Within the sport of snowboarding, there has been nearly constant innovation and development in terms of what is possible with regard to optimizing the ride quality across many terrain types. As many intermediate to advanced level snowboarders already know, one of the most widely popular and satisfying terrain types to ride on is fresh, dry, light, fluffy powder conditions. This type of powder snow condition allows for a snowboarding dynamic to come into play that involves flotation and drag reduction on the lighter, more powdery surfaces, and this tends to be favored by many riders when compared to the harder, more densely packed snow of the main groomed runs.
When it comes to the best places for finding the world’s optimal powdery snow conditions, one generally has to look for resorts that are at relatively high altitudes within alpine conditions where orographic enhancement and other weather phenomena allow for the perfect formation of powder snow. Although it is entirely possible to engage in advanced level powder snowboarding using more conventional board types, a rider will usually not have the same degree of float, control, and drag-reduction that can be achieved with a powder-specific board design.
As we quickly approach the 2017 snowboarding season, many powder and high mountain snowboarders are going to be looking for some new powder snowboard designs and for that reason there will be offered a powder snowboard buyer’s guide for 2017 presented below. This buyer’s guide for 2017 powder snowboard product options will cover a range of powder board design types, spanning from the more conventional powder snowboard designs, to the increasingly experimental and innovative powder snowboard designs.
Some of the most prominent variations and experimental design features with regard to the latest powder snowboards include the width of nose and tail, the shaping of the tail, whether or not the tail is forked or finned, the general width of the mid-section, and other design features. Additionally, the material core structure is another critically important component to pay attention to when selecting a powder snowboard in 2017.
Lib Tech “Birdman” Powder Snowboard
When it comes to a gold standard in powder snowboarding heading into 2017, the Birdman powder snowboard designed by Lib Tech is a simply outstanding design overall. This is a board that is exclusively designed for floatation, that seeks to establish a balance between flex and edge hold, and a stiffer core to encourage extra-stable lines with immediate responsiveness. Lib Tech has designed and incorporated their own proprietary BTX profile that is intended to optimize the edge-hold consistency while minimizing chop and vibration across uneven powder.
In order to further increase the smoothness of the ride on the Lib Tech Birdman powder snowboard, the construction has successfully incorporated the use of basalt reinforcement around the board’s perimeter, which is then further supported by Magne-Traction edge design. This combination has allowed powder snowboarders the ability to achieve some of the best edge hold and traction control of any powder snowboard heading into 2017. Edge hold can become one of the most important board characteristics for powder snowboard designs, since without it there is a real possibility of losing traction in soft powder conditions.
As most snowboarders know, the core construction is among the most important aspects of a board’s overall build quality and this definitely holds true with powder snowboards. The wood core of the Lib Tech Birdman powder snowboard is designed with an aspen wood core, giving it an overall weight reduction, relatively speaking, while still encouraging sufficient stiffness to achieve float on light powder. For those powder riders looking to pick up one of these awesome Lib Tech Birdman powder snowboards, you can expect to find a retail pricing that can hover anywhere from $600.00 to $700.00 on average.
Rossignol “XV” Powder Snowboard
The Rossignol XV powder snowboard is equipped with some really innovative features that allow it to float as good or better than almost any other powder snowboards heading into the 2017 riding season. Featuring an Amptek design profile, this is a powder snowboard designed to be highly versatile across many different powder terrain conditions from very steep high mountain powder runs, to more shallow, tree-dense, glade runs in the lower alpine altitudes.
Like the Lib Tech Birdman board, this Rossignol XV powder snowboard is also equipped with Magne-Traction edge designs along with a 7500 rated sintered base, giving it unparalleled control no matter how hard a rider is cutting and carving in the powder. When it comes to the innovations that come standard on the Rossignol XV powder snowboard, the nose design is definitely something to pay close attention to. The nose is designed to be much more stiff and much wider than the average powder board, with an advanced roller tail formation that allows for snow to be channeled out the sides of the powder snowboard instead of directly under the board.
This is a really awesome feature to consider when making a selection, since by funneling the snow out the sides of the board, there is much more stability and control while navigating especially deep powder conditions. Not only is the Rossignol XV powder snowboard an awesome choice for the 2017 powder riding season, it is also relatively affordable with a retail price point that generally ranges from $400.00 to $600.00 overall. The Rossignol XV is one powder board that fluctuates in price significantly enough to warrant shopping around extensively to get the best price before making a purchase.
Jones “Hovercraft” Powder Snowboard
For those powder snowboarders who like to take a more minimalist, straightforward design philosophy, the Jones designed powder board known as the Hovercraft is an awesome option. This is a powder snowboard design that seeks to take a conventional approach to powder board design, which essentially revolves around the notion that a snowboard with a broader width will have a greater surface area, and a greater surface area will always allow for a greater float potential in powder snow.
Another way in which the Jones Hovercraft powder snowboard seeks to achieve a kind of rustic, yet modern design, is by utilizing an original fully wooden core composition. Not only does the full wood core make for a really fresh and attractive aesthetic, it also creates a riding condition where there is adequate stiffness to maintain control in fluffy powder, while still permitting extreme snap and pop for ollies and hops. The full wood core is actually surprisingly advanced for how simple it is, and allows for an exceptionally versatile ride that is never one-dimensional.
The Jones designed Hovercraft powder snowboard is going to be the best choice for those powder riders who like to incorporate a lot of technical style into their powder runs, snapping ollies and clearing over obstacles with the exceptional pop of this full wood core masterpiece. Although the Jones Hovercraft is not exactly on the cheaper end of the spectrum coming in at around $550.00, it is definitely worth the more premium price for those riders who really want to have a full wood core, with the aesthetic value and pop that comes along with it.
Burton – “Fish” Powder Snowboard
Among the most aggressively designed and technologically advanced powder snowboards heading into the 2017 riding seasons, the Burton Fish powder snowboard is definitely a cut above the rest in this regard. Designed for exceptional float and stability, the Burton Fish is constructed with an overall flat profile and a flat top build. The flexibility rating on the Burton Fish powder snowboard is a moderate rating, allowing for effortless pop and sharp accuracy all at the same time. Flex can be a tricky design aspect to balance when it comes to powder snowboard development, and the Burton Fish balances it quite well allowing for bombing steep powder slopes, to intricately navigating dense tree glade runs, without a lot of turbulence in between.
Durability is definitely a primary feature and focus with the Burton Fish, and the durability rating is reinforced on this board by incorporating a sintered WFO basing structure, so powder snowboarders will love this board’s ability to hold up under pressure and take a beating without completely deforming or breaking. Centered and balanced with the incorporation of a Super Fly II board-core in the design of the Burton Fish powder snowboard, this core is additionally reinforced with a Carbon I-Beam rocker. The Super Fly II is an especially advanced core design from Burton, and it comes as a result of much trial and error on the part of their research and development departments.
The inclusion of a Carbon I-Beam core component allows for a significant weight reduction, while at the same time increasing pop and board response. Another really important characteristic of a high quality powder snowboard is the longevity of its construction, and the Burton Fish powder board has definitely covered this particular base quite effectively. On the design of the Fish, Burton incorporated their new Infinite Ride technology. This is a technological innovation intended to sustain the riding experience that the Burton Fish provides to powder snowboarders; it is designed to preserve the quality of the ride as opposed to many other boards which lose their initial pop and flex over time. Retailing at around $500.00, this is another outstanding powder board that falls on the mid-level to premium end of the spectrum.