Powder Boards In The Park

5 times pro snowboarders took on jumps, rails and halfpipes with a swallowtail

Markus Keller sails above the BEO halfpipe on a massive Nitro swallowtail. Photo: Thomas Copsey

Powder boards are bloody terrific. When it’s steep and deep, there’s nothing better than to be on a specifically-shaped stick that takes a lot of the work out of riding, whilst simultaneously injecting a whole lot of fun.

Whether it’s short and stubby like the YES 420 or more traditional like the Jones Hovercraft, unusually-shaped boards can make even the best powder day that much better. If you’re in the market for one, check out our full reviews of the best snowboard shapes for 2015/16.

Of course, the best shape for park riding remains a true twin – or close to it – but try telling these guys that. Here are some of the finest examples of pro snowboarders taking their pow weapon to the park, and still being better than 99.9% of the planet.

Stephan Maurer – Mu And His Fish

Snowboard: Burton Fish


As part of their ‘Snow Porn’ web series, Burton released this gem of a video, showing Stephan Maurer and his beloved Fish snowboard.

The edit is bookended with some runs in its natural habitat, but for the most part the Fish is swimming upsteam as Mu takes it into the park – even entering the 2010 Burton European Open slopestyle on it.

Switch takeoffs, double backflips and a spanking of Laax’s famous home run – we could carp on about how good this part is all day. If you’re inspired to get one of your own, check out our Burton Fish review here.

These days Mu is still all about the powder shapes, and even has his own snowboard company. We tried out the Korua Puzzle and Korua Stealth this year, and loved ’em.

A Day In The Life Of Tyler Chorlton

Snowboard: APO Apocalypse 186


Our favourite Brandorran (that’s British-Andorran, of course) kills it at Kaunertal in this bonus footage from the Pirates crew.

Tyler doesn’t break out the Regis-Rolland-designed APO swallowtail board until about four minutes in, giving us plenty of time to enjoy his signature style off a fairly mammoth booter on the Austrian glacier.

Once he swaps boards he goes all out – side hits, kickers and picnic tables all get the treatment on the 186cm beast, before TC takes a few hits in the pipe to cap it off.

Fun fact: Apo Swallowtail is also the name of a type of butterfly native to the Philippines. Thanks Google.

Alex Rodway – Brighton Park

Snowboard: K2 Cool Bean


In this edit from Brighton, Alex Rodway gets a few laps on one of our favourite pow-specific decks of the year, the K2 Cool Bean.

Staggeringly wide with a short swallow tail, it makes powder a breeze – but if you’re as good as Alex, it’ll hold up in the park too. Filmer Seth Huot certainly gets a good look at the tail at the 0.38 mark. Ouch.

The rest of his part is also well worth your time, as he carves it up between park hits on the more conventional K2 Fastplant.

Markus Keller – Burton European Open Halfpipe

Snowboard: Nitro Cannon 183


At the Burton European Open in 2014, Markus Keller chose not to spin anything over a 720. It appeared to be a statement – cannily timed, with the Sochi Olympics just round the corner – about how style should be given more weight in pipe comps.

The following year he took it even further, slaying the Laax pipe with a 183cm-long Nitro Cannon. His runs were peppered with stylish spins, massive straight airs, switch landings and surf-style laybacks – and his air to fakie was as delicious as ever.

The BEO may be bowing out, but the Laax Open is set for January 2016 – what will Markus pull out the bag then?

An Afternoon With Ben Ferguson

Snowboard: Burton Fish


We end where we began – Ben Ferguson is one of the most exciting riders in the world right now, so it’s great to see he’s got the same sense of ‘screw-it-let’s-do-it’ that Mu had a few years earlier.

Ben proves just as adept at negotiating his way around a park with a Burton Fish, making it look easy.

Yep, that’s a rodeo to switch rodeo. On a Fish.

Inspired? Check out 2015/16’s best powder shapes here

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