9 Best Snowboard Reviews 2020 | Feel the Thrill as You Soar Above the Snow

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3 Top Picks

3 Reviewers

6 Hours of Research

15 Products Considered

Skiing can be fun, but you’re looking for a little more adventure. You’re pretty good at surfing, and love the idea of getting into snowboarding! You love the idea of floating down fresh powder and popping up for maximum airtime as you soar over trees and obstacles! The only issue is that you have no idea how to choose the best snowboard!

We’ve got you covered. This guide will go through everything you need to know to pick out the best snowboard for you needs. We discuss how they’re made, the different sizing, the different parts, profiles, and components of snowboards, and which of these styles works best with different terrains and ride styles.

Once we cover the basics, you will get to take a look at the 9 best snowboards available today. Familiarize yourself with their strengths, weaknesses, and features and maybe one of them will be perfect for you! If not, you can always keep looking with your newfound wealth of knowledge. 

Editor's Rating:

5.0/5

Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca C2X BoardLib Tech Travis Rice Orca C2X Board

  • Magne-Traction serrated edges offer amazing traction
  • Graceful killing machine is versatile enough for any terrain and style!
  • Predictable flex pattern 

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

K2 2020 Cool Bean Men’s BoardK2 2020 Cool Bean Men’s Board

  • Very happy medium between price and performance
  •  Suitable for learning
  • Sintered base keeps material smooth for easy glide
​[BEST FREESTYLE SNOWBOARD]
Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space Asym Snowboard

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space asymmetrical styleGnu Forest Bailey Head Space asymmetrical style

  • Amazing freestyle performance
  • Magne-traction serrated edging for maximum edge hold.
  • Hand crafted in the United States by snowboarders!

Buying Guide for Your Next Snowboard

Here’s where we break down everything you need to know to pick the best snowboard for your mountain playtime. We cover ride styles, profiles, sizing, responsiveness, board shapes and sizing, and important points to consider. 

What is the best snowboard for you?

Picking the right snowboard can be really difficult. There are tons and tons of different board styles available, and trying to find the one you feel most comfortable on can be overwhelming, not to mention grabbing a suitable pair of the best quality snowboard bindings and top-rated snowboard boots and quality googles for snowboarding.

Location

The first thing to consider is where you plan to ride. With a ton of different riding preferences and styles, narrowing down your options should start with knowing what terrain you’ll need to cover because that will eliminate all of the boards that aren’t designed to handle that particular spot.

Ride Style

Next, consider your style. If you want to go for an all around board that can do a lot of different things, they make some great versatility boards. Otherwise, you can very quickly narrow selection down to the few boards that dominate your particular discipline and ride style. 

Sizing

You also need to know your foot size and weight. These will determine that width of your board. If it’s too narrow, your feet will hand off the sides, and if it’s to wide your board won’t be responsive to your signals.

Responsiveness

It is very important that your board is highly responsive when you are trying to control it while in motion, especially across different terrains and conditions. Entry level and beginner riders need a very responsive snowboard to increase their confidence and get them used to riding. Advanced riders are able to sacrifice some stability and responsiveness for power and aggression thanks to their better skill.

Lighter snowboards are usually much more responsive, so entry level riders should look for snowboards that are very lightweight and leave the heavy, bulky boards to the adrenaline junkies who have been doing this for a while. 

Demo

A lot of the best shops will let you demo some boards, then apply part of the cost of demo to your final purchase decision. This lets you get a feel for the board that feels great under your feet and handles the powder your plan to float. By the time you demo, you should have narrowed your choices down to 3 or fewer boards. 

Understanding the Construction of a Snowboard

Snowboard construction hasn’t advanced too much over the years, even though advancements in technology allow the same basic construction to do infinitely more. A snowboard is essentially a construct with polyethylene plastic running through the base with edges surrounding it for easier navigation and a layer of fiberglass covering a wood core. 

