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Passes have never been cheaper. But will the deep discounts destroy your local hill?

The backcountry legend weighs in on his favorite gear (we bet you can guess it) and why California is a splitboarder's paradise.

The world's top skiers and snowboarders share their favorite mountain accessories.

Three boldly versatile boards for managing the most variable conditions

Braving the cold in British Columbia

Plenty of snow in the winter, lots of time on the water in the summer.

“Blue-stain pine” used to go to waste. Now companies are using the wood to make outdoor lifestyle products—and the trend is growing.

Salomon Premiere 4-Part Splitboard is the first-ever splitboard that breaks into four parts.

Burton has been building snowboards in Vermont for more than 30 years. Along the way, it learned a thing or two about what makes a board well balanced.

Riders looking for a big-­mountain twin tip will love the Venture Skylar

In the market for ski goggles? Here's what to look for this season.

What’s it like to be a woman in the male-dominated outdoor industry? Donna Carpenter, Burton’s president and co-founder, is doing something to prove that diversity in the workplace equals success.

We cornered the founder of Burton Snowboards at Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market to talk about his company's latest developments, where he likes to ride most, and avalanche safety

The Adventuress columnist Ali Carr Troxell caught up with Burton snowboarder Kimmy Fasani to learn about the new all-mountain board she developed

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

Not sure which snowboard is right for you? Match your terrain of choice with one of our tester-approved boards.

Choosing the right bindings is just as important to your snowboard experience as your board and boots. We've selected three of our favorite bindings to help you find what's right for you.

Twin boards aren't just for freestyle riders anymore.

As backcountry skiing has boomed, so has splitboarding. In the past five years, participation has quadrupled, and companies from Black Diamond to Burton to K2 have tossed their hats into the ring with split-specific gear.

The nimble, lightweight Velvet Guru stands head and shoulders above the competition in a park setting.

Our testers raved about the great energy transfer that the DVa delivers.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 gift guide, including the Lib Tech C2BTX snowboard.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Arbor Swoon Board.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Rossignol Krypto Magtek snowboard.

Our top snowboard picks for winter '11-'12, including the Arbor Wasteland

Snowboarders at the United States Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vermont, planned to meet today to discuss creating a union, the New York Times reports. In part, the creation of a snowboarders' union would…

What's the best women's all-mountain snowboard? — Annie San Francisco, California

Some of the world's best outdoor gear is still made right here in the USA.

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

This lightweight, composite-baseplated binding reacts instantly to commands. With the new Speed Zone strap technology, one pull and the ankle strap cinches tight. Custom-fit the Escapade with tool-free adjustments for strap length and forward lean. burton.com      …

Good for Resort If we had a Most Likely to Succeed in Any Conditions award, the reverse-camber, twin-tip Dreamboat would have been champ. Credit Forum’s old-school philosophy, which eschews the new multiple sidecuts—unlike almost every other board here—believing instead that one constant arc from tip to tail…

FINE ART The Wasteland’s topsheet is so beautifully constructed from nine types of sustainably harvested wood that it looks like it could hang in a gallery. But this mid-wide directional twin is made to be ridden—especially in powder. The poplar core with centered carbon strut provides the pop needed to…

The all-mountain One Magtek got the same high scores as the Lando Phoenix (but doesn’t require a black belt in snowboarding), even though its profile is the exact opposite—traditional camber between the feet, with rocker in the tip and tail. “Reverse camber done right,” said one tester after experiencing…

1. The AG is one highly engineered board, but all that technology disappears when you hop on it, and this directional twin-shape was our favorite all-mountain board. 2. Heavily reverse-cambered boards, with a rocker shape from tip to tail, can be a little squirrelly for riders used to traditional…

Good for Resort Whereas most of the boards here have either traditional or reverse camber, the Travis Rice is a combo. The mixed camber—reverse between the bindings; traditional at either end—of this super- aggressive board makes for a remarkably stable and smooth ride that’s quick to…

OVERACHIEVER We had to keep looking down to remind ourselves that this is a 152. The Drift blasted through crud that typically slows up similarly sized boards, plus its rubber sidewalls damped chatter. And it’s fast. The Drift kept up with the big boys—some 159s, even a 162. In the…

Yes, the graphics are a bit much, but testers couldn’t get over how stable this reverse-camber park rat was. “I went for any lip I saw,” one tester said. “It was so responsive.” Credit the true twin shape and its shallow sidecut, which also made arcing in and out…

HIGH FLYER Like the Tahoe-based hucker for whom it’s named, this one is all about the park. The Jackson Pro’s true-twin shape and easy swing weight allow for solid spins and switch riding. “Superstiff and powerful, this thing tore through the park,” remarked one tester after multiple laps. Strips of…

