Lib Tech T.Rice Pro Snowboard
Rossignol District Men’s Snowboard
Jones Explorer Split Board 2019 Model
Every rider has their own style, their own board type, and their own preferences when it comes to snowboards. It’s like an artists’ paint brush; it has to be just right. We’ve spent our fair share of time on snowboarding trails, mountains, and even frozen-over golf courses all in the search of shredding as much powder as possible. Your innate skill demands the best snowboards to give you better grip, better height off of jumps, and an overall smoother ride. Well, we’ve taken care of that last part—these are the best snowboards available, each fitting different riding styles and aesthetic preferences.
The Best Snowboard
Lib Tech is the king brand of men’s snowboards. This design has basically won the hearts of all who’ve ridden it. Built out of birch, basalt and a unique blend of aspen and paulownia, Lib Tech T.Rice Pro Snowboard is a medium to firm flex that grants reasonable control and handling to the rider. Your dexterity is enhanced through the Magne-Traction design on the board top, so you’re always stuck to your board through thick and thin.
Most snowboards have a winged tip to them to help cut through the snow, but Lib Tech did something unique with this geometric dual tip to flip direction whenever you want, but also go give you a balance of gliding on powder and plowing through the thicker stuff. It’s not just the tip shape though; they also found a way to make a camber and rocker design work together, so you get extra pressure in key points when you want it, and you glide the rest of the time. For more cool winter sports gear, check out our guide to the best ski boots.
Flexible aspen and paulownia frame core
Medium to firm flex rating (about a 7)
Unique camber and rocker mixed board style
Geometric tips make this a unidirectional board
Good quality traction thanks to basalt and Magne-Traction, a stronger edge hold
- BrandLib Tech
- Weight12 pounds
Burton is back at it again with another stellar board. Burton Instigator Snowboard is made with one of the most flexible and overall high-quality cores ever, an 800G Dualzone with a myriad of materials that give it that proper bit of bend, but still keeps it firm when you need it most. It works in tandem with the cruise control tone as it allows you to glide with little to no drag, so you can outpace your old record speed and slice through the snowbanks even faster on your way downhill.
The Instigator is already a sick name, but what’s even better is that it comes in a large variety of different sizes for you to choose from. Whatever board length suits you best, there’s going to be an Instigator destined for you. The directional shape basically makes your journey down the slopes smooth and easy, and works with the Flat Top bend to help you maintain limited control over the board. It’s an intermediate level board when you want speed over rigorous handling.
Insane variety of board lengths and sizes available; there’s an Instigator for you
Cruise control tone for limitless, free-feeling gliding
Flat Top bend w/ twin flex system
Durable and flexible 800G Dualzone core
Directional shape for streamlined slope action
- Weight12 pounds
The Flight Attendant series was just so good that we had to throw another one in here. The 2019 model didn’t necessarily improve upon the 2018 model, but it’s still a ripper board that you’d be shredding once you got onto it. With an improved squeezebox in the center, you’ll get a bit more pop when you go off a ramp or over small slopes. Upon that landing, the weight distribution from the 700G Super Fly core goes to work, and minimizes the impact that you feel on your feet when you stick a landing.
Then there’s the directional flex system that we can’t get enough of. The tail is designed to be a bit wider, and the narrow nose helps you streamline your gliding to get the best speed, and still hold onto your maneuverability. Burton is a pro when it comes to making sure their boards are available in every size imaginable. Regardless of how you ride, you’re going to have a home with Burton. Last but not least, there’s an attribute called The Channel, which allows you control your stance like you were glued to the thing, and it even comes with a three-year guarantee on it. Our guide to the best ski helmets features some great equipment for winter sports enthusiasts, so check them out.
Improved squeezebox over the 2018 model
700G Super Fly core gives better weight distribution
Directional flex contours to the slope for better all-terrain control
Longer nose directional shape for maximum speed
Available in a wide variety of sizes for every snowboarder out there
- ModelFlight Attendant Snowboard 2019
- Weight12 pounds
Capita boards are the stuff legends are made out of, and the Indoor Survival board is no exception. Yes, indoor snowboarding isn’t what the pros are really doing, but it’s a hell of a good time and you still need a good quality board to perform properly. Capita Indoor Survival Men’s Snowboard comes with a superdrive base that is not only abrasion resistant, but it helps by reinforcing the entire exterior with fiberglass for a smoother, faster ride.
