There’s a trend taking root in snowboarding of late centered around the art of the humble turn. Some might call it a surf-inspired approach because for decades snowboarding has taken a page out of skateboarding’s book and been trick-centric. But over the last decade, a huge swath of riders have begun to eschew corks and half cabs for surfy, swooping turns in the resort and in the backcountry. (I recently penned some words about that trend that you can read here.)
For some time, snowboarding has been, and continues to be, dominated by twin-tip snowboards that cater to riding switch and regular. But for those more inclined to put their board on rail, sweep turns across groomers, and spot natural berms and banks that resemble waves, directional shapes built to hold an edge are a far superior choice. Here, we’ve curated a short list of boards we’d highly recommend adding to your quiver this season:
Moss Snowstick Performance Quad 54 ($1,155.00)
Since the 1970s, Moss Snowstick has been at the heart of the snowsurfing approach in the mountains of Japan. Little has changed in the brand’s snowboards since those days except for modern materials and production techniques. Make no mistake, though. All Moss snowboards are built for putting on rail and technical turns in pow and on hardpack.
Nitro The Quiver Cannon ($519.95)
Big pink! With 173 and 203cm options, The Quiver Cannon is ginormous and built for speed both on groomers and deep pow. If you’re looking to bomb wide-open powder fields this is the board for you.
Gentemstick Rocket Fish ($1,000)
In the nineties, Moss Snowstick team rider Taro Tamai spun-off his TT model and created his own “snowsurf” specific snowboard brand, Gentemstick. Surfboard shaper Chris Christenson – who Jeremy Jones recruited to develop Jones Snowboards’ surf-inspired snowboard line – credits Taro, specifically the Rocket Fish, for opening his mind to the possibilities of surf-inspired snowboard design. The short and squat board is built to excel in deep, deep powder.
Gentemstick Women’s Mermaid ($830.00)
For a ladies-specific offering, look no further than the Gentemstick Mermaid. A long projected nose rocker and gradual sidecut make this sled ideal for both pow and long surfy turns on groomers.
Korua Shapes Cafe Racer ($549)
As the name implies, the Cafe Racer is built for speed. German-based Korua Shapes may be best known for its web series Yearning for Turning where the crew demonstrates the speed and hold of their entire range of unique shapes. The series is entrancing and will make you want to step on one of the company’s boards and lay it on rail.
Jones Mind Expander ($599.95)
From the mind of renowned surfboard shaper Chris Christenson, Jones’ Mind Expander has a unique rocker profile that comes directly from surfboard design for maximum float. The nose rocker starts just behind the front inserts, and the tail rocker starts right at the back inserts for leverage and float on the deepest days. Check out the ladies-specific version here.
Nitro The Quiver Fintwin ($429.95)
At 149cm, Nitro’s Fintwin would be the David to the Goliath that is the Quiver Cannon. It’s short, squat profile makes it ideal on powder days, but it can also handle groomers just fine, thank you.
Arbor Clovis ($549.95)
Arbor Snowboards’ roots run deep in the West L.A. surf scene. And that comes through in their surfier offerings like the Clovis. Designed for laying hard into turns, but also comfortable in powder, the Clovis is an absolute weapon. Check out the women’s version here.
Moss Snowstick Wing Pin ($1,020.00)
Like the swallowtail on the Performance Quad, the tail on the Moss’ Wing Pin also comes directly from surfboard design. Meant for high-speed turning, Moss says its Wing Pin was created for “soulful carving on white waves.” And how enjoyable does that sound?
Elevated Surfcraft Red Tail Hawk ($820.00)
Talking about snowboards inspired by surfboards, Elevated Surfcraft takes that idea to the next level with boards inspired by very specific shapes. Take the Red Tail Hawk above. Designed after a six-foot Diamond Quad by Seth Cannon Surfcraft, the board is built to swoop and glide like its namesake.