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The Sell: A tech makeover amps this flagship’s cred. The Test: The redesigned Wasteland is more versatile than ever, excelling at everything from parks to ungroomed sidecountry. Credit the rocker between the feet, which diminishes toward the ends, combined with eight contact points just outside the bindings. Some testers thought it rode longer than its length, but everyone agreed it was quick and predictable—and super stable bombing steep terrain in fresh snow. The Verdict: A great stick for intermediate freeriders who like to ride switch from time to time. arborcollective.com
Gnu Impossible Series EC2 BTX snowboard
The Sell: A light, technical twin for freestyle aficionados. The Test: The Impossible has a lot going on. Some of the features are just for kicks, like glow-in-the-dark sidewalls, but most serve a real purpose, including an asymmetric side cut for less biffing on the heel side. But we especially liked the way the seven contact points and unique mix of camber delivered impressive pop and edge hold on everything from chopped-up steeps to icy pipes. The Verdict: Experts thought it rode like a jet on autopilot; intermediates had a hard time controlling it. gnu.com
Signal Omni Snowboard
The Sell: A powder-loving board with all-mountain guts. The Test: With a longer nose than tail, the soft-flexing Omni won over testers during a two-foot storm cycle in Crested Butte, Colorado. A few expert riders found it squirrelly on firm snow, but not enough to make them put it away. The reasons: the positive camber between the bindings, which bolsters rebound and edge hold, and the identical nose and tail widths, for easy switch stance. The Verdict: It won’t overpower strong intermediates, but it’s not for the lazy; aggressive riding is met with pinpoint response. signalsnowboards.com
K2 Happy Hour
The Sell: Pointy tips make for fun tricks. The Test: By snipping the tips and tails into points and giving them some rocker, K2 made the Happy Hour remarkably easy to spin. Plus, the flat, camberless base made “six inches feel like twenty,” one tester remarked—although it also made cat tracks feel slightly terrifying. The Happy Hour is light and lively, thanks to carbon, Kevlar, and urethane layers running edge-to-edge midboard. The Verdict: While everyone agreed it excelled in mellow terrain, expert testers quickly found the board’s speed limit. k2snowboarding.com