Speaking of reinforcement, you’ll also get an agreeable 5 flex rating due to the steel edging around the entire board, as well as the titanal struts along the bottom. Four aluminum strips help with your impact control and bounce when you stick a landing by moving with the board, and contouring to your environment at the same time. That’s also helped by the positive chamber (where the base slightly bows upward) to give a little boost to your movements.
Extremely abrasion resistant fiberglass finish and superdrive base
5 flex rating for the perfect go-between of control and speed
360° steel edges for additional durability
Titanal struts help with flexibility and structural reinforcement
Positive chamber for extra pop in your landings
- Weight12 pounds
Beginner? Rossignol’s got you covered. This board is wildly inexpensive when you compare it against some of the others on this list, and it’s designed for newcomers to use to get a hold of snowboarding. Rossignol District Men’s Snowboard has a fully wooden core, which keeps it ultralight and easy to ride. You don’t have a lot of push and pull like you might with fiberglass boards.
They’ve equipped this with an 80/20 rocker/camber split, and while it’s unorthodox, it certainly makes for a unique riding experience. All this meshes together to give you a 5 flex rating that isn’t going to disappoint; it’s the perfect balance between speed and control, which works extremely well for beginners. Last but not least, the traction padding on the top of the board feelings excellent in your bindings, and is water resistant so you’ll be able to enjoy it for years.
5 flex rating for a balance of power and speed
80/20 rocker/camber mix for a unique ride
Flexible wood core keeps this board lightweight
Excellent traction padding is water resistant
- Weight12 pounds
Have you ever seen a more beautiful board? Salomon keeps the style simple, but the design of Salomon Ultimate Ride Board is something of engineering beauty. The geometric design of the tip and tail help with speed while going downhill, but the Gunslinger sidewall does something else entirely. It’s a series of carbon rods that run through the core of this board to eat up all the shock that you endure from a hardcore powder session.
A mixture camber/rocker system works with the unique cut of the board for better dexterity from sudden movements. The sensitivity on this board is excellent so you don’t have to jerk your entire body to one side, and to be frank, we’re not completely sure how they did it. This is a very rigid and rough board, likely an 8 or 9 on the flex rating scale, which usually makes your movements a little narrow and more structured.
Rigid and stiff board, great for beginners
Camber/rocker with tip and tail for precise movements
Available in five different lengths
Gunslinger sidewall provides excellent shock absorption throughout the entire board
- ModelSalomon Snowboards
- Weight5.85 pounds
Last but not least on our list, we couldn’t help but discuss one of the most fun snowboards you’ll ever try. Split boards take a bit more control and dexterity to use properly, but they’re a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. This split board, in particular, comes with steel reinforcements throughout the whole board, which not only help absorb shock when you stick a hard landing, but just keep these from warping with time like some other split boards do. Between that and the locking tension tail clip that helps the board fuse back together, Jones Explorer Split Board is a well-balanced ride the whole way through.
Part of that comes from the rocker and camber design that also helps you keep your traction going strong throughout your entire ride. Most split boards have a hard time remaining firm, but this actually has a 6 flex rating to keep it stiff and rigid under extreme use. Jones also has a way to catch your eye with a stellar design, and the aesthetic points never hurt. For skiing fans, we have prepared our selection of the best ski masks, so check them out.
Tension tail clip helps combine halves back together
Split design seamlessly comes apart at your command
6 flex rating for slightly stiffer riding
Stainless steel reinforcement system
Rocker/camber underfoot helps sustain traction
- BrandJones New York
- Weight12 pounds
Snowboard Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Snowboards
Reviews – Reviews give us an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences. You can tell a well-written, openly critical and intelligible review apart from the rest of them, and those are what drive better choices and brand/product insights. We use these to help develop our shortlist prior to testing. While some of these boards initially came as personal recommendations from the Gear Hungry staff, others required more in-depth research and analysis before we ordered and tested them ourselves. Needless to say, the entire test phase was ripper fun.
Price – The dinero dictates the final decision. Snowboards get pricey (we know you know that, but man there are some expensive ones out there), and you have to weigh what’s worth it versus what’s not worth your time. It’s difficult to determine pricing, but after personally putting these board to the test, it was easier to distinguish what was worth the cost. We took budget-friendly pricing into account as best we could.
Features To Look For In Snowboards
Size – Sizing snowboard equipment is always a bit tricky, but thankfully snowboards are pretty straightforward. Look to the weight and other factors, such as the width and length, to properly determine how the board is going to perform for you. Size is related to your height and weight as well, so be sure to get something that fits your body style.
