“Boards are works of art,” says Weston owner Leo Tsuo. “The amount of time and energy that goes into graphics is on par with what goes into the engineering.”
We couldn’t agree more. The modern snowboard is full of technology, style and ability, but that also means there’s more “art” out in the gallery (your local board shop) than ever. Trying to figure out which one is right for you can be more nerve-racking than your very first turns.
“The first tip we can give to a new snowboarder who’s considering buying a new board is, to be honest with themselves about their ability and to really think about where they want to ride it,” says Nick Castagnoli, brand marketing director for Group Rossignol North America.
What to Think About When Shopping for Snowboards
If you’re just getting started, this isn’t the time to be aspirational. Beginner riders should look for a well-balanced board on the more flexible side to allow for significant adjustment during those learning stages. Once you’ve honed in the basics, you can up the stiffness on your next board to allow for more control.
According to Backcountry Gearhead Melissa Benjamin, you want the snowboard length to fall between your nose and chin, and there are various resources online that can help you dial that in. This also means a trip to the board shop to see what that length looks like in person and better understand the options available.
Next, consider the terrain you want to conquer. Beginners are likely going to stay on mild hills at the resort, but if you have some experience, you may want to consider a board that can tackle steep descents as well as initial forays into the backcountry.
When assessing board width, you want the edge of your boot to hang just slightly over the board – enough to get some extra turn traction, but not too much as you’ll fall into the snow on a tight turn.
The Different Types of Snowboards
The below is not a comprehensive list by any means, but for newer and intermediate riders, snowboards come down to three popular categories:
- All-Mountain Boards: As they’re named, these boards are well-balanced and built to handle just about anything across a resort mountain. These can also head into the backcountry, but they may not perform as well as more tailored boards.
- Freeride: These boards are built for the more experienced rider who spends more time on varied and less-groomed terrain. They’re typically stiffer and feature a more directional shape.
- Powder: Deep, fresh snow is always the goal, and “powder” boards are designed to make the most of it. These boards are typically designed with specific placement and stances to take full advantage of the opportune gliding through the good stuff.
With all of this in mind, we’ve put together a list of eight great men’s snowboards to match a range of abilities and terrain plans through expert insight and our own research.
1. Rossignol Circuit
BEST MEN’S BEGINNER SNOWBOARD
The Circuit is an excellent beginner’s choice as it includes more flex and more control while learning heel and nose turns (and getting off the lift without falling). This particular board has no-catch edge control and a specific design to help you master the learning curve. It’s also a great value as an entry-level board with fewer features and more basics.
2. Burton Men’s Process Flying V
BEST MEN’S FREESTYLE SNOWBOARD
Freestyle boards need a ton of flex and, well, freedom to conquer various terrain and unexpected deep powder. The Flying Process V is an alternative to standard twin boards, with a balanced ride and setback camber and sidecut to mimic the twin feel without some of the downsides of that style. More experienced riders love the versatility that this board offers.
3. Rossignol Sushi XV
BEST INTERMEDIATE SNOWBOARD
Rated a six out of 10 on the brand’s flex scale, the Sushi XV is a board meant for those ready for the next level. The board was designed and built to the specs of a three-time Freeride World Tour winner, meaning free-flowing fun and much more intuitive control on the edges. For a one-board solution to blending backcountry and groomers, this is it.
4. Weston Backwoods Splitboard x Backwoods Fellowship Edition
BEST MEN’S SPLITBOARD
The idea of a splitboard is that the board physically splits in two for pseudo-skis to get you up the mountain, then reconnect for boarding back down. While it’s not an adventure for everyone, it is a growing part of the sport, and when the result is awesome-looking boards like this one, we’re on board. Weston made a lot of effort to make the board feel as close to a singular piece as possible when latched and better balance when trekking uphill as separate pieces. Plus, Weston is planting ten trees for every board sold as part of the Backwoods Fellowship Collaboration between the brand, merino purveyors Smartwool and eyewear brand Zeal Optics.
5. Rome Warden
BEST MEN’S BUDGET PERFORMANCE SNOWBOARD
If you’re only heading to the resort a few days a season, it may not make sense to drop serious coin on a board that’ll mostly hang in the garage. The Warden is an excellent example of a performance-oriented snowboard that doesn’t have to break the bank. There are seven-length options available in a medium-flex design that’s no-nonsense and will get the job done on each run.
6. Salomon Villain
BEST MEN’S PARK SNOWBOARD
A growing number of resorts have rails, presses and jumps, not unlike a skatepark where boarders can practice tricks and moves while on a run. This riding style demands a different kind of board like the Villain, which has a bit more give for those post-air landings. The extra flex also allows for more responsive turning and is a solid choice for long, groomed days.
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7. Burton Flight Attendant Camber Snowboard
An all-mountain board comes in a range of lengths and is ideal for the rider heading into expert-level boarding. Burton integrated several next-level features, including a broader directional shape to help gain more control and a specialized core that brings more strength and pop to the ride.
8. Rome Stale Crewzer
An all-around fun board built for those easy cruising days. Whereas some beginner boards feel a little light on the endurance, the Stale Crewzer is designed as a quality board for repeated groomer cruising. The shape pays homage to rides of the past, and users even rave about its abilities in deep powder, too.
9. Capita D.O.A Snowboard
A responsive, hybrid camber board built on next-generation sustainable technology. However, this freestyle ride doesn’t sacrifice performance with enough response and stability to handle whatever comes your way. This is an excellent choice for intermediate riders looking for one board to tackle the resort’s highest runs.
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