Blackboard Explained: Scotty James Tests The Top Park Boards of 2018

words by Mary Walsh, photos by Yosh and Huggy

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.

[Scotty James in The Blackboard Experiment laboratory, which also doubled as the Mammoth Mountain staff locker room. p: Mike Yoshida]

[Scotty judges each board in four categories: carving, jibbing, jumping, and tranny. p: Mike Yoshida]

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.

[Taking board number #5 trough the snake run. p: Mike Yoshida]

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!

Check out last year’s blackboard test with Sage Kotsenburg here!

More from Pepper and SNOWBOARDER here!
The Pepper Movie Snowboarder Magazine, Snowboarding Movie