Winter Sports

10 Best Freeride Snowboard 2020 Reviews

If you’re inquiring about what freeride snowboarding is, then I don’t fault you. The phrase gets very confused. Before I give my definition of what freeride snowboarding is, I would like to go over some other freeriding definitions.

The major one is grouping freeride and all-mountain riding together. A bunch of individuals get the both of them wrong, while some call them the same thing.

In my opinion this is wrong. All-mounting riding involves some freeriding but it also involves other varieties of riding.

The other fallacy in my thoughts is grouping freestyle and freeriding as one. They are two different thing not the same.

General features of snowboards

Best Freeride Snowboard

Sidecut Radius 

Sidecut radius defines the arc of the snowboard’s rim. It is articulated in meters and it gives you an initiative of whether a snowboard is preferable at constructing tight turns or big arching ones. Altogether, a snowboard with a thin waist coupled with its tip and tip will have a shorter sidecut radius and will make more taut turns while a snowboard with a broad waist coupled with its tip and tail will have a longer sidecut radius and will be preferable at making big and long-radius turns.

Effective Edge

Snowboards consist of metal rims that puncture the snow to help in control and steering. It is measured in centimeters, it is the edge region that really touches the snow throughout your dive/descent. The effective is usually shorter than the whole length of the snowboard. There are two effective edges:

  • A longer effective edge: it delivers stability at great speed and also a firm grip during turns or when descending icy gradient/slope.
  • A shorter effective edge: it allows for an easier turn and spin

Flex

A snowboard can flex in two different ways; longitudinal flex is the flex across the board’s length while Torsional flex is the flex along the board’s width.

  • Soft flex: boards with soft flexes are flexible and easy to turn. They are often preferred by novice riders and riders with lower body weight.
  • Stiff flex: boards with stiff flex offer more grip when turning and they hold speeds better than soft flex.

Base Materials

The base materials applied in snowboard bases are the two types of polyethylene {PE}

  • Extruded bases: they are cheap, they require low maintenance and are comparatively easy to mend.
  • Sintered bases: they are fast, strong, durable and light but they are expensive and they may need waxing.

10 Best Freeride Snowboard Reviews

Freeride snowboarding

Freeriding is about control.

Freeriding is difficult and aggressive style of snowboarding that involves;

  • Hard carves
  • Tree runs
  • Narrow chutes
  • Speed
  • Steep slopes

Freeride snowboarding is a type of snowboarding that is done on natural un-groomed terrain, without a fixed course, goals or guide.

Freeriding brings several aspects of snowboarding into a style that adjusts to the differences and challenges of natural, eschews man-made and off-piste terrain features like rails, jumps, groomed snow and half-pipes. To fully understand the concept of freeriding, you need to faultlessly combine the discipline of freestyle snowboarding and alpine snowboarding into an all-round style. While freestyle snowboarding depends on the use of man-made terrain, alpine snowboarding is done on groomed snow.

Freeride snowboard is ideal for ungroomed snow in any type of terrain. Freeride snowboards are constructed for adventurous riders who spend their away from groomed runs. They are usually directional boards, that is, they are constructed to be ridden with one side facing downhill. The flex of a freeride snowboard is often more rigid than that of a freestyle board.

Snowboarders generally refer to freeriding as sidescountry, off-piste and occasionally extreme riding. The word ‘freeriding’ was derived in snowboarding, some riders have embraced it in recent years.

Freeride snowboards make up a huge fraction of the market because they are the perfect pick for an all-rounder.

A freeride snowboard often has a directional shape and a flex pattern with a nose that is suppler than the tail. This facilitates a turn beginning and it also helps in handling choppy snow situations. Overall, a freeride snowboard is more rigid tip to tail and edge to edge for a more accurate and steady ride. Also, the boots and bindings are often more rigid and stiff than the freestyle snowboarding counterpart.

How to Choose the Best Freeride Snowboard

There are several important factors you have to consider when purchasing your ideal freeride snowboard.

This part of the article will show you the factors and specifics of the freeride snowboard best suited for you, the various variances and the reason they are made in that way, so that you will have a clue of what is ideal for.

The factors to look include:

The Flex

A Freeride snowboard is consistently on the rigid side when it comes to its flex. This is partly individual preference but majority of the freeride snowboards are inclined to have a solid and rigid flex or an average stiff flex. The minority are designed with a more average flex.

