Staff Picks: Best Snowboards of 2018

Lib Tech TRS
Lib Tech TRS 2018

The Lib Tech TRS has always been the swiss army knife of snowboards.  It’s infamous for doing everything incredibly well in all conditions, from charging steep pow lines to jibbing in the park and shredding the resort.  It features the C2X rocker profile, which has extended camber zones under foot and subtle rocker in the middle.  This hybrid rocker profile has quickly become the go-to when it comes to all mountain freestyle boards.  In my opinion, the rocker absorbs more of the chop and the crud you encounter in the resort, plus it allows you to run more of a twin shape in deeper snow (I still set my bindings back 1″ or so on pow-days).  However, the extended camber zones of the XC2 profile give the board the grip, pop, and responsiveness that many hybrid rockered boards lack.  This year, the TRS got upgraded to Lib’s HP core, making it torsionally stiffer and stronger on edge.  Plus, with Lib Tech’s original Magne-Traction, this board absolutely rips on hardpack.

Capita Ultrafear 2018
Capita Ultrafear

The Capita Ultrafear has been featured in more video parts than Matt Damon.  It also takes you to outer space, so they have that in common as well.  It’s profile is flat to rocker, and it’s flex pattern is strong between the inserts and tapered towards the tips.  It also features one of Capita’s most advanced cores: a Paulownia Poplar blend with cork dampening, kevlar, ti reinforcement, and an all-new glass and resin mixture.  This board jibs well enough for Scott Stevens, slashes pow all day, and is a total blast all over the mountain.  I’m a big fan of the flat rocker profile in this construction.  It is super solid between the inserts to add pop and increase stability without the use of camber, plus you get all the benefits of a rockered board in when your surfing powder or jibbing in the park.

Salomon Sick Stick 157
Salomon Sick Stick

The 2018 Salomon Sick Stick is the 10th anniversary edition of the board, and Wolle Nyvelt developed an all-new shape for the occasion.  We’re super stoked for this board; the shape is amazing, the construction is excellent, and the Hillside Project graphics are killer.  It’s a tapered-twin board with a chopped tail and pointy nose, and each sizes features a slightly different variation.  The 152 is wide, very tapered, and has a shorter turning radius for tree runs and a surfy feel in the pow.  The 157 is a mid-wide all-mountain shape with a medium turning radius, and the 162 is a wide big-mountain shape that makes longer turns and has no speed limit.  Of course, all three sizes are full camber past the inserts, but the tips have plenty of taper and enough rocker to make the board a powder-lover’s dream.

Gnu x Airblaster Super Progressive Air Machine

The Gnu/Airblaster Super Progressive Air Machine is arguably the best co-lab in recent history.  Airblaster created some awesome new graphics for their outerwear and ninja suits, and Gnu developed a super fun new shape.  The SPAM features a directional version of Mervin’s C3 camber-powered banana, a tapered sidecut combined with their classic Magne-traction, a cut-out nose and tail, and a medium-stiff flex.  This board does everything from side hits to kickers to ultra-deep pow, and it’s a blast while your doing it.  The c3 camber works perfectly for this style of board; the rockered zones give it just enough float and forgiveness, while the camber gives the burly shape the pop and power you want out of this shape.  If you’re looking to progress your airs in style, definitely check this colab out.

Rossignol Sushi
Rossignol XV Sushi

The Rossignol XV Sushi is bringing snowboarding back to its roots with it’s super-progressive surf-inspired shape, designed by none-other than 3-time Freeride World Tour winner Xavier De Le Rue.  Float, slash, carve…the Sushi does everything that we love on a snowboard, but in a shape that’s all about having fun.  The Sushi features an ultra-wide nose, a healthy amount of taper, and classic camber between the inserts.  Best of all, the Sushi has a classic swallow-tail that allows the nose to float in powder.  Lastly, it has Rossignol’s LITE Grip construction, which is the same core that’s featured on their award-winning One-Mag.