It’s Christmas; it’s time to shred. Perhaps you’re looking to expand your snowboarding horizons and push your luck by asking for a new snowboard, or you’re a kind-hearted soul who wants to buy that perfect quiver killer for your nearest and dearest. Whatever your reasons — we don’t think you need a reason to buy new snowboards; no judgment here — you want to buy the best.
When it comes to buying snowboarding equipment, Burton, Jones, CAPiTA, and Arbor always feature highly on our lists — Burton also topped our boot-buying gift guide — and once again, it tops the charts here. But there’s more to it than the brand; you need to know how and where your rider likes to shred and what level they ride. If you don’t know this information, it’s time to dig a little deeper. If you do, read on to find your perfect snowboard to gift this year.
Learning to snowboard is hard work. From riding the chairlift to linking turns, there’s no end to the difficulties beginners face. Get the right snowboard, though — we recommend a rocker profile for beginners to avoid catching edges and to stay upright more easily — and suddenly, you’re cruising the mountain, not bailing on the bunny slopes.
Arbor Foundation Rocker
Foundation by name, foundation by nature. The Arbor Foundation Rocker is a forgiving, easy-to-control platform to develop your snowboarding, with a grip tech edge that will give you that crucial hold as you gain confidence in linking your turns. Soft and surfy, Arbor snowboards have created a beginner ride that goes further than the groomer; head into the trees or confidently experience your first air in the park. All of this comes in a highly affordable setup.
There’s something about the graphic on the Gnu Money that instantly transports me back several decades. But don’t think for a second that this means you’re getting into out-of-date tech; this snowboard is as contemporary as they come and has everything you need to learn to shred. The Gnu Money is more aimed toward beginner riders looking to earn their air miles, with a park-friendly, mid-flex, and snappy C2 cam/rocker base with a forgiving edge for landing tricks.
Burton Custom Flying V
As far as early-stage quiver killers go, the Burton Custom Flying V is just about as good as they come. The Burton Custom range is a mainstay of snowboarding — you’ll notice it appears a few times on this list, as well as plenty of others — for a good reason. The Flying V is more of a park-oriented board than the Custom Camber, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a park snowboard. The Custom Flying V is our pick of the bunch for beginners looking to progress into a more camber feel and push their boundaries all across the resort.
Most snowboarders fall into the intermediate range. Realistically, unless you’re pushing your boundaries every ride and chasing snow wherever it appears, you’re unlikely to need to push on to pro-level snowboards — don’t let us stop you if you want to, of course. Intermediate snowboards cover the whole scope of the sport, but we think these are the best you can buy.
The Process is Burton Snowboard’s pick of twin freestyle playfulness. What we particularly love about the Burton Process is that it ticks our boxes for one of the snowboarding trends we want to see more of this winter. Sure, the Process is a park board at heart, but Burton has given it just enough of an all-mountain edge for you to take this board to space from side hits. The graphic says it all; send it big and get adventurous.
If anyone can explain the graphic to us, that would be great. While we don’t understand it — or how it links to the name — we love the avant-garde look of this snowboard. The CAPiTA Aeronaut has been designed in collaboration with “The Rocketman” Arthur Longo. Put two and two together, and what do you get? That’s right: It’s side-hit season for CAPiTA snowboards, too. The poppy camber gives Aeronaut versatility, putting it among the best snowboards.
Burton Custom Camber
Speaking of the best snowboards around, here we are again. The Burton Custom Camber is for intermediate riders, and the Flying V is for beginners. Anywhere, everywhere, all the time. If there’s a better all-mountain snowboard on the market right now, we would love to see it. This board is slightly stiffer than others on this list, making it more stable at speed but without losing any of the pop and playfulness that all-mountain snowboarders love.
With all the pop and response of a camber board but the predictability of a hybrid, there’s a reason that the Defenders of Awesome is CAPiTA’s number one selling snowboard. This board is designed to shred the entire resort, from carving groomers to flying off side hits and even giving you a stable and relatively playful platform in the park.
Do you consider yourself, or the person you’re buying a snowboard for, to be a top shredder? Do you carve like your old man on Thanksgiving? Or perhaps you put down huge tricks in the park. These are top-end boards for pro-level riders, with fast and stable bases for high-speed response and finite control.
Burton Custom X
It’s the last time we include this, we promise, but the Burton Custom really is that good that we can justify including it three times. The Burton Custom X is one of the best advanced snowboards we’ve ridden in recent years, with all the stability and stiffness you could ever want. This is a board that pushes you to be on your game, but that rewards you with a level of precision and a ride that you can only imagine. You’ve got to experience it to believe it.
