I'm sure we all like to think that we choose our boards based on extensive research and a solid grasp of the tech features, but let's be honest, the graphic plays a pretty important part in the decision making too doesn't it?
And there's nothing wrong with that. Graphics are awesome, graphics are important, graphics are works of art, as this article argues.
And even if you don't agree with that you'll spend a lot of time looking at the picture on your board, so it may as well be one you like.
Here are 19 that we like for this winter.
This APO graphic seems to have taken a little bit of artistic influence from the heroic duo that is Finn & Jake. It's always nice to be able to take a little visual wander around your board and find little things you might not have noticed before that make you smile.
[part title='Arbor A-Frame, Roundhouse, and Freestyle']
Snowboards are made of wood, and these ones look like wood too. I'd be pretty content to ride one of these down the hill. The Element is my personal fave of the bunch.
[part title='Arbor Cadence']
This is a graphic that looks heavily influenced by the Czech nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Often found on absinthe bottles, this is not the first time his style has appeared on a snowboard. A few years back Rory Doyle created some beautiful graphics for the Endeavor Roots series in a very similar style. This graphic, however, looks a little more sinister. I can see a few skulls in there, and the chick has quite intense eyes.
[part title='Bataleon Disaster Gulli Edition']
Metal video game lightning bolts in space are the theme for Gulli's special edition Disaster. It looks shiny, and pretty good. You can't go wrong with lightning bolts, it's a classic graphic feature.
[part title='Capita Defenders of Awesome']
Photographs on snowboards is something that I'm personally pretty down with. This offering from Capita has a similar vibe to the 2012 Bataleon Evil Twin Artist Edition by Petrovski & Ramone, which I really liked. The photos of these lovely ladies have an 80's VHS feel to them, but I'm not sure where they came from, they could have been taken last year for all I know. Either way, babes in swimsuits with guns, what's not to like?
[part title='DC PLY']
I don't normally go in for this sort of style of art on boards, but something about this fiery chap held my attention. Even though he seems to be a flaming monster, he has nice eyes and looks friendly, I bet he has good adventures.
[part title='DC PBJ']
Is she going to cut you with her blade? Burn your house with her Molotov cocktail? Get her tits out? Who knows what this gnarly nun is capable of.
This pow board from Dupraz seems to have taken a nod from the instantly recognisable Japanese style of art known as ukiyo-e, in particular the piece called 'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai. It certainly has a minimal feel to it, possibly not everyones cup of tea, but I rather like it.
[part title='Endeavor Archetype']
The artist statement on the Endeavor site says: 'Dark Arts and Black Magic. That's how these boards are made. So we embraced it with symbols from the occult and fortune telling rendered by hand'. Fair enough. We can also the see the motif 'Not all those who wander are lost', this is a pow board so chances are you will probably wander, and probably get lost chasing lines through the trees.
[part title='Jones Hovercraft']
This definitely has the 'mountain man' look. Simple wooden looking top sheet with what could be heat pressed logos on the top and bottom. Classy.
[part title='Slash Paxson']
Johnnie Paxson's Pro model for 2013/14 features a pretty gnarly pencil looking drawing of a chap and a monkey with a gun standing on a pile of skulls, about to fight a dragon. I like the style, and how the whole nose of the board is filled out nicely by the giant beastie.
[part title='YES. Trouble']
I like the colour of this board more than anything. Personally the chick creeps me out a little bit. The eye and YES. logo on the nose look good though.
[part title='Nitro Estevan Oriol']
'If you like chicks, guns, cars, man sh*t, and you like snowboarding, then you're in luck' is what Nitro Team Manager Knut Eliasson had to say about these boards, and I think he sums it up rather well. Nitro teamed up with LA based photographer Estevan Oriol for these graphics, and they look damn good.
[part title='Lib Tech Phoenix Classic']
Instantly recognisable Lib Tech design here. Some are down with it, others might find it scary. Either way the paintbrush style for the blue of the Phoenix looks rather nice.
[part title='Nikita Sideways Sista']
[part title='Nitro Quiver Series']
That olive green board on the right looks pretty sick, not many companies will opt for a solid colour top sheet, but this is definitely something I'd ride.
[part title='Nitro Womens Slash']
This Womens freeride board looks like it's straight out of Back To The Future. Red and purple top sheet with some hoverboard stylings to the whole thing, nice.
[part title='Salomon Villain']
The graphic matches the name. At nose and tail you can see various 'villains' cracking safes and making off with their bags of swag, just like you'll be riding away from the park or the streets with your stomped bag of tricks.
[part title='Völkl Soul Surfer']
The Völkl Soul Surfer (right center) has some longboard inspired looks, wood, stripes, and some worn griptape. I presume it's only imitation, although a griptape topsheet would be pretty good for the t-bars. Either way, classic stylings.