
Seriously though, this twin from CAPiTA and Spring Break rips. The differentiated sidecuts between the heel and toe edge made turning in either direction equally agreeable, and it was easy to initiate edge-to-edge for quick turns or long carves. The combination of positive camber between the inserts, flat camber under foot, and rocker in the nose and tail, in a mid-soft package, made the board forgiving, yet it remained stable with speed, snappy off of jumps and it didn’t sink in deep snow. I saw Brendan Gerard riding this a couple of weeks ago too, and he says that if you ride this board you get to feed lots of ponies. I think I get it now. — Brandon Parrish
We’ve barely touched the tip of quality boards for the coming season. If you’ve ridden any 2017 snowboards you liked, let us know in the comments or send us a message.