When we first started giving awards in this category, the ‘shape revolution’ was still a relatively new thing. Now, however, it’s clear that this is less of a passing trend, and more the new normal.
"Needless to say, these will all turn heads this winter"
Naturally most unusual shapes are aimed at the freeride market - there are a lot of big, wide, convex noses and short, stubby swallowtails. It makes a lot of sense; unless you’re all about chucking shapes in the powder, you might as well opt for a board that floats impeccably and requires less effort to ride.
Not all of these are exclusively for the deep stuff, however. Some have been designed to offer the best carving experience going, and there’s even a bona fide park board in here that is offering a fresh take.
Needless to say, these will all turn heads this winter - so take a look and see if any of them catch your eye.
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Amplid Surfari Snowboard 2017-2018
The long, wide nose of the Amplid Surfari is deigned to blast through chop and float beautifully in the powder. The tail helps a lot in that respect, too.
With its setback profile and stance, you can really drive the carves and swoosh through the deep stuff, so you’ll have a great time on this both on and off the piste.
Bataleon Surfer Snowboard 2017-2018
Easily the wildest shape we’ve seen in 2017/18, the Bataleon Surfer is guaranteed to be one of the most talked-about boards of the winter.
The outline works amazingly well with the Triple Base Tech to give you insane floatation, and the tail makes it a rooster tail machine.
Check out the video in the full review to see more Surfer.
Bataleon Wallie Snowboard 2017-2018
It’s hard not to notice the squared-off ends of the Bataleon Wallie.
While they won’t make a difference to the ride when you’re cruising around, they will give you a more stable platform for wallies, butters and other jibby tricks.
Eiki Helgason is a fan; you can find a similar shape on his pro model.
Dupraz D1 6'+ Snowboard 2017-2018
6’ is a whopping 178cm in new money, making this version of the Dupraz D1 an absolute beast.
The sidecut is as carve-ready as they come, with plenty of effective edge with which to get stuck in - but thanks to that extended nose, it’ll part the powder like Moses at the Red Sea.
Jones Storm Chaser Snowboard 2017-2018
One of our favourite short ‘n’ stubby creations of the last few years, the Jones Storm Chaser is just about the most specialist pow stick you can find.
It takes a lot of its design queues from the world of surfing (thanks to input from shaper Chris Christenson), so when there are a lot of white waves for the taking you’ll have an absolute blast on this.
Korua Apollo Snowboard 2017-2018
The weird tail on the Korua Apollo is there to remind you that this is an asymmetric board - if you want one, be sure to get the right version to suit your stance.
The asym feels great on the groomers, and when you get it into the powder everything is designed to maximise float. As shorter pow boards go, this is right up there.
Lobster Floater Snowboard 2017-2018
Formerly a limited edition, the Lobster Floater has earned its way into the brand’s core line by setting a new standard for backcountry freestyle.
The extend of the convex nose and tail isn’t all that obvious in pictures, but when you’re in the deep stuff you’ll definitely feel the resulting float.
With the Floater under your feet, you’ll be tempted to trick off every natural feature in sight.
Never Summer Swift Snowboard 2017-2018
Premium materials sit within the Never Summer Swift - one of the brand’s new ‘Shaper Series’ boards.
The combo profile works with the directional design to make stating afloat remarkably easy, and it can slice up the piste too.
Nidecker Gun Snowboard 2017-2018
Careful, you’ll have someone’s eye out. The centrepiece of Nidecker’s ‘Snow Surf’ range is built to go like a rocket, so only confident riders need apply.
If you've got the chops, though, this pointy masterpiece will deliver a riding experience like no other.
Nitro Squash Snowboard 2017-2018
Nitro’s Quiver series (designed by Austin Smith and Bryan Fox) is full of weird and wonderful shapes, but the Squash may be our favourite.
You can’t hold back with this, as it’s pretty stuff, but if you’re looking to make big, fast, powerful turns, it’s the perfect platform.
Salomon Sick Stick Snowboard 2017-2018
The Sick Stick is now available in three different sizes, and each one has its own unique shape.
Forget all you’ve learned about what kind of board a rider of your height requires, and take a look at which of Wolle Nyvelt’s new creations best suits your riding style.
YES 20/20 Snowboard 2017-2018
With its concave nose and tail, the YES 20/20 is unlike any other snowboard out there.
The ‘PowderHull’ design makes this float better than any board of its length and shape has any right to, so the options for backcountry freestyle are plentiful.
If you’re wanting more of a freeride focus, check out the YES 420 PowderHull too.