As snowboard technology improves, and as backcountry snowboarding is becoming more openly accessible, you may look at your new board purchase with a slightly different set of criteria. Yes, you may have bought a board with some float for powder before, but lets be honest. It was probably for the 4 minutes between groomers, or for the 20 minute bootpack up to a powder bowl! What if you riding now consisted of 40 minute runs through waist high powder, in some of the most amazing untouched terrain available, for the entire day!? What if your legs start to give way on the first run from having to ride backleg the whole way down, and you’ve got either another 2 hour hike back up, or if your lucky enough, a snowmobile/heli lift up? You wouldn’t want to waste it by not being able to ride that snow the way it should be right!?
How about this instead?
You drop into that powder bowl and instantly feel the float of your new board lifting the nose up and out of the snow. Your stance is balanced and effortless, and instead of that initial dip in speed, you start to feel immediate acceleration, as powder flies past your goggles… You lean in on your toe side, hand and face only inches away from the snow, the reflection of early morning sun so clear from how close you are, your edge holds and you change back onto your heel, creating a huge sweeping arc of snow sprayed into the path of your riding buds! HaHa! Remember, their are no friends on pow days! Its become more than edge to edge, its now more akin to surfing as you hoon your way down, pushing faster and instantly approve of your new board….now if only you had charged the GoPro before hand….
Check out Burton’s Latest “Backcountry” video,for a taste of All-Mountain Boards in Action
Its days like these that All Mountain Snowboards, but more specifically, Powder Snowboards are designed for. The All Mountain differs in that it is usually tailored towards the freestyle orientated rider, who is riding mainly powder terrain, and backcountry kickers. (That’s not saying that you can do freestyle tricks on powder specific boards, each board is slightly different in how it can be ridden, check out “Mu and his Burton fish” in the table below!) The twin tip shape to allow regular and switch riding, for when you want to send those massive natural kickers ala Travis Rice, land fakie and just keep on going. Not always a directional shape, they can (Only sometimes, and much less often now) have less float than the traditional approach. If your interested in Powder Specific Snowboards instead, check out this list HERE Remember, each board is specific to different riding styles and conditions, and is something you should take into consideration! (If your mainly riding indoor Ski Centres in the UK for example, you may not want a 172cm Directional Powder board…and we feel your pain bud) So to aid you in your decision, we have compiled a huge list of the current “Best” All Mountain Boards available, from Brands such as
- Jones Snowboards
- Libtech, and
- Yes Snowboards
After reading this list, you should be aware that YOUR snowboard choice also comes down to many contributing factors. You shouldn’t always just pick your favourite and go with it! (Graphics are not everything!) You should also take into consideration:
- Your Riding Ability,
- The Conditions you will ride it in,
- Your Physical condition, and
- What you actually want to do with the board.
