01-Headturners-Best-Shapes-Snowboards-2014-2015

There’s been many a fad, craze and ‘new big thing’ in snowboarding in its short lifespan. Whether it be step-in bindings, hardboots, leashes or any of the numerous other well intended, but basically shit innovations that come from standing sideways. As a rule, most of them dissolve into the background never to be seen again unless you go to a French snowboard rental shop.

Now whilst there’s normally more than one crackpot idea floating around each season, this might actually be one to stay. Initially, snowboard shapes were updated and tweaked each season in the early days of the sport. It wasn’t until fairly recently that everyone decided that the current ‘standard’ shape was the best.

Well, after a couple of seasons of normality, the designers and engineers are giving the shape of the snowboard another crack (probably ‘caus they’d be out of jobs if they weren’t careful).

With heaps of new shapes across the brands and across the board types – we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite shapes to give you an idea of how the shapes effect the shredabilty.

02-Ride-Helix-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 151, 153, 155, 157, 159, 156W, 159W, 162W

| Price: €489.95 |

Ride Snowboards have gone all out on the shapes this season. With more carbon in the board that a stealth jet fighter, it’s a park-orientated board for the aggressive riders among us. The crux of the shape design is that, because ergonomically we’re not symmetrical, so why would the board be? What they’ve done is given the board a deeper sidecut on the heel edge which allows the board to guide you into the turns better. What this also means is that unlike most boards where the nose is same whether you’re goofy or regular – with the board, you actually have to orientate the setup of your bindings to ensure that the deeper sidecut is on your heels.

03-Bataleon-Stewart-Camel-Toe-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 153, 158, 163 | Price: €459.99 |

Whilst most of the boards with new shapes this season are the products of innovation, Bataleon have gone for the proverbial #TBT on this new number. The legendary surfboard shaper Bill Stewart, first prototyped this board in 1981, but due to most resorts living in the dark ages when it came to snowboarding, he wasn’t allowed on the mountain to test his new shape. Fast forward a few decades and Bataleon have resurrected the board from the dead for a 2014 edition. The swallowtail and a spoon shaped front allow the board to float like a zeppelin through even the deepest of powder.

04-Völkl-Alright-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 155, 162W, 167W | Price: €499.95 |

The Völkl Alright. It’s all right! Taking inspiration from the mantra of ‘less is more’, they’ve shortened the effective edge of the snowboard by shifting the widest points of the board backwards centrally on both the tip and tail. As well as making the board livelier, it also means that even if you’re on the taller end of the height spectrum, the Alright is as nimble as a ferret. Add in some weight saving tech that would make the road cyclists blush and Carbon 4.0 layered into the core of the board in an ‘X’ shape, it gives the board all the pop that you need to take your backcountry freestyling to the next level.

06-Arbor-Zygote-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 149, 152, 155 | Price: N/A |

The Arbor Zygote Twin is “..a non symmetrical twin…" in the words of Arbor. What that means is that the board has two different shapes split into two areas – one shape is the nose of the board and the other being the tail. This has allowed Arbor to tweak the contact points of the board, giving it a unique ride feel on the slopes. Whilst the shape of the tip and tail are different, the height, width and lengths are the same, so that despite this board having the different shapes, it is actually a twin board that you can ride switch. A little confusing, but what you end up with is a freestyle orientated board that’s more fun than a weekend at Bernie’s.

07-Nitro-Quiver-Powder-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 154 | Price: €N/A |

The Nitro Quiver Snowboard, now in its second incarnation, shapes up to be a powder weapon like no other. The super wide nose, which normally slows shred sticks down, is countered by a swallow tail to keep things snappy on the turns. Whilst not the most pioneering of shapes, the super interesting thing about this board is that Nitro are so sure of its all round ability to slay powder (Hence the name quiver), it only comes in a 154cm long. Throw in some carbon rods for some pop and a simple yet awesome looking topsheet and base and you've got yourself a shred weapon for every powder based eventuality you could hope for.

05-Capita-Spring-Break-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 158, 161, 166 | Price: €629.00 |

CAPiTA make a wide range of awesome stunt sticks, but this colab with Spring Break just had us so hyped. Corey Smith’s been handcrafting his weird and wonderful snowboard shapes for a few years, but for this season CAPiTA took three of his concepts and brought them to life using all the cutting edge technology their factory affords them. Some mad science went into the project, like giving them an ultralight Surflite core using their new Surf Rocker profile – a wide-shouldered shape to give phenomenal float in pow, as you’d expect. They also worked in a unique blended sidecut for soulcarving and a surf-inspired arch past the inserts followed by a whopping reverse blend zone finished off with a bunch of taper so there’s minimal chance of the nose digging in. Though clearly built for surfing the white wave of rad, we’ve seen Dylan Gamache switch nosepress the 161 before pulling a slash to switch Eurocarve…

09-Head-Evil-i-Flocka-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 138, 142, 146, 149, 152, 155, 158, 161 | | Price: €399.95 |

The Evil i Flocka is Alex Tank’s true twinned steed of choice for both balls-out jib assaults and mellow fun laps. As well as the distinctive double hammerhead shape and tasty graphics, it has a flat camber profile for a ride that’s both forgiving and responsive. This ultralight true twin is loaded with technical features to up your game – stabilising Intellifibres stiffen up as you push it, the bamboo core boasts a lick of basalt to improve pop and response, and there’ a speedy sintered base to ease you over flat spots. Head offer a lot of bang for your buck, hence if a top-end jib stick at a price that won’t break the bank is on your agenda, peep this bad boy.

11-Lib-Tech-JL-Deflower-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 160 | Price: €696.69 |

Snowboards with interesting-looking tips and tails are nothing new these days, but when we saw Lib’s Deflower we couldn’t help but exclaim “WTF?!’ Jamie Lynn celebrates a 20-year relationship with the Seattle-based brand this winter and they created this masterpiece – adorned by Lynn’s distinctive own art – as part of the celebration. Based on the powderphilic Birdman model, this features an über long nose to buoy you up in the deep stuff while the effective edge is, in fact, that of a way shorter board to give you the control you need ripping chutes, trees or hardpack. Magne-Traction and a camber/rocker mix come as standard and added to the Power A Core, internal sidewalls and TNT base gives performance that’s “like cheating but nobody loses."

07-Drake-Battle-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

| Sizes: 163 | Price: €N/A |

If you love charging pow then this beasty big mountain spear of a board from Drake will get you frothing. With more in common with a classic surfing 'gun' than the conventional snowboard, the shape allows you to plough through crud and crust and into the powder beyond. Whilst we wouldn't entirely recommend trying to ride it switch, the soft flex allows you to have all the buttery goodness you can take before your eyes roll into the back of your head.

18-Smokin-Awesym-Fawsym-2014-2015-Snowboard-Review

Awesym

| Sizes: 148, 152, 156, 156W, 159W, 162, 162W | Price: €469.90 |

Fawesym

| Sizes: 140, 144, 148, 153, 156 | | Price: €469.90 |

What started as ‘an experiment gone right’ is back for 2015 clutching a bunch of awards from its first season of asymmetric awesomeness, and there’s even a couple of different camber options – plus a women’s-specific model – added to the party this time round. With different sidecuts on the toe-and heelside, this true twin helps make up for the body’s biomechanical shortcomings to improve edge hold and control. For the dudes there’s a CTX (rocker dominant camber) version or a TTX (camber dominant rocker) if you want a bit less forgivingness and more power. Whichever version is up your street you can be sure it’ll be loaded with Smokin’s premium materials like Pop Gnarly, Mellow Mag and a 6k sintered base to give you top draw freestyle performance.