If you’re looking for high-tech, carbon fulled precision tools, move along. You won’t find anything like that here, because we’re looking purely at the boards which, while relatively short on tech, represent amazing value for money.
"Experts may want a little more grunt from their snowboard, but even they might appreciate having one of these alongside their expensive specialist stick"
In some cases it’s as simple as taking a respected board from the line and stripping it back to reduce costs, leaving a flavor of the original design without the damage to your bank account. Others are designed from the ground up to offer the cash-strapped a better ride than they might expect.
Naturally there are some jibby park boards in here, as they tend to be priced lower anyway. However, there’s still a freeride board or two on show.
Experts may want a little more grunt from their snowboard, but even they might appreciate having one of these alongside their expensive specialist stick, to break out on slushy shred days.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for 2017/18:
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Burton Kilroy Process Snowboard 2017-2018
The Process collection of boards from Burton always represents great value for money, and that’s true of the new Burton Kilroy Process too.
Despite being slightly simplified on the tech front, our testers rated it as one of the best freestyle boards of the year.
DC Telegraph Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
Despite that price, the DC Telegraph is actually pretty high-end. The core is toughened by strips of beech, and the sintered base is as rapid as they come.
If you like to go big in the park, this won’t disappoint - and the amount of cash left in your wallet is a definite bonus.
Head The Day Snowboard 2017-2018
We’re still not sure how this one is so cheap - it certainly doesn’t ride like it costs this much.
It’s quick, stable, and carves beautifully.
Also, the central bamboo channel gives you the option to chop it in half and turn it into the most affordable splitboard ever.
K2 Party Platter Snowboard 2017-2018
In the cash-to-fun stakes, we’d put the K2 Party Platter right up there.
Part of the brand’s ‘Enjoyer’ series, it’s a great one for all conditions. Nip in and out of the trees when the pow comes, or rail that edge in the slush during the season’s death throes.
Then figure out how to spend your leftover coin.
Lobster Park Board Snowboard 2017-2018
The Lobster Park Board is similar to Halldor Helgason’s pro model, but dispenses with the additives to deliver a mellower ride.
As the name suggests, it’s ideal for freestyle, but our testers found it to be a good all-round option that you can take anywhere.
Ride Kink Snowboard 2017-2018
The Ride Kink has had a few upgrades this year, but hasn’t jumped up in price as a result.
The core is stronger, the base faster, and there’s extra impact protection right under your feet.
Premium park performance that doesn’t clean you out.
Salomon First Call Snowboard 2017-2018
As well as re-vamping the Salomon Sick Stick, Wolle Nyvelt also cast his eye over this new release.
It takes the same ‘different-shape-for-each-length’ approach, but it’s quite as techy (hence the lower price).
It’s not without some fancy features; the Quadralizer sidecut, for example, is pretty swish for a board in this price range.
Salomon Sleep Walker Snowboard 2017-2018
In a similar vein, the Sleepwalker features a lot of the Villain’s DNA, but scales back a lot of the tech.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; some riders will prefer the Sleepwalker’s simpler approach, especially as you don’t need as much wedge to get your hands on it.
YES Basic Snowboard 2017-2018
Last but by no means least is the YES Basic, a board that’s found favour with expert riders as well as newbies.
For an affordable ‘resort’ stick to pack alongside your powder gun, it’s nigh unberatable.
Women should check out the YES Emoticon, which has a similar built with female-specific tweaks.