Parts

Your core is one of the most important parts of your board. These are usually made from wood, and the type of wood determines the style of your ride. There is a lot of playfulness when it comes to the core, with manufacturers combining woods, using foam, sculpting different core types, making them varying in width for different degrees of flex along the board, and more. If you ever actually see a board’s core, they have ben poorly constructed.

The base of your snowboard is the bottom part that slides along the snow. These are made form very high tech and innovative plastics then placed in a mold with the edges. Strong glues will bond the edges to the base.

The edge of your board is the metal that runs along the perimeter of your board. Your effective edge is the length of metal edge that makes contact with the snow while you turn. Sidecuts are the radius of the edge that runs along the snowboard.

There are several layers of fiberglass as well. The layout of this weave of fiber used affects the quality of your ride significantly, and the epoxy turns the fiber into a form of glass to layer each side of your core. The best boards will have carbon stringers that run the length of your board to add stiffness and pop.

Epoxy will hold your entire board together and bring it to life. This epoxy is frequently bio-based and innovatively engineered, so it isn’t the toxic stuff you might think of when you hear the word.

The board will then get a topsheet. This top will be inserted into the mold and then heat and pressure will bond all of these layers together and set the camber profile for your board.

The board will remain in the press for 10 minutes, then go through finishing. Expert craftsmen will give it a personal touch. They remove all excess materials and add sidecuts to your board that will determine how it turns. They will grind your board down several times and wax it. 

Shapes

Traditional cambers look like a mustache and are convex between tip and tail. Flat cambers are board profiles that are neither concave nor quite flat. Reverse cambers look a bit like a banana that is concave between tip and tail. These are also known as rockers. Hybrid cambers mix reverse cambers with hybrid camber profiles.

A directional is a board shape that allows a rider’s stance to be off of the center, and set back a few inches. These are the most common type of board and tend to be very versatile. Adept at both powder float and hard pack carving, they are great for forward riding and backcountry speed as well as resort terrains.

A twin tip board has an identically shaped nose and tail. They require a centered stance on the board and work well for ward and backwards riding, and in snowboard parks. Directional twins have similarly shaped nose and tails, but still allow for a stance that moves closer to the tail, so they’re good for forward riding and handling tricks and jibs.

Asymmetrical boards have superior edge hold because their side cuts are really large on the heel. These are great for carving down hard packed snow. Directional asymmetrical boards have a long and tapered nose, and the rider stands nearer to the tail. These have a sharp sidecut at the heel for strong edge hold, but they require a lot of skill because it takes power and aggression to ride them down the groomers. Twin asymmetricals are all mountain boards with identical noses and tails and a center stance but a very sharp edge cut that favors free styling.

Splitboards will open up into 2 ski-like shapes to allow riders to climb up the mountain like a cross country skier, and will reassemble into a board for the descent. 

Flex

The flex is the stiffness to a board. Longitudinal flex is tip to tail stiffness and Torsional flex is the width’s stiffness. The waist is the narrowest part of a board between the bindings.

Flex is a vital question when purchasing a snowboard. Specific styles require specific stiffness and flex. Stiffer boards will increase your ability to smoothly ride at rapid speeds because they offer more stability and power. Softer flex works well in parks and down trails because they maneuver much more easily and allow for more playfulness.

Material can also affect your flex. Softer boards are poppy, while stiffer boards tend to have an extra layer of material to make them less flexible. 

Size

When you’re looking at snowboard sizes, they’re discussing the length of the board from tip to tail. Usually, this is measured in centimeters. Make sure your size matches the weight capacity and stances you plan to use with it. This pairing of weight, height, and size will narrow your board choices down to the sizes which offer the most positive performances for your specific needs. If you’re a beginner go for a shorter board.

Edging

Your edge style is kind of like magnetism. They are added to snowboards to help the edge hold, which will allow the rider to get a better edge in high speeds and icy conditions. This acts as additional stability and firmness for a rider when they go through firm or very deep snow. Different manufacturers use different styles and materials to achieve maximum effectiveness on edges.