The Ultimate All-Mountain Snowboard Guide by PowderSnowboard.com
|BURTON||2014 Custom Flying V||Directional Twin Tip||A blend of camber and rocker performance. Predominantly Rocker overall, including between and outside your feet, enhances playfulness and float.Camber between and under the feet allows aggressive riders to provide more edge control when needed, more pop and a much livelier experience to standard rocker||148, 151, 154, 156, 158, 160, 163, 155W, 158W, 162W, 169W||$$$$||Advanced/Intermediate All Mountain FreeStyle (Mainly due to stiffness) Suits aggressive riders|
|BURTON||Process Flying V||Directional Twin Tip||Flying V Rocker Profile ensures smooth easy turns. The New Squeezebox feature transfers energy towards the tips for more pop. Stable when stomping landings, this is our freestyle board we currently use! Available in Flying V Rocker or camber||152, 155, 157, 159, 162||$$$||Intermediate All Mountain Freestyle Much softer flexing than the Custom, the Process is more suited to the freestyle rider, but still capable of all-mountain action as evidenced by Mark Sollors in Standing Sideways|
|BURTON||2014 "Family Tree" Juice Wagon||Directional||For park-precision on natural features, every element of the Juice Wagon has been designed for riders who see opportunities for air in the natural and untracked landscape. Fully directional with a moderate taper for float and flow, its camber chassis equals power, precision, and a snappy suspension.||153, 157, 163||$$$||Intermediate All Mountain Freestyle Inspired by Stephan Maurer and how he rides the Burton Fish, this is designed to be an all round powder hound, with great float and snap for freeriding.|
|BURTON||"Family Tree" Landlord||Directional S-Rocker||Now, we want to say this is the best simply because its Terjes Stick of choice! Utilising a set back camber with a rocker beginning under the front foot, allows for float on the nose, fish like turns, and charging speeds! WE LIKE!||159, 163||$$$||Advanced Powder Freeride...with freestyle possibilities New freeride geometry is the secret with setback camber and sidecut that are centered on your stance to create a twin freestyle feel when riding flat base. On edge the board turns tight and quick, with entry rocker and taper for added float and flow. More precise than the Barracuda, more versatile than the Fish, it slays natural terrain with speed and style.|
|BURTON||"Family Tree" Freebird||Directional S-Rocker, so camber under foot with rocker under the front, giving a loose and lively feel, same as Terje's Landlord model||So, we were tempted not to link this one, just due to the size. Burton have created a split-board version of their popular NUG board, its good in pow and makes fresh tracks more accessible, but its still pretty short! Don't get us wrong, we've rode a 148 in waist deep Pow, and its super loose and lively, but stomping landings it does tend to sink.... awesome before then however!||148||$$$||Intermediate Powder, more dedicated towards the freestyle rider who wants to track around to pow off piste!|
|BURTON||"Family Tree" Trick Pony||Directional Twin||Variant on rocker camber to provide centred stance and ollie pop in both directions, whilst still giving float. The nippled ends provides quick release in deep snow.||154, 158, 162||$$$||Intermediate All Mountain FreeStyle|
|BURTON||Barracuda 2014||Directional S-Rocker||A board that can't be contained by terrain or conditions, the Barracuda harnesses freeride-focused S-Rocker™ and a slight taper to bring Fish-like float to the entire mountain.||149, 153, 157, 161, 165, 169||$$$||Beginner All Mountain Freeride Not as pow-specific as the Fish or as freestyle-focused as the Sherlock, this ATV pushes the boundaries of freeride into an entirely different realm of straight shots and pillow lines. With all-wheel drive edge tech and fully directional crud-busting power, this top predator is the one to reach for in variable or unknown terrain.|
|Jones Snowboards Carbon Flagship Snowboard||Directional camber rocker similar to Burtons S-Rocker Profile, with an additional 35 mm of nose for added float||The Carbon Flagship is a freeride scalpel capable of surgical precision on the rowdiest lines around. Whether inbounds or out, it crushes terrain with a confidence underfoot unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The carbon topsheet and specially positioned carbon stringers combine to produce a light and lively board that’s stupid fast edge-to-edge, yet damp as your footbeds after a day shredding bell to bell.||158, 161, 163 W, 164, 168 W||$$$$||ADVANCED Freeride Ideal for High-Speed Freeriding and Technical Lines Beware, this board is no joke! It charges and just wants to go faster.|
