The most effective snowboards of 2020-21 can deal with something on the mountain
These five snowboards can handle anything the mountain throws your way – be it powder, chunder or hardpack snow.
Best for: Big Mountain
Cardiff Snowcraft The Goat
Originally developed as a splitboard for rugged high-speed backcountry lines, the Goat is now available in a solid version. A deep sidecut radius and a 60 percent fall underfoot ensure more snow edges for maximum control on hard turns. For a noticeably even power transfer, poplar stringers fuse with the sidewall to reinforce the edge and keep the ride moist. Top it off with a graphite sintered base – the toughest and fastest on the market – and it’s ready to tear.
[From $750; cardiffsnow.com]
Best for: Pow Surfing
Venture Snowboards 20/21 Euphoria Splitboard
With a wide, scooped nose and an aggressive taper for less edge-to-edge drag, this board eats deep powder turns for breakfast. The rocked top and curved tail keep it – as does the playful flex and dramatically recessed stance – while surfing, but the straight fall underfoot maintains edge control in chunky conditions in the lower mountains. This board was built in Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains, where durable construction is of paramount importance. It thrives in bottomless snow and is still capable of making high-speed turns on hardpacks.
Best for: All Mountain
Burton Pedigree Straight Chuter Camber Snowboard
Like the family car, this new entry isn’t particularly eye-catching, but rather reliable, consistent, and powerful. The right balance of core thickness – thinner under the feet and stronger on the outside – keeps it light and agile while providing enough backbone for additional terrain features and control on landings. The horizontal grain of the wood core improves edge hold, responsiveness and strength. Unlike the family hatchback, this ride is super clean with minimal chatter.
Best for: Backcountry Freestyle
Weston Hatchet Pow Slayer 20/21
One size fits everyone with this 152mm stub that takes it from shorter, thicker boards designed for riding powder and packs them into a directional twin shape. The increased surface area allows for superior floating in fresh snow, but the shorter length also reduces swing weight for more nimble handling when jumping off cushions, spinning off cliffs and boosting kickers in the backcountry. A carbon stringer along each edge provides some backbone as you take your terrain park skills into the backcountry with machine or snowshoe access.
Chris Wellhausen for Men’s Journal
The best snowboard for carving snow groomers
Cafe Racer Korua
The powerful handrail for quick corduroy requires a deck that can set an edge without washing off. The Café Racer’s pointy nose makes turns with ease, while the stiff tail holds fast for a more aggressive response. The carving-specific sidecut (with a longer effective edge) creates a smooth curve so you can lay out extra wide S-curves or draw tight, snappy curves. Just ride low with a narrow stance and wider bond angle to avoid pulling your toes. [$530; koruashapes.com]
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