Published in Whitelines Magazine Buyer’s Guide Issue, Winter 2010-2011
ATOMIC TERMINAL : £180
SIZES: 138 / 143 / 148 / 153 / 158 / 163
THEY SAY: A reliable ride for all-demands.
WE SAY: Pitched at the cheaper end of the market,this is nonetheless a well made board, with a rangeof features designed to make it an easy ride – fromthe great edge hold provided by the camber to thebevelled edges.
TESTER SAYS: “Soft-fl exing and easy to ride. Not thequickest board, but at this price who cares?”
BATALEON AIROBIC : £320
SIZES: 147 / 151 / 155 / 159
THEY SAY: Strictly meant for on-snow workouts that willlet you bend and fl ex like never before.
WE SAY: The Airobic is one of the cheapest Bataleonsyou’ll fi nd, but it still has their ‘Triple Base Technology’meaning it’s harder to catch an edge. Extruded basemeans it’s not their quickest board, but it’s notdesigned for hard-charging.
TESTER SAYS: “The softest flexing board in theBataleon range.”
BURTON CLASH : £260
SIZES: 139 / 145 / 151 / 155 / 158 / 160
THEY SAY: More slash. Less cash.
WE SAY: One of the cheapest boards in Burton’s range,but still comes with all the build quality you’d expectfrom the big B. Experts may fi nd this a bit soft and abit slow, but if you’re just starting out, you’d be hardpushed to fi nd a better board.
TESTER SAYS: “A beginners classic but will equally suitsomeone who is trying to save some pennies.”
BURTON DEUCE : £300
SIZES: 152 / 155 / 157 / 159 / 163 – 155W / 158W / 162W / 166W
THEY SAY: Double the destruction.
WE SAY: With its extruded base and directional twinshape, the Deuce is defi nitely aimed at novices, butit’s not a total plank by any means as that soft fl exhelps keep it playful. The wide version is the widestboard in Burton’s range.
TESTER SAYS: “A good learner board, for the keenfi rst timers.”
BURTON PROCESS : £350
SIZES: 152 / 155 / 157 / 159 / 162
THEY SAY: Limitless. Effortless. Everything.
WE SAY: The Process comes in near the top of theProgressive boards category, both in terms of techand the materials used. It boasts a sintered baseamong other features. And it’s obviously good enoughfor Kevin Backstrom to get the cover shot of thismagazine!
TESTER SAYS: “Value for money. Would be good and suitmost types of UK riders.
CAPITA STAIRMASTER : £300
SIZES: 144 / 148 / 152 – 152W
THEY SAY: What will defi ne the death and resurrectionof the American Dream?
WE SAY: A relatively inexpensive, low-tech board thatwould suit the rider looking to develop their park skills.With its true twin shape, this is comfortable goingswitch and handling rails, but even the 152 will be tooshort for all but the shortest freeriders.
TESTER SAYS: “Playful, pretty soft, but the camber givesit that extra snap.”
CONTRABAND LUNA : £250
SIZES: 151 / 154
THEY SAY: A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
WE SAY: A board aimed at beginners, and kids whowant a stick to ride week-in, week-out on theirdryslope that they don’t have to worry too much abouttrashing. Not the most advanced stick, but then youdon’t really need that if your starting out.
TESTER SAYS: “Handled really well, rode switch nicelyand felt a solid ride.”
DC TONE : £280
SIZES: 149 / 153 / 159
THEY SAY: Versatile all-mountain freestyle board.
WE SAY: DC have put a rocker profi le on this twin tip tomake it nice and forgiving for beginners, but it’s also afreestyle stick that’d suit any park rat. That relativelystiff fl ex rating means you can keep riding this longafter you’ve linked your fi rst turns.
TESTER SAYS: “Nice, simple graphics, lovely ride,super smooth.”
DRAKE EMPIRE : £200
SIZES: 149 / 152 / 155 / 158 / 161
THEY SAY: Amazing response and speed that lets youenjoy everything the mountain has to offer.
WE SAY: A nice beginner’s package at a price thatseems almost ludicrous from a quality boardmanufacturer. OK so this has an extruded base, andisn’t the most technical stick, but for two hundredquid it’s a steal!
TESTER SAYS: “Really good all round board for the money.”
ENDEAVOR COLOUR : £300
SIZES: 145 / 148 / 151 / 151 / 154 / 157
THEY SAY: Colourful cartoon characters pop off the snow.
WE SAY: Endeavor are aiming this not only at beginnersbut also at park rats who are progressing fast – whichis why the 154 features bloodshot stoner eyes on thetopsheet! As an all-round freestyle stick, this twin isa great start.
TESTER SAYS: “Easy edge to edge control and super pop.”
FLOW MERC : £220
SIZES: 149 / 153 / 156 / 159 – 160W / 163W
THEY SAY: Budget boardin’ at its best.
