Shay’s Take on the 2012 Platinum Picks

19 Sep, 2011

Each year the snowboard magazines decide their top snowboard choices by designing boards tests built around various methodologies.   Snowboard Magazine  has their Platinum Pick describes as the “best of the best.  Here you find out our choices for best jib boards, best powder boards and just plain best things…”

Despite discussing methodology in previous Platinum Pick tests, Snowboard Magazine decided to go without explaining methodology in this round of winners.  The methodology they give you is, “we put dozens of boards under heavy scrutiny.”  To me, this isn’t much info on the testers, how many boards/brands were involved or the locations/conditions to even know if the results are actual results.  The test ignores women’s boards completely and you have to read through a long paragraph on each board to decipher what it’s good for.  The test speaks of the different best of boards (jib, powder, etc) but never clarifies which.  I was really frustrated to see Snowboard Magazine not only lose traction with the test and rather than make improvements, they ended up backwards.

Of the ten winning boards, I’ve ridden six of them (some in previous years).  When I compare the results to last year’s test 8 out of 12 brands are repeat winnings and only 2 new brands won boards.  The popular choices are there with the NS Proto, Lib Tech Trice and Burton Nug (who have all graced other test results).  I liked seeing the underdog winner with the DC Devun Pro, a board that is a favorite but a total underdog to the results.  The YES Pick Your Line is another board that deserves a win for aggressive freeriding.  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.

But the actual results made me wonder how many boards/brands were being ridden and if the Snowboard Magazine has a smaller percentage being ridden than other tests (Good Wood, Best of Test).  The boards that did win are a variety of riding styles and such a mix of results that it’s hard to legitimately find it realistic.  To go from the Nitro Swindle to the Unity Whale in one test, I guess it means the best but they are two totally different genres (soft urban jib to backcountry powder beast).

Snowboard Magazine’s Platinum Pick Winners (in order of appearance)

Never Summer Proto CT/CTX

Unity The Whale

Burton Nug

K2 Panoramic

DC Devun Pro

Ride Berzerker

Smokin Superpark CTX

YES Pick Your Line

Nitro Swindle

Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro C2BTX

Last year I wrote about how interesting it’ll be to see what Snowboard Magazine does to improve the test in the future…but this year it seemed like they took a step back and completely missed the mark on the test.  There’s no methodology, you have no idea who the testers are, the riding conditions and there’s no women’s boards as winners.  The boards hit such a range of riding that I highly doubt these belong in one single test together.  For the first time in a test, I wouldn’t be surprised if these boards were hand selected and not part of any test other than being featured as leading boards to look at.

What are your thoughts on the 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 19, 2011

    I was shocked when I didn’t see any women’s boards on the list.

    I agree with you about this being a step back. I think they were definitely just hand selected like you said in your post. Someone asked on the Platinum Pick page what all the boards were that they tested and the reply was “…our Platinum Picks are based on innovation in design and technology rather than a head to head comparison. Hope that clears things up… ”
    -Which pretty much translates to “We didn’t compare boards to other boards to pick the best. This is just an assortment of ten boards we think are cool.”

  2. Frank
    September 19, 2011

    Yep, I am agree too… looks like a rules of tombs or flipping coins and goes by who what is popular now in the industry….
    But in this 10 boards list, I have to say that I do like 6 of them…

  3. September 25, 2011

    I think it’s a shame that it has come to this. With so many repeat winners, how do we know it wasn’t an ‘on paper’-only test? We deserve better as consumers particularly in the current economy.
    I have been involved in several board tests as a rider in Europe and several as a buyer in the States, there are plenty of manufacturers wanting to get their stuff tested and lots of willing and able testers…so no excuses!

  4. Peterborough
    September 27, 2011

    As paper media dies, I think we will see more of this (cheaper to run, pandering to advertisers and trends) style of “testing.”

    Have a look at a current buyers guide, and compare it to one from the 90’s, and you will see the same thing – not exactly a fair representation of the offerings across the industry.

    You do it better, Shay!