Whether we care to admit it or not, brands do matter.
A brand doesn’t just establish itself out of nowhere. They get to the top of their respective builds by delivering quality products and/or services.
Admittedly, some tend to stray away from what made them popular in the first place. However, it’s still a much safer bet to buy a product from an established brand from an up-and-coming company.
That same line of thinking applies whenever you are shopping around for snowboards.
Due to the increased popularity of snowboarding, more and more people are starting to get into the sport. But as a new rider, finding the right board can be difficult.
With that said, we have decided to help.
Read on below to find out which are the best snowboarding brands you should take a look at if you want to shop for high-quality snowboarding gear.
Burton is the Kleenex of snowboards in that the brand is pretty much synonymous with the sport.
Established way back in 1977, Burton has since been the leaders in the snowboarding industry. They cater to all sorts of ages, genders, and skill levels.
They make pretty much anything there is as well. This includes everything from boots, bindings, helmets, clothing, and accessories, as well as, of course, snowboards.
And speaking of snowboards, Burton is the king for all the right reasons.
In addition to creating a vast variety of snowboards, they’ve continuously pushed the boundaries in terms of board design and technology, creating some of the most advanced and stylish snowboards available today.
With products such as the Flight Attendant Camber and Process, it’s hard to see Burton losing their grip on the snowboard industry anytime soon.
Read also: Best Women Snowboards
Carving out your own niche in an industry where a brand like Burton exists isn’t easy. However, that’s exactly what Salomon has done.
Founded in 1995, Salomon initially wasn’t in the snowboarding business. Instead, they first got their start making skis before eventually moving on to selling snowboards a couple of years later.
Since then, they’ve become industry leaders when it comes to split boards.
Different from conventional snowboards, split boards are exactly what they are — snowboards that can split into two.
Some of their products, like the Salomon Premiere, can even split into four parts, allowing you to stash extra parts for when you’re on tour and want to have a spare with you.
With proprietary technologies like the “PLUM” hooks, which lets users assemble boards quickly and safely, Salomon’s long line of snowboards is well worth a look if you want something different.
3. Lib Tech
Lib Tech is a company that’s built on the backs of boards.
Sellers of everything and anything from surf boards to skateboards, and of course, snowboards, Lib Tech has been around for decades now.
But it wasn’t only until in 2008 that Lib Tech really made a huge splash in the snowboarding industry with the introduction of the Skate Banana, which incorporated their very own “Original Banana Technology” and has since gone on to garner legendary status.
More than a decade later, Lib Tech continues to innovate. They’ve built a reputation as a solid company and one of the industry leaders when it comes to environmentally sustainable practices.
However, for better or for worse, they will still be known among snowboarders as the company that introduced the Skate Banana to the rest of the world.
4. Jones Snowboards
A relatively new company in the industry, Jones Snowboards don’t even have the experience that most of the other brands on our list have.
In fact, the company was only founded in 2010. But don’t let that fool you. The brand has taken no time establishing itself as one of the top snowboard brands today.
Founded by one of the pioneers of the sport and known for big mountain free-riding, Jeremy Jones, Jones Snowboards only sells a couple of products. Unsurprisingly, all of them are classified as all-mountain.
Yet, even if that’s the case, all of their offerings are well worth the price as evidenced by the number of awards each has taken in the short time they’ve been out on the market.
In addition to creating some of the best boards available today, Jones Snowboards is also an active supporter of the climate change movement.
Jones himself founded the non-profit, Protect Our Winters.
As president of the non-profit, Jones was arguably the biggest factor in forcing the entire snowboarding industry to change their practice and minimize their impact on the environment.
Founded in 1977, Gnu has staked its reputation as one of the best makers of handmade snowboarders in the industry. They were also one of the first major manufacturers to invest big in snowboarding as well.
A brand seemingly built to cater only to the sport’s hardcore fans, Gnu has shown many times over that they don’t care about their appeal to mainstream snowboarders.
Instead, they know that their main market are the more serious riders of the sport. As a result, they’ve since enjoyed a strong following of some of the sport’s most avid and serious fans.
These days, Gnu is owned by Mervin Manufacturing, along with Lib Tech, and other snowboarding companies.
But even though Gnu now belongs to Mervin Manufacturing’s group of snowboarding manufacturers, they’ve managed to retain their old-school style.
Talk about interesting.
Rome is a brand that can trace back its roots way back to 1985. It was then when Paul Maravets and Josh Reid, the company’s founders, fell in love with the sport.
However, there was one problem — they were still seniors in High School. And, also, they lived hundreds of miles from each other.
The two would go on to spend years studying and working while still finding time for snowboarding.
In the late 90s, the two began to see the potential of putting up a business in the snowboarding industry. They then saw this vision come true in 2000 when, while in a garage in Stowe, VT, the two would conceive their very first snowboards.
