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Top 10 Best Skis in 2020 Buyers Guides & Reviews

 

We have compared 49 skis, and only one came out on top of each category. We blasted through bumps, zipped through tight trees, and nuked everything that got in our way. In doing so, we have come to review and pick the best performing Skis for this list.

Table of Contents

Top Picks

  • The Editor’s Choice: Völkl M5 Mantra
  • Best All-Mountain Ski: K2 Mindbender 99Ti
  • Best Value All-Mountain Ski: Dynastar Menace 90
  • Best East Coast Ski: Dynastar Speedzone 4X4 82 Pro
  • Best West Coast Ski: Nordica Enforcer Free 104
  • Best Freeride Ski: Atomic Vantage 97 Ti
  • Best Freestyle Ski: Rossignol Black Ops 98
  • Best Ski for Intermediate Users: Völkl Kendo
  • Best Ski for Rookie Users: Rossignol Experience 76 CI
  • Best Ski for Groomers: Rossignol Experience 88 Ti
  • Best Ski for Powder: Prior Northwest 110
  • Best Ski for Backcountry: K2 Wayback 106
  • Best Ski for Carving: Rossignol React R8 Ti
  • Best Ski for Park: Armada ARV 86

Related

  • Ski bags
  • Ski Backpacks

This buying guide is the most comprehensive list of the top skis for 2020. Review the list below to find a pair of skis that’s right for you.

The Editor's Choice: Völkl M5 MantraThe Editor’s Choice: Völkl M5 Mantra

The Völkl M5 Mantra has won the top spot not by being the best but by consistently getting a high rank in almost every category. The 4th-generation may have disappointed some Mantra lovers due to its aggressive and fully rockered profile, but it has made a comeback with the M5. It is beloved by advanced and expert skiers for being the benchmark when it comes to versatility and stability.

In fairness to the K2 Mindbender 99 Ti, this was not an easy choice. Both products offer great versatility, balance, and power, but the camber profile gave the M5 a nice edge. The excellent rockered design, together with its moderate flex, has dramatically improved the maneuverability of the M5. Its supreme precision and exceptional on-trail capability make it the perfect daily driver for me.

Völkl is not new in building great all-mountain skis. Although refreshing, it is not surprising to see Mantra’s 5th generation back on the top. Overall, the M5 Mantra is undoubtedly your best choice if you love zipping through trees, blasting bumps, and nuking powder.

Purchase

K2 Mindbender 99TiBest All-Mountain Ski: K2 Mindbender 99Ti

The K2 Mindbender 99Ti is big and agile at the same time. With the right amount of power and stiffness to hold on edge, together with its excellent stability even at speed, this product makes it possible for you to use it on all snow conditions without exerting as much effort.

It has a Y-shaped Titanal embedded into its spine, and along with its excellent camber underfoot, the 99Ti gave me just the right amount of fully-rockered profile. Moreover, this product gives way for subtle early rises, making it great for sharp turns. It’s also quick to adapt because it becomes more stable as I push toward bigger arcs to gain more speed. Its exceptional adaptability to various snow conditions made the K2 99Ti on top of my list for one-quiver skis.

In exchange for a bit more weight, many advanced users will always prefer versatility, power, and stability that will let them zip through trees and blast bumps. These smart compromises made this ski a worthy champ for the All-Mountain category.

Purchase

Dynastar Menace 90Best Value All-Mountain Ski: Dynastar Menace 90

They say that quality is an expensive material in skis, but this is not always true. The Dynastar Menace 90 gives excellent value for intermediate skiers who crave cruising, moguls, and steeps. Even though its design has dimensions that are so focused on-piste, it can still provide enough room for a nice rockered profile. It is also accompanied by the right amount of flex to make it playful and fun to drive.

Rookie skiers who learn fast should skip budget skis and opt for the Dynastar Menace 90. The reason is because of its excellent construction, which makes it a great platform even as you gain more experience and techniques.

Of course, cutting costs will always have its compromises. In this case, the trade-offs don’t matter for beginners and intermediates. Dynastar Menace 90, for example, won’t get too far when driving on edge, and it is not very comfortable on solid snow. Also, the tip flap and chap can be troublesome at top speed. Nonetheless, these are minor issues for beginners.

Overall, Dynastar Menace 90 allows its users to have fun instead of going extreme. For its price, the impressive soft snow sensibility and maneuverability that will enable you to hone your skiing is a great steal.

Purchase

Dynastar Speedzone 4X4 82 ProBest East Coast Ski: Dynastar Speedzone 4X4 82 Pro

Dynastar instantly shot back up the top of the premium ski market with the introduction of the 4×4. It showcases a refreshing sleek design and modern look, accompanied by better performance and construction. It packs all the attributes that are vital for Eastern skiers, including the Hybrid Core that can reduce its weight while retaining the lively feel of the board and the 3D Profile that aims to improve energy transmission or better maneuverability.

The 4X4 82 Pro is a nice drive with excellent performance, and it does not require too much energy. You can ski it up and down slopes, and it will move back and forth like a breeze. It is comfortable, dependable, stable, and par for the course. Best of all, it carries an excellent level of float on untracked snow.

If you spend a lot of time skiing on icier and drier landscapes, Speedzone 4X4 82 Pro will give you excellent, dependable performance. Plus, this ski will empower you to take on whatever the mountain throws at you.

Purchase

Nordica Enforcer Free 104Best West Coast Ski: Nordica Enforcer Free 104

The Nordica Enforcer Free 104 is the narrowest Enforcer Free and the playful Enforcer at the same time. It’s a confusing family tree, and it has an undecided lineage; however, these did not stop it from making a name for itself with its great versatility and playful drive.

Nordica has employed unique elements for this ski by combining a wood core with carbon strips, metal layers, and plastic. This feature gave it a significant reduction in its swing weight, resulting in excellent maneuverability and stability.

