That’s a wrap for another Avant Premiere, the annual snowboard test in the French resort of La Clusaz. The event traditionally serves as our first look at next year’s offerings; with plenty of fresh kit from the likes of Dragon, Lib Tech, Burton, Salomon, Bataleon, Rome and Nidecker, it’s a gear nerd’s nirvana. As always, the snowboards were the stars, but there were plenty of bindings and goggles to check out too.
With hundreds of products only three days to test them, it would take an army to get through it all. We got our hands on as much 2018/19 gear as we could, in conditions that ranged from boiler-plate ice to heavy powder.
“Here are some of the highlights from Avant’s showroom”
Each product’s strengths and weaknesses were therefore laid pretty bare, and with some of the French Alps’ best terrain there for the taking – if you’re down with our two-planked brothers then Candide Thovex’s One Of These Days 2, shot entirely in La Clusaz, is essential viewing – it was as thorough a test as you’ll find anywhere.
As always, it’s a combination of old favourites (the Burton Custom, Bataleon Evil Twin and CAPiTA Black Snowboard Of Death, to name just a few) and brand new releases. Among those catching our eye this year were the women’s version of the Jones Mind Expander, the extended Ride ‘Pig’ range, the K2 Overboard (an addition to their Enjoyer series), and Travis Rice’s latest creation, the Lib Tech Orca.
Some stuff will have to remain under wraps for now, but it’s not long until the ISPO trade show in Munich, where all will be revealed. As for more in-depth reviews of all the gear we’ve tested, you’ll have to wait until the release of our annual Buyer’s Guide in September 2018.
In the meantime, here are some of the highlights from Avant’s latest showroom.