Shay’s take on the 2012 Good Wood

07 Sep, 2011

In the grand scheme of snowboard tests, the Transworld Snowboarding Good Wood test is the longest running and the most well known test that defines a list of boards to consider each season.  I’ve tagged along with the Good Wood Test a couple times to see how they test each snowboard and got to see the Mammoth GW Test in action last spring.  Here’s the list of what boards made the cut for this season and my thoughts on the list.

For 2012, boards are split between men and women, over and under $400 and all mountain and park categories.  When I first started hearing of the boards that won, I was happy to see which boards got recognized.  I think it’s a list most like my own taste for reviewed boards from this year and past reviews.  For the men, the Stepchild Powder Sucks, GNU Park Pickle/Riders Choice, Lib Tech Attack Banana, TRS and Box Scratcher have always rated high in reviews and been boards that are very popular with riders.  For the women, the Arbor Swoon, GNU B-Pro, Roxy Eminence, Smokin Vixen, Arbor Cadence were all boards that offered up great choices for the female riders depending on their styles (mtn or park).  Overall, the list hits a lot of different companies and has a great variety this year with a noticeably dominant Mervin win to the boards.

The biggest thing to remember with any test or review is that these boards rode favorable for these people.  The Good Wood has a variety of testers with a focus on park riding and what rides good for them might not ride good for you.  The best way to interpret this list is see what works for you and try it for yourself…your own personal test matters more than anything else.

Top Ten Men’s Boards Under $399
Arbor Del Rey
DC Ply
Forum Honeypot
Nitro T1
Ride Manic
Rossignol Trickstick
Smokin Lane Knack
Stepchild Powder Sucks
Technine Icon

Top Ten Men’s Boards Over $400
Burton Mr Nice Guy
GNU Riders Choice
GNU Park Pickle
K2 Happy Hour
Lib Tech Attack Banana
Lib Tech TRS
Lib Tech Box Scratcher
Salomon Man’s Board
Salomon Grip

Top Ten Womens Boards Under $399
Academy Serenity
Arbor Cadence
Capita Space Metal Fantasy
Flow Jewel
GNU B-Nice
Nitro Runway
Ride Compact
Roxy Ally
Salomon Oh Yeah
Signal Vita Park

Top Ten Womens Boards Over $400
Arbor Swoon
Burton Lipstick
Forum Spinster
Lib Tech TRS
Nitro Fate
Rome Lo-Fi Rocker
Roxy Eminence
Rossignol Viva
Smokin Vixen

What do you think about this test and the list for 2012?

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 07, 2011

    I’m thinking about getting the Smokin’ Vixen for this season… love the graphics and the tech seems really good for riding mostly park. Have you ridden this years Vixen? I can’t seem to find any reviews on this board other than previous years models.

  2. Sy
    September 07, 2011

    The men’s top tens are total garbage.

  3. BWH
    September 07, 2011

    And not a single Capita in the men’s category. Really good wood?

  4. September 08, 2011

    Jess, Smokin Vixen is definitely a fav of mine from previous years but I haven’t ridden the 11-12 Vixen yet to compare the changes since I last rode it. I’ll try to get on it this winter for you!

    Sy, why do you think they are total garbage? Do you mean both the under and over $400 boards or just one?

    BWH, The interesting thing with the Good Wood is is split with brands. If you have x amount of boards you send this many boards to the test, if you have y amount of boards you send this many to the test. So brands with more board models get to send more boards to the test. Capita is still a smaller brand that there isn’t as many boards as there is for the bigger brands. They’ve been recognized in the past with Good Wood’s so you know, sometimes they get recognized in other ways…like by the riders who buy the boards and love them.

  5. Ariana
    September 08, 2011

    Was happy to see Mervin Technologies really coming out on top this year. Barely any Burtons on the list. 🙂

  6. Frank
    September 09, 2011

    Looks like the majority of tester really likes Magne-traction tech because overall 14 boards of the 38 boards that are listed have Mag…. Others wise it was an Icy day test or they like it when it grip for their trick 😉

  7. Frank
    September 15, 2011

    just to change topic 😉 Shay it will be nice to have a new features name:
    What will be your dream snowboard , bindings setup for 2012?
    I will be curious to see the different setups that people like here 😉

  8. September 15, 2011

    Frank, during the testing at Mammoth the conditions were icy 🙂

    Also I’ll be asking that question in tomorrow’s facemask friday giveaway.

  9. Nes.
    September 20, 2011

    Interesting that the two boards I’ve been looking at are on the list. The Roxy Ally and the Gnu B-Nice — I agree that it coulda been the MTX on that icy day. Been leaning towards the ally because it comes in smaller sizes, but don’t know if it’s suitable for me since I’m in that ‘improver’ catagory, haha. I’m really interested in the BTX tech! Anyone have any strong feelings agaist it? All I hear is good things and it’s waaay too early to demo right now in Cali

  10. Frank
    September 20, 2011

    Also take a look of the 144 Smokin Vixen for 2012…(made Tahoe CA) really ”rad” look and pretty good board for sure … Clash Rocker with mag… is a good alternative.