I was left scratching my head when I first drove the Enforcer Free 104 because it’s so agile for its size, which made tight landscapes feel like a test drive. It can also blast and surf through crud and slush, which puts it on top of this category. Advanced users who want to drive a ski with great authority will surely have fun in driving the Nordica Enforcer Free 104.

Purchase

Atomic Vantage 97 TiBest Freeride Ski: Atomic Vantage 97 Ti

Hard-charging skiers who are looking for a platform they can use on almost any snow conditions will find the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti on top of their list. The titanium mesh allows you to have great strength and balance to zip through crud, while the rock-solid platform gives you the confidence to torpedo through trees or blast bumps.

Atomic has installed reinforcements in the vital points of the Vantage 97 Ti, which gives a considerable boost in confidence even at high speed. They also managed to keep it lightweight, which allows me to make quick turns with minimal effort.

There are very few that stand out in this category, and Atomic Vantage 97 Ti won my vote for giving me the confidence and stability that I want when zipping through untracked snow.

Purchase

Rossignol Black Ops 98Best Freestyle Ski: Rossignol Black Ops 98

The super-secretive Rossignol Black Ops 98 is the top of the line when it comes to stability. It’s a top-secret project that Rossi is not keen on making the geeky stats publicly available. There is very little info about it other than the praises that it got from experts, but it didn’t stop me from comparing it with other skis.

When I got my hands on this top-secret ski, I immediately took it to the Aspen Mountain to see what it can do. Lo and behold. It shot up on top of my freestyle ski category, almost instantly. The maneuverability and stability are excellent, so much so that it moves seamlessly even with minimal effort.

If you love freestyle skiing and prefer platforms with a 98mm waist, then Black Ops is one that you need to get your hands on.

Purchase

Völkl KendoBest Ski for Intermediate Users: Völkl Kendo

This ski is the perfect choice for those with a bit of experience in skiing because it’s versatile, lightweight, and user-friendly. The Kendo was engineered with a rockered profile and varying sidecuts. These features gave it the capability to adapt to different speed levels and varying snow conditions, making it a top choice for intermediate users. It is also built with a Titanal side frame and lightweight tips that make it easier for users with enough experience to maneuver.

There are three different arcs on the Völkl Kendo that matches its fully-rockered profile. These arcs allow great maneuverability and stability even at high speed, making it easy to make huge turns without using too much energy. It also offers a smooth and predictable drive that adapts naturally to different landscapes.

Regardless of your experience level, Kendo will adapt to your drive, and it is an excellent platform that will help you take your skiing prowess to the next level.

Purchase

Rossignol Experience 76 CIBest Ski for Rookie Users: Rossignol Experience 76 CI

Someone who is just starting to learn skiing needs a different build. The ski must be narrower and lightweight to make it easy for you to maneuver it on a groomed hardpack and make turns without using a lot of energy. The Rossignol Experience 76 CI is the perfect equipment to help you progress faster when just starting. The reason is due to its construction, which has all these attributes.

Almost every ski brand has its entry-level ski, but nearly all of them are only toned-down versions of their top-on-the-line skis. Rossignol Experience 76 CI, on the other hand, ticks all the boxes in this category. The Experience 76 is a toned-down version of the Experience 88, but it removed the strong underpinnings to make the 76 narrower and more flexible.

Overall, Experience 76 is beginner-friendly, but it’s still a great ski even as you improve your skills. Unlike other entry-level skis that do not fit a fast learner, this will be a good ski even for intermediate users.

Purchase

Rossignol Experience 88 TiBest Ski for Groomers: Rossignol Experience 88 Ti

Every season, Experience 88 consistently hits my radar for being a top favorite with its groomer performance. This season is a bit different when Rossi gave it an overhaul and engineered it with design elements that put it on top of this category.

The Rossignol Experience 88 Ti hooks up quickly and has an excellent construction on edge. To be specific, it has the right stiffness that makes anyone feel confident with its stability even at top speed. However, with an 88-millimeter waist and very minimal metal used for its design, the Experience 88 Ti may not be optimal for soft snow and power users.

All in all, the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti may not carry a lot of power. Even so, it still manages to hold well through crud with excellent stability, making it the best ski for groomers to use even on a light powder day.

Purchase

Prior Northwest 110Best Ski for Powder: Prior Northwest 110

Professional athletes are looking for a ski that has the power to nuke powder, dependability on crushing bumps, and the speed to dash through spectators, and the Northwest 110 has all of these capabilities.

110-millimeter skis are great for skiing untracked snow, but if you start hitting soft snow, these skis will always be cumbersome. The Prior Northwest 110 stands out when it comes to this aspect. It has excellent stability at speed and exceptional power when on edge. Plus, it carved so well in hard snow and made it almost unbelievable. It is also built with a waist that is wide enough to keep you afloat even when faced with deep pockets, making it perfect for skiers who only go on-piste with six inches or more.

One of the biggest reasons it got the top spot for this category is that Prior will customize your ski, depending on your preference. Whether you like fiberglass or carbon and add custom graphics, they will do it for you. Customization is something that very few brands will do, and it is a huge plus for me.

Purchase

K2 Wayback 106Best Ski for Backcountry: K2 Wayback 106

With so much unpredictability and uncertainty in backcountry skiing, a great ski should be able to take on whatever gets in your way.

The K2 Wayback 106 a is a mid-winter ski that is specially engineered for skiing powder. It has a waist of 106-millimeter with a rockered profile, making it easier to stay above the surface and make quick turns with less effort. It dashed through a 22-meter turn radius, blasting wind crust while feeling short and nimble in tight trees. Even in more unpredictable landscapes, it still offers excellent maneuverability, power, and stability.

By using a light wood core, K2 managed to keep its weight at 3.3 lbs, which is perfect for a 179-centimeter platform. Plus, the ski has a unique top sheet that seems like it sheds snow and ice, allowing it to perform well even on the way up. With its capability to adapt to various conditions, the K2 Wayback 106 is undoubtedly an excellent weapon for backcountry skiing.