|Jones Snowboards Flagship Snowboard||Directional camber rocker similar to Burtons S-Rocker Profile, with an additional 35 mm of nose for added float||The Flagship’s now-legendary reputation comes as no surprise to Jeremy Jones. Jeremy has spent the last two decades perfecting this rhino chaser design that’s as powerful as it is responsive. Coveted for it’s stability at speed and wall crawling edge grip, the Flagship will hit mach-speed without fluttering your heart beat...||154, 158, 161, 163 W, 164, 168 W||$$$||Intermediate Freeride Same shape as The Carbon Flagship, but without the stiffness and response. Dont let this put you off however, this board will still blow you away.|
|Jones Snowboards Aviator Snowboard||Directional Twin Camber but not as you've seen before!...||The nimble handling and supersonic acceleration of the Aviator result from the new 3D Power Camber profile. 3D Power Camber is an innovative positive camber profile that offers the insane edge response of camber without the usual hang-ups. The board profile crosses over into the third dimension as the base is beveled up at the edges from the contact points of the camber to the ends of the board. The 3D base beveling releases the edges where they like to hook which balances the pop and directional stability of camber with a looser, less-catchy feel. Whether your flight plan includes cliff drops or stacked park jumps, the Aviator is lightning fast edge to edge and designed to inspire confident take-offs and graceful landings.||152, 156, 160, 160 W, 164||$$$||Advanced FreeStyle and Freeride Monster! Designed to ride hard and fast and stomp tricks...if your after a board to do it all and Jones in your flavour, then look no further.. Stiff flex for aggressive riders|
|Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin Snowboard||Directional Twin||This all-mountain charger is coveted and celebrated because it’s freakin’ ridiculously fun to ride. As playful as it is powerful, the Mountain Twin is a directional freestyle board with a freeride heart. It’s designed to shred the entire mountain like it’s your own personal skate park without sacrificing high-speed, line-bombing stability. Early rise tip and tail give the Mountain Twin float and finesse in soft snow while camber underfoot combined with Mellow Magne-Traction give the Mountain Twin snap and hold on hard pack.||151, 154, 157, 158 W, 160, 161 W, 164 W||$$$||Intermediate Freeride machine, Ideal for Backcountry Freestyle and Resort Radness|
|Yes Snowboards||YES. snowboards TDF Snowboard||True Twin||Tadashi Fuse has been killing it in the backcountry for a long-ass time, and seeing as how camber has served him so well this far, he saw no reason to change anything for his pro model ,This makes the TDF the only true cambered board in Yes's line. Keep in mind this board has a narrower waist than most boards, making it better suited to riders with smaller boots. Traditional camber provides the superior pop and power you can't get from any other profile, and the true twin shape allows for switch takeoffs and fakie landings. A dual-density poplar core makes the board lightweight and lively, while beech Impact Blocks increase strength in key break areas. Triax glass keeps the feel responsive for quick turns and improves edge hold for hard carves, and the sintered base is durable to withstand early-season encounters with rocks||150, 154, 155, 157||$$$||Intermediate Free Ride True Camber, True Twin As happy off piste as on, loves the pow pow!|
|Yes Snowboards||YES. snowboards Pick Your Line||Directional Camber Rocker||DCP's Board of choice. Full wood veneer topsheet, updated Beechwood and Poplar core and carbon stringers. A slightly directional shape and minimal tapered tail keeps it floating without limiting DCP’s options to throw park-like freestyle hucks on his backcountry canvas.||156, 159, 161, 161 W||$$$||Advanced Freeride, Directional Powder monster.|
|Yes Snowboards||Yes. Asym Snowboard||Now this is a little different to your usual board.... Rocker Camber, Aysmmetrical true twin...kinda||We’re letting this TransWorld Good Wood winning shape speak for itself. The heel edge is deeper than the toe, balancing out the natural inefficiencies of how we turn and delivering a ride that is more balanced than you are.||150, 152, 156, 158, 160W||$$$||Designed with the ride purely in mind. Parabolic Beechwood rails on a lightweight Poplar core. The parabolic rails work directly with the outline of the board to deliver incredible response and snap.|