WE SAY: The Merc features Flow’s ‘EZRock’ profi le, withgently raised contact points. This means it’s not asstable as some sticks, but it’s much harder to catchan edge. Combine this with the price, and this is agreat beginner package.
TESTER SAYS: “Soft and forgiving in the turn. Would suitnovices nicely.”
FORUM RECON : £260
SIZES: 146 / 149 / 153 / 156 / 158 – 158W / 161W / 156W
THEY SAY: Don’t dip into the beer fund.
WE SAY: As cheap a board as you will fi nd with theForum logo on. This plays to the brand’s traditionalstrengths, with decent pop and a twin, freestyleshape. Not the techiest stick, but that would be hardat this price.
TESTER SAYS: “Easy to ride, but still responsive enoughfor the better rider. Sweet!
FTWO AIR : £195
SIZES: 141 / 146 / 151 / 156 / 161
THEY SAY: The rookie of this year’s range.
WE SAY: One of the most competitively priced boards inthis guide. This means it’s not necessarily one of thehighest performing, but if you’re looking for a solidlymade stick at a more than reasonable price, this iswell worth a look.
TESTER SAYS: “Loads of fun to ride, stable at speed yetpoppy in the park.”
FTWO REVERSE : £235
SIZES: 144 / 148 / 152 / 156 / 159 / 162
THEY SAY: Amazing feel for an unbeatable price.
WE SAY: A soft-fl exing twin with a rocker shape thatmakes it playful as well as forgiving. If you’re lookingfor something to take your jibbing and park riding tothe next level without breaking the bank, this maybe it.
TESTER SAYS: “Nice and buttery feel. Good forprogression.”
GNU CARBON CREDIT SERIES : £350
SIZES: 150 / 153 / 156 / 159 – 156W / 159W / 162W / 165W
THEY SAY: All-terrain freestyle fun banana!
WE SAY: A Mervin board for intermediates. This isn’tthe most fl exible of progressive boards, but if you’vealready ridden a bit and like charging, this would suityou nicely.
TESTER SAYS: “Good cheap banana. A little lessdynamic than the Skate Banana, but easy-going.”
HEAD TRUE : £220
SIZES: 142 / 148 / 151 / 154 / 157 / 163
THEY SAY: Best value for money in a progressive board.
WE SAY: A great way into snowboarding. This board’ssimple wood core and extruded base help keep theprice down, but keep it quick enough and responsiveenough to satisfy any intermediate rider.
TESTER SAYS: “Easy to spin and even easier to turn! Adream board for beginners.
HEAD MATRIX : £240
SIZES: 142 / 148 / 152 / 156 / 160 / 164
THEY SAY: Your versatile board for any terrain.
WE SAY: With its directional twin shape this board willfeel comfortable wherever you ride it, and that slightlystiffer progressive fl ex means it’s reasonably solid atspeed. It’s not designed for experts, but for intermediategoing-on-experienced shredders it’s perfect.
TESTER SAYS: “Nice! Stable, but still easy to turn. Nochatter at speed and plenty of pop.”
K2 RAYGUN : £280
SIZES: 150 / 153 / 156 / 159 / 161 – 157W / 160W / 164W
THEY SAY: Full Time Fun, All Time Performance
WE SAY: A new board from K2 pitched at theintermediate market. The all-terrain rocker makes thisforgiving, easy to turn and means it can handle mostthings. The extruded base, while not the fastest, helpskeep the price down.
TESTER SAYS: “I can’t believe this board is less than£300 – it feels and rides out of its class!”
K2 DARKSTAR : £330
SIZES: 149 / 152 / 155 / 157 / 159 – 154W / 157W / 160W / 163W
THEY SAY: Timeless park performance.
WE SAY: The Darkstar is a K2 classic – a mid-fl exingboard that’s easy enough for beginners but stillchallenges advanced riders. The fl atbase helps ithold a sweet edge on hardpack, and keeps it poppy asanything in the park.
TESTER SAYS: “Seemed like a great all rounder, niceand lively.”
K2 PARKSTAR : £330
SIZES: 149 / 152 / 155 / 157 / 159 – 154W / 157W / 160W / 163W
THEY SAY: Illist Park Thrillist
WE SAY: Like a more freestyle orientated version of theDarkstar. This board’s price keeps it in the range ofbeginners, but its performance will suit much betterriders as well. The ‘Jib Rocker’ makes buttering simpleand helps keep the board forgiving.
TESTER SAYS: “This board rocks! It’s very forgiving andso much fun.”
NIDECKER SCORE : £215
SIZES: 146 / 151 / 152 / 156 / 158 / 160 / 162
THEY SAY: A modern freestyle board.
