Published in Whitelines Magazine Buyer's Guide Issue, Winter 2010-2011
APO BC: £370
SIZES: 150 / 155 / 159 / 160 – 158W / 161W
THEY SAY: Master any terrain.
WE SAY: A big beast of a big mountain board from a company that knows how to make ‘em. The shorter flat base boards would suit aggressive park riders at a push, but really this is designed for deep stuff – hence the pow rocker in the longer versions.
TESTER SAYS: “Carves better than your local butcher!"
ARBOR AFRAME: £530
SIZES: 158 / 162 / 166 / 170
THEY SAY: A big-mountain gun for riders who want superior on-edge performance.
WE SAY: This board plays to Arbor’s traditional market– the old-school, big-mountain loving powder hound. Made from environmentally-friendly materials with a stiff fl ex and a ‘Rocket Base’ this board is fast and responsive. Not for the fainthearted.
TESTER SAYS: “So quick, and turns like a dream! Wouldn’t advise jibbing on it though…"
ATOMIC ALIBI: £370
SIZES: 149 / 153 / 156 / 159 – 156W / 159W / 163W / 166W
THEY SAY: The freeride pioneer.
WE SAY: Atomic’s big mountain charger, built for blasting through crud and throwing rooster tails. So no great shakes when it comes to freestyle then, but still relatively forgiving because of that rockered profile. And that helps it fl oat in pow too.
TESTER SAYS: “Holds a beautiful edge, even with the rocker, and cheap for the quality you get."
BURTON FISH: £530
SIZES: 156 / 160 / 164
THEY SAY: A decade deep.
WE SAY: Burton’s legendary powder board now boasts ‘S-Rocker’ – camber under the feet for extra edge hold and a big rockered nose for extra fl oat in powder. But while Stefan Maurer can pull double backflips on these (!) not even he can ride one switch.
TESTER SAYS: “A legendary board for a reason. Makes pow-riding so sweet!"
FLOW SOLITUDE: £360
SIZES: 158 / 161 / 164 / 169
THEY SAY: Find peace in the solitude.
WE SAY: This features Flow’s fastest base, their most high tech ‘Re-fl ex’ core and their pow-rock for extra float. So while it’s a bit stiff for beginners, it would suit an intermediate looking for an inexpensive pow stick.
TESTER SAYS: “Nice through the turn, and not too twitchy despite the rocker."
JONES THE FLAGSHIP: £440
SIZES: 158 / 161 / 164 – 163W / 168W
THEY SAY: The premier big mountain weapon.
WE SAY: With a directional rocker profile and a spoon nose this board is built for powder, but it’s not so directional you couldn’t stomp a spin on it. It’s not the stiffest of pow boards, but it’s packed full of tech for the price.
TESTER SAYS: “You can tell this is designed by Jones, every detail is so well thought out."
JONES THE SOLUTION: £700
SIZES: 164 / 168
THEY SAY: The first ever ‘magne-traction’ split board.
WE SAY: With a rocker-camber combo adding to pow float, and ‘magne-traction’ helping with edge hold, this rides as well as any pow board – but also beats approach skis as a way of accessing new areas.
TESTER SAYS: “Binding system isn’t original, but works well. And it rides really well when joined."
K2 GYRATOR: £460
SIZES: 158 / 162 / 168
THEY SAY: More friends on a powder day.
WE SAY: This was the first new-generation board to apply rocker tech to pow-riding, and this latest incarnation still kills it. Not a race board, but its directional-twin shape and relatively soft flex, mean it’s definitely still one you can stomp tricks on.
TESTER SAYS: “Five stars plus. The best pow board bar none."
PRIOR POWSTICK: £620
SIZES: 167 / 176 / 181
THEY SAY: The most advanced directional powder tool available.
WE SAY: A true powder stick for true powder riders. Its extreme swallow-tail gives it spectacular fl oat, but (obviously) makes it impossible to ride switch. It’s packed with tech though, and with its stiff flex it’s brilliant on hardpack too.
TESTER SAYS: “Surprisingly really good on piste, but comes into its own in the deep stuff."
RIDE SLACKCOUNTRY: £490
SIZES: 157 / 161 / 164 / 168
THEY SAY: This board knows no bounds.
WE SAY: This is Ride’s answer to the K2 Gyrator or Salomon Sickstick. A directional Twin with a rocker shape sacrifices a bit of stability to keep both your nose and tail clear in the deep stuff. With its hemp fabric top-sheet, it’s an eco-friendly ride as well.
TESTER SAYS: “Light and poppier that I expected, making it pretty easy to ride."
ROME NOTCH: £460
SIZES: 158 / 162 / 167 SWALLOWTAIL
THEY SAY: Line up early for the first chair.
WE SAY: This is Rome’s stiffest, most responsive board. That fl ex means its not one for beginners – and definitely not one for pussies – but if you really like to charge hard in pow, this is for you. The ’67 version even has a swallowtail!
TESTER SAYS: “Really stiff, but so responsive. Good pop as well and super-fast."
PALMER CROWN: £700
SIZES: 157 / 161 / 165
THEY SAY: Very fast, powerful and friendly.
WE SAY: This is only ‘friendly’ if you like speed – if you’re a beginner it’s probably best to take a step back. With titanium inserts and Palmer’s ‘Nomex Honeycomb core’ this is one of the lightest, fastest boards ever built.
TESTER SAYS: “Super stiff, super fast. Great handling at speed. A great freeride board."
SALOMON SICK STICK: £420
SIZES: 153 / 156
THEY SAY: The best pow board in the world.
WE SAY: The Sickstick has developed a reputation over the past few years for a reason – the twin tapered shape and soft fl ex means you can pretty much throw this around like a jib stick in the pow. Not the most solid pow stick, but great if you wanna have fun.
TESTER SAYS: “Brilliant! I really loved this board, even on the piste."
VOLKL SOUL SURFER: £385
SIZES: 163 / 167
THEY SAY: Effortless on all terrain types.
WE SAY: Underneath the old-school long board-inspired graphic, this stick packs in an impressive amount of tech – especially for that price. Not the lightest or most stable, but the pintail means it fl oats beautifully in pow and sails sweetly on hardpack.
TESTER SAYS: “Handled everything no problems. Smooth and fast."
Board: Jones The Solution
Bindings: Voile split board
Boots: Vans Cirro
Jacket: O’Neill Freedom Jones
Pants: Jeremy Jones Experience
Goggles: Sco Hustle
Width: 21 inches
Angles: +17, +/- 0