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Best Carving Snowboards 2019-2020

Chosen by the Whitelines Test Team

Turning’s cool again. Good news for everyone who’s too scared/shit/injury prone to hit the park. Actually, just good news for everyone, especially with the number of carving specific snowboards available this year. No longer the hard-booted, lycra-clad, estranged cousin of snowboarding, carving has properly returned to centre stage and now everyone can join the turn ’n’ burn revolution.

It seems like most brands out there have introduced a carving specific model to their line now. For some, it’s pretty much their sole purpose. Take the KORUA Shapes’ Yearning for Turning crew, or the Slice and Dice carving maestros at Nidecker Snowboards. They don’t seem to be in a hurry to take a lap through the rail line any time soon.

“No longer the hard-booted, lycra-clad, estranged cousin of snowboarding, carving has returned to centre stage”

So, what is carving and why’s everyone so hyped on it again? In its most basic form, it’s simply turning through the arc using only the sidecut of your snowboard, as opposed to skidding or using torsional rotation to turn. Once you’ve got the basics dialled, you can get as creative as you like with it.

With that in mind then, there’s a few specs to be on the lookout for when choosing a carving snowboard. Obviously, anything with a sidecut and a reasonably sharp edge will be capable of carving, but to cut through the industry jargon, there are three things that will make a board primed for railing turns: a positive camber, directional shape and a reasonably stiff core.

Camber

Not every board in the list below features a full tip-to-tail camber, but it’ll still be the dominant profile for the board’s running length. The classic bend gives you increased stability, extra grip, and rapid response between the edges. Though not the most forgiving of profiles, for the carving purists out there it remains the gold standard for riding on the edge.

Directional Shape

Be honest, if you’re in the market for a carving snowboard are you really that likely to be spending your afternoons in the park or taking one in three laps switch? A directional shape and sidecut are crucial for giving you rock-solid turn initiations and continued grip, through the arc and out the exit of the turn.

Core

A core built with stiffer, stronger woods will inject a little life and dynamism into every turn, but it’s often the added materials that give a carving board its unique characteristics. Materials like carbon or kevlar feature heavily to increase snap and absorb some of the inevitable chatter you get at higher speeds, while some boards feature genuinely mind-blowing technology that nearly requires a BSc in Physics to fully understand.

After that, it’s up to you if you want to opt for a snowboard with extra width in the waist, an asymmetric or disrupted sidecut, or some nano-particle, supercharged, sintered base. While many of the boards below represent some of the most cutting edge technology and shapes in snowboarding, they all hark back to the good old days of the sport’s origins – they’re all about the turn.

Scroll down to view all the best carving snowboards, or skip to a particular model using the links below

Amplid Pentaquark | Bataleon Carver | Korua Pencil | Korua Tranny Finder+ | Nidecker Mosquito | Burton One Hitter | Capita Asymulator | Gnu Hyperkyarve | Head Kizamu | Jones Lone Wolf | Jones Ultra Mind Expander | Jones Ultracraft | K2 Simple Pleasures | Korua Café Racer | Korua Stealth | Korua Tranny Finder | Lib Tech Rocket x Son of Cobra | Never Summer Swift | Nidecker Gun | Nidecker Smoke | Nidecker Tracer | Salomon Super 8 | Slash Aurora | YES Optimistic


Amplid Pentaquark Snowboard 2019-2020

PRICE: €840

Amplid founder, Peter Bauer, described his fifteen-year career in snowboard design as the pursuit of the equilibrium between the creative, right side of the brain, and the mathematical left side. In the case of the Pentaquark, it might be the closest he’s come to finding it yet. This is a carving man’s carving board: power; performance; precision; perfection.

  • BUY ONLINE
  • Selected for the Whitelines 100- take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Amplid Pentaquark here

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    bataleon-carver-snowboard-2019-2020Bataleon Carver Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £429 / €500

    Bataleon made a name for themselves by creating a unique base profile that carved like nothing else on the market. Then, they built the Carver. This is the bump of cocaine on top of the cherry on top of the cake. It’s outrageously good.

    The Carver is the purpose-built machine for followers of the tip n’ grip and turn n’ burn movement. Everything about this board is built for life on the edge.