WE SAY: With a poplar and beech core and a comboprofi le this board has plenty of pop, and is nice andplayful. Its soft fl ex means it’s probably not the bestat holding an edge at high-speed, but it’s designed forintermediates, so that’d be pointless.
TESTER SAYS: “At £215, this is brilliant value. It turnsnicely and is predictable.”
NITRO SWINDLE : £280
SIZES: 142 / 145 / 148 / 152 / 155 / 157
THEY SAY: The Swindle gets the job done, plain and simple.
WE SAY: Simply but strongly made, the Swindle boastsa slightly wider waist than most boards, making itmore stable and giving it better fl oat in powder. Thisboard is really all about piste carving and taking yourfi rst steps in the park though.
TESTER SAYS: “Easy fl ex and feels at home anywhere.Perfect for the progressing freestyler.”
OMATIC BORON : £260
SIZES: 146 / 148 / 151 / 154 / 157 – 156W / 162W
THEY SAY: Please excuse us but we’ve gotta claim it –The Boron boards are sick!
WE SAY: The Boron features a poplar core withcarbon stringers, and a camber profi le, meaningit’s got plenty of pop. A bit stiffer than some of theprogressive boards featured here, but it’s strong andgreat if you’re starting to ride a bit more aggressively.
TESTER SAYS: “Sweet at speed for a board this price,and tons of pop.”
RIDE AGENDA : £230
SIZES: 142 / 147 / 152 / 156 / 159
THEY SAY: The best freestyle twin for your money.
WE SAY: The Agenda has a fair bit of history behind it,and must be one of the most successful progressiveboards around. With a forgiving ‘LowRize’ rockerprofi le and a true twin shape the latest version is stillgreat value for money.
TESTER SAYS: “A sweet stick for the money! Not themost stable but so playful.”
RIDE MANIC : £280
SIZES: 152 / 155 / 158 / 161 – 154W / 157W / 160W / 164W
THEY SAY: Stepping up the fun factor.
WE SAY: A new board in Ride’s range, the Manic isaimed at the fast-improving freestyler who wants astick that’ll do most things – at a price they can affordto pay. This is stiffer than some beginner boards, butstill forgiving enough.
TESTER SAYS: “Amazing! Took the wide version out (Ihave quite big feet) and it fl oated nicely in powder.”
ROME GARAGE ROCKER : £235
SIZES: 148 / 152 / 154 / 156 / 159
THEY SAY: The Blue Collar Rocker.
WE SAY: A good all-rounder at a great price, the GarageRocker is as simple as it looks, but it’s well-built,poppy and playful. With a forgiving rocker profi le anda true twin shape, it’s aimed at freestylers looking tomove on to the next level.
TESTER SAYS: “A really fun, soft and forgiving board.”
SALOMON SANCHEZ : £240
SIZES: 148 / 151 / 154 – 148W / 153W / 156W
THEY SAY: Want to progress on jibs and jumps? This isthe board for you.
WE SAY: The fl ex on this board is really soft, meaningthat beginners should have no problems persuadingit to turn. This easy fl ex will also suit jibbers and parkriders hitting anything up to medium-sized kickersas well.
TESTER SAYS: “Light and energetic, easy to play aroundon and spin.”
SALOMON ACE : £240
SIZES: 146 / 150 / 153 / 156 / 160 – 155W / 158W / 162W / 166W
THEY SAY: More for less.
WE SAY: This is like a step up from the Pulse, bothin terms of the pop it offers (thanks to the camberprofi le) and the skill-level needed to ride it. Thismight not be an expert’s board, but intermediates andrelatively advanced riders will have a lot of fun with it.
TESTER SAYS: “Loved it. Stable at speeds, but not tootricky to turn.”
SIGNAL OMNI : £340
SIZES: 150 / 153 / 156 / 159 / 162
THEY SAY: Packed with great technology.
WE SAY: The Omni has camber between the feet androcker at the tip and tail. This is relatively high-techfor a board of this price. The Omni is aimed at the riderwho knows the basics of shredding already, and wantsto build on them.
TESTER SAYS: “A true all mountain fun machine,perfect balance.”
STEPCHILD LATCHKEY : £270
SIZES: 144 / 148 / 153 / 156
THEY SAY: Great for running to the hills.
WE SAY: A solid stick with a soft fl ex for easy turns, jibsand butters. The rockered version is more forgiving,but less stable. Not the most high-tech board, but it’ssolid, predictable and is strong enough to keep goinglong after its natural lifespan is over – a bit like IronMaiden then.
TESTER SAYS: “Great for someone wanting to progresstheir riding without comprising in performance.”
Board: Burton Process V-Rocker
Bindings: Burton CO2 EST
Boots: Burton Ambush
Jacket: Burton AK 2L Anorak
Pants: Burton AK 2L Cyclic
Goggles: Oakley Splice
Width: 24 inches
Angles: +18, -12