YOU KNOW IT’S COMING. THE INEVITABLE QUESTION THAT BURNS OF GENUINE CURIOSITY AND CONCERN, YET TEETERS ON FRIVOLOUS SMALL TALK: “HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT BOARD?” Boom. There it is. Tinder, the snow forecast, how much you drank last night—runner-ups when it comes to chairlift banter. Gear talk is a hot topic and a loaded gun. I’ve seen quad chairs polar- ized and a triple chair united by just muttering the word camber.
You deserve to love the board you ride. Don’t trick yourself into thinking anything else. The average price of the shreds we tested hovers around the $500 mark, and if you’re one of the 2 million Canadians making minimum wage, that’s a good 50 hours of washing dishes, walking dogs or gripping skate decks through the summer to finance this addiction. If you spend your hard- earned dollar, you’re entitled to point a dishpan- handed finger and confidently say, “Oh? This board? This is the best board I’ve ever ridden.”
We want there to be zero miscommunication. We didn’t ride every board on the market; no, that would be ridiculous. But we did shout out to the leading brands in the industry to show us their goods in three categories so we could lay down 30 different models that (if they match your style and price range) we can guarantee you won’t be disap- pointed with. Do your research, then use Grade Eh as the nail in your decision-making coffin.
We had more than 25 testers on these boards, all hailing from various backgrounds: day-in/day- out park lappers, video part producers, board designers, come-ups who have checkouts in the mag you’re holding, sponsored riders getting paid, shop buyers who purchase boards by the thousands, rental-shop workers who mob park
laps and stack clips during a lunch break, and a couple testers who have found a way to turn their truest passion into careers that allows them take to laps midweek without cashing in vacation days. Boards are scored and rated based on an extensive list of criteria that leave us with the inevitable, “This board is great. Here’s why.”
“Well, wait up, how do you know this testin’ shit works?” Good question. It’s amazing the consistency we’ll see in a tester’s opinion of a board. A rider who’s been around to ride through 20-some years of the painful progression of technologies will have identical comments, scores and opinions on a board as a come-up who grew up never knowing all bindings once had three straps or boards only had one camber type.
Advantage Sun Peaks Resort: The Sun Peaks terrain is the ultimate proving ground for these snowboards. In one run we’re able to pop off cat tracks, butter over rolling terrain, spin out of huck-ruts, ollie ropes and duck others into knee-deep pow stashes, snap and grab off side-hits, race groomers and end up staring down two proper park tables before jibbing our way back to the lift. It’s hard to believe all this is possible in one run—trust us, it is.
The terrain is just part of it though. The ride-to- dine, sleep-then-slash conveniences of the on-hill Tyrolean-style village is amazing. The friendly staff goes above and beyond the call of duty. Their rates are more than comparable to the best deals in the West, and topped with the convenience of having a major airport close by… I’d go on, but you should you get to check it out on your own.
Ride Alter Ego *BEST GRAPHIC $559 Camber: Split-Tail Hybrid All-Mountain Sizes: 155, 159, 162 “Swipe right! This board was amazing. Skeptical at first, but it rode everywhere. With the tail locked it’s solid—great edge control on the runs. Hit the pow and unlock. It’ll charge in the deep stuff and really snap on turns.” —Dez Price
YES. The Standard $599 Camber: CamRock (2 mm nose and tail rocker w/ 4 mm camber) Sizes: 152, 154, 156, 156W, 158, 159W “The YES. Standard should be the snowboard standard for all-mountain shredding. This board holds its own in the pow, while still providing a stable landing for those crave radical moves. The board is ideal for a boarder who rides the whole mountain; from pow laps to jumps, the Standard does not disappoint.” — Daryl Trinidad
Capita D.O.A. $529 Camber: Hybrid Sizes: 148, 150, 152, 154, 156, 158, 160 “On the day, God created this board. It allows a grown man to feel like a child again. Could possibly be the next best thing to a Viagra pill… if you were planning on having sex with snow.” —Mike Prangnell
Burton Flight Attendant $549 Camber: S Rocker Sizes: 156, 159, 162 “Super floaty in pow and responsive on groomers, this Flight Attendant has a big nose for the deep stuff and a fun, short, effective edge for great turns. For the rider who loves pow in the morning and doesn’t mind some sidecut with afternoon groomers.” —Scott Birke
Dinosaurs Will Die Kwon $489 Camber: Hybrid Sizes: 153, 156, 159 “In the movie Jerry Maguire, Rod Tidwell refers to a concept called ‘The Kwon’: the embodiment of all that is true and right. DWD aptly named this board, because all is amazing when you ride this thing. Like a true Swiss Army Knife, this indeed does it all—and does it all well. Show up on game day with the Kwon and bring home the bacon.”