Purchase

Rossignol React R8 TiBest Ski for Carving: Rossignol React R8 Ti

There are only a handful of skis that will help you ski more, and Rossi’s React R8 Ti tops this category for effectively making carving an effortless task. The nice tip and tail rocker, flex, and the added width at the tip make it feel like the ski is doing the turn for me. It releases the carve with power, which makes it seem like it accelerates after each turn.

Rossignol React R8 Ti is not designed to be an all-mountain ski, but it is very predictable and also smooth in lightly tracked up back bowls. On-piste carvers require extra effort, but the React R8 Ti stood out by being the opposite. It was fun, smooth, and effortless to use, so much so that I don’t want to take it off.

Purchase

Armada ARV 86Best Ski for Park: Armada ARV 86

A great park ski should do well on the rails and pipe. Also, it should perform nicely in the air. I took it up a notch and found the best product in all of these aspects and still allowed me to trek the mountains with ease. The Armada ARV 86 came out on top of any of this category because it does everything at once. Maybe not the best, but doing all of it and allowing you to blast bumps and beat the groomer on your way back is the reason why it topped my list.

ARV 86 has very thick edges and tough sidewalls that make you feel confident in crushing whatever comes your way. Armada made sure that this ski is very tough, yet it’s light enough for you to maneuver in the air. The camber profile that it uses creates a lot of pop for mid-air maneuvers and just going over everything.

The Armada ARV 86 maybe an average performer in all aspects, but it’s quite a challenge to find another ski that can do everything that it does and be better at every turn. Those reasons made this ski on top of this category.

Purchase

The post The 14 Best Skis in 2020 appeared first on Improb.

The 10 Best Snowboards in 2020 Reviews & Buyers Guide

 

Snowboarding is one of the most exciting activities you can do this winter season. Imagine the thrill of descending a slope covered with snow while you stand on a board attached to your feet. It’s one way to enjoy the beauty of nature, compete with others, and at the same time, express yourself.

If you want to rip through snow, then you need to get a snowboard first. Snowboards these days come in various types, designs, and materials that it can be confusing to pick one. This article will help you shop for the right snowboard.

While snowboarding has been around for nearly a century, the modern snowboard we know today can be traced to the toy invented by an engineer, Sherman Poppen. He fastened two skis together and attached a rope to one end so that her daughter would be able to control her pace as she glided downhill.

Today, snowboards can be classified into five categories. There’s the all-mountain snowboard that can work on any terrain, the freestyle snowboard that’s best used in parks, and the freeride snowboard that is best for ungroomed snow. You may also pick the powder type, which is ideal for use in deep snow, or the splitboard, which is best used in the backcountry.

Here are the 10 best snowboards.

Table of Contents

The Top Snowboards

  • Best All-Mountain Snowboard: Burton Deep Thinker
  • Best Bang for the Buck All-Mountain Snowboard: Jones Explorer
  • Best Freestyle Snowboard: Burton Paramount Camber
  • Best Cheap Freestyle Snowboard: Rome Factory Rocker
  • Best Snowboard for Beginners: Burton Ripcord Snowboard
  • Best Powder Snowboard: Jones Storm Chaser
  • Best Affordable Powder Snowboard: Capita Spring Break Slusher Slasher
  • Best Splitboard: Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member
  • Best Freestyle Snowboard: Never Summer Funslinger
  • Best Park Snowboard: Salomon Huck Knife Snowboard

More

  • Best Snowboard Bags

Burton Deep ThinkerBest All-Mountain Snowboard: Burton Deep Thinker

Designed and built for advanced to expert riders, the Burton Deep Thinker is an aggressive, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing all-mountain snowboard.

Danny Davis, a world-renowned rider, is the designer of this retro-looking, directionally shaped snowboard. Noted for his smooth and creative style of riding, Davis created this board to transfer more pop in the tail with its slightly longer nose.

Moreover, some of the sections of its core are thinner than the rest for more energy and enhanced control. Varying core thickness also provides more flexibility and strength in strategic areas of the core.

Still, count on it to provide generous float and control. With its 7mm tapered design, riders should have no trouble initiating a turn or making an exit.

Stability is another strong suit of this snowboard. You can be assured of a secure onboard experience with its narrow waist width and stiff flex. And while the nose is long, there is minimal chatter, thanks to the stiff flex of the snowboard.

You’ll get your money’s worth with this all-mountain snowboard. Aside from its reasonable price, it can also be ridden all over the mountain, further justifying its price tag. While there are cheaper options, you can be assured that you’re getting the best all-mountain snowboard in the Burton Deep Thinker.

Purchase

Jones ExplorerBest Bang for the Buck All-Mountain Snowboard: Jones Explorer

This product is a forgiving all-mountain type that’s affordable, making it the best bang for the buck all-mountain snowboard today. It’s ideal for beginners and intermediate users, as it is agile and versatile. It is maneuverable in-between bumps, thanks to its ease of use. Moreover, it provides average flotation with its blunted tip and rockered nose.

The Jones Explorer has a beautiful graphic that makes it stand out from the rest. But it’s not all about the looks as this snowboard is built to deliver top-notch performance. It feels agile, energetic, and strong on park laps and backcountry lines.

This snowboard can easily handle both powder and jump lines with its directional rocker profile. On the snow, it feels stable underfoot. The camber in between the feet has something to do with it. As for edge hold, this snowboard is best in hard snow, yet it can handle ice patches, too.

In short, the Jones Explorer is an affordable ride that offers good directional float. It’s arguably the best bang for the buck all-mountain snowboard in the market today.

Purchase

Burton Paramount CamberBest Freestyle Snowboard: Burton Paramount Camber

The Burton Paramount camber is available in three lengths, which are 155, 158, and 162 cm. The board has a slightly bowed middle that straightens out when you put down your weight on it. This profile helps riders make powerful turns.

With the Paramount, intermediate to advanced users should be able to launch off a vertical slope quickly. The familiar twin-tip shape facilitates clean entry while the medium overall flex provides support and stability when stomping landings. It also gives riders versatility in performing all sorts of tricks and a balanced ride most of the time.

