You can’t hope to compile a definitive guide to 2016/17’s snowboard gear without taking the testing process seriously. You can learn a lot by reading the catalogues and speaking top the manufacturers, but only once you’ve put a product through its paces on the mountain can you really see how it measures up.
That’s why we’ve done extensive practical testing of as many items as we can get hold of. It’s a big job, and one that runs alls season long.
“We’ve had our hands on absolutely everything in this year’s guide”
Even as the 2016 winter was only just getting started, we were already scoping out the following season’s gear at the Avant Premier event in La Clusaz, France. Thanks to a much-needed mid-test dump, the conditions changed enough to allow us to put the gear to its intended use. So good was the snow that we stuck around for a few days afterwards, visiting nearby Arêche Beaufort with a quiver of powder boards.
Next stop was a similar trip to Shops 1st Try in Austria, followed by a few days at the bespoke mountain testing facilities of the likes of Burton and Rome. Once spring arrived, we headed to the TSA x Treeline Shred Week in Morzine for some slush-bashing.
Last but certainly not least was Snowboard Spring Break in Kaunertal, Austria. The UK industry’s premier board test is a prime opportunity to tick off the final few decks, binders and goggles on our hit list, and also serves nicely as a wrap party for the season.