Different riding styles also require different levels of edge hold. Freestyle riders don’t need edges because they’re less likely to get stuck on surrounding items. Park riders don’t need them either for things like rails. Best all mountain snowboards will need very strong edge hold because they’re the ones cutting through harder surfaces and ice. The ones who need the most edge hold are the people floating through sift snow and powder.

As far as sharpness goes, it isn’t a huge factor in edging. Most riding terrains and styles don’t require extremely sharp edges. The exception to this rule is for racers and snowboarders who are hitting very icy conditions. That being said, you want a smooth edge, so if your edges get any burrs you should get rid of them.

The best edge hold technology for snowboards is currently magne traction. This incorporates extra points of contact on the functional edge of your side cut. This will increase your grip on extreme conditions like ice and hard surfaces so you get greater stability and safety. 

Stability at Speed

Stability while in motion is vital to enjoying the sport of snowboarding. You should be easily able to control your snowboard when you turn, land, or fly straight down the slopes. When you are test riding, your snowboard should never vibrate. This will reduce the stability and increase your likelihood for falls and wipeouts.

When you are purchasing a snowboard, you need to check the flex rating, the side cut, and the camber profile. These are all tested during motions and curves. Longer sidecuts, stiffer flexes, and camber profiles all contribute to better stability on your snowboard.

These designs, while stable, also become harder to ride if you’re not looking to go fast. When they slow down, they become very sluggish and less playful. Medium profile all mountain boards will pop better for riders who want a balanced operation that can handle multiple tasks.

Float in Powder

Professional snowboard riders know exactly how to cut through fresh powder snow and make it look effortless as they float over the top and turn beautifully. Part of what makes it so easy for them is that they have a board that can float when it is put in the powder.

All terrain snowboards with cambered profiles have a design that looks like a frown and maximizes ground contact, while rocker profiles have smiles that minimize the nose and tail contact with the ground. The rocker profile is best when it comes to floating down the powder and turning easily at any sign of trouble. 

Playfulness, Pop, and Jumping

Jumping and popping are some of the things that make snowboarding a fun, exciting thrill. A rider needs to know how well a board can pop and how high it can jump for a truly playful experience, especially with all mountain boards.

This effect is similar to a trampoline or bounce house. The snowboard will spring upwards and give a rider maximum life for higher flight with more air time. The more your board can push you up, the more powerful the effect, which will let you jump over trees and obstacles without crashing into them.

Cambered profiles have a massive pop ability w, especially when compared to rocker profiles. This is because they have a slanted design in their chamber that resists the power you put out and magnifies it to pop higher. Blended cambers, like camber-rocker-camber profiles will also work well to magnify your power and increase pop height. 

Style Points

Snowboarding is often about style. In fact, one might even say that style is king when it comes to everything. Your ride style matters to the type of board you buy, and so does the style of core and profile.

The same is true when it comes to the graphics. A lot of snowboarders love expressing themselves though beautiful board artwork. Companies put in hours of work every year to contract with the best artists on the planet to create amazing works of art on their boards.

When you are looking at a few different boards that you enjoy about equally, it’s oaky to make the final decision based on how pretty or badass a board is. A lot of people take more pride in their board’s art than any other aspect of their snowboarding. 

Powder Lover

Powder snowboards love powder. These are similar to freeride snowboards, but they have a wider nose and a narrow, tapered tail. Their binding inserts determine your stance, and will be set back to help you float the top of your board through deeper powder snow. These can feature rocker profiles to minimize tip ad tail contact with the sow for a smoother float. 

Freerider

A freerider enjoys focusing on groomers, backcountry, and powder snows. It’s a style of snowboarding that mixes up different terrains. These freeride boards are designed for riders who spend most of the day in varied terrain instead of over groomed runs. They have a stiffer flex and tend to come in longer sizes. These usually feature a directional shape that can perform optimally going forward. 

Best Snowboard Reviews for This Winter

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the different aspects of snowboard construction and flair, it’s time to start narrowing down your field of options with our best snowboard reviews. Have you asked yourself all the questions you need to regarding your terrain, home mountain, and ride style? Once you’ve narrowed those down you should know the length, width, and camber profile of your board.

