Northwave don’t do things by halves; for as long as they’ve been in the game, their focus on high-performance gear has been second to none. The Northwave Prophecy SL has a new look for 2016/17, but is no less a team favourite that it has been in previous winters. The pros’ input is all over this one, and the end result is a serious boot for the park and beyond.

Northwave have redesigned their TF3 lining just for this model, in order to make it fully compatible with the new lacing system. It works like a corset, applying even pressure over the whole liner as you pull the lace, with the exception of the very top which has a powerstrap. The two work seamlessly together to give you a precise fit, and the rest of the TF3’s features – EVA footbed, targeted cushioning for ideal movement, memory foam and lots more – aren’t too shabby either.

"It’s a stiff boot as is, but you can up it further by applying plastic inserts"

The ‘SL’ stands for ‘Super Lace’ – a name that writes a pretty hefty cheque. Fortunately the system lives up to it; a highly effective speed-lace with zonal tightening, it also passes through a loop on each side that’s connected to the material around the ankle. As you tighten the lace, your heel is put into lockdown, and will stay that way no matter how long you’re out riding for.

_northwave_prophecy_snowboard_boots_2016_2017_review_100_T__7627

It’s a stiff boot as is, but you can up it further by applying plastic inserts. They’re easy to remove on the fly, so you can alter the response based on where you’re riding and what you’re doing.

The back of the boot is extra tough, with reinforced rubber that minimises the wear and tear caused by the binding’s heelcup and highback. As for the sole, a liberal smattering of Vibram soaks up everything from everyday chatter to nasty knuckle clips on the XL line.

High-end freestyle boots are worth shelling out for, when they’re the right ones for you. Expect many a self-respecting park slayer to be rocking the Northwave Prophecy SL this winter. That’s our forecast, anyway...

_northwave_prophecy_snowboard_boots_2016_2017_review_100_T__7634

Trade Secrets

David Smania - Product Manager, Northwave/Drake

Since we started out back in 1991, our aim has been to continually evolve the snowboard boot. The Prophecy SL began as a bet that our team riders made with us after a testing session: “The Decade boot is already great, but can you make it even more versatile?"

So we took the best of technologies available, like Double Crossbow Vibram outsole and TF3 liner, and then we pimped it with extraordinary new features. There’s the Corset Sock for more consistent heel retention, and the custom tongue sticks for more fluid and variable flex. And just to be sure of achieving the challenge we added the Rubber Shield that defends against abrasion and extends the Prophecy SL’s lifespan.

After the team riders tested it, they honoured the bet and bought beers for the Product Development team.