Good for Resort Beginners, take note: This is the most forgiving board in our lineup. If you’re wondering whether rockered boards are really all that (and they are), know that the Angus is the most predictable and easygoing reverse-camber board here. This all-mountain, directional twin took on…

PARK POUNDER This directional twin is the fix for park junkies. The Choice spins fast and easily, and the quasi-fiberglass topsheet gives the board tremendous pop, putting testers in the air for longer than expected. Other park-friendly features include the blunt-shaped tip and tail and the Magne-Traction sidecut, which has…

The all-mountain OMG was at its best making big carves at high speed, charging down steeps, and gliding through trees. A bit of rocker in the tip and tail helped it power confidently up and over chop, but it was incredibly stable thanks to subtle traditional camber between the…

FAST AND LIGHT Hailed as the lightest snowboard on the market, this all-mountain model’s superior float in the soft stuff made it a tester favorite. But lightness doesn’t equal weakness. Thanks to a synthetic polymer placed beneath the binding inserts—K2 calls the stuff Harshmellow—this setback twin has guts, silencing chatter…

Good for Resort Our favorite big-mountain board this year, the reverse-camber Megalight is all about hucking and floating. “I would drop off a cliff on it,” one tester said. “It was amazing in powder and easy to maneuver in the trees.” And while the Megalight is large—sizes…

LIGHT AND NIMBLE Ride engineers whittled away every bit of fat from this board by using tricks like a topsheet made with fabric-like material, which slices the weight of a typical topsheet in half. Ride even slimmed down its Slimewalls without losing their incredibly poppy action. But while most ultralights…

SAFE AT ANY SPEED With its cap sidewall construction, the Timeless dishes up supersmooth, chatter-free turns at any speed. But it likes to rip, too. At higher velocity, Palmer’s FLF technology (which earned the company a Gear of the Year award last year) slightly lifts the nose and tail, to…

Good for Resort As with the Rossignol Angus (left), the true-twin Carbon Credit impressed testers with how confident it felt on every part of the mountain. “This board does the work for you,” one tester noted. While it has the same basic shape as Lib Tech’s Travis…

POWDER KING The Gyrator strikes a nostalgic chord with its graphics, but there’s nothing retro about the ride. Reverse-camber construction (the deck has a concave bow) enables the Gyrator to float atop powder with the ease of bigger, wider boards. But it can also tackle groomers thanks to its progressive…

A SOFTY WITH GUTS This true twin spins like a top with incredible control, but thanks to its predictable flex and soft feel, it’s an extremely forgiving board—and a great choice for intermediates looking to take it to the next level. It won’t let you down: Testers were surprised by…

You have to hand it to big-mountain legend Jeremy Jones for launching a successful board line during the recession. Straight out of the gate, Jones’s boards won over our testers. In the end, though, it was the versatile Mountain Twin that had them wishing we could extend our test…

REBEL DESIGN Lib Tech has abandoned traditional geometry and camber design to create a new rocker shape. The result? The Skate Banana has tremendous edge hold and is controlled directly under your balance point, making turns effortless on hardpack. And thanks to its detune-friendly Magne-Traction sidecut, it yielded catch-free balance…

STIFF AND STABLE On paper, the 154 demo model we were sent should’ve been too short for most of our testers. But this true twin proved to be surprisingly stable at speed. “It felt longer and stronger than it should have at top speed,” said one of our larger riders.

The best compliment this snowboard received from our testers: “This is a powder champ that doesn’t need to sit in the closet until the big snows come.” The keys to its versatility are Kevlar plates, which transfer energy to the edges for powerful turns on groomers, and bands of…

ULTRA-RESPONSIVE In the X8, Burton brings the baseless binding back—with major improvements. Thanks to a cushioned platform, you get the main benefit (incredible feel) without the usual drawback (it has unlimited stance options). The deck’s negative core profile—thin underfoot for more flex, thick everywhere else—enhances the hair-trigger response, while its…

FOR POWDER AND PARK By replacing layers of fiberglass and resin with structural bamboo veneers, Salomon has figured out how to make a board that’s a bit healthier for the planet—and, of course, extremely fun to ride, especially when heading into the sidecountry. The tapered tails help prevent nosedives in…

The Custom’s been a staple board in Burton’s line for 15 years, setting the standard for how a snowboard should ride. Every year, Burton refines it just a little more—and this year’s is the best yet thanks to its mixed-camber profile, a snappy carbon backbone, strands of strategically woven…