Since then, it’s all been good for Rome.
These days, Rome remains a snowboard-exclusive company, much like Burton. But they’ve since expanded their product line.
They now cater to all sorts of styles and snowboards, with apparel and lifestyle wear to boot.
Where Rome really stands out compared to other snowboarding brands is their customer service as the company has proven that they genuinely care about their customers.
7. The Arbor Collective
For a company that sells both snowboards and skateboards, the Arbor Collective’s product line isn’t as extensive as the other brands on our list. For starters, they don’t really sell many necessary snowboarding apparel.
But even so, the brand is worth trusting in, and for plenty of good reasons.
First founded way back in 1995, the Arbor Collective now has a wide selection of snowboards for various style preferences and skill levels. But perhaps more importantly, they’re focused on improving their sustainable practices.
To that end, the Arbor Collective claims that they are the first action sports brand established specifically with the environment in mind.
In addition to their environmentally sustainable processes, The Arbor Collective has actively donated to many groups and charities over the years.
In particular, they’re heavily invested in preserving the Koa forests of Hawaii. To date, their donations have helped the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative plant over 300,000 Koa trees in the forest area.
The Arbor Collective has also sent their support to numerous environmental organizations in the past. This includes The Conservation Alliance, Arbor Day Foundation, and the Surfrider Foundation.
Last but definitely not the least on our list is a company who works together closely with their target audience.
Public Snowboards uses feedback from its riders, as well as pro riders and shop owners, during the creation process of their own snowboards.
As a result of this, Public Snowboards are one of the few snowboard brands offering lower-priced options without necessarily shortchanging its customers in terms of quality and design.
Compared to other brands, Public’s line of products are not as extensive. However, they focus more on quality than quantity.
This should come as no surprise. This is because the company was founded by Joe Sexton, a pro snowboarder.
Because of his design input, most if not all of the Public’s boards deliver, with offerings such as Display and Opinion standing out from the rest of the competition.
How Do You Choose the Best Snowboard?
Now that you know the best snowboard brands, it is time that you learn how to choose the best snowboard.
There are four main types of snowboards: all-mountain, freestyle, freeride, and powder.
- All-Mountain — These are the most versatile snowboards. You can use them on any terrain.
- Freestyle — For those who love a challenge, the smaller size of freestyle snowboards make it easier to do tricks with them. However, it comes at the expense of speed and balance, making it ideal for riders with more experience.
- Freeride — A huge improvement on stability, freeride snowboards sacrifice maneuverability for more speed, especially on downhill slopes.
- Powder — For people who prefer to only snowboard in soft snow, powder snowboards are for you.
- Length — As a general rule of thumb, the snowboard should be aligned with your chin when stood upright from tip to tip. However, if you’re a beginner, a longer board that reaches your nose is ideal. You may also want to have a longer board if you’re a bit on the heavy side, since more the length helps in distributing the weight better.
- Width — The standard measurement of a snowboard starts at 246 millimeters and can go as wide as 255 millimeters. You can use your boots as a reference for this. For example, if you wear a size 11, you’ll want a snowboard that’s at least 250 millimeters. But if you’re shorter, like if you wear a size 7, a snowboard somewhere around the 240-millimeter range may suit you better.
There are generally four types of snowboards when we’re talking about profile. These are camber, rocker, flat, and hybrid.
- Camber — These are the most common profiles used in snowboards. They’re characterized with the snowboard’s tips touching the ground with midsections that curve up. They’re designed to give riders a good pop whenever they make a jump.
- Rocker — Another popular profile is the rocker. Different from the camber, the rocker’s midsection curves down. Meanwhile, its tips curve upward. This design makes it better suited for riding on soft snow.
- Flat — A flat snowboard has no curve at all in its midsection. They can easily make turns, especially on powder.
- Hybrid — For advanced riders, some snowboards come with a variety of profiles. Basically, they’re created to mitigate each design’s weaknesses while accentuating their strengths. The most popular hybrid profile design used these days is a rocker-camber-rocker design.
This one is pretty simple. The harder the snowboard, the faster it goes. However, softer snowboards are also more flexible and are more maneuverable.
Stiffness is usually scaled from 1 to 10, with 10 being the stiffest.
Soft boards are usually recommended for beginners and those who ride freestyle. For advanced users who can manage the stiffness, as well as those who want to go faster, stiffer and harder snowboards are usually recommended.
Congratulations on making it to the end of our article.
Now that you’ve read through our guide entirely, you know which brands to go for and what factors to consider when choosing a snowboard.
This will make it easier for you when you go shopping for your very own snowboard once you do decide to go snowboarding for the weekend.
With that said, good luck and have fun!