|Yes Snowboards||Yes. "The Basic" Snowboard||Directional True Twin... A combination of mid-camber with rocker outside the binding areas makes for an easy to ride, all-terrain board that holds when pushed.||The Basic is a true twin by definition: the stance is centered on the effective edge and the nose and tail are identical lengths. Here’s where we switch things up. Pow reacts to nose and tail volume far more noticeably than hard-pack. Applying that to a twin, we shaped the tail in such a way that its volume is less than the nose so even though it’s a twin, it floats like a directional in pow.||146, 149, 152, 154, 158, 163 With Various Wide Models||$$||Entry level board in YES's range but still an amazing board. We have to admit we're slight;y bias towards YES, we love that its a few buddies making their mark, in their own particular way, and when the product is this good, its a no-brainer but to support them!|
|Yes Snowboards||YES Jackpot Snowboard||True Twin Rocker Camber||The Jackpot features a True-Twin outline with 2 very subtle bumps along each rail to keep it tracking across icy pipes and sketchy in-runs. We’ve kept the much-loved Camrock base profile but updated the core to a durable Poplar assembly with Beechwood impact blocks under the feet.||149, 152, 154, 156, 158||$$||Intermediate true twin rocker camber, 2x winner of Transworld Good Wood award...so it cant be bad!|
|Libtech||LibTech T Rice Pro||True Twin, Camber under feet, rocker in middle and tips Or as Libtech call it, their "C2 BTX Profile"||The same board used Travis used for the Red Bull Ultra-natural Event||150, 153, 155, 157, 161.5, 164.5||$$$||Defiantely for the more in/adv aggressive rider, it gives as good as it gets. Solid tip and tail pressure for power, pop, precision and end-to-end stability combined with a medium amount of pressure between your feet for float, carving and edge hold.|
|Libtech||Jamie Lynn Phoenix||Directional Twin, rocker in middle, camber before feet, with rocker starting again under foot to tips....||Jamie's Freestyle Geometries Built with High Performance C3 Camber Construction-an unusual profile but it seems to work!||151, 154, 157, 157W, 160||$$$$||It should be noted that all Libtech boards feature Magnetraction edges as standard, which is fast becoming an industry standard also!|
|Libtech||Lib Tech Darker Series||Directional Twin with C3 BTX profile Camber underfoot, rocker between and on tips||Designed for aggressive all terrain freestyle rippers. 3D Bamboo binding platforms and organic torsion boxes transfer power control and energy from your bindings directly to your edges and stiffen your board at your feet for stomped landings and critical terrain control. Transfer spines offer precise response and big pop.||155, 158, 158W, 161, 161W, 164, 164W||$$$||The board of choice for Mervin experiMENTALIST Apostolos Karabotos, Jason Robinson and crew. Available in regular widths & wides.|
|Libtech||Lib Tech T. Rice BTX SpeedoDeeps||True Twin The shape that started the rocker revolution. Major rocker between, slight camber underfoot, further rocker towards tips-this baby is designed to FLOAT!||. Even the name floats in both directions. Everyday should be a powder day but sometimes even Travis Rice has to wait, so he made this snowboard rip the hardpack and park too. Specifications Size Contact Length Side Cut Nose Width Waist Width Tail Width Flex 10 = Firm Weight Range (lbs) 162 105 8.5 29.5 26 29.5 6.5 130 + View all specs Technology BTX: Banana Technology Revolutionary all terrain freestyle banana blend. Rocker between your feet with flat to mild camber to contact points. Mild tip pressure for unreal float and jibbing, solid pressure between your feet for easy turning and great ice edge hold. MTX: Magne-Traction Seven points of focused edge control. Magne-Traction’s strategic serrations provide unreal edge hold and control in all conditions. Winner of over 30 Good Wood awards. Ridden to Olympic gold medals, Air and Style championships, King of Hill, X Games Street gold, Supernatural victory and Ted Borland’s backwoods jibs.||162 only! This bad boy is designed for pow slaying||$$$$||What can we say, Libtech suggests the profile is park friendly, and it really is, but what this board wants is deep pow and massive backcountry booters! You have to have a go!|
What is your Riding Ability?
