Check out our picks of the best new snowboards ready for the 2013/2014 winter season!
It may be a blazing heatwave outside, but I still can’t help but count down to next season already. The thought of that crisp morning snow under my feet, along with powder laps and bluebird days with shred buddies is never far from my mind, and with only five months until winter is back, it’s definitely time to start thinking of that new shred stick!
As always, the 2013 Spring Break Snowboard Test gave us the pretty sweet deal of testing out all next season’s latest equipment, long before it will be out on the shelves. I shouted my top outerwear of the Spring Break week last month, but now it’s time for the much awaited, previously promised 2014 snowboard reviews.
With hundreds to choose from, it was one of the toughest decisions a girl has to make, particularly thanks to the incredible standard of boards from all the brands. Yes, everyone has different preferences when it comes to boards, but after testing these on early morning bulletproof ice through to late-afternoon slush, these were my top picks for next season.
The Nikita Sideway Sista 2014 was officially my all-round favourite board at the board test and I believe it is definitely a board for a girl who wants to get better at riding and wants to progress in all areas of her snowboarding.
I love everything to do with snowboarding – whether it’s powder days, cruising the mountain, spring park sessions, or hanging out with buddies in the domes – and the Nikita Sideway Sista checks all those boxes. With the same tech as the Salomon Oh Yeah, which I’ve been riding without competition for the last couple seasons, the Sideway Sista only beats this season’s Oh Yeah thanks to its sweet graphics – I mean, how could you resist those Scandinavian dolls?
The Nikita Sideway Sista is fun, poppy, playful, and helps you to enjoy everything snowboarding is all about, while helping you to progress along the way – no matter where you’re riding. The flex is perfect as it loves carving up the mountain, while still holding plenty of forgiveness for letting you play on any natural feature which may wink at you along the way.
What’s more, the price tag of the 2013 model was crazy cheap for what you got, so if the 2014 prices are along the same lines, you could pay so much more for a board which did much less for your riding than the Nikita Sideway Sista will do for you. Nikita is a brand ‘for girls who ride’, and this board does just that, all over the mountain.
The super-flexi Salomon Oh Yeah has been in my hands for several seasons, and I’ve found it hard to find any board that comes near to keeping me so happy all over the mountain, however I was recommended the Gypsy for the bullet proof conditions the May morning was offering. After just one run I had a monster grin on my face (not induced by any energy drinks!), and kept on riding it as the ice turned to perfect slush. No matter what condition it lay its base on, it made me grin.
My main love of the Gypsy was not only its speed, but its stability at speed. Whether it was flatlining the concrete or slaying the slush, it never shattered. What’s more it was strong thanks to its pretty unique shape – with the flat area under your feet to keep you stable, response from the camber near the feet and then the rocker at the tip and tail. I’m used to more flexible boards for playfulness, but this handled take-offs and landings on the sidehits without a second thought and I think it would be great in a pipe.
The Gypsy will take any level of rider through their progression, as its forgiving enough for pushing yourself on every terrain, while strong enough to help you take you to the next level. It’s a board I’d rely on all over the mountain.
Rome Lofi Rocker
The LoFi Rocker was super powerful and one of the most fun and stable rides of the week. It didn’t shatter at speed, was super easy to control, and was super strong on take-offs and landings, without compromising the fun. If you want a board for both Dome and mountain, from a brand you can really rely on, the LoFi Rocker ticks every box.
It’s an all mountain board, ridden by Rome pro MFR, which seemed to handle every terrain and loved the park as much as the piste. I found it super responsive, especially when coming across unexpected obstacles on the mountain, and really powerful when carving up the mountain. If you want to go big in the park, pulling off gnarly spins, then this is a board you can trust to do just that.
The Rome Lo-fi has always been one of the most reliable boards my feet has come into contact with and I trusted it on every turn. It saw me through pow, park, ice, piste, off-piste and slush, without a word of a wimper, and was as strong on landings as it was at speeds. It’s an easy-to-control all-mountain board which no serious riding girl should go without. I had fun and it ticked every box without doubt – plus it made a change to see a sweet-looking, sweet-riding women’s board without super girly graphics.
Apo Podium Snowboard
Even though it wasn’t a board I’d originally lined up on my To Do list, the Apo Podium landed in my top boards of the week. I rode the 148 and it completely slaughtered everything in its path. I’m used to riding more playful freestyle boards but with the solid conditions of the mountain in the morning, I thought I’d take out something more stable – and the Podium was in its element.
Then once the ice turned to slush, the Podium knew where it was at and completely sliced every mound of slushy snow in its path. It was extremely fast without any shatter, and as if that wasn’t enough, its graphics are immense!
I think this will be a rad board for any intermediate girl rider who wants to progress all over the mountain as it’s fast, stable, and really pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Last but definitely not least, the DC Biddy really stood out for me at the Snowboard Test. I was giggling like a small child as all it wanted to do was go out and play! Side hits, park, and popping around on the piste were what the Biddy was all about, and I was still able to cruise round the mountain too.
I actually took a Biddy out that was a lot shorter than I’m used to, but despite the length, it was really stable and easy to control at speed – whether riding regular or switch. It loved every second of the afternoon slush, and it was more like a skateboard that had been let loose on a mountain! It’s super easy to turn, and I think it’d be super fun on a powder day if you enjoy floating around in the soft stuff too.
If you want to push yourself in your freestyle riding, while still having enough strength for playing around on the piste, or are a girl needing a board to help her take her first freestyle steps, then the Biddy is definitely a board for you.
Ok so it may not be for the snow, but since it’s still summer, and there’s still plenty of opportunities to ride the concrete all year round, we’re throwing in a token skate review for you. Thanks to the mountain weather closing in on our last day at Spring Break, our skate lives were revolutionised with the Penny Nickel.
Much to my mum’s distress, my teenage years were spent hitting up skate parks and street spots around town, while most of the other girls were discovering underage entry to Croydon’s ‘finest’ garage clubs. But at 18, my love of snowboarding took over, and has been that way since the Penny Nickel was placed in my hand. Now I’m converted, and for the first time in years I’m not wishing the summer away too fast!
The 27” of Penny Nickel put a stoke on my face as soon as I stepped on. It’s super easy to ride, and easy to turn thanks to the flex between the wheels, plus you can balance really easily on it thanks to it’s extra plastic than its 22” sister. It’s been as much fun to cruise round Victoria Park on a sunny day as it was cruising to the Kaunertal supermarket at Spring Break for post-shred supplies, and I’m super excited to take it to the States later this year. They’re high quality, look rad, and every girl needs one of these under their feet to keep them riding sideways all year round.
If you want a fresh reminder that winter’s nearly here, or just want to know what went down at the awesome Snowboard Spring Break, check out what the Dragon Alliance Europe crew lay down for us throughout the epic week.
Latest posts by Kaz Willmer (see all)
- Women’s 2014 Snowboard Reviews – July 17, 2013
- Head to Toe: Women’s 2014 Snowboard Outerwear Reviewed – May 30, 2013
- Best of Snowboard Spring Break From The Nikita Girls – May 19, 2013