As we start to get into the swing of the 2017/18 season and with Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d take a look at the best men’s boards of 2018, all available at our new snowboard.com marketplace. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken the best boards down into bang for your buck, best park board, best all-mountain board, best backcountry board and best overall board of 2018 categories.
Best Bang for Your Buck Snowboard: GNU Money C2e
- Type: Directional Freestyle
- Profile: Hybrid Camber
- Flex: 3 (soft)
- Sizes: 140, 144, 148, 152, 156, 150W, 154W
Designed for fun, this is a directional freestyle board for beginners right through to Pros. GNU have put together a “don’t think, just ride” deck using their C2e, easy riding camber that will keep you catch free and turning clean. It features rocker between the feet with another section of camber outside the feet. It then goes to a flat nose and tail for added stability and pop.
Add to this GNU’s patented, serrated ‘Magne-Traction’ edges for superior edge hold and you’ve got a park deck that’ll do it all. Rails, kickers, resort laps, it’s Money Baby, and you’ll know it!
Handbuilt by Melvin in the U.S of A, the Money has all the tech you need for $350 USD.
Best Park Snowboard: Capita Horrorscope
- Type: Twin Urban / Freestyle
- Profile: Urban Profile (Flat to Reverse Camber with Flat ‘Wah-Pow’ Kicks)
- Flex: 4 (medium / soft)
- Sizes: 141, 143, 145, 147, 149, 151, 153, 155, 157, 151W, 153W, 155W, 157W
There’s a reason the Horrorscope has been Capitas best selling board of all time. It’s a seriously well designed park board out of the Capita Mothership, and it’s had a re-vamp for 2018. With a new core construction and tuning at the tail and tip for extra strength, the 2018 Horrorscope is a freestyle monster.
The park specific design features include a blunted off nose and tail and shorter ends to decrease swing weight. The idea is that you can size it down without worrying about losing performance. It has reverse camber for less hang-ups and a flat kick at the tip and tail for presses and flatland butters. To go with the throwback design is an awesome, 90’s inspired, Nightmare on Elm St, horror graphic.
Snowboard.com gave it top marks for jibbing and jumping in our review, and it has the coveted Transworld Good Wood award. This is hands down the best board you’ll find to progress your rail and aerial game, whether you’re in the park, or in the streets. Ride it and you’ll agree.
Best All-Mountain Snowboard: Rome Mountain Division
- Type: Directional All-Mountain
- Profile: Freeride Camber (Camber Under Back Foot, Flat Under Front, Rockered Nose)
- Flex: 7 (medium / stiff)
- Sizes: 155, 159, 163
Need a versatile board for all conditions? Or more like you demand a hard charging, powerful board to attack the whole mountain from dusk till dawn… Look no further then Rome’s Mt. Division.
The Mt. Div’s main weapon for hard out shredding is it’s Free-ride camber profile. The board features 3 zones with traditional camber under the back foot, a flat section under the front foot and rocker at the nose. The design is freeride specific, built for riders that appreciate groomers and powder runs over park. The camber provides the power transfer when turning and better edge-control. The flat section assists in turn initiation at the contact points under the front foot. The rocker at the nose is for float in powder.
The stiffer flex means the board will be more stable underfoot, with less chatter at high speed and powerful through carves.
This board rips and carves up the piste and surfs in pow. There is just enough forgiving flex, pop and stability that you can jump and land off anything with confidence. That’s why it’s our choice for the best all mountain board this year.
Best Backcountry Board: The Jones Ultra Mountain Twin
- Type: Directional / Twin, All-Mountain / Freestyle
- Profile: Postive Camber
- Flex: 7 (stiff)
- Sizes: 154, 157, 158W, 160, 161W, 162, 164W
The Ultra Mountain Twin is Freeride World Tour Champion and Teton Gravity Research rider Sammy Luebke’s board of choice. The blueprint of the board is basically that of the Mountain Twin, one of Jones’ time tested classics, but it’s built with super premium materials for more strength and speed. New for 2018, the Ultra Mountain Twin’s Power Core has been re-profiled for better torsional response between the feet.
Like all good big mountain boards, the Mountain Twin has a traditional camber profile for powerful carves. Jones’ have also gone with a little rocker at the nose and tail here to help with powder float. Magne-traction edges will make sure you stomp those landings and carve it up even on hard packed and icy days.
What you wouldn’t expect from a powder board is, as the name states, the twin shape. It’s the shape paired with the stiffness of carbon stringers and triax fiberglass in the lay-up that means you can really send this thing in the backcountry. A true big mountain freestyle board, the Mountain Twin can hold its own on any big terrain park feature as well.
With the strength to launch off cornices and charge down chutes, and the versatility and stability to spin and ride switch, this is the big mountain pow board that can do it all.
Best Overall Board of 2018: Capita Defenders of Awesome
- Type: Twin Freestyle
- Profile: Hybrid Camber (Positive Camber, Flat Under Foot, Rocker to Flat Kicks
- Flex: 5.5 (On the stiff side of medium)
- Sizes: 148, 150, 152, 154, 156, 158, 155W, 158W, 161W
Versatility and creativity is what Capita offers with the DOA. Although this aggressive freestyle board is at it’s best in the park, it’s progressive minded adaptability will have you tearing up the whole mountain.
The DOA has a powerful and playful hybrid camber. It features positive camber between the bindings, flat camber underfoot that leads out to small rockered sections of reverse camber. The next generation design allows you to get the pop and response of a cambered board with all the predictability and easy turn initiation of zero camber or reverse camber shapes. The nose and tail have flat ‘Wah-Pow!’ kicks for easier presses.
To improve performance they’ve augmented the radius of the sidecut at the contact points. This makes the DOA responsive and quick during edge-to-edge transitions. Tightening the tip profile radius not only gives you a more forgiving, easy ride, it also flattens out the tip and tail of the board. This increases jibbing stability and helps the board plane over powder and float with control.
In the lay-up of the deck has carbon fiber beams milled down into the core. This increases power and response while remaining ultralight. More lightweight strength is delivered by kevlar bound sidewalls that give heavy duty protection to your rails. This is all wrapped up in Biax fiberglass. The result is the perfect power to fun ratio of flex. With just enough to lock onto rails without being noodle soft, and that little bit more than average flex to give you some aggressive ollie pop, you’ll be pushing the limits of your snowboarding.
A big reputation…but this board has earned it!
This was our favourite board tested this year by snowboard.com and we are not alone. The DOA has won a Transworld Good Wood award in each of the six years it has been released. This board is just so good, it doesn’t matter what level of snowboarder you are, you’ll appreciate how the Defenders of Awesome will improve your ride and highlight your fun.