It is unlikely or very rare to find a soft or medium-soft freeride snowboard. The stiff flex helps the board with improved edge-hold and stability when you’re at high speed.

Shape

Freeride snowboards always come in directional shape, they often come in the shape of tapered directional.

This is for the reason that freeriding requires optimum performance and functioning.

Setback

Freeride snowboards are often designed with 20mm of setback and sometimes more. There is no actual requirement for centered stance as there is not a lot switch involved. However, the setback stance allows it to be unproblematic so as to firmly hold the nose on top of deep snow.

If you are centered on the snowboard it might be challenging and it may require you to work harder on leaning backwards and holding the nose on top. This could be very exhausting and it would need all your focus and concentration, taking it out of riding, getting the perfect lines and evading obstacles.

Camber Profile

Freeride snowboards are of different camber profiles, but there are some that are most definitely superior to the others. This also has to do with individual preference.

The most known and accepted freeride snowboard camber profiles in my opinion are hybrid rocker and hybrid camber shapes. These camber regions of the shapes aid in edge-hold which is very essential for freeriding. Also the rocker regions are very important.

Base

Freeride snowboarding is a difficult charging aggressive method of riding, as a result it requires a difficult charging aggressive kind of pedestal and base.

Freeride snowboards are principally designed with sintered bases. These bases have more speed and they glide much better than the extruded bases when you properly maintain them.

This means that when you are purchasing a freeride snowboard, the best choice is often the snowboard with sintered bases, because they are better and faster for freeriding.

Length

Another factor you should consider when purchasing a freeride snowboard is the length. A longer snowboard is the better pick when considering a freeride snowboard. This is because the additional length will aid greater speed, stability and steadiness which is one very important when snowboarding.

Width

Freeride snowboard tends to be somewhat thinner than an average snowboard. The narrowness makes it faster and extra responsive from side to side. It is significant when you attempt to get past obstacles like trees and narrow chutes.

However, you still have to ensure that the snowboard is not too narrow or thin for your snow boot, if your snow boots extend excessively, it might cause boot drag on solid carves.

It is advisable to fit your snowboard with boots with low profile, it will give you a ride on a thinner board with reduced chances of getting boot drag.

This is mostly what there is to learn about choosing your freeride snowboards, I trust this article will help you decide if a freeride snowboard is ideal for you or not.

Top 10 Best Freeride Snowboards

Freeride Snowboard

ModelRating
YES PICK YOUR LINE4.4
NEVER SUMMER WEST BOUND4.5
BURTON FLIGHT ATTENDANT4.7
JONES FLAGSHIP5.0
GNU MULLAIR4.5
NEVER SUMMER CHAIRMAN4.4
NICHE MAELSTROM4.5
YES HYBRID4.6
BURTON SKELETON KEY4.4
LIB TECH EJACK KNIFE5.0

1. YES PICK YOUR LINE

Review

The ‘Yes pick your line’ freeride snowboard is designed for individuals that want adventures and explore the sidecountry/backcountry and rip it up on the groomers when the powder is not available.

For any individual that is in search of a fast and stable freeride snowboard, ‘Yes pick your line’ snowboard is the ideal board. It is a great carver and it functions perfectly in powder, it is also responsive and fast edge to edge.

It is definitely not for starters or novice riders.

Features

  • Measures 159cm long and 253mm wide at waist level
  • Its width at inserts measures 260mm {10.2”} at the back and 263mm {10.4”} at the front
  • Tapered directional shape
  • Its camber profile is hybrid camper
  • It uses sintered base
  • It has a stance width of 570mm {22.4”} and stance setback of 10mm {0.4”}
  • Weighs 2900g {6lb 6oz} and 18.24g/cm
  • Its binding angles measures +18/-6
  • Its nose is significantly longer than the tail
  • Good speed
  • It is fun to use and aggressive

Pros

  • Impressive float in powder
  • Shockingly active and stable at high speed
  • Excellent performance on rough terrain
  • Simple to ride

Cons

  • It is not used by novice riders/snowboarders.

2. NEVER SUMMER WEST BOUND

Review

The Never Summer West Bound is most suited for individuals searching for a freeride snowboard that does not feel very locked in or excessively stiff and rigid or aggressive. Individuals that prefer carving groomers, riding at speed and finding powder when it is around, but not to have a board that might make them feel like they have to put in their all while riding.

