What's in a name? Well, that all depends. If you're the kind of person who buys a terrible product just because your favourite celebrity slapped their signature on it and posted it on their Insta-feed, then it probably means more to you than it should.
However, when buying a snowboard, it might help to consider a board with a pro rider seal of approval. If nothing else, it'll immediately give you an idea of what kind of riding style it's been designed to compliment.
"There's a nice mix of freestyle and freeride models on this list"
There's certainly no harm in it, as long as you go in knowing that all the fancy gear in the world won't improve your riding if you leave it in your board bag whenever it's a bit foggy out. And there's a lot to be gained, especially in the cases where your favourite rider has also had a hand in the topsheet design.
There's a nice mix of freestyle and freeride models on this list, as well as some top all-rounders, so whatever your preference, there's a pro model board worth considering.
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Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro Snowboard 2017-2018
Most pro models boast the preferred profile of the rider - but the Guch hasn’t felt the need to put all his eggs in one basket. His Arbor board is available both in rocker and camber versions.
Whichever one you go for is down to personal preference, but both have just the right design for exploring the backcountry, Guch-style.
Burton Deep Thinker Snowboard 2017-2018
This is one of two Danny Davis-designed boards for this winter, replacing his popular Easy Livin stick.
The Deep Thinker is more suited to the backcountry than the Free Thinker, but it’s not so directional that you can’t delve into your trick bag. Just be ready for a stiff, responsive ride.
DC Media Blitz Snowboard 2017-2018
Solid as a rock, the DC Media Blitz has helped Torstein Horgmo achieve new heights in the park and in the backcountry.
If you like your freestyle supersized, then this is the kind of thing you need - powerful yet lightweight, and seriously strong.
Gnu Klassy Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
Kaitlyn Farrington won’t be defending her Olympic halfpipe gold this winter, and will instead be exploring the backcountry on her signature Gnu Klassy.
Like most stuff that comes out of the Mervin factory, it’s got a hybrid profile and Magne-Traction edges, so no matter the conditions you’ll not be short of float or grip.
Gnu Ladies Choice Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
Jamie Anderson’s asymmetric twin park destroyer has carried her to more podium places than an in-form Formula One driver.
Like Jamie, this one doesn’t have to stick to the jumps and rails, but if that’s your focus then it’s got the potential to fully raise your game.
Gnu Müllair Snowboard 2017-2018
Nicolas Muller’s movie, Fruition, might not have been what anyone was expecting, but the same can’t be said about his snowboard.
The Müllair is as dependable a backcountry freestyle stick as you can find anywhere, its pow-friendly shape bursting with pop. For chucking methods off spines, look no further.
Gnu Space Case Snowboard 2017-2018
Forest Bailey doesn’t just ride this asym twin; he’s also responsible for the paint job.
Naturally he rides a board that’s ideal for powerful, high-consequence riding, so if that’s your bag then look no further.
Lib Tech EJack Knife Snowboard 2017-2018
Believe it or not, this is Eric Jackson’s first ever pro model - and with that fish/guitar motif, it could harldy belong to anyone else.
This here is another one designed for blasting through powder, then launching high over it. The mostly-camber profile gives you all the pop and edge hold you could want when launching off something solid, while the wider nose helps with float.
Lib Tech x Lost Jamie Lynn Snowboard 2017-2018
Blue boobs can mean only one thing - Jamie's had his paintbrushes out again.
A board like no other, it’s monstrously wide and pretty damn short. But if you’re going to be riding a lot of powder this winter, it’s something you should definitely consider.
Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro Snowboard 2017-2018
Trice’s signature board is a backcountry beast, but you’d be a fool to only use if for throwing up rooster tails.
It’s a true twin, and the shorter lengths feature more blunted ends, so spinning off natural hits is a must. Thanks to the combo profile, you’ll be able to stay afloat whichever way you point it.
Lobster Eiki Pro Snowboard 2017-2018
Instantly recognisable thanks to the ‘wallie’ tips, the Lobster Eiki Pro is a board that every aspiring jibber should take a good look at.
It’s pretty soft, but carbon additives under the bindings give you a bit more response when you need it. Presses are so easy thanks to the Jib 3BT profile, and the loose, skate-like feel is just right for spontaneous, Eiki Helgason-style riding.
Lobster Halldor Pro Snowboard 2017-2018
Just like big bro Eiki, Halldor Helgason is one of the names behind Lobster Snowboards - so no-one should be surprised to see that one of their park boards has his name on it.
This monochrome monster is strong enough to handle heavy hits in the park and the streets, but not so fierce that you can’t have a bit of fun with it too. As freestyle boards go, this is hard to beat.
Nitro Squash Snowboard 2017-2018
All the boards in Nitro’s ‘Quiver’ series have been designed by both Bryan Fox and Austin Smith, making the Squash a sort of co-pro model…
It’s a stiff, set-back powder board, which is also a joy to blast on hardpack pistes. If you like turns of all kinds, this won’t disappoint.
Ride Berzerker Snowboard 2017-2018
We don’t see enough of Jake Blauvelt these days - but whenever he drops a new edit, it’s worth stopping whatever you’re doing.
The Berzerker has been his steed of choice for the last few years, and has cemented its status as one of our all-time favourite all-rounders.
Rome Buckshot Snowboard 2017-2018
A couple of years back, Toni Kerkela and Ozzy Henning put their heads together, and the Buckshot was born.
Now in its second year, it’s still a stellar choice for anyone who loves to get tricky. The camber brings the pop, while the rock-solid build ensures that it can take an absolute hammering.
Roxy Torah Bright Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
Torah may have dialled back on the competitive side of snowboarding, but she still rips - and her latest signature board is looking better than ever.
The new shape is slightly more geared towards backcountry freestyle but you can still send it to the moon in the pipe on this too. If you like to go all out, this will help you do it.
Salomon Sick Stick Snowboard 2017-2018
This has been around for a while (ten years in fact), but its latest iteration has so much Wolle Nyvelt involvement that you might as well call it his pro model.
If you want to know more about the new-look SIck Stick, why not hear it from the man himself?
Salomon Ultimate Ride Snowboard 2017-2018
Bold name? Definitely - but anyone who has tried Bode Merrill’s creation tends to agree that there’s nothing it can’t do.
It’s not one for pussy-footing down the hill, but those who like to push their riding all over the mountain will find what they’re looking for with this.
Salomon Villain Snowboard 2017-2018
Louif Paradis’ favourite stick is looking better than ever. It’ been given a few tweaks this year, but still has the freestyle-friendly build that makes it the ideal weapon for dedicated park rats.
It’s tough as nails, so nothing is off limits with the Villain.
SIMS Tom Sims Pro Snowboard 2017-2018
Tom may no longer be with us, but the brand he founded in snowboarding’s early days has had a recent revival. Among their wares is this red, white ‘n’ blue tribute to the man himself.
It’s not just a tip of the hat, though; the Tom Sims Pro has a responsive, carve-friendly ride that the man himself would have definitely enjoyed.
YES Hel Yes Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
A directional charger that’s great to wang off natural features, this is just the kind of deck for Helen Schettini-esque pow adventures.
It’s a powerful stick, so be ready to put the work in, but if you do then the results will be all time.