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The Best Snowboards of 2015 for Any Rider

Six snowboards perfect for different types of riding, whether you’re heading to the Alaskan backcountry, your local mountain or the streets of downtown Salt Lake City.

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Jeff Curtes

Every job needs the right tool. You wouldn’t use a hacksaw to chop firewood; you’d use an axe. The same can be said for snowboarding: you can’t expect to shred in the backcountry with a board built for the parks and rails, nor you can take a powder board to the streets of Denver for a jib session. As your style and performance progresses, you’ll want the right board for the style of riding you prefer. We picked six boards perfect for different types of riding, whether you’re heading to the Alaskan backcountry, your local mountain or the streets of downtown Salt Lake City.

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Burton Flight Attendant

Best Freeride: It’s a bit unfair to label this versatile board as just a freeride board. However, the backcountry is where this board really shines. It’s the board of choice for pro snowboarders Nicolas Müller and Mark McMorris. Burton’s S-Rocker shape — a flat nose with cambered back — creates smooth flowing ride of a rocker board with tight and precise control of a camber board. “For backcountry, it’s all about the flight attendant!” says McMorris. “It floats so nicely through the deep snow. Love the wide nose.”

Shape: Directional
Bend: Mixed Camber
Size: 156cm, 159cm, and 162cm

Buy Now: $500

Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro HP

Best All-Mountain Snowboard: If you’re looking for one board that you can take to the park and to the backcountry, consider Travis Rice’s Lib Tech Pro model. It’s built with a hybrid of camber (outside) and rocker (middle) to provide stability and edge hold while still maintaining a loose, floaty feel. It’s built to boost powerful riders to excelling in all conditions and its symmetrical shape provides equally precise performance, whether you’re riding regular or switch.

Shape: Twin
Bend: Hybrid Rocker
Size: 153cm, 155cm, 157cm, 161.5cm, and 164.5cm

Buy Now: $700

Slash ATV

Editor’s Pick: This is the board the legendary Austrian snowboarder Gigi Rüf rode to his victory at Red Bull Ultra Natural 2013. He designed this directional camber board as his pro model with the vision of creating a powerful, lightweight and reactive ride. “My board’s unique but functional shape will take you anywhere you want to go”, he says. “Shape-wise I’ve taken a minimalistic yet fun approach that saves material and weight but also stands up without tipping over like rounded boards can do!” This board will let you annihilate any terrain.

Shape: Directional Twin
Bend: Camber
Size: 151cm, 154cm, 156cm, 158cm, 161cm, and 165(wide)cm

Buy Now: $500

What the Pros Are Riding: Pat Moore

What boards are you riding this season?
I ride Volcom boards, which are produced by Capita snowboards. The model I normally use is called the NAS. In the past I had a lot of custom boards made with different flexes and strengths; luckily, working with Capita I was able to choose right from the line. The board that I ride is called the NAS, “Normal Ass Snowboard”, which is exactly what I like. I don’t look for some gimmicks to make me a better snowboarder, I look for a solid board that allows me to do what I do.

Camber, flat, mixed camber, or rocker?
I ride camber, and I choose that style because my style of snowboarding needs the support of camber to help me ride away from high-speed takeoffs and heavy landings. Although I do see a lot of other guys do amazing stuff with different styles of boards, for me camber does the trick.

Salomon the Villain

Best Freestyle Snowboard: If parks and rails are your thing, look no further than the Villain by Salomon. Designed by X-Games gold medalist Louif Paradis, the Villain is a twin-tip board with a medium flex for riders who enjoy more relaxed and easy riding feel. The Villain also comes with 4mm Soft Royal Rubber blocks inserted into the sidewall of your bindings to lessen vibrations and absorb big impacts.

Shape: Twin
Bend: Rocker/Camber
Size: 147cm, 150cm, 153cm, 155cm, and 158cm

Buy Now: $449+

Venture Odin Splitboard

Best Split Snowboard: You might not be familiar with Venture snowboards, but this Silverton, Colorado-based company has been making snowboards since 1999. For the Odin, the company worked with the legendary backcountry rider Johan Olofsson to create a lightweight split board that behaves like a solid board in all conditions.

Shape: Directional
Bend: Rocker
Size: 159cm, 160cm, 164cm, 165cm, 168cm, 169cm, 173cm, and 174cm

Buy Now: $895

Jones Mountain Surfer

Best Surf-Inspired Board: This all-wood board is not your average snowboard. At first glance, it just looks like a wooden surfboard — and it is, in a sense, because it was designed and hand shaped by renowned surfboard shaper Chris Christenson for big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones.

Inspired by surfboard design, this rocker-shape board is designed for maximum float and a surf-like ride experience in powder. It features foam traction pad and hooks instead of traditional bindings to optimize control, along with a leash to secure the board. While it’s designed for riders of all levels, it’s really recommended for intermediate and advanced riders.

Shape: Directional
Bend: Rocker
Size: 139cm

Buy Now: $349

What the Pros Are Riding: Mark McMorris

What boards are you riding this season?
Burton Process and the Flight Attendant for powder. Burton Process is the best all-around board in my mind, going from rails to jumps. For backcountry it’s all about the Flight Attendant! It floats so nicely through the deep snow. Love the wide nose.

Camber, flat, mixed camber, or rocker?
Camber is my go-to for hardback. More control, which allows for more aggression. Flat is a really good time in powder though.

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