Unless you’re minted, or blessed with expert-level blagging skills, getting a new snowboard at the start of the season can be quite a financial commitment. Once you’ve factored in the various other costs of chasing the shred, there might not be as much as you’d like left over for picking up a fresh steed.
"Park sticks, freeride weapons, weird shapes, female-specific boards... we’ve even found a low-cost splitboard"
Not to worry, however – there are plenty of great snowboards available for a lot less wedge than you’d think. It’s not a case of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ either, as the relatively simple construction found in lower-cost decks often means that they pass resilience tests with flying colours.
You're just as spoilt for choice as those with bigger budgets, too; these boards cover the full spectrum, going way beyond the realm of the beginner. Park sticks, freeride weapons, weird shapes and female-specific boards can all be bought for less than £350 – and we’ve even found a low-cost splitboard. Of course, you can also pick up a solid all-rounder that will meet every need you could have.
So if you’re after something to pad out your quiver, or are just looking to save a bit more cash for your next trip to the hills, here are a few options that are definitely worth considering.
All boards are in alphabetical order. All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi.
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Arian Schlichenmayer / Sami Tuoriniemi
The Clash is consistently voted one of the finest ‘entry level’ boards, and when you try one it’s easy to see why.
It’s got the ideal specs for a newbie, but thanks to its versatile flat base and clever construction it can turn its hand to pretty much anything a more experienced rider throws it at too.
Burton Deja Vu
For female riders in search of an affordable freestyle board, the Deja Vu is definitely worth a second look.
This is a mid-flexing true twin with a rocker-camber profile that can handle just about anything in the park. The combo profile means it's pretty forgiving, so you can afford to get a bit loose with this one.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a snowboard for less than £350 that has brought home X Games gold.
Mark McMorris is a fan of the Process’ classic camber profile and lightweight strength, and anyone looking for an affordable park board could do a lot worse than follow his lead.
If you really want to make your money go further, put it towards a true all-rounder like this one – the DC Supernatant kills quivers, not bank balances.
Whether it’s a high-season pow day or a springtime slush session in the park, the Supernatant (designed by Devun Walsh) has it all covered.
Dinosaurs Will Die Wizard Stick
From the very first look at the Wizard Stick, it’s clear that this one is all about fun.
The DWD guys have built an anything-goes ride and (barely) disguised it in what looks like a fiercely directional shape, but this is much more about razzing around your resort’s secret spots than big backcountry hikes.
Head The Day
Splitboards are notoriously expensive, but here’s a way to take some of the sting out of buying a setup.
Get the Day, chop it down the middle along the purpose-built bamboo channel, and hey presto! Or you could keep it in one piece and enjoy one of the most affordable freeride sticks out there.
Carbon stringers, precision sidecut, rapid sintered base... just how does Salomon keep the price of the Gypsy so low?
Female freestylers on a budget should definitely be checking out this true twin classic – as should those for whom money is no object.
Here’s another high-performing freestyle stick that can be yours for very little wedge, courtesy of Gigi Rüf.
Built to handle everything from multi-kink park rails to natural features, the Spectrum is a low-cost way for sheltered park rats to unlock more of the mountain.
Ever since it received a revamp two years ago, the name of this board has seemed wildly inappropriate.
It’s a fine choice for the beginner, but more experienced riders will love its ‘Underbite’ sidecut that elevates the ride to another level. Whatever your standard, to try the Basic is to love it.