  11. Nes.
    September 22, 2011

    Thanks Frank – looks like a pretty awesome board!

  12. Frank
    September 22, 2011

    Also an other product of CA for you is Signal Vita Park or Signal Vita Park Rocher both in 135 or 143… with the alternative Smokin Vixen 144…. both company base in Cali and both won prize as a good snowboard fo women… Personally I do like Mervin a lot (Lib, Gnu and Roxy) but I have to say that Signal and Smokin is hot too.

  13. September 22, 2011

    Nes, what’s your weight and boot size? What type of riding are you interested in? How long have you been riding and where do you ride?

    The Ally and B-nice are good intro boards, easy to ride and definitely suitable for the improver category. The Smokin is a bit more aggressive park board for women’s than those two choices. The Signal Vita Park is a softer park board, definitely easy to ride but depends on your style.

  14. Dre
    September 23, 2011

    Shay, I am in desperate need for new set up.. I am 5’3″, 130lbs of muscle. lol! Intermediate but looking to become much more advanced this season so need something that will challenge and help me. Money is not an issue so feel free to suggest the best of the best… Oh! I live in NYC so ill be going up to the most of the time icy mountains of Vermont, Killington mostly, with a few trips out west… What do you think? My current board is a 2004 Burton Sensation which is great but need new one. Its 2004 and much better tech is now available.. Not a park rider but like to jump here.. go fast and try moguls here and there. Thanks for your advice Shay! If you want/can suggest a couple for me to demo would be awesome but if you have one in mind, bring it on! =)

  15. Nes.
    September 23, 2011

    Yea I think the Smokin Vixen might be a little much for me right now, and I’ve decided to go with a smaller board size anyway. I wear a size 5 boot, and I weigh 100 lbs – so I’m leaning towards a 139. I live in southern California so I do the local mountains here and go up to June and Mammoth when I can. Our local mountains don’t get that much pow.

    I used to do recreational riding some years ago, just a few times per season..but last year I rented a smaller, more narrow board and it totally changed the sport for me!! 🙂 This year I want to get my technical skills down tight – don’t know if I’ll be venturing to the park, depends on how the season goes. This will be my first board purchase, but I want something that I won’t outgrow in one season.

    What do you guys think of the Arbor Cadence? I’m interested in that one too.

  16. September 24, 2011

    Nes, 139 is definitely smaller but doable for your weight especially with the riding in So-Cal and park riding. Cadence is a softer freestyle board that’s not as aggressive, it’d be a good choice.

  17. September 24, 2011

    Dre, what size board were you riding before and what is your boot size?

  18. Nes.
    September 26, 2011

    Thanks Shay! You’re awesome!

    I’m surprised there were no NS boards on the list. I’ve never ridden one but I hear they’re great quality. I’m thinking of the Pandora 140 as an option too. Not sure if the Arbor will be better for the level I’m at right now though, as I still get a little nervous when I pick up a lot of speed, and I assume a sintered base is a lot faster

  19. Nico
    September 27, 2011

    Hi Shay, i’m considering getting the BSOD, what’s your take on it? i’m an all-terrain all conditions kinda rider. I rode the stairmaster 156W for two years and was pretty happy with it minus a few edge problems. I’m also worried about toe drag with the BSOD, i’m 6’1 175 and wear a size 14 boot and never had problems with my 156, but since BSOD doesn’t come in a wide i was thinking of maybe upgrading to a 159, would i have any issues with toedrag? I don’t wanna go any bigger than a 159.

  20. nico
    September 27, 2011

    why was my comment deleted??

  21. September 27, 2011

    Nes, I’d have to check to find out if NS was at the Good Wood Test. Not every brand will send boards. Pandora would definitely be an option, similar to the cadence for park flex and has reverse camber.

    Nico, comments have to be approved before they show up. Sorry for the delay in doing that. The BSOD was my all mountain board last year, rode it in every type of condition and some really deep powder days. You are downsizing on the BSOD for waist width so it’s a tough call to see if it’ll work. The only way to know for sure is to mount it and see when you tilt the board on edge how much overhang the boots have at your stance width.

  22. February 13, 2013

    What do you recommend between the Never Summer Infinity 2013 or GNU B-Nice? Intermediate riding experience and looking for a good all mountain board.

    • February 24, 2013

      I’ve spent a lot of time on the Infinity and zero time on the B-nice unfortunately. I believe the Infinity is more all-mountain intermediate than the B-nice. I think the Infinity would suit you just fine and I know 100% from riding it. B-nice might be too easy for you.