Aside from being durable, this snowboard has an FSC-certified Super Fly II core, which combines sturdy and lightweight woods for a great deal of pop. The build also remains lightweight; hence, you won’t feel weighed down when you ride across the slopes. Likewise, it is streamlined to create an excellent edge hold and provide more strength.

This snowboard features a mounting system called the Channel that would let you place your feet in an optimal position on the board. It also enables you to control where your feet would go for optimum comfort and performance.

Purchase

Rome Factory RockerBest Cheap Freestyle Snowboard: Rome Factory Rocker

When it comes to freestyle snowboard, the Rome Factory Rocker is perhaps the best value for money. Rome is a brand known for its high quality yet affordable freestyle decks, and the Factory Rocker is a prime example.

This freestyle snowboard has a pope core matrix known for its excellent combination of lightness and response. Built from warm and robust wood, it features two zones of light wood species. It also has rebound sidewalls with elastomeric compounds designed to absorb impacts when landing on a rail. So, this snowboard can let you enjoy longer snowboarding sessions.

The base of this snowboard is reliable, fast, and easy to repair. Rome also added bamboo stringers through the core for extra snap and energy. Those bamboo stringers won’t break down as quickly as other composite materials.

Another essential feature of the Rome Factory is the QuickRip Sidecut featuring two off-set sidecuts that lead to one sidecut zone in the nose. There’s also a sidecut zone in between the feet and another in the tail, giving extra contact points along the edge for much better turn initiation.

Rome also deviated from the norm by creating bumps called ‘mid-contact points’ at areas near the bindings. These add edge hold and enhance turning response at high speed while serving at contact points at slow speed.

Purchase

Burton Ripcord SnowboardBest Snowboard for Beginners: Burton Ripcord Snowboard

If you are a beginner who wants to take your snowboarding skills to the next level, consider getting the Burton Ripcord. It is loaded with features that can hasten your progression into a more skilled snowboarder, including a directional shape, channel mounting system, and soft flex. And, it comes from arguably the largest and most respected snowboard brand in the world today.

This snowboard has a 5mm taper directional shape, giving it a nose that is longer than the tail for enhanced pop. Beginner riders like you will benefit from the improved stability and control of this model. It also makes entry and exit easier while giving you enough flotation in deep snow.

It has a flat profile that would give you superior control, enhanced balance, and stability. Its channel mounting system, meanwhile, makes it compatible with major binding models, including that of Burton’s. You’ll have lots of stance options, and consequently, you’ll be able to ride on any terrain comfortably.

The core of this board is engineered with Squeezebox Low, which creates stiffer zones outside of your feet. This feature allows you to transfer more energy to the tip and tail and consequently improve your ride.

Purchase

Jones Storm ChaserBest Powder Snowboard: Jones Storm Chaser

One of the first companies to come out with powder snowboards, Jones also has arguably the best powder snowboard today in the Storm Chaser. Designed by Chris Christenson, a renowned surfboard shaper, it has been in the market for several years now. The latest iteration features a carbon strip for improved long-term flex and extra pop. However, it looks remarkably like the previous models, particularly those released in 2017 and 2018.

The Jones Storm Chaser is lightweight with a medium to medium-stiff flex. It has a wooden core with bamboo stringers in the pocket of the sidecut, delivering power and superior edge response.

This directional powder board is designed for intermediate to advanced riders. It can easily handle power with its power-packed shallow tail.

You can also be assured of a stable ride with its progressive side cut. The core has also been lightened while the nose enhanced with web-fused carbon for reduced chatter and improved dampening.

The Jones Storm Chaser is a champ in the powder. You’ll feel like surfing snow when you ride on it. On snow, it is stable than most continuous rocker boards. It maneuvers well on powder, light, and fluffy snow. Plus, it is surprisingly easy to get in and out of the trees. Its fast base, meanwhile, lets it maintain speed and glide well.

Purchase

Capita Spring Break Slusher SlasherBest Affordable Powder Snowboard: Capita Spring Break Slusher Slasher

The Capita Spring Break Slusher Slasher is not as refined as the Jones Storm Chaser, but if you’re a beginner or on a budget, this little powder/slush board should be a more practical choice.

As the name tells you, this snowboard is designed for springtime. It’s a specialized board that you can ride in slush and powder.

It is made of an FSC-certified Select Core with a wood grain that extends from edge to edge and tip to tail. Moreover, it has no knots or finger joints, resulting in enhanced response and a uniform flex pattern. Its Superdrive EX base, meanwhile, enables the board to resist abrasion and deliver a smooth glide.

The board features a party profile with the camber mid-section having a flat kick nose and mellow tail. This profile allows the board’s nose to rise above slush. Meanwhile, the radial sidecut is of a single radius design and responsible for the board starting a finishing a turn on the same arc.

The Slusher Slasher is perfect in slush with its profile and surface area. It is also a great board to carve with, thanks to its narrow turn line. Surprisingly, it is also pretty tolerable on uneven terrain. Because it is short, it can easily get around bumps.

However, this is not a board that would appeal to riders looking for speed. You can’t also expect it to perform well on jumps. And since it has no tail, this board is not ideal for switching.

Despite those limitations, the Slusher Slasher remains a good pick for riders looking for an affordable powder snowboard.

Purchase

Lib Tech T. Rice Gold MemberBest Splitboard: Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member

With a split board, you can explore the backcountry. This type of snowboard splits into a couple of halves for touring and traveling uphill.

Skins backed with adhesive are attached to the base of the ski, providing you with traction on snow. You can then remove the skins once you have reached the top of the slope and transform it again into a snowboard.

There are many splitboards to choose from, but the Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member is the prime choice for many advanced and expert riders. You’ll have to spend a fortune on this snowboard, though. Still, you can be assured of a smooth and thrilling ride with this model. This product is an ultra-lightweight, versatile, and durable split board that is worth your money.

