Shay’s take on the 2011 Best of Test

01 Sep, 2010

Each magazine has their own way to define the top boards of the season and for Snowboarder Magazine that means talking to the industry and shop employees to find out their favorites from the industry on-snow demos.  The industry on-snow demos were hosted  at a mix of mountains from Vermont to Colorado to Washington to California in a variety of conditions in last year’s unpredictable winter.  After the demos are done and feedback is given, the top 3 men’s boards and top 1 women’s boards are awarded in the Best of Test and this year a Best of the Rest with 7 additional men’s boards that were worthy.

From Snowboarder’s Tom Monterosso, “Rather than testing these brands’ offerings on one mountain, in one park, under the same conditions with a closed group of testers, we traveled across the country this winter and experienced all elements in our quest while querying over 600 reps, retailers and riders for their honest opinions.”

This test definitely reminds me of what the industry might say when it comes to top boards, the Machete has been a popular choice since it’s beginning, the Lib Tech T.Rice C2 is a top contender for many male riders around the US, the K2 Fastplant is hands down one of my favorites from the demos and the K2 Eco Pop is a women’s board that is designed to be ridden by female riders (it’s badass).  In the Best of Rest list, the boards I have ridden in that list were favorable in reviews and boards I’d ride during the winter.  I really like that Snowboarder puts up the top 3’s from each state’s on-snow demo showcasing that by region there are popular boards.

No matter what test is out there, what shop kid tells you what board they liked or what blogger gives you reviews…trying these boards out for yourself is the surefire way to know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Snowboarder Magazine’s Best of Test 2011

Men’s Winners:

1.  Ride Machete

2.   Lib Tech T.Rice C2

3.  K2 Fastplant

Men’s Best of the Rest:

4.  Burton Sherlock

5.  Ride Highlife

6.  GNU Park Pickle

7.  Rome Agent

8.  Capita Indoor Survival FK

9.  Capita Horrorscope FK

10.  K2 Slayblade

Women’s Winner:

1.  K2 Eco Pop

Top Boards by State


Forum Destroyer Chillydog

GNU Park Pickle

K2 Fastplant


K2 Turbo Dream

Capita Horrorscope

K2 Fastplant


Capita Horrorscope

Arbor Draft

Ride Highlife


Ride Machete

Rome Agent

Burton Custom Flying V


DC Tone

Burton Easy Livin Flying V

Never Summer Evo


Burton Sherlock

Ride Highlife

Lib Tech T.Rice C2


K2 Slayblade

Arbor Cadence

K2 Fastplant

What are your thoughts on this list?

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. September 01, 2010

    nice take shay – for my money representing the old guy, big foot, vermont crowd the lib tech skunk ape is still my fave 🙂

    equally good on ice or pow…

  2. September 01, 2010

    I loved the Capita Space Metal Fantasy FK at the on-snow in Winter Park… bought it and still love it!

  3. Francis
    September 01, 2010

    Pretty interesting, to see that statically Machete and T.Rice C2 are in Mens Winner (Overall):
    1. Ride Machete
    2. Lib Tech T.Rice C2
    But in the ranking split by Region Ride Machete is only rank once in the State of Utah and Lib T.Rice is only rank one in the State of Nor-Cal….
    Where others like K2 Fastplan is ranked 3 times and Ride Highlife ranked 2 times…

  4. e
    September 01, 2010

    Like a lot of tests, it’s not getting ranked high, it’s just having a consistant score. Best of Test, Good Wood are SOMETIMES awarded to boards that were good, not great. Not saying these boards aren’t great.

    I like this test for it having different regions, different conditions, riding styles & a lot of rider feedback, but I like the goodwood in at least every brand gets a fair shot. You’re probably going to vote for the board you are carrying in a shop I would think. Thought for sure Washington have some mervin & Colorado would have Neversummer.

  5. nk
    September 01, 2010

    just bought myself a ride machete 2011 today, glad to see it at the top of the list

  6. JPT
    September 02, 2010

    Shay have you ever ridden the Sherlock? So far my quiver for this year stands at Never Summer Premier, Rome Agent Rocker and Never Summer Evo. Very interested in reviews on the Sherlock and the Burton Nug.

  7. e
    September 02, 2010

    Never heard of the Nug….was it a late release?

  8. September 02, 2010

    JPT, haven’t ridden the sherlock but it’s on the list to try out at this winters demos. I’ll try to get on that and the nug for you.

    E. it’s a late release that won a Good Wood.

  9. Steve
    September 03, 2010

    Is there a list of all the boards tested?
    Seems strange that some brands never seem to show up in the top three.
    Looking at a Salomon grip at the moment but wondered if it was even in the test?

  10. September 03, 2010

    Steve, great question. In any of the board tests by the magazines I’ve never seen a list of the companies/board models present. The best of test is done at the industry demos where they interview various people and do an online survey so there’s no way to know other than the top boards what was ridden.

    That’s why it’s about finding out what you like, the tests are a good starting point but there’s no way to know if the salomon grip was ridden in the test so best to try out for yourself.

  11. October 27, 2010

    I test rode the Machete and it was a pretty decent ride. It was a lot stuffer than I imagined and didn’t butter as good as I thought. It held an epic edge at speed and was a pretty stable freeride/freestyle board. I also did a full video review on espn.