Over the last few years we’ve seen an incredible explosion of talent on the women’s scene, and as such, brands have been scrambling to get their women’s selection up to scratch. While it’s not quite hit the 50/50 mark just yet, there’s no denying that some of the female specific options on offer this season far outdo the men’s equivalent. They’ve grown out of the ‘shrink it and pink it’ stage, and now women’s snowboards are manufactured to cater purposefully for the women’s market.
“We spent last season riding hundreds of snowboards to find the crème de la crème’
So, what is the best snowboard? Is there even such a thing? Or is this a wild goose chase akin to circumnavigating the globe hunting for the lost Ark of the Covenant? The truth is, that much like people, snowboards are all different. There’s a time and a place for each and every one, the choice is personal, and it takes a little bit of introspection to decipher which snowboard is the right one for you.
We spent last season riding hundreds of snowboards to find the crème de la crème and each one listed below consistently impressed our team of testers. Our list includes a few big hitters, a couple of curveballs and some newcomers that made one hell of a splash. A mix of freestyle, freeride, and all-mountain, something to suit every ability and budget, different style preferences and most importantly, all made for ladies who rip.
How To Choose A Snowboard
- Stiff vs Soft Snowboards
- What Size Snowboard Do I Need?
- Camber vs Rocker
- Snowboard Shapes Explained
- Do You Need A Wide Snowboard?
What To Look For When Buying A Snowboard
The shape is probably the first thing you’ll notice when seeing a snowboard, is it a super directional charger with a fat swallow tail, or does it sport a classic look with a twin outline? There’s no ‘correct’ shape for a snowboard, it all depends on what you’re going to be using it for. All-mountain snowboards tend to roll with a directional twin outline, freestyle focused decks traditionally rock a true twin shape, and freeride boards normally stick to the directional end of the spectrum. Have a think about your style of riding and go from there.
There are an abundance of different profiles on the market, each brand seems to do things slightly differently, but again it will come down to preference and riding style. More aggressive riders tend to favour cambered profiles, delivering pop, precision and power but they can ‘submarine’ in deeper snow, while rocker offers increased manoeuvrability, float in powder and forgiveness but can feel unstable at speed.
Many snowboards these days adopt a hybrid profile, combining camber, rocker and even flat sections to bring a versatile and adaptable experience to the table.
“We believe the following boards should be serious contenders for your weapon of choice for 2020/21”
Flex ratings are scored out of ten, and it all comes down to the type of rider you are, and the type of terrain you’ll be spending most of your time on. Softer boards are generally more suited to newer riders, or those who’ll be spending their time playing around and jibbing between the park ropes. The stiffer the flex, the more aggressive the ride, and they’re more geared towards charging big mountain lines, or slicing up freshly groomed corduroy.
It’s worth bearing in mind most of these boards feature women’s specific construction, they’re ideal for smaller frames or feet, more easily manoeuvrable and thankfully, not all pink and sparkly.
As with most things in life, there’s no right or wrong with it, the choice is very subjective. But whatever your ability, budget, or riding style, we believe the following boards should be serious contenders for your weapon of choice for 2020/21.