Best Big Mountain Snowboards 2018
Big mountain snowboarding requires the right kind of snowboard. We break down some of the hardest charging snowboards of winter '18.
Big mountain riding means dealing with varying conditions and terrain and without the right board, things can get treacherous. The right big mountain snowboard is going to be powerful, versatile and fast so that you can take advantage of all the mountain has to offer. We put together a collection of hard charging boards that have what it takes to let you climb higher than ever this winter.
Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro Camber
Few riders carry the weight of a name like Bryan Iguchi, and his pro model snowboard was built to handle precisely that type of legendary riding. In the snowboard game for decades, Bryan has found a home with Arbor snowboards and his pro model is the fruit of many years of hard labor. Built to cater to the big-mountain freestyle ripper, the Iguchi Pro has the ability to charge hard, handle steeps and launch off big kickers like a boss. Available in both Camber and Rocker versions, the Camber model is the more aggressive / responsive option and truly built for that seasoned big mountain shredder. For the most accurate description – we will let the man himself tell you all about the board –
“I wanted to design a board that worked for my style of riding…a daily driver, or ‘quiver killer’. Its roots are purely freestyle driven, but my riding has evolved. The design is inspired with the intention to perform well in all conditions. I wanted to have the ability to fully commit to carving as hard as possible, yet allow forgiveness in the entry and exit of each turn, regardless of how subtle or dynamic. I spend a lot of time in the backcountry searching for powder but in reality, I still can’t pass up a good wall hit at the resort or resist the urge to blast a method out of a good transition I come across. I love it because I can have fun on it on any mountain in any condition.”
So if you’ve been riding for years and are looking for a board that isn’t afraid to keep up on your steepest / fastest / heaviest adventures – then the Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro Camber board might just be the board for you.
- Mountain twin shape adds versatility for freestyle riding
- Mixed glassing (triax over biax) for ultimate response, pop and snap
- Sintered base
Like a rocket ship under your feet, there is nothing like taking a ride on a Jones Ultracraft. This premium all-terrain big mountain snowboard was built with the industry’s best materials and no cost was spared in the making of this board, making it ideal for the performance-driven ripper that knows what he wants. With a large scoop nose and Speed Channel Tail, the Ultracraft can power thru powder days but can also hold a strong edge in any conditions thanks to the long camber section in between the nose and tail. The Progressive Sidecut guides the board in and out of turns for a seamless, strong carve, the Traction Tech adds additional contact points for better grip on icy days while the Carbon Stringers and Triax Fiberglass load the board up with a responsive, powerful feel for stability under fast, steep conditions. Impress your friends with mach speeds while still being able to dip into the trees for hidden pow stashes when you take flight on the Jones Ultracraft.
- Beveled spoon nose for improved float
- Slightly concave base for better glide
- Basalt stringers for added pop and response
Never Summer Chairman
The Never Summer Chairman did not come to play. This aggressive freeride board was built for the experienced rider that is taking on challenging conditions and terrain. A true big mountain board, the Chairman is a carving machine with a specially designed 7 contact point sidecut for maximum effective edge that allows you to hang on tight even under the most extreme riding conditions. Built to offer stability under the fastest conditions, the Chairman also comes equipped with Never Summer’s most extensive dampening system – offering unmatched high speed capability and performance. Other key features to brag about include the Carbon Max Laminate Technology, Low profile tip and tail, an extended transition area for smooth and precise carves and STS Pre-Tensioned Fiberglass for a broken in, yet snappy response. If you are the type of rider that likes to lead the pack, then you should probably be riding the Never Summer Chairman.
- 7 contact point sidecut for maximum effective edge
- Extensive dampening system
- Carbon Max Laminate Technology for excellent response
Never Summer West
When you think about big mountain riding, you think of a board like the Never Summer West. A true big mountain option, the West is capable of taking advantage of all the mountain has to offer – from tree lines to steeps to natural kickers. With an aggressive, enhanced Ripsaw Rocker Camber profile and medium flex, the West is powerful yet agile and is able to handle in many conditions. The directional shape allows you to charge hard and the extended nose helps in deeper conditions while the Bi-Lite Fiberglass and Carbon VXR Laminate Technology load the board up with responsiveness and major launching power. The low profile tip and tail and Carbonium topsheet reduce overall weight along with the NS Superlight Wood Core – while the underfoot stabilizers and RDS2 Dampening System reduce unnecessary chatter which can drain your energy and be a killer on your legs. P-Tex tip and tail protection add to the overall durability of the board while the Durasurf Sintered 5501 Base guarantees to keep you moving at top speed all season long. If your snowy travels take you West this winter, bring the only board that you need to enjoy the mountain to the fullest – the Never Summer West.
