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Reviews

How We Tested

The making of the world's best snowboard gear guide

“Testing, testing. 1,2,3”. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

Asking a bunch of snowboarders to spend their winter testing out the coming season’s products is a bit like asking a fat kid to quality check all the chocolate coming out the Cadbury’s factory. Needless to say, it’s one of the better perks of our job.

Even so, it’s a job that we still take seriously. Here at Whitelines HQ, our dedication to producing the most comprehensive, detailed and honest Buyer’s Guide remains top of our priorities. Every product featured in this year’s guide – our biggest to date – has been in the hands of our carefully-selected team of experienced testers.

As is tradition, the season kicked off, at Rock on Snow, over in La Clusaz. Here, we had the chance to get our mitts on much of the snowboard industry’s new demo fleets for the first time. After an unusually dry start to the season, the snow Gods delivered for those three days in the Alps. If you’re reading any tester verdicts loaded with superlatives and hyperbole about fishtailed, short ‘n’ stubby powder decks, there’s a good chance they were ridden here.

“Every product featured in this year’s guide – our biggest to date – has been in the hands of our carefully-selected team of experienced testers”

After France, it was on to Alpbach, Austria, for Shop’s 1st Try. Arriving during one of the few weather windows in Austria’s record-breaking season meant conditions were prime for riding just about everything. So, that’s exactly what we did. Boards and bindings were well and truly put through the wringer: dropping cliffs; hucking sidehits; slicing corduroy and seeing how well they could lean against the wall of the pubs without toppling over.

We also had our chance to get up close, not only with the products but with the brains behind the brands, too. We headed back to the Munich madness of ISPO for another year. Here, in Airport Hanger Hall B1, we discussed, in-depth, the latest gear trends and innovations.

The Nidecker Gun passing the test with flying colours in La Clusaz. Photo: Mike Brindley

After the success of last year’s Whitelines Selection week, we thought we’d try something similar. This time, however, we upped the ante from seven days to one hundred. With some of our new editorial team based in Tignes, along with a wealth of local instructing, coaching and shredding talent, it was a no brainer. This year, we got loads of gear in the hands of the locals for some long-term testing. Rest assured; the vast majority of snowboards ridden this season have been unleashed in their intended environment.

“There are countless years of snowboarding experience between us all, and we all know all too well how important it is to get the right tools for the job”

As the season wound down, we had one final chance to get a hold of the most sought-after products that hadn’t been tested so far. Spring Break migrated up to Hintertux Glacier this year and, despite being the first week of May, Austria delivered once again. We were treated to some of the best snow of the season and went out with one hell of a bang.

Over the last year at Whitelines, there have been a few big changes. For starters, we have a new editorial team in a new office. Nonetheless, the passion continues to run deep. Above all, we’re confident that no other title can match our dedication to snowboard buying advice. With countless years of snowboarding experience between us, we all know too well how important it is to get the right tools for the job. We hope you enjoy the results. Let’s go shred.

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