If you haven’t don’t that, then go ahead and take the time to do it now. This article will still be here when you’re done. Once you have your measurements, you can immediately narrow down your board selection, even from among our list.

Check out these 9 completely amazing snowboards for the 2020 snow season, and if you’re not quite fully satisfied, don’t be afraid to keep shopping around or head to a professional who can help you get fitted and try some out, even if you end up coming back online to buy!


Editor's Rating:

5.0/5

2020 Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca black and white2020 Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca black and white

The Orca line of Lib Tech boards has been popular year after year and with the new features of the 2020 Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca C2X Snowboard we aren’t surprised that it remains one of the best. With the industry leading Magne-Traction edge serration and a sintered base this board is absolutely sweet! It’s no wonder that Travis rice used this board to snag his Freeride victory at the Freeride World Tour! 

The amazing technology of this board was so great that not much has changed between 2019 and 2020 models. They added multiple sizes, and took the Gear of the Year honors easily. This is a genre defying directional deck that can ride down the snow with speed and playfulness.

The board was built for slashing at the resort and riding powder, but it’s wide enough that it can float through pillows while still being narrow enough to drive all season long. This board is well known for its legacy of dominating legendary lines. The all terrain board provides unmatched stability while maintaining playful pop and an aggressive ride.

Things We Liked

  • Magne-Traction serrated edges offer amazing traction
  • Predictable flex pattern and compact camber/rocker/camber zone offers plenty of pop
  • Graceful killing machine is versatile enough for any terrain and style!
  • C2X base is contoured for extreme control and precision while rocker and camber rips with power and precision

Things We Didn't Like

  • Professional grade board may not be suited to beginners.

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

K2 2020 Cool Bean split tailK2 2020 Cool Bean split tail

If you’re looking for a fantastic board on a budget, then go for the K2 2020 Cool Bean Men’s Snowboard. With a BAP Core K2 blend and a sintered base, this board is sure to be a hit! This is one of the most user friendly powder boards available, and it’s a great way for beginners to jump into deep snow riding. 

The Cool bean features technology that shifts the volume from tips and tails to underfoot, so you get a wider, shorter design than most traditional snowboards. This increases stability and maneuverability for better slashing through trees.

The core is a blend of 3 different species of timber, ethically sourced from renewable woods, to create a strong and lightweight core that enhances dampening without any other materials weighing you down. This absorption is added to by the sintered 40000 base absorbing wax into the material for durability and smooth gliding.

This board has a directional rocker baseline that will lift your nose form the ground pretty well. The tail will bump a little, but the stiff plank and maneuverable size make up for it. This makes it a speeding bullet in trench groomers and powder boarding and allows you to jump into varying degrees of snow without overpowering the plank.

Things We Liked

  • Wide, short board is suitable for learning thanks to increased stability and maneuverability.
  • Sintered base keeps material smooth for easy glide, and the lightweight but strong core enhances dampening without additional materials for a very smooth ride!
  • Fibers woven together at 0 for biaxial glass smooth all purpose performance that makes for an extremely responsive ride along both longitudinal and torsional flexes.
  • Very happy medium between price and performance, size and shred ability makes it extremely popular for all riding styles and skill levels!

Things We Didn't Like

  • Funky shape and shift in volume from length to width may take getting used to for experience snowboarders.

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space Asym designGnu Forest Bailey Head Space Asym design

Forest Bailey brings an UNREAL freestyle board to the table with the Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space Asym Snowboard in 2020! With eco-sublimated poly top and sintered base, this board is fast, tough, and knows how to hold its wax! 

​The tri-ax/bi-ax glass makes the board strong and gives it amazing pop, while the Asym core of sustainably harvested aspen and paulownia woods increases the strength and pop while maintaining a light overall weight.

This board features Forest’s signature camber freestyle mind expander to give the board versatility across parks and resorts with an asymmetrical build to maximizer performance. The camber – rocker – camber construction is perfectly engineered for power and precision without losing control at speed.