Although, it is easier to ride, it is far from novice friendly, but it is good enough for a firm intermediate rider.

Features

  • It measures 157cm and 255mm wide at waist level
  • Its width at inserts measures 265mm {10.43”} at the front and 264mm {10.39”} at the back
  • Tapered directional shape
  • Its camber profile is directional hybrid rocker
  • It makes use of sintered base
  • A stance width of 575mm {22.6”} and the stance setback of the overall length of the snowboard is about 41mm
  • The nose is longer than the tail
  • Its binding angles measures +15/-15

Pros

  • Smooth on the carve
  • Good stability at speed
  • Ggood on rough terrain.
  • Very comfortable.

Cons

  • It has flat transition area at the front of the board that might cause unnecessary and redundant hand-ups.

3. BURTON FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Review

The Burton flight attendant has everything and anything you need from a freeride snowboard. It floats wonderfully in powder and it carves hard with no indication of washing out. It is super fast and very stable at great speed.

The Burton flight attendant is good for individuals who like to carve up groomers and also like steep and deep or if you prefer having a bit more playful ride for the sidecountry to kick off some freestyle from time to time, Burton flight attendant snowboard is your ideal freeride snowboard.

Features

  • It measures 156cm and 248mm wide at waist level
  • Its width at inserts measures 258mm {10.16”} at the front and 257mm {10.12”} at the back.
  • Tapered directional in shape
  • Its camber profile is directional hybrid camber
  • Uses sintered WFO
  • A stance width of 560mm {22”} and its stance setback is 35mm
  • Its binding angles measure +15/-15

Pros

  • Very consistent on various types of terrains
  • Agile enough for weaving and moist enough going over
  • It is forgiving enough for intermediate riders
  • Very stable and versatile

Cons

  • It offers unforgiving skidded turn so novice riders can’t make use of them.

4. JONES FLAGSHIP

Review

The flagship has gone through numerous changes for the 2020 design. Although it is changed, it still performs the same function and in an advanced manner.

The Jones Flagship is an excellent freeride selection that stands out in powder, in the backcountry/sidecountry, for riding trees and for carving. Also, if you like steep and deep, this board is particularly for good for you. The Jones flagship is only for expert rider who are advanced as it is very stiff and technical for beginners and intermediate riders.

Features

  • Its flex feel on snow is medium-stiff {7.5/10}
  • Measures 158cm and 248mm wide at waist level
  • Its width at inserts measures 266mm {10.47”} and 261mm {10.28”} at the back
  • Tapered directional in shape {12.5mm taper}
  • Its camber profile is directional hybrid camber
  • A stance width of 560mm {22”}
  • Weighs 2760g {17.47g/cm}
  • Binding angles measures +15/-15
  • Its turns initiation is medium-fast
  • More agile at slower speed

Pros

  • Floats better on powder
  • Advanced and improved for trees.
  • Good maneuverability and jumps
  • A balanced power and control
  • Carves surprisingly

Cons

  • Not very stable
  • Not for novice or intermediate riders
  • Too plain

5. GNU MULLAIR

Review

The GNU Mullair is ideal for individuals searching for a bomber. It has rocker between its feet and although its profile does not fit well powder, it floats amazingly good in powder. GNU Mullair can lay down a carve and it is very agile. It also has the ability to bomb when at speed and it is quite stiff.

Features

  • Measures 250mm wide at waist level
  • Its binding angels are +15/-15
  • Its stance width measures 580mm {22.8”} and its stance setback measures 25mm {1”}
  • Tapered directional shape
  • Its camber profile is hybrid rocker {GNU’s C3 Camber”
  • Its turn initiation is medium-fast

Pros

  • Its holds edges firmly and solidly
  • It is fast and has great stability

Cons

  • Its floats are mediocre
  • It is not perfect/ ideal for switch

6. NEVER SUMMER CHAIRMAN

Review

Never Summer Chairman is a bomber and it is designed to charge hard on the mountain, either on groomers or in the deep. It is stiff, rigid and cambered and it is great at carving. They float well on powder. Never Summer Chairman is ideal for individuals that like to ride powder in the backcountry/sidecountry or charge solidly. It is very stiff and rigid for beginners and it has great speed.