If you have just started out, its quite possible you don’t need the most expensive board ever made… But we will say this, a low quality board will affect your progress more than you think. If the board weighs as much as a small pony, is incredibly rigid and only 150cm long, your going to have a tough time-hell so would we! That being said, if you go for a board that’s out of your skill level, you may have some difficulty at first also. The beauty of Snowboarding, compared to other sports such as Surfing, is that its a much quicker progression, due to the time you are up and riding. Think surfing is hard? Admittedly its not the easiest, but this mainly comes down to out of an hour in the water, you may only be riding for around 6 minutes of that time, as you wait for waves etc. Difficult to progress when you time is so limited! Snowboarding however allows you to be up and riding from the get go. Every second on the board, your progressing and improving. With this in mind, we wouldn’t steer you away from a more advanced board, as your riding ability will rise to meet it!
What are the Riding Conditions?
Depending on where you are in the world, which resort and even how that winter has been, can greatly effect your riding conditions. If you are predominantly riding in waist high powder, a powder specific board is the definate go to. If you mainly have to hike around your hill, a split-board is an absolute time and energy saver! (Ever boot pack for more than 30 minutes? Then you know what we mean!)
What is your Physical Condition?
Its important to decide on a board that can is correct for you. We like a pie as much as the next guy, but if you are 200lb dude who wants to do some freestyle riding, then a shorter board for the average guy, may be too short for you. Also, if your not the most aggressive or powerful rider, an overly stiff board may charge and go much faster, but your going to find it difficult to control. Always play to your strengths, that’s why we have broken down the list above into our top choices for different riders.
How you are going to be Riding?
Similar to above, you have to decide on a board based on how you will ride. A slightly shorter board will be better for freestyle riding, if you are going to be performing spins and tricks, as it will spin easier. If you intend to charge faster, a longer uni-directional board will work out much better, hold its edge and float more in softer snow. See below for our top choices!
The Best All Mountain Boards, by Brand
We know some of you are fiercely loyal to certain companies. If you’ve had a good board or service in the past, its easy to go back. We’ll be honest, we’ve had a heap of Burton Boards in our time. Heck, we have 3 at the moment. But we also have a Jones and a custom made Powder Hound by Prior up in Whistler, BC So to make it easier for you guys, we have broken down the top boards that we like to ride, by manufacturer. Most of these boards are towards the more intermediate to advanced rider, and they tend to be a little more aggressive in use. We have gone ahead and chosen our top board, and recommended a few alternatives just in case
The Yes PYL features a traditional camber, slightly stiffer and more aggressive for the freestyle freerider. Features slightly blunt nose to allow less friction through pow, similar to the Jones boards. We’re a big fan of Yes Snowboards here at Powdersnowboard.com, and for good reason. Its a tight team of buds, killing it doing what they love, and supporting snowboarding. The entire range is awesome, you could grab any of their boards and have fun, but if taking laps through the backcountry, big powder turns, and throwing down some 3′s is more your bag, this is the board for you. Also, its got a freaking shark and octopussies, octopus, octopi? on it
- SHAPE: Directional with Blunted Nose
- BASE PROFILE: 4mm Nose, 4mm Camber, 2mm Tail
- OUTLINE: Directional , DISRUPTED SIDECUT
- CORE: 4. Poplar core with Beechwood rails & Impact Blocks
- GLASS: Triax Top, Biax Bottom , Carbon Stringers
- BASE: Die-cut sintered 2000
Jones Snowboards: The Jones Carbon Flagship
This really is a hard to beat board, for steep, deep insane rides. This is not only the Top end in the Jones Snowboard line, its hard to find anyone elses board that compares (Perhaps the Burton Mystery), but the price also reflects that! This board really does go as fast as you can hold onto! The only issue we had was speed checking for the fear of speed related injuries! If you think this board is too much for you, we would recommend the standard flagship model, or perhaps the Aviator, if your more interested in throwing around a few tricks!
- SHAPE: Directional with blunted nose
- BASE PROFILE: 4mm Nose, 4mm Camber, 2mm Tail
- OUTLINE: Directional , DISRUPTED SIDECUT
- CORE: 4. 2 Beechwood and 2 poplar stringers
- GLASS: two full bi-directional carbon topsheet layers with carbon stringers
- BASE: Die-cut sintered 2000 with stone ground finish
Carbon – Construction
The Carbon series boards are not to be taken lightly. They are stiff and ultra-responsive freeride boards built for moving fast over technical terrain. The secret sauce that gives the Carbon series the horsepower and handling of a Formula One car is our Carbon Construction. By combining two full bi-directional carbon topsheet layers with carbon stringers and a top secret dual-density wood core, Jones’ Carbon Construction offers unmatched dampening, stiffness and torsional rigidity.