- Powerful, agile board
- Loaded with fiberglass and carbon for maximum responsiveness
- Carbonium topsheet adds durability and reduces weight
Lib Tech Cold Brew
A new model from Lib and built to cater to the freeride crowd, the Lib Tech Cold Brew is guaranteed to be a top big mountain board of the winter ’18 season. This powerful, directional board comes with a C2 profile which mixes the perfect amount of rocker and camber for a balanced feeling ride that can excel in many conditions. Sitting on the stiffer side of the scale, the Cold Brew is best suited for fast, steep conditions and also has the power to charge thru powder for those dreamy deep days. Also leaning towards the wider side (not quite a mid-wide but close) the Cold Brew is ideal for the bigger footed riders who want to try to avoid any toe or heel bite without going with a full blown wide option. Coming in just under $450, this board packs a solid punch for the price and an excellent option for anyone who wants a big-mountain capable board that doesn’t break the bank. Other key features include a biax / triax fiberglass lay up that adds a ton of pop for a lively feeling ride while the added Magnetraction offers extra edge grip for those icy or hard pack kind of days. Set your sights on the big boy runs this winter with the Lib Tech Cold Brew in hand.
- Budget friendly
- Nearly mid-wide shape ideal for larger footed riders
- Directional hybrid
Lib Tech Swiss Knife
Designed by Fredi Kalbermatten and one of the more unique boards in their lineup, the Lib Tech Swiss Knife is a directional freestyle / freeride machine. This specially designed shape has a floaty nose that flows into a powerful C3 Camber to a slight taper in the tail. The one of a kind shape offers great float on powder days while still packing a majorly powerful punch thru the midsection for precise carves and strong edge hold. The Firepower (FP) Construction builds a lighter weight and more environmentally conscience board while the Basalt Fiberglass adds a powerful and lively snap to the board without all the nasty chemicals associated with traditional fiberglass. For the big mountain chargers that destroy in all types of terrain, we highly recommend considering the Lib Tech Swiss Knife. If it’s good enough for Fredi to trust in the Swiss Alps, then chances are it’s good enough for the rest of us.
- Directional freeride board
- Firepower construction is lighter weight and more environmentally friendly
- Powerful C3 Camber for a more aggressive ride
Burton Working Stiff
Straight out of Craig’s Proto Facility in Burlington, Vermont – and a proud addition to the Burton Family Tree Collection – is the brand new Working Stiff. This big mountain assassin is a force to be reckon with and was built for big days and tough rippers. With a fresh powder shape that is new to Burton, the Working Stiff offers a powerful, stiff nose for charging thru the snow while the Filet-O-Flex tech in the tails thins out the construction for the feel you would expect from a classic swallow-tail shape. The Directional Camber shape is accompanied by a 20mm taper in the tail to further accentuate that powder board feeling while the Triax Fiberglass adds a snappy overall feel for a lively, spring loaded response. Other features include the fast-as-hell Sintered WFO Base and Infinite Ride Technology that guarantees that day 100 rides just as well as day 1. For the hard charging big mountain guys out there that are looking for the stiffness of the early snowboarding days, the Burton Working Stiff will take you right back to those glory days.
- Stiff nose for charging thru pow
- Filet O Flex in the back for a swallow-tail feel
- Triax fiberglass for spring loaded response
A few years ago when the Yes 20/20 hit the market, it was a design that intrigued us all – now a few seasons in and time tested, the 20/20 is better than ever. With a symmetrical true twin shape and specially designed 3D Powder Hull nose and tail, this board has the ability to float insanely well in deep conditions while the shorter length allows you to spin like a top with little to no swing weight. The 20/20 is available in 2 sizes – 150 and 154 – and the rider will size down from their traditional length about 8-10cm to find the right size for them. The 150 floats like a 158 and maneuvers like a 152 while the 154 rides like a 160, floats like a 165 and spins like a 156. Extra width is added to the waist of each board to account for a larger boot size so not to worry about any toe or heel drag issues. Another huge tech feature? The Weightless Core. Using a blend of Poplar and Paulownia, the 20/20 is insanely light on it’s feet to give you an even more dreamy, floaty feel when wafting thru the powder. But don’t let that reduced weight fool you, the 20/20 can still hold it’s own on the groomers – even though she will feel most at home on the deep days. Get rid of any unnecessary, excess board weight and feel the freedom under your feet of the magical Yes 20/20.