Shape – The tips on either end of your board make an impact in your aerodynamics and how you raise off the snow during a jump. For example, freestyle snowboards have twin tips, but a freeride board usually has no tips at the end. These shapes are important, and should correlate to your preferred riding style.
Binding – Your snowboard and binding go hand-in-hand. The binding is relative to the snowboard length, and each foothold is spaced accordingly to account for the average height and leg span of the rider. Binding information usually has a narrow range of shoe/boot sizes that it will take, so be sure that you don’t find the perfect board that ends up with binding that doesn’t suit you. You can customize this later if you still want to get the board, but it drives up the cost.
Length – Length is one of the deciding factors in your weight distribution and center of gravity. Newcomers to snowboarding will often question why the length matters, and make comparisons to skateboards and how their length doesn’t change often. It’s a different set of rules. Your COG structures your balance on your board, and the length dictates your reaction time and turning radius/speed as well. There are over a dozen board lengths designed to fit different snowboarder heights.
Camber – Camber boards are the polar opposite of rockers. These board styles use two points of contact (the pressure from your feet) to weigh down the board and dictate how it will turn and glide. Cambers are one of the most common type of snowboard you will see, and have a slight bit of drag compared to rockers.
Rocker – This is the opposite of a camber board type. Built with a fully flat design, this takes the weight of the rider and evenly distributes it amongst the entire board length instead of in two primary spots. Rockers have more glide to them, which is why more pro boards are rockers than cambers.
Width – Another feature that’s relative to your size and weight. Ideally, the width of your board will have about 0.5” of overhang from your boot on either side. Most of your foot will rest on the board, with a tiny bit of overhang. If this doesn’t feel right or impairs your ability to continue riding, don’t worry; they make ultrawide boards for that. Ultrawide boards basically offer more control at the cost of rapid turning.
Flex – You’re going to hit a jump, and you’re going to land; all that kinetic energy transfers into pressure on the board. Flex is important, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of maintenance and a few replacements in your not-so-distant future. There is a flex rating system, ranging from 1-10. On the 1-2 end, it’s softer and more flexible (but more fragile), and steadily increases in firmness and durability as the numbers climb. The tricky part is finding your ideal flex rating for your riding style.
Material – Snowboards have come a long way in their basic designs, and the number of materials that are used during construction. Snowboarding gear can include foam, fiberglass, top sheets, wood, metal, plastic, resin, rubber foil and glue, just so name a few. Mind you, each of those material categories have sub items (i.e., different sources of wood, glue ratings, etc.). The materials matter, but you’ll know how reliable they are based on the flex rating and user reviews.
Types Of Snowboards
All-Terrain Boards – All mountain snowboards are designed to be ridden in one direction, and come with the more versatile variety of traits for every type of rider. They’re the best beginner board, and work well for veteran snowboarders who want to shred with a balance of handling and speed. These tend to be the least expensive boards as they’re in the highest demand.
Powder Boards – These are a ton of fun. Powder boards are typically wide snowboards with a funny split in the back end of eh tail. Towards the front, it widens to create a bellowed tip, which helps with gliding on the top of the snow instead of plowing through it. You’ll see most powder boards as rockers so you aren’t dragging in the fresh powder.
Indoor Boards – These are variants of all-terrain boards, usually featuring a stiffer board on the flex rating scale. The reason behind this is that there’s usually just a single slope in one direction at indoor snowboarding and skiing resorts, so you’re not trying to account for nature’s variables and changes in terrain. Admittedly, these are fairly flimsy and built to be cheap.
Split Boards – Just as you’d imagine, these split right down the middle. The point is that you don’t have to take off the binding, but you can split the board and walk uphill like they were a pair of short skis. You reconnect them before heading downhill. These aren’t very common, and they come with a slightly increased danger rating if your board splits while you’re going downhill.
Freestyle Boards – It’s time to let your skill control the direction. Freestyle boards are almost always super flexible, lightweight, and narrow for quicker turns and faster knee-jerk reactions. These are by no means beginner boards, so you should only grab one of these if you’re really looking to shred and put your years of experience to the test. Because the flex rating is always low, these are usually inexpensive to obtain.
Freeride Boards – Freeride snowboards are super stiff boards on the higher end of the flex rating scale with a singular directional tip. They’re fairly narrow and basic in construction, but as a result, you don’t have to pay a ton out of pocket to get one of these beauties. If you want a little more speed and a lot more control, this is the way to go.