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  • Selected for the Whitelines 100- take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Bataleon Carver here

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    Korua Pencil Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: €449

    As with any snowboard built for tipping and gripping, it’s shaped around a directional outline with a sizeable taper from end to end. It’s a tale of two halves with the pencil, the nose of the board rolls easily into the turn but, as soon as you’re in, the dials crank up and pull you around the arc. Buckle up, you’re very much on for the ride with the Pencil. Thankfully, it’s one you’ll never want to get off.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM KORUA
  • Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Korua Pencil here

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    Korua Tranny Finder+ Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: €700

    Where KORUA’s Classic series relied purely on their shaping to create the best riding experience, the Plus series beefs things up on all sides. The flex now jumps up to an eight, thanks to a carbon multi-axial webbing layup and a sturdier wood core, while the underside is upgraded to a nano high-speed sintered base.

    Unless you know what you’re getting yourself into, the Plus should be approached with caution. Where the Tranny Finder offered wholesome, cruisey, carving fun, the Plus ride’s like it’s left the oven on and wants to get down before it burns the house down.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM KORUA
  • Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Korua Tranny Finder+ here

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    Nidecker Mosquito Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £575 / €600

    The Nidecker Mosquito is a short powerful carving weapon that loves to set sail towards the backcountry. Together with the Nidecker Gun and the Nidecker Smoke, the Mosquito is part of Nidecker’s “The Art of Shape” series, a series inspired by the roots of snowboarding – surfing.

    The small sidecut radius and short running length makes this quite the power pony. Throw the stiff flex into the mix and you’ve got yourself a perfect board for making sharp turns on.

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  • Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Nidecker Mosquito here


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    Burton One Hitter Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £440 / €500

    All-new for this season, the One Hitter takes much of its DNA from Burton’s Skeleton Key, but with a slightly wider waist and less pronounced taper, it’s a demon on the pistes. Despite a slightly softer flex, the mid-body camber and stiffer tail keep the edges railing through every turn.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM BURTON
  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Burton One Hitter here

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    Capita The Asymulator Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £460 / €499

    The asymmetrical shape with a different sidecut on both heel and the toe side provides precision and power to your heelside carves. In addition to that, there’s the camber profile, which adds even more power to your ride and gives you impeccable edge hold too.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Capita The Asymulator here

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    Gnu Hyperkyarve Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £470 / €530

    Built for stronger riders who are going to be able to handle the stiffer flex and the speed that it will pick up from the high scale sintered base, the Hyperkyarve wants to be fast and aggressive on piste. Magnetraction provides extra grip on hardpack and when the conditions are less than ideal, the wavy edges are placed specifically to enhance its effect.

    The deep sidecut will keep you yearning for turning on piste and let you really let loose into those carves. Get those elbows down and nipples to the floor with the confidence that the Hyperkyarve is going to have your back.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Gnu Hyperkyarve here


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    Head Kizamu Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £600/ €700

    Head’s Kizamu is all-new for the 19/20 season, and it’s their lightest board to date. Featuring their new Lyt Technology – the Kizamu is perfect for carving down those morning groomers. The stiff flex of the board means it makes for some razor-sharp precision carving at top speeds, without the rider being overcome with chatter or general bouncing about.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Head Kizamu here

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    Jones Lone Wolf Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £625/ €700

    With a sidecut more akin to a super-G race board, and a narrow waist width with Traction Tech disruptions along the edge, the Lone Wolf is primed for wide-open carves on piste. A solid dose of camber underfoot and the responsive Triax Carbon Inegra sheet makes this the alpha male whose bite well and truly lives up to its bark.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Jones Lone Wolf here

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    Jones Ultra Mind Expander Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £619/ €700

    Less the new kid on the block and more like the big, beefy bodybuilder who just rolled into town, the Jones Ultra Mind Expander is the latest newcomer for this season’s lineup. The Ultra Mind Expander has been bolstered up with a solid section of camber running far beyond the inserts. Perhaps the only drawback of this board’s predecessor was its handling on choppier, icier and sketchier terrain. The Ultra put this to rights. It’s hungry to bite the metal into every turn and spit the leftovers out the back.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM JONES
  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Jones Ultra Mind Expander here

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    Jones Ultracraft Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £585/ €650

    After the success of the Jones Hovercraft, the introduction of the Ultracraft now caters to the more discerning piste carvers out there. The same shape is jacked up with a much stiffer, more performance focussed construction. The same legendary float and manoeuvrability, with all the muscle to crank through every arc.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Jones Ultracraft here

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    K2 Simple Pleasures Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £450 / €600

    The Simple Pleasures is the only one of K2’s Enjoyer Series to feature a full, positive camber profile. It’s dynamic and powerful and deceptive in appearance. At first glance, it looks like a powder hounds dream, which it is, but it’s also got piste chops to go the distance. The full camber profile will keep it dynamic and responsive on the hardpack and keep your edge to edge transitions fast and stable. If you’re all for getting your elbows down and deep carves in then this is a board that is calling your name.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 K2 Simple Pleasures here