K2 Turbo Dream $539 Camber: All-Terrain w/Tweekend Sizes: 153, 156, 159, 162, 157W, 160W, 164W, 167W
“This board is a quiver killer. The perfect ride for a mountain town ripper who’s a junkie for even a 10 cm day. The board was positive reinforcement in every turn, Ollie and pop in its path. Lets you be laid back cruisin’, and keeps up when you hit the gas. An amazing all-mountain board.” —Jesse Fox
Bataleon The Jam $569 Camber: TBT Sizes: 156,159, 161w, 162 “This board is a great time. Lots of spunk to rip around the entire mountain, light with poppy seed aggressive- ness, responsive. This poard is perfect for the person who really wants to enjoy life.” —Rube Goldberg
Lib Tech T. Rice Goldmember $734 Camber: Hybrid (Banana / Camber) Sizes: 158, 161.5 “Super responsive. If I even thought about turning, the board would do it. Great edge hold on railed turns, but was still loose and play- ful when you wanted it to be. Stable at speed, good float in deep snow, and snapped Ollies off rollers. If you’ve got The Art of Flight on re- peat and want to charge like Travis, riding fast in steep terrain, this is the board for you.” —Adam Levitt
Never Summer Proto HD $549 Camber: Transition Rocker Camber Sizes: 152, 154, 157, 160 “Fun as shit. Super-fun all-round deck that felt just as comfy on corduroy as it does in powder. Mega-pop can be loaded into the tail, and the medium flex makes for easy landings. For a rider who likes a looser board feel with no-nonsense playful- ness.” —Dean Seguin
DC Hell City $499 Camber: Traditional Sizes: 152, 154, 156, 158 “Solid regular camber floaty board for shredding pow. Good and responsive edge to edge, and stable at high speeds. Likes to go fast. Stiff but poppy—a solid regular camber board.” —Geremy Guido
Elan Prodigy $429 Camber: Jib-Rocker Sizes: 148, 146, 152 “Super amazing board to ride. Allows you to ride it a bit smaller with all of the stability of a bigger board. Stable going fast and very good pop on the nose and tail. This board is for every- one.” —JF Fortin
YES. Jackpot *BEST GRAPHIC $479 Camber: CamRock (Hybrid) Sizes: 149, 152, 154, 156, 156W, 158 “Such a fun board. It felt like I had been riding it all season from the moment I strapped in. Fun going slow and jibbing around but plenty of guts to go full speed. For all the all moun- tain / park ripper that likes a little boldness in their board.” —Paul Gonzalez
Salomon Villain $449 Camber: Rock Out Camber Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 155, 155W, 158, 158W “The best park board, hands down. This board rules all terrain and was a blast to ride. For the park rider look- ing to jib, pop side hits, and hit medium sized jumps.” —Paul Gonzalez
Bataleon The Boss $549 Camber: TBT Twin Sizes: 152, 154, 156W, 157, 159W “The TBT really lets you lean into your rail tricks, but was still stable enough to handle carves like a boss. For the park rider who’s more into rails but isn’t afraid to jump.” —Tyler Ashbee
Flow Chill $579 Camber: Hybrid Rocker Sizes: 153, 156 “A total park machine. A me- dium flex that has the right amount of snap to hit every jump in the park, yet still soft enough to press with ease. Confidence-inspiring from the first Ollie, the Flow Chill is a good times machine ready to destroy.” —Brett Sandford
Burton Process Off-Axis $479 Camber: Pure Pop Camber Sizes: 152, 155, 157, 159, 162 “Fast. And soft on the tips to easily press, but stiff be- tween the bindings to stick those big jump landings. For the park junkie that’ll hit every type of feature.” — Tyler Ashbee
K2 Fastplant $559 Camber: Freestyle w/ Tweekend Sizes: 151, 154, 157, 160, 156W, 159W, 160W “The changes made to this year’s Fastplant did not disappoint. Like its prede- cessor, this board is fun for all conditions. Perfect for the advanced rider who enjoys parks and hit-runs.” —Mark Trinidad
DC Mega $459 Camber: Lock & Load Sizes: 150, 153, 156, 159 “This board was just a delight. So strong on your feet, high speeds or low; jumping around, smashing pow, sliding rails—this thing is the bomb. Its pop could shoot the moon. Great all around.” —JF Fortin
Lib Tech Burtner Box Scratcher $479 Camber: Banana Sizes: 143, 147, 151, 154, 157 “Woah. Again this board leaves me in awe of its beauty and performance. One of the few reverse camber boards that can pop like a cambered board. The board is so fun it makes Dis- neyland look like a prison. But seriously, this board is for everyone. If you like to fly free in the park, this board will do you a solid.” —Mike Helfrich
