What mid-price, all-mountain snowboard should I buy?
I am looking to buy a new snowboard. I only use it six to ten times a year but I still want a good board. I'm looking for a mid-level board for any sort of condition. What are your suggestions? David Detroit, MI
I should think you're after a so-called “all-mountain” board, which is designed to manage most conditions you'll come across by combining some of the features of a freestyle and freeride boards. It's mainly a function of length. A freeride board is fairly long for speed and good glide, a freestyle board shorter so it's easier to do tricks. An all-mountain board splits the difference.
The ClashThe Clash
A good example of this is the Burton Clash ($330). It's a fine mid-level board with fairly forgiving flex, good edge control, and good float in soft snow combined with decent speed on firmer stuff. I think it's the kind of board that would well serve someone that rides with your frequency. It might not be so good for the boarder who is out every weekend.
GNU's Carbon Credit BTX board ($399) is a little different animal. Unlike the Clash's directional shape, it has a twin shape so tip and tail are equally long and wide. It's also a bit wider, for more float in softer snow. Like the Clash it has a wood core, and a low-maintenance base. And like the clash it's aimed at intermediate riders, not the super hard-core riders.
For a step up, take a look at K2's Turbo Dream ($480). It's another all-mountain board, and shares the Carbon Credit's twin-tail design. But overall it's a better board with a honeycomb wood core for light weight and stiffness, an all-terrain rocker, and excellent edge control. If you want to take your riding up a notch this winter, this might be the board for you.