Features

  • Measures 256mm wide at waist level
  • Binding angles are +15/-15
  • Stance width measure 560mm {22”} and its stance setback measures 20mm {0.75”}
  • Its width at inserts measures 258mm {10.16”} at the front and 259mm {10.2”} at the back.
  • Floats well on powder and it is quite unproblematic
  • Great speed

Pros

  • Speed fiend and it is stable
  • Amazing on rough terrain

Cons

  • It is not ideal for beginners and starters
  • It is not big enough for chairman standards

7. NICHE MAELSTROM

Review

Niche Maelstrom freeride snowboard is a customary snowboard. It is stiff, rigid and tough and it is firm charging. It is aggressive and it has the ability to charge both groomers and powder.

Niche Maelstrom is suitable for individuals searching for a hard charging snowboard.

Features

  • Measures 160cm long and 256mm wide on the waist level
  • Binding angles are +15/-15
  • Its stance width measures 540mm {21.3”} while its stance setback measures 20mm
  • Its width at inserts measures 268mm {10.55”} at the front and 266mm {10.47”} at the back
  • The binding used in Niche Maelstrom is Burton Malavita M
  • Tapered directional in shape

Pros

  • Feels good on powder
  • Very stable at full speed
  • Solid and firm for large jumps.

Cons

  • It is not nimble and agile enough.

8. YES HYBRID

Review

The YES Hybrid is a soft and forgiving freeride snowboard, it is ideal for individuals searching for a short/wide freeride. It is certainly not for novice riders but it is soft enough for intermediate riders, it is good in powder and it is also good for carving up groomer. It has great speed, it is a directional snowboard and it is not terrible for jumps and spins, it can be ridden in sunny and warm weather conditions.

Features

  • Measures 161cm long and 264mm wide at waist level
  • Binding angles are +15/-15
  • Stance width measures 585mm {23”} and its stance setback measures 40mm
  • Its width at inserts measures 283mm {11.14”} and 277mm {10.91”} at the back
  • Weighs 2880g and 18.34g/cm

Pros

  • Floats well on powder
  • Smooth
  • Great to carve and it feels good on rough terrains

Cons

  • Can’t be used by novice riders
  • It might be excessively buttery.
  • Insufficient size choices

9. BURTON SKELETON KEY

Review

BURTON skeleton key is tapered directional shaped freeride snowboard that gives a great float in powder. It is stiff but it has a softer flex and it works for both carving and powder. It has identical back and front inserts widths.

Features

  • Measures 158cm long and 258mm wide at waist level
  • Stance width measures 560mm {22”} and stance setback measures 50mm
  • Its width at inserts measures 268mm {10.55”} at the front and 268mm {10.55”} at the back
  • Tapered directional in shape and its camber profile is directional hybrid camber
  • Its turn initiation is medium-fast.

Pros

  • Delivers effortless and non-problematic float in powder
  • Very good carver
  • Amazing stability

Cons

  • Its skidded turns is not ideal and advisable
  • It can’t be used by starting riders

10. LIB TECH EJACK KNIFE

Review

LIB Tech Ejack Knife is a directional freeride snowboard, it is designed with magne-traction sides/edges to keep you locked to the walls while you execute your drop/descent. This freeride is perfect for any kind of terrain regardless of how rough. It is aggressive and it has placid rocker between your feet. It is also stable on high speed.

Features

  • The base used is the Eco sublimated TNT
  • It is directional in shape and delivers stiff flex

Pros

  • It is stable at high speed
  • It can be ridden on any type of terrain

FAQs

Snowboard

What is the shape of a good freeride snowboard?

The shape of a good freeride snowboard is tapered. This helps it control your movement when moving into mountain sides are downwards.

What are the features of a good freeride snowboard?

A good freeride snowboard should be stiff and rigid, it should possess great speed, it should have the ability to maneuver any kind of terrain; rough or smooth and it should deliver good floats.

Conclusion

As we have reviewed earlier in the article all that is to know about freeride snowboarding and the factors to look out for when you are purchasing your snowboard. Do not forget that almost all freeride snowboards are not for novice riders but intermediate and expert riders.

I hope this article helps you get the best freeride snowboard that is ideal for you and meet your requirements.

Readmore: 10 Best Snowboard Boots for Wide Feet Reviews

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