Endeavor KTV $529 Camber: Flat w/ Raised Contacts Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 156 “It’s hard to hate on this all-around playful park puppy. It’s got enough bark to hit what you need, and tame enough to let your guard down and have it do some of the work for you. Get this board on the feet of anyone who shreds parks, boxes, hit-runs—and who’s willing to get rad on whatever crosses its path.” —Jesse Fox
Lib Tech TRS XC2 BTX (Narrows) $589 All-Mountain Camber: Hybrid—Ba- nana / Rocker Sizes: 148N, 151N“This board plows through everything and turns on a dime. Makes snowboarding feel fresh. Awesome for drops and natural features, and holds an edge like nobody’s business. This board is seriously awesome. Energetic and powerful—a total ripper for sure.” —Jess Poulin
Rome Heist $469 All-Mountain Camber: Mtnpop Rocker (rocker between, camber in the nose and tail for power) Sizes: 138, 142, 146, 150 “Loved this board. Great all around: trees, groomers, park jumps—awesome pop. Like a rye and ginger, the Heist was an ideal mix of stiff/strong core with a playfull and bubbly nose and tail. Empty that boring water bottle and fill it with this cocktail of fun, ’cause you can take it anywhere.” —Eve Northmore
Roxy Radiance $469 All-Mountain Camber: Hybrid—Banana / Rocker Sizes: 141, 145, 148, 151, 154 “Wow! The most versatile board on the market for all your heart desires to do on the mountain. The Magne- Traction will keep you on edge through ice like glue. Endless pop. It’s a dream board for all-mountain rid- ers.” —Andrea R.
StepChild The Pony *BEST GRAPHIC Camber: Hybrid Camber (Cherry Pop) $499 Sizes: 143, 147, 151 “Every girl wants a pony, according to Stepchild. And I have to agree that, after riding this board, I want one too. With a set-back stance, this board rides effortlessly all over the mountain.” — Christina Raymond
Jones Twin Sister $499 All-Mountain / Park Camber: Hybrid Sizes: 146, 149, 152 “Really easy board to throw on and go. This Jones had a quick base, great shape and a fun feel across all types of mountain terrain. Quick ripping through trees while staying stable through chop. For the all-mountain chick looking for a fun board that isn’t too stiff, great pop and awesome in pow.” —Caley Vanular
Never Summer Infinity $459 All-Mountain Camber: Sizes: 142, 145, 147, 149, 151, 154 “The Infinity never fails to impress. The board felt awe- some, it’s super stable and fast, with easy turn initiation. It charges in every area of the mountain, through all conditions and is still easy to ride in the park on all levels.”—Hannah Bilodeau
GnuLadies Choice All-Mountain $569 Camber: Banana / Rocker Sizes: 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5 “This board is pretty much perfection; I felt ultra confi- dent on it. Cuts like a knife with amazing stability in shitty snow. Just the perfect amount of everything—super solid fun board. It was the time of my life.” —Jessica Poulin
Dinosaurs Will Die The Brat $429 Park / Jib Camber: Reverse Sizes: 143, 147 “Forgiving, fun and playful. If you’re looking for a board to have a good time on and act like a ‘brat’ on the mountain, then this board’s for you. Its super soft flex makes buttering effortless, while it still has enough pop to boost you onto street-style features. For the park rider who loves to jib, a great board for cruisey park laps and good times. I couldn’t get enough of this board.” —Emily Kuhn
Ride Hellcat $539 All-Mountain Camber: Hybrid Low-rise Sizes: 142, 146, 150, 154 “This board is super respon- sive, pops you a mile high and shreds pow. For the all-mountain rider, this board will take you everywhere. Like a good pair of track pants, this board will feel comfortable dropping cliffs, cruising groomers or shred- ding pow.” —Meg Watson
Burton Talent Scout $499 Park Camber: Pure Pop Camber Sizes: 138, 141, 146, 149 “Put on your heels and get ready to walk the runway. The Talent Scout turns and moves effortlessly. For the intermediate park rider / jump hitter.” —Eve Northmore
Snowboard Canada’s 2015 Grade EH Board Tests were graciously hosted by: