Shayboarder’s 2012 Top Picks
22 Aug, 2011
Hundreds of snowboard products have been reviewed on Shayboarder.com but how do you give recognition to those that stand out from the rest of the pack? It was easy, I listened to your input on the recent survey for improvements and worked to create a way to showcase the gear that rank highest in reviews.
This list of Top Picks will be constantly evolving and changing as the season progresses. Some might keep their title and others might lose it as more products get reviewed. I’m excited to develop this list and give some kind of credibility to the gear that have endured review time. This post will be at the top of the reviews list for easy access. Currently you’ll see only Top Picks on snowboards and bindings but eventually this will grow to include softgoods.
Starting today, this logo means you have found a Top Pick! On the right corner of a review, if you see this logo with the subhead underneath you’ll know that this board was a Top Pick and to be recognized for being AWESOME!
I first rode the Hovercraft in January 2011 in almost non-existent powder conditions and knew if it could handle without powder, it’d be amazing in powder. Later on, I borrowed the board for an awesome March storm where I got powder turns for days on the Hovercraft. The shape of the board and setback stance lets you ride balanced on the board without needing to lean back to float the powder. It really was like riding a snow surfboard on powdery waves. The best part about the Hovercraft, if you have to deal with non-powder conditions, it’ll handle riding them. Click here for the full review
I have always been a fan of the Capita BSOD so when Capita stepped up the freeride FK to a new model with the Capita Totally Fk’n Awesome, I knew I’d have a tough time picking between the boards. The Totally Fk’n Awesome made for exactly that when you took it on snow. It was an awesome ride that didn’t take freeriding too seriously. The BSOD still holds a place in my heart and quiver but the Awesome delivers a new take on freeriding. Click here for the full review.
It’s a pretty strong statement when a mid-wide (compared to regular widths) takes the win for best all mountain board. As soon as I got on the T.Rice, it was a favorite from reviews this season (and hard to return to the rep). It was a late start to trying the board but a whole week of riding time that determined you could ride this board everywhere. In the park, pipe, freeriding…the T.Rice lives up to the name of the rider and packages it for the everyday rider. Click here for the full review.
I had a hard time picking between these two boards, both are softer freestyle fun flexes and in the end, I thought they both deserved a win.
The Salomon Salomonder was ridden at the SIA on-snow in some brutal cold conditions, seriously if it wasn’t for this board I would have ended the day much earlier but this popular board made for some of the most fun turns of the on-snow. With this board you get the best of both worlds in a soft jibby flex. Click here for the full review.
When spring finally arrived, one board captured my attention for spring park laps and full-on sessions: the Arbor Draft. A quick response and forgiving feeling give this board the ideal features for park laps plus it can handle all the slush you throw at it and ride over. It’s a soft flex but with stability in the right spots for jumps. Click here for the full review.
New for 2012, the Atlas featured a lot of the popular components that make up the Force binding but showcased a new take on all mountain with a vamped up design. The end result is a solid all mountain binding that makes for a tough choice between the Force and the Atlas. However the Atlas has the upper hand, lighter with more padding and response. This binding ranked high for all mountain riding and continues to be a top pick. Click here for the full review.
I took out the Envi at the SIA on-snow in January and still am thinking about this aggressive women’s freeride board. It’s quick, it carves and it pushes your snowboarding. There are so few women’s boards out there that really keep women on their toes, that make you want to continue to beat the boys at their own game…and this is the board for charging with the boys. There’s no rest breaks, make-up moments, the connection between the rider and board is very clear. Destroy the mountain and take numbers. And the graphics are deceiving. Click here for the full review.
When it came time to thinking about the Top Picks for women, the Endeavor Boyfriend was undefeated for women’s freestyle. I had so much fun riding this board at June and Mammoth Mountain in the parks. It had pop, it handled landings (despite the smaller size I was on) and it could handle outside of park. It was an overall easy forgiving board to ride and it felt good to play on. Click here for the full review.
For all around riding, the Never Summer Infinity takes women to everywhere they want to go on the mountain. Whether you want to lap park for a day, cruise the corduroy or play in some powder, the Infinity can ride it all. This medium flex board comes with Never Summer’s RC technology, enough rocker for playfulness and enough camber for a controlled ride down the slopes. It’s always been a all mountain favorite and continues to be a popular women’s board for everything the mountain throws at you. Click here for the full review.
Even though this is a more aggressive women’s freeriding board that’s not powder specific, due to the limited options for women’s powder decks and the fact I haven’t ridden straight up women’s powder decks this year…means the Lotus so far takes the cake for powder riding. The Lotus stays afloat in some deep powder when other boards would sink. We’ll see if it can hold this position through the winter. Click here for the full review.
It was a tough choice between the K2 Auto Agogo and the Rome Madison but the K2 Auto Agogo gives women technology that the men have…a huge step for women’s riding. The Auto technology makes strapping in super easy since you only ratchet down the ankle strap. The Auto Agogo is a very comfortable, padded, all mountain ride for women. It should be rewarded as a Top Pick because the women get the same upgraded technology that the men get. Click here for the full review.