This snowboard has a C2 profile that gives a balanced mixture of rocker/camber. The camber underfoot is worth mentioning as it makes flying this board easy. Then there are the seven Magne-Traction contact points that stick out and augment edge control and hold. Think of it as a serrated knife cutting into hard surfaces.

As for the skins of this split board, it can quickly hook up to the notched swallowtail. The core of the board is made of locally-sourced woods, such as Aspen, Birch, Balsa, and Paulownia.

Purchase

Never Summer FunslingerBest Freestyle Snowboard: Never Summer Funslinger

The 2019 version of the Never Summer Funslinger continues the legacy of perhaps the best freestyle snowboard in the world. This product is a snappy board that excels in the park. It can be easily mistaken for a rail board, thanks mainly to its soft flex. And, it performs well on jumps and transitions.

2019 Never Summer Funslinger has an aggressive hybrid camber with the rocker placed between the feet and the camber underfoot located towards the tips. This feature minimizes the pressure over the contact points and makes it difficult to catch edges. But the camber remains stable and responsive just like more traditional models. You will also love the added flexibility and playfulness from the rocker zone placed between the feet.

This snowboard has an asymmetrical twin shape with a designated toe and heel edge, resulting in more power and control in the turns. The board is made of Press Flex Core with two separate flexing points, giving you a better hinge point for presses. The base, meanwhile, is of high-density construction for lasting durability and extreme speed.

Other extra features that make this snowboard a must-buy include the low profile tip and tail for enhanced landing stability and elastomeric underfoot stabilizers that increase stability without affecting speed.

Purchase

Salomon Huck Knife SnowboardBest Park Snowboard: Salomon Huck Knife Snowboard

The Salomon Huck Knife Snowboard hasn’t seen drastic changes since its 2017 model. Yet, it remains as the best park snowboard, ideal for people who spend most of their time in the park.

This snowboard is designed for intermediate to expert riders, and it is lightweight, fast, durable, and fun to ride. It has a medium flex and a quad camber, providing a decent response, pop, and agility. The camber underfoot leads into rocker zones at contact points for extra pop.

The board has True Twin shape, constructed the same from tip to tail, and assuring you of the same performance in both regular and switch. It has a curved Radial sidecut that gives you a grippy, fun, and agile edge.

The core is full Aspen wood, while the sintered base delivers superior speed. You should be able to go faster for an extended period with this board.

Other extra features of this board worth noting are the specially shaped core profile that gives an extra snap to ollies, and the triaxial fiberglass that enhances stability and durability. It also has carbon inlays for good response underfoot and freestyle edge bevel for freestyle riding.

Purchase

 

Previous Picks

Through the 90s, the construction of snowboards remained more or less like ski devices. Generally, boards were made of level blades and regular camber.

A decade later, snowboards started becoming more inspired by surfing equipment. These were originally sold for better riding on powder. Soon, snowboard designs started changing and so did riders’ preferences. A number of riders turned to these newly-designed, minimal-tailed boards for everyday practice.

Fast forward to 2019, and you will find varieties swarming the marketplace. Some think that for snowboard designing, this is the most inspiring-era. But then, who knows what innovation will make a grand entry in the future?

But right now, you can look around, browse through specifications, and choose from a wide range of available designs. The correct option will draw regular benefits on the mountain, performing better on each turn and providing you increased and delightful experience on the snow.

Selecting a snowboard is not an easy job. So many diverse kinds of boards are available that you can face a paralysis of choice! Before picking up a snowboard, it is better to know what your requirements are exactly. You should also consider the type of terrain where you will be using your snowboard.

Here are our recommendations for more of the best snowboards.

Jones Storm ChaserJones Storm Chaser

Most of the boards are created for common folks. Then, there are some that are specially crafted for legends. This is one of the boards from the second category. Jeremy Jones was a legendary freerider, and this board was created for him by Chris Christenson, who himself was a gifted surfboard shaper and had spent 26 years in the craft of shaping boards.

The version created for Jones included a serrated edge. This technology produces a stable grip on the rail if the terrain becomes slippery. On powdery tracks, the enormous drift of the deck is supplemented by it swallowtail. This great board has become even better with the presence of a slimmer core crafted with carbon stringers and bamboo pieces. This provides the Storm Chaser with just a tad extra stiffness.

Purchase

Ride MTN PigRide MTN Pig

The MTN Pig has a somewhat unique look. It has a blunt nose with a half-moon shaped tail and a mostly monochromatic design, including the dominance of natural wood. These distinguishing features make it stand apart from most of the other boards.

The MTN Pig has polyurethane edges that reduce clattering while riding through any rough type of snow (also called “chunder”). This is to say that this board is not meant for soft and slow riding for any intermediate rider. The MTN Pig is tailor-made for hard and speedy rides. If you are not looking for those kinds of thrills, then this board is certainly not for you. However, if you enjoy riding as if there is going to be no tomorrow, then try out this board. You will not find big advertisements shouting out its unique characteristics, but the MTN Pig is an excellent all-mountain piece of gear.

The board has a stiff hybrid camber, built for high-speed rides and sharp adventures.

Purchase

Lib Tech T. Rice OrcaLib Tech T. Rice Orca

This particular snowboard comes in three sizes: 159, 153, and 147. The inclination towards short and solid snowboards has been prevalent for the last few years. Large companies such as K2 scored an excellent response when they pushed a campaign of changing the mass by trimming down the board length and increasing the width. The new Orca snowboard exemplifies that increased volume change approach.

The Orca has a thick middle. The longer models are of 26.7 cm, and the 147 has 25.7cm. This increased width provides excellent performance in the powder and is a special comfort for riders with big feet. Wide, but not too wide, the Orca is fabulous for small, quick turns, providing a smooth ride in tight trees, whether the snow is fresh or has been skied out.

This board is manufactured by the Lib Tech company, which produces its boards locally and uses non-toxic substances in board-production.

Purchase

GNU Head SpaceGNU Head Space

The Head Space has an asymmetrical design and comes in four sizes. GNU has been pursuing this unusual design for pro models for years. It has created two models for freestyle athlete Forest Bailey. The Head Space is one of those two.