This lightweight true-twin charged in the park and pipe, providing snappy power, easy switches, and smooth nose and tail presses. For improved freestyle performance, it has a softened tail for smooth butters and a wide centered stance (up to 23.5 inches) for riding rails. roxy.com      …

Good for All Mountain A new take on a classic all-mountain board. With a wider shape, more forgiving flex, and rocker both between the feet and just outside them, the revamped Feelgood impressed testers with its edge-to-edge response. The only (minor) drawback: It’s a bit chattery…

LAP THE PARK The Fix’s reinforced edges are designed specifically to stand up to wear and tear in the park, while its soft flex allows for easy spins and takeoffs. The Fix also features Burton’s new Scoop Technology, which refers to the board’s forgiving, spoonlike convex curve and tapered edges.

Last year, Arbor applied its version of multicontact edge technology—they call it GripTech—to its first hybrid-camber board (the Draft). It was a winning combination, literally, taking home last winter’s Gear of the Year award. Now, GripTech and hybrid camber are featured in six of Arbor’s boards, from park hounds…

Striking a balance between park monster and powder hound, the Polarity utilizes a twin progressive sidecut with tight tip and tail radii for effortless spins and knuckle-dragging turns at high speed. The 149 might seem small, but it's surprisingly fast for its size. And the flex is playful in the…

Good for Park and Pipe The reverse-camber Compact was the most confidence-inspiring and maneuverable park-and-pipe board we tested this year. We’re also big fans of Ride’s proprietary urethane sidewalls. They absorb chop better than other brands’ and help eliminate washout (over-rotating), a common problem with rockered…

Mark Landvik’s pro model, the Lando Phoenix is a big-mountain charger built for Landvik’s home playground near Juneau, Alaska. But like the Rome (opposite), it’s no one-condition pony. Testers loved how the mixed camber (rocker between the feet, with traditional camber at the tails) locked onto rails and made…

Off the stair rail or the gap box, this binding is a top performer that's ergonomically shaped for women. The UnderWrap.2 Heel Hoop is slimmed down and cored out in the toe region for a super-responsive feel. Choose among several strap positions (capped or regular). romesnowboards.com      …

Good for Resort Four years ago, Mervin Manufacturing (the owner of Lib Tech and Gnu) introduced so-called multiple sidecut—and turned the industry on its head. Instead of one continuous sidecut, these new boards have multiple contact points along their edge, which improves edge hold and gives you…

1. It’s long enough to float in powder and generate white-knuckle speed on groomers, but still light enough for easy spins and big airs through the park and off backcountry booters. “This behemoth makes turning thoughtless, spinning simple, and powder a pleasure,” said one tester. 2. Palmer debuts its…

Each size of this all-mountain twin is adorned with a different dude, like John Lennon, Albert Einstein, or Martin Luther King Jr. But all the dudes ride the same: Thanks to a robust poplar-and-beech core, it’s the stiffest and most carve-ready board here. Like the Rossignol One Magtek, it’s…

Is ski season over in the moderate climes and you're still itching to hit the slopes? Check out these destinations South of the equator (or North enough) for summertime shredding.

Poles The Classic Scott’s Team Issue poles ($120; scottusa.com) are made from aircraft-grade aluminum (translation: twice as strong as cheapies) and have a really simple and durable strap. BACKCOUNTRY READY Need extra leverage? A quick flick is all it takes to extend Black Diamond’s aluminum Boundary…

Endless Powder! Rowdy Bars! Screaming Deals! Secret Stashes! Huge Steeps!

I’m convinced Audi’s Q7 TDI was designed by German powder junkies. What else could explain the combination of features only a ski addict would appreciate? The all-wheel drive that lets you beat the snowplows up the hill on icy mornings. The heated leather seats for you and four buddies, plus…

2010 Buyer’s Guide Videos Summer Outside Winter Buyer's Guide 2009/2010 Winter Buyer's Guide Trail Shoes Sleeping Bags Women’s Gear Road Bikes…

Catch more air: Burton‘s Vapor is the lightest snowboard they’ve ever made ($1,000; burton.com). Burton Vapor Snowboard            …

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

1. Most frontside skis are too precise and exhausting for freeskiing. Not the pared-down CX 80, which does away with heavy add-ons like complex binding plates for a more responsive feel. It’s ten millimeters fatter than most, but its World Cup­–inspired…

In the Store: If you’re buying just one pair of skis (and not building a quiver), look for a set that matches your style of skiing and the terrain you frequent 70 percent of the time. And don’t be afraid to upgrade: Buy skis slightly above…