CAPiTA Mega Death
The Black Snowboard of Death is one of CAPiTA’s best-selling, high-end snowboards, and the Mega Death was born from the same inspiration. This board is designed around ultra-lightweight, all-mountain freeride, the ultimate CAPiTA machine to go where the groomer ends. If you’re looking for deep powder, this isn’t it. But if you want a board that can churn through the ungroomed and keep up with you no matter where you point it down, look no further than the Mega Death.
Salomon Huck Knife Pro
Huck it, tuck it, and see how big you can go. The Huck Knife Pro is a high-performance freestyle snowboard from Salomon, a company that often sneaks under the radar when it comes to high-end snowboards. This true-twin board has one of the most aggressive camber profiles out there, combining with ultra-stiff carbon beams to give you more pop than you could imagine. Snappy, stable, and super responsive, this board will take you higher than you’ve ever been.
Freedom to perform in your unique way. The Burton Blossom is the brainchild of a whole host of Burton Snowboards team riders who put their heads together and came up with this twin-shaped snowboard that lets you stomp, spin, and put your own stamp on the mountain. The stiffer, camber profile keeps the Blossom poppy and stable at speed, ideal for crushing anywhere and everywhere inbounds.
Remember your first powder turns? I do; my whole world was turned upside down — literally and figuratively. Once I got the hang of riding the deep stuff, I never looked back. These boards aren’t quite as out-and-out, powder-oriented as they come. Instead, we’ve gone for some all-mountain crushers that are at home spraying champagne powder overhead.
If one company out there knows how to make a board that sets the standard in the freeride game, it’s Jones Snowboards. As the name suggests, the Flagship is its flagship board for 2024, designed for crushing the entire mountain, both on and off the groomers. This directional twin-board features a rocker/camber profile and a progressive sidecut that allows for float where it counts and ultimate grip where you need it.
Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro
Designed by the legendary Bryan Iguchi, this board is designed to unlock your freeriding potential. Grip tech sidewalls cut through snow of any type to give you the ultimate grip no matter the conditions and combine with a system camber profile to give you a ride that can tackle just about any terrain. The Bryan Iguchi Pro is all about ultimate control, precision turns where it counts, and explosive action when you want it the most.
Nidecker has taken everything it learned from years of making some of the best-selling snowboards on the market to produce this all-mountain charger. The Thruster has a highly aggressive camber profile, a super dense sintered base, and added carbon to give you perhaps the ultimate high-speed carving machine. But this is a snowboard for far more than just leaving sweet lines on fresh groomers; the Thruster can take on just about anything you can throw at it, including freeride and even the odd powder line.
If this looks a little like an amped-up version of the Bryan Iguchi Pro, there’s a reason for this. The Arbor Annex is perhaps the ultimate machine that a combination of the best minds Arbor can offer and the riding experience of Bryan Iguchi can come up with. Inbounds, outbounds, powder, all-mountain, freeride — this board does not care where you take it or how technical it gets. The Annex will eat up the mountain. And just look at it. We love the clean lines of that top deck and that stunning base graphic. Incredible.
One of my biggest regrets from when I rode in Japan was not having fresh powder on the day I had this board because it felt phenomenal, even on the older stuff. Season is a relatively unknown snowboard company, making sleek and simple-looking snowboards that maintain the same graphics year-on-year so your snowboard never goes out of date. Float in the nose, grip throughout, and stiffness that keeps you stable across all conditions, the Season Nexus is built to unlock the entire mountain.
You wouldn’t put second-hand tires on your brand-new sports car, would you? No, because you’d lack control. So why would you put your broken-down old bindings on a brand-new snowboard? If you genuinely want to get the most out of your board — all that precision and pop that the manufacturer has worked so hard to create — then you must complete your setup with a pair of the best snowboard bindings.
If you’ve not tried step-on bindings yet, winter 2023/2024 might be the year to step up your game. But where do you buy the best bindings to ensure you have the perfect ride?
If you’ve got a local, independent store, we’ll never suggest you veer away from supporting local. Towns and resorts thrive off these stores, and many have been in place for generations, so keep them if you can — so long as you don’t have to compromise on quality.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in snowboard stores, we can’t recommend better than Evo. This shop has everything from its selection of equipment to employee knowledge. Evo has a series of stores across the U.S. where you can get expert advice and hands-on experience with the package you’re looking to buy. It also has an expansive website that has all things snowboarding, skiing (for those who have to suffer the company of our two-planked friends; just kidding skiers), and summer sports, too, with quick shipping as well as excellent customer service and aftercare. Check it out.
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