This snowboard has a hybrid camber – one in the front and another trailing the bindings. This provides a soft rocker between the rider’s feet. With a mellow flex, the Head Space gives you a solid foundation in difficult conditions. It has a core built from paulownia wood and sustainably harvested aspen, which produces loads of drift.

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K2 BroadcastK2 Broadcast

If you are looking for “budget boards,” then you will not find much difference between boards for entry-level riders and for pro-level. Almost all entry-level boards have starting prices close to $400-$450, and the priciest ones come in around $600.

The K2 company has introduced the Broadcast in a different freeride mold. This company has been manufacturing skis for many years and was among the first innovators to embraced the switch to thick skis for powder skiing. The Broadcast is a popular choice among the preferred freeride snowboards for 2019. Its price is an added attraction since it happens to be nearly $200 lower than some of the other boards in a similar category.

The Broadcast has a hybrid shape that depends more on camber, making it amazingly responsive. This snowboard is highly suitable for riders in the intermediate or above categories. It is excellent for fast riding. Its camber ensures a sturdy deck with plenty of rush.

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Burton CustomBurton Custom

When discussing legendary snowboards, the top of the list is always occupied by the Burton Custom. This board has been dominating the Burton production line for many years. The original Custom was produced in 1996. The generally exceptional freeride board is now accessible in two designs for the new season.

The Flying V version has a combination of rocker and camber, which makes it an outstanding snowboard for riders of intermediate skills. It is crafted for an all-mountain experience and carries the right balance of soft and stiff. With its average stiffness, an all-day ride will still be comfortable.

As for its camber, the Custom also covers a fairly balanced combination of camber and rocker. The board is quite perceptive but not overly so. That means you’ll be safe from getting caught in any rough edges in case your mind wanders off after a long day and your usually perky riding slips for a clumsy moment. This is another reason snowboarding has become a tad smoother than it used to be in the era of boards having only cambers. That was fine for expert riders who could handle sharp responses of the board. For less skilled riders, that kind of intense responsiveness was too much to manage.

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Venture StormVenture Storm

This solid board is named after a legendary peak of the San Juan Mountains because of its functionality. The Storm is a preferred device for climbing and sliding down the steep slopes of mountains. It is crafted by a select bunch of experienced snowboarders from Silverton in Colorado. These snowboards from Venture feel exclusive. As soon as you slip them on, you can sense that this is a board crafted with love for the mountains.

Venture boards are generally thickly built, but for this new season, the Storm has been given a new, lighter core. The earlier heaviness provided strength in spades, but the new core takes off some of that weight.

The Storm possesses an unusual hybrid camber, which is flat, instead of resting between the feet. This is excellent for riding in powder but can turn slightly rough when out in the uneven snow.

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Arbor Bryan IguchiArbor Bryan Iguchi

The Arbor brand has two models that include a rocker and a camber variant. These models are tilted towards being stiffer. The camber version is an extraordinarily responsive board, the kind of which you cannot find anywhere else on earth. Before you even start using it, you will become aware of its weight. You will find it slightly heavier than most of the other models. Some riders criticize this for tipping the balance scales, but there are also others who admire the extra weight. Once you slip your feet in, you notice that that tail and the tip have a minimal rise. While riding in the fresh snow, this is quite helpful in keeping the board on top of the snow and protecting from sudden shifts.

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Bataleon CarverBataleon Carver

If you are going to search for the best carving boards, then the Bataleon Carver will be among them. This snowboard is suitable for advanced riders. Those who are still trying to figure out how to keep their balance while making turns have a lot to learn before they can use this carving board.

It has a wide waist and depends on its range. Its board has a unique profile. On one hand, it has a traditional camber that runs from tip to tail, but its edges rise from left to right. This will give you all the drift and sharp input of a cambered product, but none of the drawback of edges that easily catch. Carbon stringers of medium stiffness run through the deck of the Bataleon Carver, rendering enough power for you to complete turns.

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Salomon Sick StickSalomon Sick Stick

Snowboarding is an art developed with the help of science, but what is the use of all this craftsmanship if designers do not make room for having fun on their snowboards? The good thing is, now designers are placing emphasis on the fun part of snowboarding and evolving their designs towards spirited, pleasant models that zing like arrows and strike as if competing with surfboards. The Sick Stick is the best example of “Return of The Fun-Loving Snowboarding.”

This multi-year old, run-of-the-mill model has been revamped to create specific shapes for different sizes. The traditional pintail that characterized this board has been given a farewell. Now, the model with the widest waist (the 151) also has the smallest deck. This one is designed to glide pass the turns in powdery terrain. The 157 is crafted as an all-mountain glider and has a linear design to tackle curves. The 162 is given extended length and its sidecut provides stability at a higher pace. This one is suitable for freeride performance.

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CAPiTA Kazu Kokubo ProCAPiTA Kazu Kokubo Pro

Kokubo’s pro model is a solemn all-mountain freestyle tool that’s handy to take out on any type of snow. Going by Kazu Kokubo’s exceptional reputation as a prolific snowboarder, it is not surprising that his inspiration is etched into these boards.

This pro model is a practical freeride board with traditional camber, a mild taper, and mid flex pattern completed by and a slim waist. Notwithstanding what conditions you want to test these boards in, you will not find these fine devices lacking in any department. Usually, riders will come up with one or two wishlists for their boards, but those who tested these boards were at a loss of words to find any flaw or suggestions for improvement. That is the perfection of craftsmanship that has gone into creating these snowboards.

This board provides support to the riders’ feet in all and different kinds of conditions. Try it, and your feet may want to remain glued to this pro model.

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Endeavor LiveEndeavor Live

The Live is best suited for versatile terrain and is known for its durability. This board comes in a number of lengths, with some wide varieties too. The Live has a twin tip with moderate flexing. The board carries a positive camber and its tip and tail are adorned with usual rocker. These characteristics produce a quick response and steady hold, with a higher lightness. Its contact points are mildly elevated, which helps in minimizing catching and also increase its buoy.