This board is packed with power and responsiveness, so it lets you ride creatively through nearly any condition or terrain. It’s got an asymmetrical twin shape with a C3 camber profile for added reactiveness and it’s built t handle jumps with ease thanks to superior landing gear. Despite that power, it is still catch free and easy to maneuver when you want to do more technical rail lines in the parks.

Things We Liked

  • Amazing freestyle performance with versatility, strength, and great pop!
  • Magne-traction serrated edging for maximum edge hold.
  • Hand crafted in the United States by snowboarders!

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not great for backcountry exploration – performs better in parks and best in resorts.

Editor's Rating:

4.9/5

Burton Deep Thinker red colorBurton Deep Thinker red color

Another amazing board that is still pretty affordable is the Burton Deep Thinker. This bright board utilizes directional shape, camber, and flex to deliver powerful results for all terrain riding.

Burton’s exclusive Infinite Ride technology maximizes the pop of your board and strength by overbuilding the board and putting it into a machine that breaks the board in for you, so it’s ready to go from day 1, no matter where you plan to ride. It can handle Top, Flying V, and Camber positions without losing its flex or playful feel. 

The directional camber of this board allows for an entry rocker that lifts the nose while maintaining momentum and stability underfoot through deep driving turns and nearly any condition. The classic shape of the board is designed with a slightly longer nose than tail, concentrating your pop in the tail without sacrificing your float, control, or flow over the terrain.

The directional flex magnifies the already strong tail pop and gives this board a strong nose that lets riders keep control over their ride through any condition, and the FSC Certified Super Fly II 700 G Core is made of strong, light woods that target specific areas of the core for additional strength and pop without adding any extra weight.

Things We Liked

  • Powerful and able to float and pop through any terrain or condition!
  • Strong, fast, and powerful design with plenty of pop is designed to help you find your perfect stance!
  • Compatible with all major bindings – not just restricted to Burton’s binding.
  • Infinite Ride technology breaks your board in for you before you hit the hills so you don’t have to spend time doing it yourself before enjoying the ride.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Difficult to use if you don’t have perfect turn technique

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Burton Custom stylish boardBurton Custom stylish board

Burton is one of the coolest manufacturers out there fro great snowboards, so it is no surprise that they make the list more than once. This Burton Custom Snowboard is one of the top snowboards available. It’s a board that can rude in pretty much any style, so it’s built for people who just want 1 board that can handle every terrain. 

This board’s camber profile allows for powerful turns and precision even in pops thanks to the camber’s even weight distribution over the entire length of the board. This makes for snappy suspension and a smooth, continuous edge that offers tip to tail control.

The classic snowboard build and design allows for a directional shape, designed for a slightly longer nose than tail so the pop concentrates on the back end without sacrificing float. The twin flex is perfectly symmetrical from tip to tail for an extremely balanced ride that is also versatile enough for regular or switch riding.

Things We Liked

  • Capable of riding any style in parks, groomers, trees, and backcountry! Amazing all mountain riding capabilities are consistent across all categories.
  • Snappy suspension, precision turns, great edge control, and plenty of float and flow!
  • Symmetrical twin flex allows for a versatile regular or switch ride experience balanced from tip to tail.
  • Channel gives the rider control over their stance within the board with a design that is compatible with all major bindings, not just Burton’s!

Things We Didn't Like

  • Versatility prevents true aggression for specialized riding in any category as compared to traditional camber options.

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

Jones Storm Chaser Split modern designJones Storm Chaser Split modern design

The short, high volume Jones Storm Chaser Split Board allows you to access those remote, frozen swells like never before thanks to its insane float power! You will be turning tight tree runs into a GS course with this extremely nimble board even on the days where the snow is deepest!

The boltless bridge of this board eliminates the necessity for base hardware and the Karakoram Ultra clips allow for unmatched torsion and connectivity between the halves of this board. With an ultra wide waist width, you get the maximum float possible despite the short running length of the board and the Surf Rocker profile will allow the nose to really pop out of the snow when you hit the speed.

