Picking a powder specific snowboard is a bit like turning up to a room full of people for an evening of speed dating. At a glance, you’re a little thrown off by all the weird and wonky shapes around the room. There’s likely to be a few in there that you just want to point and laugh at. There may even be some you feel the need to run away from and erase from your mind altogether. But somewhere, hidden amongst them, you might just find true love. The missing piece in the puzzle. The one that makes you question how you’ve made it this far in life without it.
There’s no single, winning formula when it comes to shape, profile or size for a pow specific deck. They do all have one thing in common though – floating in the deep stuff.
“These are your rocket missile, rhino chasing, bazookas of the deep”
In an effort to categorise them, most powder decks fit into two camps. The first, is your more classic shape, coming in anywhere between 5-20cm longer than a standard, all-mountain deck and usually featuring a large, progressive rocker in the nose and some kind of short, cut out tail. These are your rocket missile, rhino chasing, bazookas of the deep. They’re crying out to be pointed down wide-open faces and lay out roosters the size of a double-decker bus with every turn.
The second, and one that only really came to the fore in more recent years, is the short ’n’ fat breed of pow slasher. These ones can be downsized by as much as 10-15cm compared to your regular daily driver but they still maintain the surface area of the boards in the first category by drastically upping the waist width. The end result is a deck that has all the float of the big boys, with the added bonus of super extra agile and manoeuvrable. From powder fields in Niseko to spinning off pillows in BC, these are the short and stubbies that pack a mean punch.
“These are the short and stubbies that pack a mean punch”
Generally speaking, powder snowboards are designed with one type of riding in mind. Saying that, many of the ones featured below are so good at turning their hand to smashing through slush or railing carves, you’d be mistaken for thinking they were built for it.
But if you’re looking for a board to take on more serious backcountry lines, or deliver power and performance across the rest of the resort, then our choice of this year’s Best Freeride Snowboards might be more to your liking.
There’s no denying it, most of the boards featured in the list below are luxury and/or impulse buys. Justifying the purchase will be a tall order – until you get completely pitted during that first turn in the powder, that is. After that point, you’ll realise it was worth every penny. Happy shopping.
Scroll down to view all the best powder snowboards, or skip to a particular model using the links below
YES 20/20 | Borealis Marauder | Korua Pencil | Nidecker Mosquito | YES Hybrid | Bataleon CT | Bataleon Magic Carpet | Bataleon Party Wave | Bataleon Surfer | Borealis Koi | Borealis Leviathan | Capita Spring Break Powder Racer | Jones Hovercraft | Jones Lone Wolf | Jones Storm Chaser | Jones Ultracraft | K2 Cool Bean | Korua Stealth | Lobster Aaron Schwartz | Nidecker Gun | Salomon Äsmo | Weston Japow | YES 420 | YES 420 Powder Hull