Shay’s Best of 08-09 List
14 Apr, 2009
As the 2008-2009 season winds down, I like to look back at the demo year to see what boards & bindings stood out from the pack. This isn’t meant to be a board test, because I don’t have the ability to ride every board out there so it becomes a list of products requested by readers and by me to check out. I try to ride boards that have interest or brands that are hard to get reviews on and stay clear from boards that I feel I will dislike.
For 2008-2009 products, I rode 51 snowboards and 21 bindings. Of the 51 snowboards, 41 of those were mens and 10 were women’s. Of the 21 bindings, 15 of those were women’s and 6 of those were men’s. The majority of the boards and bindings were done on demo days, generally open to the public. I attend as many demo days in Colorado as I possibly can, for early 2008 I spent 6 days on snow riding boards at demos.
I’ve been trying to ride more and more women’s products each year to make it a fair review system. Unfortunately at demo days, there are less women’s boards and usually in smaller sizes so it’s harder than getting on a men’s board. There are very few women’s reviews out there, even fewer that can break it down and explain boards, so I will continue to review more women’s boards each year.
The best rule of thumb with me is if I love it, I buy it. It’s that simple, so what you see in my collection of gear that I have sought out on purpose especially after I try it…is gear that I really like. There are few exceptions and I usually mention that in the review (example is too expensive).
The people at Burton know what will sell a board. Put up playboy models, create controversy that makes National News (National News must have missed the Rome Artifact) and you are guaranteed to sell that board. I rode the Love and I can honestly say that board wouldn’t have done as well if it weren’t for those graphics. I think the graphics were tastefully done and that vintage playboy’s are hot. It made me laugh to see guys checking out that I, a female, was riding a board with a playboy model on it.
Second to the naked chicks is the Capita Horrorscope. The late release had my favorite graphics on it and I’m stoked that it’s a Capita poster because I love it.
Best All Around Board
It’s back and better…the Capita Black Death Inc. Modeled after a board that I still own and will never sell (BSOD) came back in 08-09 with a better construction, more all mountain flare and able to handle anything you give it, pow, freeriding, park, pipe. It killed it.
Men’s Fun Snowboard
The Lib Tech box scratcher was a lot of fun, I rode it late in the season and was amazed that I could ride that small of a board and still have a blast on it. Even to this day, I still remember those runs with it, how it turned and the ease of it.
Men’s: I spent a lot of time on this board by choice, even though I tested it…I finished testing it and continued to ride it. The Never Summer Evo was my favorite reverse camber in 09-10 for men’s board. Even after riding the horrorscope and hero (both super super fun) the evo was a board I could ride everywhere with no limitations.
Women’s: The women’s GNU B-pro continues to shine. Barrett’s Christy’s board is amazing for BTX, able to handle the whole mountain and more. It only gets better for 09-10 but it still makes my list for best women’s rocker in 08-09.
Women’s Aggressive Board
There’s been only one women’s board that I have rode that rides as hard as an aggressive men’s board. The Burton women’s supermodel killed it for not making less of a board for women. Its the only women’s board that I had to be careful so it wouldn’t ride me and wouldn’t let me be lazy. I’m still in awe of that board because to me it shows that women don’t need less aggressive when you reach a certain point…we need equality to make us capable and better riders. The Supermodel would push my riding every day.
Women’s Fun Board
It was by luck that I rode a Roxy board, they were on the ski side of the demos and hard to find and even more in luck that the Eminence was a 157cm (my size board). It was the most fun women’s board I have ridden in a while, the btx made it playful and floatable in powder. The mtx gripped the snow without being super grippy. Since then I am happier to ride Roxy’s each time and more impressed with their women’s boards.
Weirdest Snowboard Ride
I didn’t encounter too many weird rides, but I also stayed away from Bitchboards on purpose. I still am weirded out by the Fix and I should ride it again…confusing board to me but I also think the model I got to ride was stiffer than what was released to the public.
Favorite Men’s Strap Bindings
I own one of them. The Union Forces or Forces SL were my two favorite bindings this year. In the end I went with the Forces, but the SL’s still won me over.
Favorite Women’s Strap Bindings
The escapades win hands down. A women’s binding with great response and comfort, the only downside is not being able to slap those onto my board right this second. Any demo where I got on a Burton board, I had no problems with riding Escapades all day long.
Easy Access Bindings
Years ago when I owned the NXT-AT’s they still had issues to fix and while I choose not to rock easy access bindings, I appreciate that the design is significantly better. The NXT-AT’s this year have the dialed in factor, lightness and continue to impress me when I spend days on the snow with me. Preference says I prefer strap bindings but it’s not because easy access isn’t good enough.