Behind the Transworld Good Wood Test
19 Apr, 2009
For the past 11 years, the Transworld Good Wood Test has set the standard for snowboarding board tests, consistently offering riders a glimpse into popular boards for the next season. While no test is perfect, the Good Wood has worked each year to dial it in and make improvements to the testing format. There have been many debates on if the Good Wood Test is legit and represents a true test of snowboards. I set out to find out the truth.
Each day the riders have a line up of boards selected for them to ride. This eliminates the last minute stress of finding a board and making sure all the boards get through the test.
Thursday’s boards lined up for the test, mounted with the riders bindings ready to go. The riders were told to bring two pairs of bindings if they have them, making less time to set up each board.
In the back room is the collection of boards for the board test. For the 09-10 Good Wood, there were a 153 models of boards from various companies. Each board came in multiple sizes in order to give the riders a size closest to what they ride.
This year’s test featured more reverse camber. I overheard one of the riders talking about how last years test, when they rode a reverse camber it was like wow and how for this years test, it was wow when they rode a cambered board. Shows the change of times in the past year for board technology.
There are always boards to be snuck into the test, this year it was the YES boards that got sneaked into the test. Luckily for me, that meant I could ride it! Annie was cool with me trying a couple of the boards that were in the back room so I found myself on a YES, K2 Eco Pop and Smokin Vixen for the day.
Purl Wax is in charge of mounting the boards and getting them ready for the riders during the test. The boards are mounted with the riders bindings, with the exception of Burton boards where there are stock bindings to use for their mounting system.
The 2009-2010 Good Wood Test has three categories: Pipe, Park and new for 09-10 is All-Mtn where the riders take the boards submitted to the all mountain test through the trees, freeriding and jump line.
Annie Fast, editor at Transworld Snowboarding mounting up a board to ride. I was able to take some laps with Annie and talk about the test.
Seeing the Good Wood Test in person was an amazing experience, I am so thankful to Annie that I was invited to tag along and experience the test in person. I’ve been doubtful of the test and how fair it is, especially since the boards changed from blank topsheets to the real topsheets but tagging along really opened my eyes on how the test is run, that it’s not a test where winners are picked by brand and that every riders input is gathered, collected and equals the results. I was blown away by the effort involved in the test, setting up, being organized and each rider taking the same run for 5 days to test boards.