Following on from last month’s article on big mountain skis, here’s a look at 3 freeride orientated snowboards to check out for this winter season. These boards are designed to perform in all big mountain situations from deep powder to crusty hardpack and everything in between.
A good big mountain board should hold an edge and inspire confidence in steep terrain but also float well in powder. Due to their shape and flex characteristics most big mountain boards also rip on piste too.
The Flagship forms the cornerstone of the range and has been in the Jones Snowboards line from the very start. When the best known and most respected big mountain snowboarder of all time puts everything he knows into designing the ultimate do-it-all freeride deck, you know it’s gonna be good. The Flagship is built around a hybrid rocker / camber profile that provides stability, power and float for a reliable ride in all conditions. Like most Jones boards, it also features mellow Magnetraction to really lock the sidecut into a turn and just give that extra level of confidence in sketchy circumstances. The Oak topsheet is a new addition to the Flagship’s construction for winter 2015 / 2016 it works to dampen the ride and smooth out any crud or avalanche debris that might be encountered. This is the board for the all mountain rider who wants a deck to handle any situation from deep powder to big technical descents. The Flagship strikes a nice balance between a traditional stiff big mountain snowboard a more modern all mountain deck you can ride the whole mountain with. Also available with a Carbon core. RRP £445 / €625 [see main video player above].
Prior Pow Stick
A super classic snowboard that has been around for many years, the Prior Pow Stick is the ultimate board for opening it up in big powder fields. The secret to the Pow Stick’s superior performance in deep snow is in the board’s swallow tail shape it helps the tail to sink, the nose to lift and pretty much completely eradicatest he back leg burn that so often goes along with riding on a powder day. This board doesn’t just excel in the deep stuff though, due to a long effective edge it also carves really well on hardpack and holds an edge when you need it to. All Prior snowboards are made in the Prior factory in Whistler, BC and can be customised to
the rider’s preference. A huge array of topsheet and base graphics are available along with a choice of Carbon or standard fibreglass core. RRP $899 Canadian / €625. [See video below].
Arbor A Frame
The A Frame is a classic big mountain gun. Stiff and very directional, this is a board that will handle anything thrown at it, by even the most aggressive freeriders. Due to its stiffness and shape, it also holds a turn really well and is great for laying down big, fast carves on piste. The A Frame has a full camber profile this gives the board a lot of stability and power in the turn. It also has a slightly setback stance along with a small amount of taper that means this board will float really well in deep snow. This is a board to take to the steeps of Chamonix and Alaska. Plus how good does that classic surf inspired Arbor topsheet look?! RRP £570 / €800
Read more of Andy's reviews back in our news feed - search 'Latest Gear' or visit his website.
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