This board also has an impressive list of features that includes Sintered 9000 board with Wend natural wax, a control split core, bi-ax fiberglass, factory tuning, ABS sidewalls, oversized recycled edges, a quick tension in the tail clip, stainless steel reinforcements, Bridge Tech, an eco plastic topsheet, traction technology, a very progressive sidecut, directional shape, a 7 out of 10 on the stiffness rating, and a directional flex pattern!

Things We Liked

  • Awesome for exploration of remote and frozen territories with powerful performance in deep snow.
  • More float power than any other comparable snowboard in its class with incredibly powerful pop!

Things We Didn't Like

  • Expert level skill required to maximize this board. Beginners will have difficultly maneuvering it and controlling it.

Editor's Rating:

4.2/5

Yes Optimistic top and bottomYes Optimistic top and bottom

With its moderate camber profile, stiff flex, and directional shape, this Yes Optimistic Snowboard is sure to be a winner on the slopes! Designed for carving in any condition, this board will let you hit the slopes even when it hasn’t snowed in weeks. 

This board was made for pulling in the edges directly along the bindings, so you can dispense with the bumping out edges along binding zones thanks to the UnderBite technology. This board shape will redistribute the pressure and weight to the tip and tail contact points for extremely powerful edge control to let you drive and carve at high speeds while powering through icy chutes. The core features bamboo, poplar, and two carbon wrapped stringers that milled to the core in a pre-bend position for added power on the edges.

Things We Liked

  • Intuitive control, major stability, and unwavering and incredible edge hold!
  • Designed with carving in mind, so you can maximize time on the slopes when it hasn’t snowed in a while.
  • Designed for maximum edge control while holding edges and exploding out of turns.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Designed for advanced and expert riders to get more out of their turns – not for beginners or intermediates.

Editor's Rating:

4.4/5

Ride 2020 Twinpig looks amzingRide 2020 Twinpig looks amzing

With a twin hybrid rocker, asymmetrical quadratic sidecut, and a cleave edge you can fly down the slopes with confidence on the Ride 2020 Twinpig Snowboard. The topless construction guarantees durability while reducing weight, so you can speed down the slopes on this park-focused board. It turns their fun Warpig design into a twin board shape! 

This board comes packed with features, including a twin hybrid rocker, cleave edge, asymmetrical quadratic sidecut, a sintered stone ground based, foundation core, slimewalls, double impact plates, a topless topsheet, hybrid glass, roll in construction, and a mellow response.

The asymmetrical shape will work to improve your heel side turn precision and allow for control upon initiation with a different radius for both the heel and toe side edges. The topless construction makes it extremely durable while remaining lightweight, and the sintered base makes your ride smooth and speedy.

Things We Liked

  • Perfect combo for stability thanks to wide platform, flex, and camber profile!
  • Shines through when you jump – so much pop you can turn small jumps into big ones!
  • Smooth transition from toe to heel makes rail turns easy so carving is a breeze!

Things We Didn't Like

  • May feel some chatter in the tips at speed

Editor's Rating:

4.0/5

Weston Japow SplitboardWeston Japow Splitboard

The camber – pow rocker nose of this Weston Japow Splitboard offers a reverse caber nose with mellow camber under your inserts and a directional swallowtail shape with medium flex. 

This splitboard was Weston’s response to the deepest snows preventing action on the slopes. The directional, camber – pow rocker nose and swallowtail with the rugged topsheet and Electra sintered base with tail V carbon reinforcement and a slayer wood core all work together you keep riders floating on the powder while weaving through tight trees and carving like a surfer on groomers.

The split technology makes it really easy to get back uphill quickly, with optimal traction, edge hold, and kick turn ease!

Things We Liked

  • Split tech board allows you to easily climb uphill like you were on skis then put the board back together to glide back down!
  • Able to handle powder with ease and float over the deepest of snows!
  • Company donates 1% of all sales to the National Forest Foundation and helps offset their carbon footprint.
  • Board comes with a 4-year warranty.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can’t handle freestyle snowboarding
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