Like a serrated knife slicing into the snow, Magne-Traction improves your edge grip by adding multiple contact points along the running length of your board. “Magne-Traction is a key ingredient for rockered board designs. Adding rocker to your board makes it glide more smoothly, but it makes it harder to really lock into your turns and hold a solid edge. Magne-Traction is crucial to offset the drift typical of rocker flex patterns.” – Jeremy Jones
“How a board glides in powder, crust, corn, or any snow condition more then an inch deep is dictated by its front contact point and just past it. Next time you are in soft snow watch how much snow comes over the corner of the nose near the contact point. The billowing snow means you are plowing through it which is obviously slowing you down. By adding a blunt nose you get the float benefits of a much longer board tip without the added length or swing weight.” – Jeremy Jones
This board is part of Burton’s “Family Tree” Range. A series dedicated to backcountry runs and deep powder. This board features a Mid range Flex, suited for the intermediate to aggressive rider. The “nippled: tips on the nose and tail allow quick release in deeper snow, aiding snappy take offs and spins, reduce spin weight and help create long drawn out turns. (Also the graphic is sick :P)
- Shape: Twin Shape
- Flex: Twin Flex
- Core: Super Fly II™ Core , Dualzone™ EGD™
- Base: Sintered WFO
- Fiberglass: Triax™ Fiberglass
EST Channel System
Burton likes to be slightly different, in the way bindings are attached, and this new system is no exception. We love the Burton EST Channel system, it provides a crazy range flex underfoot, when you use it with an EST binding. You have zero baseplate to cause dead-zones under your feet, it is a world of difference to your riding! It feels like your in contact with the board because you are! There’s nothing in the way! Literally the entire board and binding base flex together naturally to create a sense of flow and board connection. This board is super playful, stiff enough for speed and steeps, but loose enough to throw around and have a laugh on! If your looking for a more powder orientated board, we suggest perhaps the Burton Landlord. Maybe its just us, on the day we rode it we were in the mood for flat spins and presses and this was just so much fun to ride!
This patented design lengthens the surface area at the tip and tail contact points to improve edge-hold and allow the board to plane easier in pow. Enjoy a livelier feel and enhanced grip on groomers along with added float for overhead days.
This ultra-light carbon backbone increases pop and longitudinal snap.
Jumper Cables Hi-Voltage
Jumper Cables on the NEW Process V-Rocker, NEW Déjà Vu V-Rocker, Blunt, Hate, and Social are ultra-light carbon stringers that radiate energy outward from your feet towards the tip and tail. Beyond adding amplitude to your ollies, they also create more snap when powering through turns. For maximum flight, the Jumper Cables Hi-Voltage on the Joystick, Hero, Hero Limited, and Lip-Stick use carbonated rods for ultra-electrified pop and performance.
For a start, look at the guy who rides it! This board is super aggressive, designed to take a hammering, can ride deep snow well, and its super manuverable. We were torn between this and the speedodeeps, but when it came down to it, we wanted to choose a board that has size options for everyone. (If the 162 Speedodeeps works for you, then we HIGHLY recommend it!)
- Shape: True Twin Shape
- Flex: Mid Stiff
- Core: Wood Alloy Core
- Base: Sintered UHMW Base Material
- Fiberglass: Bio-Plastic Beans
Created by Libtech, and copied by almost everyone. Like a serrated knife slicing into the snow, Magne-Traction improves your edge grip by adding multiple contact points along the running length of your board. Libtech is also the creator of the latest rocker trend with their “Banana” Snowboard profile, as seen in the skate banana etc.