Best Women's Snowboards

Redesigned in 2012, the Arbor Poparazzi is a directional-shaped, women’s specific snowboard with a rockered profile meant for everything from powder to park laps

Arbor Poparazzi. (Arbor)

Gear Institute's 2012 Women's Snowboard Reviews: Arbor Poparazzi

THE GOOD
    •    Top performer for intermediate riders.
    •    Floats on powder like a playful surfboard.
    •    Mid-level flex is ideal for steeps.
    •    Lightweight for spinning.
    •    Consistent performer in ideal conditions.

THE BAD
    •    Chattery on hard, uneven snow.
    •    Flimsy at high speeds.
    •    Regardless of the name, its pop was unimpressive.
    •    Directional shape made it difficult to ride switch.

THE VERDICT
Less noodly and narrow than past Arbor women's boards, the Poparazzi is ideal for intermediate riders who like to cruise the mellow ungroomed, floss trees, explore steeps, and play in the bumps. Advanced riders felt it lacked the chutzpah to go mach speed, and if you're mostly riding the icy East Coast, opt for something more damp—the Poparazzi chatters.

Read the full review at Gear Institute, a network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing the most professional, objective, and helpful advice you can get about the gear you depend on.

Gear Institute's 2012 Women's Snowboard Reviews: Gnu Velvet Guru EC2

The Gnu Velvet Guru is an all-mountain freestyle snowboard designed with a moderate flex that responds best to aggressive riders

Gnu Velvet Guru EC2. (Gnu)

THE GOOD
    •    Lots of pop and energy.
    •    Soft enough for tight, low-angle transitions in the trees.
    •    Stellar response to aggressive riders at speed.
    •    Playful—makes you want to spin.
    •    Nimble in powder, even though in small sizes.

THE BAD
    •    Chattery and bouncy on uneven snow.
    •    Couldn’t hold an edge on the most harrowing steeps.
    •    Jump turns were not an option in steep trees.

THE VERDICT
The Gnu Velvet Guru is true all-mountain board. Both beginners and experts loved its versatility: it floats in powder, responds to aggressive maneuvers at high speeds, pops like a cork, and is so light and playful, you’ll want to hit every berm you see. However, in steep terrain, riders had a hard time getting it to hold an edge.

Read the full review at Gear Institute, a network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing the most professional, objective, and helpful advice you can get about the gear you depend on.

Gear Institute's 2012 Women's Snowboard Reviews: Never Summer Lotus

The Never Summer Lotus is a directional-shaped, women’s-specific snowboard built for intermediate riders who spend the majority of their time on steeps and in trees (freeriding)

Never Summer Lotus. (Never Summer)

THE GOOD
    •    Snappy edge-to-edge response.
    •    Solid hold on ice.
    •    Durable.
    •    Responds with power when ridden hard.
    •    Light swing-weight.

THE BAD
    •    Lacked pop (not park-friendly).
    •    Squirrelly in cut-up snow.
    •    Not as floaty as we hoped.

THE VERDICT
The best thing about this board is its control. It has lightning-fast edge-to-edge transitions, an extra-thick damping system which smoothed out most chunky snow, and great stability at top speeds, though it is lackluster in powder. Intermediates found the board stiff in a good way, earning it “confidence-inspiring” merit, but advanced riders would’ve liked even more. It’s a board that will suit riders moving up from intermediate to advanced.

Read the full review at Gear Institute, a network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing the most professional, objective, and helpful advice you can get about the gear you depend on.

Gear Institute's 2012 Women's Snowboard Reviews: Jones Mothership

The 2012-13 Jones Mothership is a hybrid camber women’s-specific snowboard built for advanced, powerful female riders who chase fast rides down steep lines

Jones Mothership. (Jones)

THE GOOD
    •    Fast on steeps.
    •    Effortless in wide-open terrain.
    •    A stable ride.
    •    Damp enough to smooth uneven snow.

THE BAD
    •    Ultra stiff.
    •    Sluggish response.
    •    Difficult to maneuver in tight terrain.
    •    Slow in flats.
    •    Clunky.

THE VERDICT
The Mothership felt at home in just one place: bombing down wide-open bowls of deep, fluffy powder. This board is a tank: damp, stable, with sidecut meant for ripping gigantic turns. However, unlike the men’s version of this board (the Flagship), the Mothership was unusually stiff and hard to maneuver anywhere besides big bowls. It felt more like a miniaturized version of the men’s board, not one built specifically for women.

Read the full review at Gear Institute, a network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing the most professional, objective, and helpful advice you can get about the gear you depend on.

Gear Institute's 2012 Women's Snowboard Reviews: High Society Scarlet

A hybrid-camber snowboard built specifically for intermediate women looking to up their skills on everything from steeps to halfpipe

High Society Scarlet. (High Society)

THE GOOD
    •    Performed well in every type of terrain.
    •    Didn’t flinch at high speeds.
    •    Brightly poppy for airs and spins.
    •    Soft enough to respond in moguls.
    •    Stomped big landings.
    •    Floats effortlessly in powder.

THE BAD
    •    Too soft for expert riders.
    •    Chattery at times.

THE VERDICT
For a tiny company with only four snowboards in their collection, Aspen-based High Society hit the bull’s-eye with the hybrid camber Scarlet. The Scarlet was the top-scoring board at our snowboard test, with a mid-level, responsive flex, enthusiastic pop, and solid snow contact, which meant uber-stability, even at high speeds. Intermediate and advanced all-mountain riders continually reported the Scarlet made snowboarding more fun. Only our most experienced testers felt it wasn’t stiff enough.

Read the full review at Gear Institute, a network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing the most professional, objective, and helpful advice you can get about the gear you depend on.

Filed To: Snow Sports / Snowboards
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