In a sea of choices, it can be challenging, if not impossible, to determine which snowboard is the right one for you strap into. That is why SNOWBOARDER Magazine created The Blackboard Experiment, to shine a light on some of the season’s best freestyle snowboards in hopes that when you head to your local shop, you can find a deck that fits your riding, regardless of whether you’re sending 50-footers or hotlapping the old guys’ line.
With nine boards to the test in the 2017 edition of The Blackboard Experiment, we tapped Aussie pipe phenom, Scotty James, to put the collection of blank snowboards through the paces. Just as Sage Kotsenburg before him, Scotty doesn’t have a board sponsor, so he can ride anything he wants. The two-time Olympian has medaled at X Games and the US Open, and possesses an innate edge control honed from years riding transition and lapping his home parks of Perisher.
Once again partnering with Mammoth Mountain we had Scotty test out all nine anonymous park boards, rating them in four categories over five days. The scores were tallied at the end in jibbing, jumping, transition, and carving to determine which deck stood out in each category, as well as the overall park destroyer. Check back in the coming days as we announce the different winners as well as the ratings for each deck tested!

Scotty James
Date of Birth: 7.06.94
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 176
Stance: Regular
Riding Style: Halfpipe, Slopestyle
Sponsors: Volcom, Red Bull, Oakley, Union

Scotty James Blackboard Experiment, Olympics, Mammoth Mountain

Scotty James with a timeless method at Mammoth Mountain. p: Mike Yoshida


Scotty James ripping through Main Park at Mammoth Mountain. p: Mike Yoshida

K2 Bottle Rocket
Model Length Tested: 160
Additional Lengths: 144, 148, 152, 156
Shape: Twin
Camber: Reverse – Twin Rocker Baseline™
Core: BAP Core
Base: 4000 Sintered Base
MSRP: $479.99
K2snowboarding.com

Oz Woody
Model Length Tested: 161cm
Additional Lengths: 151cm, 154cm, 157cm, 161cm, 164cm, 157cm Wide, 161cm wide
Shape: Directional Twin
Camber: Hybrid (Varix)
Core: Carbon to Poplar
Base: SuperGlide
MSRP: $549
Ozsnowboards.com


Ride Warpig
Model Length Tested: Large
Additional Lengths: Extra Small, Small
Shape: Directional
Camber: Reverse
Core: Performance Core
Base: Sintered Base
MSRP: $499.95
Ridesnowboards.com

Salomon The Ultimate Ride
Model Length Tested: 161cm
Additional Lengths: 150cm, 153cm, 155cm, 158cm
Shape: Twin
Camber: Hybrid
Core: Ghost Green Core
Base: :Sintered EG, Area51
MSRP: $599.95
Salomon.com

DC Space Echo
Model Length Tested: 158cm
Additional Lengths: 154cm, 162cm
Shape: Directional Twin
Camber: Traditional
Core: Stratus Core
Base: Sintered Supreme
MSRP: $449.95
Dcshoes.com/snow/

Burton Kilroy Custom
Model Length Tested: 158
Additional Lengths: 154
Shape: Directional Twin
Camber: Traditional
Core: FSC™ CERTIFIED SUPER FLY® 800G CORE
Base: Sintered
MSRP: $449.95
Burton.com

Bataleon The Jam
Model Length Tested: 159
Additional Lengths: 156, 159, 161w, 164w
Shape: Directional Twin
Camber: Traditional camber with Freestyle 3BT
Core: Reactor Light Core
Base: Ultra Glide S
MSRP: $629.00
Bataleon.com

Never Summer Shaper Twin
Model Length Tested: 156
Additional Lengths: 153
Shape: Twin
Camber: Hybrid, Fusion Rocker Camber
Core: NS SuperLight Wood Core
Base: Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
MSRP: $519.99
Neversummer.com

Smokin Superpark
Model Length Tested: 159
Additional Lengths: : 144, 148, 152, 156, 156w, 159, 159w, 162, 162w
Shape: Twin
Camber: Traditional
Core: Full length proprietary wood blend
Base: Sintered 6000
MSRP: $529.99
Smokinsnowboards.com