The board boasts of two laminate layers of fiberglass that has an extra dose of carbon to produce a uniform flex and packs good drift. The board has a fused core that enhances its durability. It also has sidewalls crafted with malleable polyurethane to subdue the usual clang and clatter.

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Bataleon GoliathBataleon Goliath

When you want a board that is suitable for all snow terrains, you can go for Goliath. You will be delighted with this all-terrain tool. It has all the qualities of a trustworthy board. It is solid, packs a pop, and provides a smooth ride. It contains three laminate layers of fiberglass to generate accurate body-flex, which also helps in performing quick ollies. The board makes good use of carbon to help with an extra load of snappiness, and the Kevlar makes sure that the added snap is achieved without any stiffness or extra weight.

The Goliath has slightly raised edges in essential sections. This is to give a brisk pop and steady grip of camber, ensuring catch-free execution, responsive shift between edges, and a robust carving. Its elongated nose is specifically designed to achieve float in powdery conditions.

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ACADEMY PROPAGANDAACADEMY PROPAGANDA

Got freestyle riding on your mind? Then go for this zero-camber, stylish board and take advantage of privileges available to every level of rider. It has a multi-functional, medium flex grade, and a convenient, smooth aspect.

Academy has created this board with a Press Flex Core, which generates pop in the style of a more conventional chamber but does away with any catchiness. Its impressive Carbon VXR Laminate Technology is excellent for getting a fast response as well as enhanced body balance. Its special base quickens the pace and stability. The board’s tip and tail have a special Harmonic Damper, Elastomeric Stabilizers and FDS System that provide more balance by absorbing vibrations at all speeds, resulting in a proper, smooth ride.

This is a board that uses a ton of technology to deliver the slickest ride.

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Before you make your choice, remember that the most significant component of your snowboard is its core. Normally, the core is built from different types of wood, which alter the character of the ride. Several manufacturing companies also use pieces from separate trees inside of a particular core. For example, you may come across a few Lib Tech boards that carry three distinct varieties of wood. There are also companies that produce cores from foam materials.

Manufacturers carve cores in a special way. Those areas are kept thin where you require increased flex and other areas are created thick. Although snowboards are manufactured using heavy machinery, you will be surprised to know that it also involves a lot of fine craftsmanship.

 

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The 8 Best Smith Machines 2020 Reviews and Buyers Guides

 

Home gym equipment, such as treadmills and elliptical machines, vary in size, ease of use, and build quality. Smith machines are no different.

Designed for novice to intermediate fitness enthusiasts, smith machines are versatile workout equipment. It usually consists of a barbell mounted in between vertical guide rails for vertical lifting. These machines combine exercises such as squats, pull-ups, bicep curls, dips, lateral pulls, and calf raises, among others. It presents a superior alternative to free weights lifting, something that a home weight lifter and even professional body lifters will appreciate.

Smith machines can help you build muscle mass and improve your stress. Over the long run, continued use of a smith machine can help you improve your posture, increase dexterity, and improve your stamina.

Here are the best smith machines:

Marcy Combo Smith MachineMarcy Combo Smith Machine

If you’re looking for a decent workout machine with good features and a budget-friendly price, then the Marcy Combo Smith Machine may just be what you need.

This smith machine is designed to last for a long time. Made of top-quality and highly durable 14-gauge steel tubing, this smith machine is as solid as any home gym equipment. It won’t be moved or shaken when you are using it.

It can help you strengthen and tone your thighs, legs, arms, and core with a combination of a pull-up bar, leg developer, and cable crossovers. The utility bench is removable and should let you have a full range of exercises. The bench is also padded so you can stay comfortable during your workouts.

This machine has a weight limit of 400 pounds, so you should be able to use it without worrying about it breaking down.

It is also reasonably priced and comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Purchase

Body-Solid Powerline Smith MachineBody-Solid Powerline Smith Machine

This smith machine is recommended for people who have limited space at home. It’s sturdy and easy to assemble, too.

With dimensions of 45 inches long, 80 inches tall, and 76 inches wide, this smith machine should not take up as much space as other home gym equipment. It should take you an hour or so to put it all together.

It has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. The mainframe is a ladder-type with full-length, 12-gauge square pillars. Fourteen lock-out points enable the machine to deliver a good foundation during heavy routines.

With this smith machine, you can perform exercises such as bench presses, squats, and shoulder shrugs, among others.

It comes with safety features, too, such as the safety spotter catch system. This dual-lock system prevents the bar from pinning the user by turning the pivot sleeve in a 15-degree angle. Huge pop pins, meanwhile, can be easily and quickly adjusted to help you achieve a safe and pre-determined stop.

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Yukon Caribou III Smith MachineYukon Caribou III Smith Machine

This is an entry-level smith machine that is easy to assemble, compact, and reasonably priced.

When fully assembled, it measures 48 x 68 x 85 inches. It is durable and can support users who weigh up to 400 pounds. It is ideal for use of novice and intermediate fitness enthusiasts. It also comes with a chin-up bar that comes in handy in training and strengthening the back.

This smith machine is well-made. For example, the pull-up bar is sturdy and secure. The pull-down bar, meanwhile, is sufficient for lateral work. The bench is well-padded and works well with its slide adjustment on the back. There is also a leg attachment to train that part of the body.

Purchase

Marcy Combo Smith Strength Home Gym Machine 5276Marcy Combo Smith Strength Home Gym Machine 5276

Marcy Combo gets another model onto this list with its Home Gym Machine 5276. This all-in-one home gym equipment showcases a variety of exercises to strengthen and tone the legs, arms, thighs, and core. It is not only a smith machine but also a leg developer, cable crossover, and pull-up bar in one.

This is as durable as any home gym equipment in the market today. It is made of 14-gauge square steel tubing, enough for it to support up to 400 pounds of muscle. Putting it together should take you a few hours, so make sure you have enough help if ever you buy this model.