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    Korua Café Racer Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: €449

    The Café Racer is KORUA’s carving missile. Built for turning, burning and churning up the groomers. Just about every snowboard to come out of Nicholas Wolken and Stephan Maurer’s line is designed for life on the edge, but this one is for the purists out there.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM KORUA
  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Korua Café Racer here

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    Korua Stealth 2019-2020

    PRICE: €449

    The beefed-up camber underfoot and KORUA’s carving specific sidecut means you can get your whole body down to Terra Firma without the board ever skipping out on you. Despite its underfoot width, the precision and grip on edge seem to defy the laws of physics.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Korua Stealth here

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    Korua Tranny Finder Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: €399

    There’s a decent chunk of backseat camber which, alongside KORUA’s unique carving sidecut, means the board stays responsive and grippy in hardpack. Additionally, by stiffening the tail just a touch, you can crank through the back-foot and dial up the angles without the imminent danger of skidding out.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM KORUA
  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Korua Tranny Finder here

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    Lib Tech Rocket x Son of Cobra Snowboard 2019-2020

    PRICE: £534 / €600

    Moving on from last year’s twin shape, the Rocket collab has a directional shape with an 18mm taper from the nose, and the 2.5-inch setback will add to that surface area in the nose, making this thing a beast in the deep stuff. But that carefully crafted geometry in extra wide waist width and progressive elliptical sidecut ensure it’s still a carving machine on hard-packed groomers.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Lib Tech Rocket x Son of Cobra here

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    Never Summer Swift 2019-2020

    PRICE: £629/ €749

    The Godfather of the Never Summer Shaper Series – the Swift snowboard. This powder chaser is the inspiration behind Never Summer’s carving line, which was introduced to the world back in 2017.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Never Summer Swift here

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    Nidecker Gun 2019-2020

    PRICE: £575/ €600

    Nidecker has made quite a name for themselves within the carving game. The Swiss wizards know what they’re doing, and the Gun is might be the apex of the carving revolution. Despite still being a massive powder chaser, it performs at it’s best when laying down low, locked in arcs. The long side cut radius and effective edges make it incredibly stable and a bulldozer through the turns.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Nidecker Gun here

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    Nidecker Smoke 2019-2020

    PRICE: £575/ €600

    The Nidecker Smoke is an aggressive carving board made to take on the whole mountain. Featuring a directional camber, the board predominantly features camber right up to the tip, where there’s just a hint of rocker. For most riders out there, it’ll ride and feel like a full camber, with just a hint of forgiveness and float in the nose.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Nidecker Smoke here

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    Nidecker Tracer 2019-2020

    PRICE: £425/ €450

    An asymmetrical assassin, the Tracer is a snowboard that holds the crown within Nidecker’s collection of carving crusaders. It’s a turning machine, ideal for practicing – and mastering – the fine art of the carve.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Nidecker Tracer here

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    Salomon Super 8 2019-2020

    PRICE: £430

    With an extra-wide waist width, backseat camber and quadratic sidecut, the Salomon Super 8 has all the ingredients of a carving killer. It’s a board you can take out on the deepest of powder days, but the good times keep on rolling back on the piste.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Salomon Super 8 here

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    Slash Aurora 2019-2020

    PRICE: £520/ €589

    The Redline Sidecut blends a multi radii directional sidecut down the length of the effective edge. In layman’s terms, the sidecut progressively tightens towards the tail, allowing for every turn to tip, grip and catapult you out of the exit. Competent all-mountain chargers who prioritise finding empty pistes – keep an eye on this one. If you don’t see it in the shops you’ll see it flashing past you on the mountain.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 Slash Aurora here

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    Yes-Optimistic-snowboard-2019-2020-featureYES Optimistic 2019-2020

    PRICE: £589

    The Optimistic nearly maxes out the flex rating scale and delivers a pretty aggressive ride, tailored to stronger, more powerful riders. That’s primarily down to the Carbon Powerdrive 2.0 core. YES have taken the same lightweight core found in the likes of the YES Ghost and the YES Standard, but rallied the reinforcements and integrated two stringers, comprised of carbon wrapped bamboo, running parallel to the sidecut. The Optimistic is all about railing through the carve, and the upgrades in the core deliver rock-solid initiation, grip and rebound out the back.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM YES
  • Take a closer look at the 2019-2020 YES Optimistic here

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