- 3D Power Hull nose drives thru deep snow
- Downsizing means insane maneuverability
- True twin shape for freestyle capabilities
Jones Women’s Flagship
A staple in the Jones lineup and one of the stiffest options in their women’s collection is the one and only Jones Women’s Flagship. Intended for fast lines and steep runs, this freeride board was built for the confident female rider that is not afraid to lead the pack. With a directional rocker and Spoon 3.0 nose and tail, you will blast thru the snow on powder days thanks to the strong, defined bevel in the nose, and your tail will sink down into the snow so all you need to do is just lean back and let her rip. The Power Core is a triple density full wood core that features hardwood bamboo stringers for added pop, Flax is added to help with dampening, Power V Basalt Stringers are added at the nose and tail to help eliminate chatter while the Triax Fiberglass offers a precise and responsive ride in any conditions. Another key feature to note is the Fusion Tech which allows the traditional topsheet layer to be replaced with an ultra durable epoxy layer that saves on weight and materials. For any ladies looking for a fast, stiff and precise ride that can handle true big mountain conditions, there is no better choice than the Jones Women’s Flagship.
- Stiff, sleek and agile
- Bamboo stringers add pop
- Power V Basalt stringers add response and eliminate chatter
Burton Day Trader
When a ripper like Kimmy Fasani teams up with the board design team at Burton, you know that some real magic is about to happen – and that’s exactly how we got the Burton Day Trader. This women’s specific back country ripper was built to handle pow days, out of bounds exploration and navigate thru the trees like a champ. This directional ride has a 12mm taper in the tail and a pronounced nose so you can just lean back and let her rip on those deep, dreamy pow days. The Flat Top profile lays down the edge for precise carves and strong turns while the Triax Fiberglass adds a responsive and lively feel to the board for popping in and out of your carves and quick reactions in tight quarters like tree runs. The Recycled Sintered WFO Base guarantees you wont slow down on the flats and the Infinite Ride Technology makes sure that day 100 feels just as amazing as day 1. If exploration and uncharted territories call your name on the mountain, then the Burton Day Trader may just be the perfect board for you.
- Directional, tapered back country ripper
- Flat top profile for better edge response
- Triax fiberglass for a snappy, responsive ride
Yes Hel Yes
Helen Schettini has made quite the mark on women’s snowboarding – and now you too can see what the magic is made of, when you take a ride her pro model, the Hel Yes. This snappy, directional board has a true camber to rocker shape giving you all the edge hold and precision you need while still being able to offer great float in powder conditions thanks to the extra rocker in the nose. The Bamboo / Poplar / Paulownia core reduces weight while adding a lively, natural pop while the Sintered True base guarantees top notch wax absorption and retention for a fast, smooth ride at all times. And some brand new tech for 2018? Check out the Underbite outline. This new tech increases edge pressure by distributing the riders weight and energy for smooth, seamless turns and more precise edge hold. From deep days dodging the trees to fast lines on the groomers, the Hel Yes can get the job done and is the perfect ride for the lady who is not afraid to lead the pack.
- Directional hybrid
- Bamboo / poplar / Paulownia core is naturally lively and lightweight
- Underbite outline increases edge pressure for smooth, seamless turns
Never Summer Aura
The women of snowboarding spoke and Never Summer listened. The Never Summer Aura was built for the type of rider that in the past may have gone to a mens board for added stiffness and big mountain capabilities. No more shopping in the mens section ladies! The Aura is a freeride machine that was designed for the ladies that are getting after it and are not afraid to hit the steeps. With a mid-firm flex thanks to the Ripsaw RC profile and Carbon VXR Laminate Technology, the Aura can charge thru heavy snow on the deep days and offer stability under the fastest conditions. An extensive dampening system adds to the overall stability and reduces underfoot vibrations, the NS Superlight Wood Core reduces the overall weight for a more lively ride and the low profile tip and tail help you feel more nimble when dipping in and out of the trees. The strong yet slightly femme graphic lets everyone know that although you came to kick ass, you are still a lady – while the overall shape of the board is WAY better for you than that hand-me-down ride from your old boyfriend. If you are a lady that rips and are a looking for a board that can do the same, skip all the other fluffy girl boards and head straight to the Never Summer Aura.
- Female specific freeride board
- Agressive flex for top notch performance
- Extensive dampening for stability at high speeds
Now that you’ve got this insane selection to choose from, all you need to do is find your new board and hit the mountain. To check out our most up to date board availability, shop snowboards. See you on the hill!