Trends come and go, but we're incredibly glad that the recent revisiting of head-turning snowboard shapes hasn't fizzled out yet. We also reckon that if enough people get their hands on one and realise what they have to offer,
In fact, we reckon that if enough people get their hands on one and realise what they have to offer, the current wide selection of curios on the market will become the new normal. You'll never see as many of these oddities on the hill as common-or-garden twin boards, but more and more people seem to be crossing over to the weird side.
"Some look like they should be shot out of a cannon, whilst others seem to have been squashed down like Tom when Jerry drops an anvil on his head"
There's no hard-and-fast rule as to what makes an offbeat shape. Even on this relatively short list there's a wide selection on display - some look like they should be shot out of a cannon, whilst others seem to have been squashed down like Tom when Jerry drops an anvil on his head. One required years of R&D to get right, and another was birthed from a single afternoon with a hacksaw.
What they all have in common, though, is that they offer something that a conventional weapon can't. In most cases you need the conditions to play ball in order to make the most out of them, but good things come to those who wait...
All boards are in alphabetical order. All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Arian Schlichenmayer / Sami Tuoriniemi
CAPiTA Spring Break Powder
CAPiTA’s collaboration with Spring Break Snowboards reaches what could be its peak with the Powder Wolf, the most interesting version of their Powder board line.
The hole at the back helps this to float in the pow, whilst giving you something a bit more substantial than a swallowtail. The backcountry is where it belongs, but it holds a surprisingly good edge on piste too.
Dinosaurs Will Die Wizard Stick
Read the full review to hear the Wizard Stick’s origin story – it’s a goody.
The shape of this one might be more about aesthetics than precision-engineered performance, but that doesn’t stop it from being a super-fun board that anyone can have a blast on, in pretty much any conditions.
Given how well it was received when it first appeared, it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot left to improve on the Hovercraft.
This year, however, Jeremy Jones has cribbed some key surf tech to give this freeride favourite a convex nose that delivers improved edge-to-edge flow.
K2 Party Platter
Arguably the standout of K2’s latest ‘Enjoyer’ line, the Party Platter takes elements from the Cool Bean and ditches the swallow tail, leaving you with the ideal vehicle for all-mountain funboarding.
Maneuverable and versatile, the Party Platter is easily one of our favourite boards of the year – maybe ever.
Nicholas Wolken and Stephane Maurer’s board brand continues to make waves, and the Korua Stealth is now available in more sizes than ever.
A straight-up missile, this offers unparalleled stability both on and off-piste. Whether you’re floating down a wide face or dropping your elbow on the groomers, the Stealth is a beast that’s well worth taming.
Lib Tech Mayhem Round Nose Fish
Snowboarding often draws inspiration from the surf world, with plenty of room for crossover – especially when it comes to powder riding.
Matt “Mayhem" Biolos from Lost Surfboards has teamed up with Lib Tech to make the Round Nose Fish, a swallowtail that’s perfect for slashing big pow pockets. It’s pretty tidy on the piste, too.
Ride War Pig
A new one for Ride, the War Pig is built to make any day a memorable one. They’ve wrapped up a lot of the Berzerker’s key tech into something shorter and nimbler.
The shape allows you to dart around the mountain and get spontaneous, whether it’s on a familiar groomer or uncharted terrain.
The trick with the Alright is to size up massively, as it’s built to handle like something far shorter.
On piste you get something that’s far easier to manipulate than you’d think, while in pow the Alright delivers crazy amounts of float. If backcountry freestyle is your game, this one could be a revelation.