As our season slowly fades it’s hard not to get hyped all over again with the onset of the 2010-2011 season in the northern hemisphere. There are the tell-tale signs that winter is fast approaching over the equator, we are bombarded with video premiers, tourism companies start putting out travel packages and all that’s new in snowboarding is dangled in front of us in the form of 2011 gear.
For 12 years now, Transworld Snowboarding have been putting together the very best of the best in boards in the annual Good Wood Tests. This year, 18 riders took 450 boards across both park and all-mountain, split across 2 price categories and for both guys and girls. The result is the top 40 boards of the 2011 batch, designed to help you find that perfect board.
Check out this short clip on how it went down:
Here at Snowlife we want to pay homage to these elite boards as decided by Transworld by providing you with a review of essentially, the review! In the hope that we can give you a bit more insight into these boards, and which boards we think rock here at Snowlife.
First up is the category of mens park boards under $400 (note that is US! and not Aussie pricing) cause I know you park rats love to get the latest shred. 8 boards made the final 40 in this category, that is the same amount as in the above $400 category so park decks seem well split in the price range. The final 8 were:
Forum Youngblood Chillydog
GNU Carbon Credit BTX
Rossignol Taipan Amptek
Being park boards you expect them to be all reverse camber right? Well you are almost right, 7 out of the 8 decks are listed as ‘Alternative’ camber, aka the alternative to regular camber. Most of you will know this style of board as a ‘rocker’ or ‘banana’. Unsure what reverse camber is? To put it simply it bends like a banana and can rock from front to back.
If you ride park and don’t yet ride a reverse, you might want to check one out because it seems the snowboard co’s are telling you you should be!
The only board to be listed as a regular camber is the Nitro T1, which in actual fact is a zero camber! Nitro gave this board a thinner core between your feet and claim it to be one of the most fun twin shape decks around thanks to it’s forgiving flex but gnarly pop. On top of this they gave it some rad graphics ensuring you’ll stand out in the lift line. This is one board that is definitely worthy of the Good Wood award, so much so it has won 4 years in a row now!
The Burton contender is a little board by the name of Nug. What makes this reverse camber twin deck different is it’s size. These babies come at a much shorter length than you are used to but word from the Good Wood testers is you would never know it thanks to its elongated contact points and wider surface area. Coming in a 142, 146 and 150 these boards will definitely make an impression on you.
Next up, the Forum Youngblood Chillydog. Crazy name but then again this is a crazy board. It has chillydog tech in it which is Forum’s reverse camber style which makes it “playful, precise and poppy”. It’s a twin deck again available in a heap of sizes including some wides and comes with some insane graphic. Common theme coming from the testers is this board will hold up just as good on the rails as it will on the kickers. All round ripping park board.
What’s a park category without GNU? They basically pioneered reverse camber tech and bring all their learnings along the way to each and every board they make. Featuring classic banana camber and magne-traction side walls this board is light and easy to ride but holds it’s stability and durability. What really sets this board aside though is in it’s construction – the eco-farmed Aspen core means the Carbon Credit is putting it’s positive stamp on the environment.
K2 definitely made an impact with 2 of it’s boards making the finals of this category with the Darkstar and WWW. The Darkstar is a shredder in it’s own right, a Good Wood finalists 4 years running now speaks for itself. What is different this year? It now features K2’s highly awarded ‘Flatline’ base.
The WWW is another one of those boards that is ridden shorter, K2 claims up to 5cm shorter than normal much like the Burton Nug, meaning this board is quick to spin. It’s also got a 3 degree bevel edge straight out of the box. If your like me and hate the thought of getting hung up on rails, this board will keep you right.
Ride made it into this category with it’s Crush board. This board is a low rising rocker with a fairly flat profile giving you a virtually catch free ride. The graphics definitely stand out too, not only do they make an impact in the car park, but get it cold and watch it transform before your very own eyes, heavy!
Last up, Rossignol round up the 8 with it’s Taipan Amptek. Although a twin shape, it’s designed to be ridden with a set-back stance making it directional but you can easily adjust to center stance. Designed as an all-mountain shredder, the testers thought this board held up well enough in the park alone to make this category so you know it must be good.
So there you have it folks, the 8 best park board in the cheaper category for 2011 boards. Looking back over them it’s easy to see the trend of reverse camber is here to stay, spawning newer type and further experimentation into camber combinations such as the flat base and lower rise cambers.
A new trend I found coming out in more recent years which features on two of the finalists above are the shorter board. Without having rid one myself it is hard to say but the testers at Transworld certainly found them a joy to ride.
So whether your choosing your next board or simply making yourself jealous, we hope this summary has been of benefit to you in one way or another. Stay tuned for further run-downs in the other Good Wood categories! Until then, enjoy.