The Best Women's Snowboard Gear of 2012

Arbor Swoon

Arbor Swoon    Photo: Courtesy of Arbor

Arbor Swoon Board

Because pretty topsheets sell boards, we predict this one will be flying off the shelves. Luckily, it’s also gorgeous on snow. This forgiving, reverse-camber directional twin excelled on wide-open groomers and mellower off-piste slopes. While expert testers wanted more heft, -especially when charging through crud at high speeds, intermediate riders will likely find that it feels just right at slower (read: normal) speeds. arborcollective.com

TAGS: FORGIVING, BEGINNER-FRIENDLY

Union Milan

Union Milan
Union Milan Bindings   Photo: Courtesy of Union

Testers appreciated Union’s back-to-basics approach with the Milan. There was just enough shock-absorbing cushioning in all the right places, torsional stiffness where you need it most (like in the asymmetrical highbacks), and no pressure points. Our only gripe: adjustments require a screwdriver.

TAGS: SIMPLE, STURDY

Burton Supreme Boots

Burton Supreme
Burton Supreme Boots   Photo: Courtesy of Burton

The word “perfect” was scribbled across several testers’ review forms, leading us to believe the high price tag is justified. While a no-slip heel cup and out-of-the-box comfort are great in-bounds, the Supreme’s articulated cuff and moderate flex also make it plenty comfy for hiking or wearing with a split-board in the backcountry.

TAGS: CROSSOVER BOOT, LIGHTWEIGHT

Salomon Idol Board

Salomon Idol
Salomon Idol Board   Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

This Idol is no one-hit wonder. With a hybrid profile—traditional camber
between the feet, rocker from the bindings out—and a tapered tip and tail, it confidently handled everything from ungroomed steeps to chopped-up powder. “It made me idolize myself,” reported one tester. Although it’s responsive and poppy enough for park riding, it lost points for getting squirrelly on hardpack.

TAGS: CONFIDENCE-BOOSTING, BIG MOUNTAIN

Ride Fame Bindings

Ride Fame
Ride Fame Bindings   Photo: Courtesy of Ride

All the glory here is in the park: the Fame was a clear favorite with our freestyle-oriented testers. Customizable canting inserts help align your knees and give you extra leverage for added pop. And then there’s all the padding—extra around the ankle strap and in the footbed—to help absorb impact. ridesnowboards.com

TAGS: SOFT LANDINGS, PARK-SPECIFIC

Vans Veil Boots

Vans Veil
Vans Veil Boots   Photo: Courtesy of Vans

The top-shelf, all-mountain Veil gets an eco-friendly makeover thanks to Vans’s partnership with Protect Our Winters (POW). Recycled cork footbeds, water-based dyes, and proceeds that bene-fit POW shrink this boot’s footprint. The only thing that hasn’t changed is its performance. Two Boa dials and -moldable internal liners make customizing fit and flex a cinch.
Fits wider feet best.

TAGS: ECO-FRIENDLY, ALL MOUNTAIN

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