When assembled, the cage dimension is at 65 inches by 72 inches and 84.5 inches. The assembled bench dimension, meanwhile, is 68 x 26 x 45.5 inches. In short, this smith machine should fit your home gym.

There are four storage posts in this machine for organizing your weight plates. The utility bench is removable and can support a wide range of strength exercises. There is a workout bench that is fully padded and adjustable to different positions. The press bar features adjustable bar catches and safety stops.

To strengthen and tone your upper body, this unit comes with cable crossovers and Smith-style press bar. The leg developer, meanwhile, strengthens and tones the lower body muscles. The bottom pulley and leg developer are also ideal for training the legs and thighs particularly in targeting the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

In short, this is an absolutely amazing machine that may take hours to put together but worth the ordeal once you’re finished.

Purchase

Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith MachineValor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine

This is a no-frills smith machine that’s tough, durable, and well-designed. It is a good choice if you don’t have enough space at home. It is also intended for users of any experience level, offering workouts of various resistance. Capable of handling up to 1,000 pounds of weights with relative ease, this smith machine offers smooth and reliable performance.

This is a heavy-duty machine made of 12-gauge steel for increased strength and stability. It also ensures that the frame will be able to support the user and the weights. The solid steel bar latch support, linear bearings, and bar rotation can withstand the most challenging and intense lifts.

This is a versatile home gym machine that will let you perform different workouts without a spotter. You can improve your upper body strength performing exercises such as squats and bench press on this machine. You can also perform other workouts such as calf raises, shrugs, rows, and upright rows and achieve a complete body workout.

You can also customize this smith machine by using or adding products under the Valor Fitness brand. The said brand offers more than 400 various fitness products, some of which you can use on this smith machine. For instance, you can add lifting chains and bumper plates on this smith machine to vary your workouts and make your exercises a little more challenging. There are also plate racks for storing plates and adding to the stability of the unit itself.

This smith machine is recommended to users with limited space at home. Its dimensions are 80 x 12 x 10 inches (H x W x L). It is also not as heavy as other home gym equipment, weighing around 50 pounds.

The BE-11 smith machine from Valor Fitness is sturdy, smooth, and versatile for numerous exercises. It is one of the top-rated smith machines in the market today.

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Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional TrainerInspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer

This is a high-end smith machine that is quite pricey. But if budget is no concern to you, then you must consider getting the Inspire Fitness Ft2. It has a unique design that eliminates the need for using Olympic weight plates by integrating the Olympic weight stacks and bar. It can be considered a complete weight training machine that also happens to have a smith machine function.

It comes with eight pull points, allowing its users to maximize the versatility and efficiency of the machine. There are a couple of pull points found upfront. This can be adjusted from above your head all the way to your feet. It lets you perform numerous exercises such as incline presses, chest presses, close grip presses, lateral raises, bicep curls, and squats, among others.

Then there are two high pull points placed above your head and designed to support exercises like lateral pulldowns. Four low pull points are also placed at the rear of the machine for exercises such as bicep curls, rowing, and much more.

As for the smith machine function, the Smith bar of this unit will enable you to perform curls, lunges, presses, and other exercises. It can also be adjusted to different positions and let you add variety to your workouts. There is also a multiple grip chin bar for performing pull-ups and grip chin-ups.

Another outstanding feature of this smith machine is the inclusion of weight stacks, meaning there is no need to acquire weight plates. With the weight multiplier option of this smith machine, you can double the weight or resistance of any exercise.

Additionally, multiple accessories are thrown into the package such as triceps rope, EZ curl bar, straight bar, swing handle, a handy belt for multiple uses, and ankle puff. To say that you are getting your money’s worth with this smith machine is an obvious understatement.

For reference, the dimensions of this unit without a bench is 61 inches wide and 58 inches deep. With the bench, the numbers are 61 inches wide and 89 inches deep.

With its numerous features, unique design, and stable base, this functional trainer/smith machine from Inspire Fitness is certainly worth your money.

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Bodycraft Jones Freedom MachineBodycraft Jones Freedom Machine

This smith machine from Bodycraft is well-built, versatile, and reasonably priced. It won’t blow you away with its features, but you’ll likely get enough support for your exercises with this smith machine.

Versatility is the most notable characteristic of this smith machine. With its numerous linear bearing tracks, you can enjoy a wide range of movement using this smith machine. Unlike other smith machines that only feature a vertical linear bearing track system, it offers a horizontal linear bearing track that lets you raise the bar and move it forward and backward. This benefits you as you can perform a wide range of exercises, even as you keep your body’s normal range of motion.

Both linear bearing tracks are equipped with heavy-duty springs to prevent the bar and plates from moving far forward or backward or even crashing into the ground. This is a nice safety feature of this smith machine. It also has numerous bar hooks to go along with safety spotters designed to ensure your safety.

The tracks, bearings, and other parts of the machine are made of high-grade materials to ensure the integrity and safety of this unit. The frame is made of metal that can hold up a lot of weight. It can support users who weigh up to 350 pounds.

This is also a fairly compact item that should fit well even in small homes. Listed dimensions are 42 x 55 x 83 inches.

Purchase

Body Solid GS348Q Series 7Body Solid GS348Q Series 7

Compared to some of the units on this list, the Body Solid GS348Q is a fairly simple and basic smith machine. But it has the features to help you stay in shape. It is also compact with assembled dimensions of 83 x 66 x 64 inches (H x L x W).

This unit features lockout points for enhanced safety. Thanks to these lockout points, you can be assured that the bar can be safely supported during your workouts. It can also be stopped at any time, especially when your safety is on the line. With the lockout points, the bar will surely not fall or crash down on your face.

This model also has a free weight rack system featuring lift-off points and 17-inch safeties. This lets you pick the position you’ll want to start and stop your lifting.

It is made of top-quality parts with a solid steel frame, ensuring the stability of the unit. You can have the peace of mind knowing that this unit won’t break, bend, or tip over anytime soon. This smith machine can support users who weigh up to 400 pounds.

Purchase

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