One for All

Whether you're the all-mountain type or a park-and-pipe specialist, your new ride awaits

Kevin Kennedy

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1. Arbor Del Ray_$380

Green and mean. The low-priced Del Ray is an all-mountain workhorse for the aspiring intermediate rider who craves both heavy-hitting jibs and long, fast turns on groomers. Inside, a lively poplar core and ABS-and-urethane sidewalls combine for great snap and durability. A slight thinning of the core between the stance quickens response time from binding to board, creates a softer and more forgiving flex, and makes for quicker turns and spins. Note: It also caused testers to complain of slight chatter at speed. 150, 153, 155, 158;


2. Rome SDS Riff_$550

Powder day? Break out this fatty. The 263mm-wide Riff delivers impressive float through chop and powder stashes and is still super-stable at high speeds, thanks to the stiff wood-and-carbon-fiber core and the damping bamboo-and-carbon laminates in the tip and tail. The extra girth makes edge transitions more difficult at slower speeds, but the ultralight core matrix keeps the Riff from feeling like a tank in the park. Attention, big dogs: Riders with boots size 11 and up won’t get the toe and heel drag they do with standard widths. 155, 158, 161;


3. Flow Quantum_$419

It’s not that the Quantum is limited to park and pipe; it’s just that you’ll never want to leave. This true twin spins with incredible control, while the surprisingly soft feel compensates for mistakes, helping pull through what one tester called that “wishy-washy, I’m-going-to-wipe-out” feeling. But out on the groomers, a compressed wood core and a laminate layered in four directions (most boards only make it to three) deliver impressive torsional stiffness, so hard chargers can smoothly initiate and exit knuckle-dragging turns one after the other without chatter. And for the price, the Quantum is a steal. 152, 156, 158;


4. Lib Tech T. Rice BTX_$529

If you’re a more advanced rider but can afford only one board, make it this one. The super-stiff T. Rice has the snappiest wood core we’ve ever seen in a snowboard, popping over obstacles and gaps without hesitation. The reverse-camber shape between the stance translates to lightning-fast turn initiation. And while this deck is probably too twitchy for beginners, expert riders will love how easily it powers out of eye-watering turns. Bottom line: This is an excellent pick for the go-fast-or-go-home set. Bonus: The shorter T. Rice models have blunt noses for the park, while the longer ones are more pointed for powder. 153, 157, 161.5, 164.5;

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