SNOWBOARDER's 2011 Best of Test was full of surprises. With host resorts spanning the entire country–from Vermont to Washington and California to Michigan–the grid of on-snow demos kept us on the road, compiling all pertinent data as to determine which are the best snowboards for 2011.
Usually, average yearly snowfalls and predictable temperatures give us a good gauge of what to expect at each mountain, but the atypical conditions of the 2009/10 season made it a little more interesting. For example, Stratton, Vermont's on-snow was spontaneously blanketed with over two feet of fresh, while Mission Ridge, Washington's slopes were a bit…firmer. However, this speaks volumes in regard to shopping for a new snowboard. Winter is unpredictable, and you never really know what's in store for you come early December when resorts open up and start slingin' tickets, so we here at SNOWBOARDER did our due diligence to collect all of the necessary information—whether rain, sun, sleet, or pow—in order to declare our top ten rides of the year.
Rather than testing these brands' offerings on one mountain, in one park, under the same conditions with a closed group of testers, we traveled across the country this winter and experienced all elements in our quest while querying over 600 reps, retailers, and riders for their honest opinions. In the following pages, you'll learn which boards took our top honors, and when the time comes to go to your local shop, you'll be presented with the most accurate and all-encompassing information to better help you pick the best snowboard that suits your riding style.
OVERALL TOP SNOWBOARDS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
TOP SNOWBOARDS BY REGION