Introducing our women’s snowboard buying guide for the upcoming ski season. We’ll dive into what each snowboard does well and what type of rider the snowboards will be best suited for, but prior to diving into the boards let’s go over some basic need-to-knows before shopping.
Every snowboard has a vast array of tech features built into it that makes it more catered for certain conditions and certain riders. Some of these features include flex-level, rocker vs. camber, shape, etc. Based on these features, in-bounds snowboards can be broken down into roughly four categories: all-mountain, freeride, freestyle, and powder.
All-Mountain snowboards are designed with versatility in mind. These snowboards are forged for the rider who relishes in cruising the entire mountain: groomers, glades, moguls, park, and powder. All-mountain snowboards generally have a medium amount of flex that offers solid control at speed but is still flowy, with a combination of rocker and camber that creates the perfect all-mountain ride.
Freeride snowboards are generally built for more aggressive riders. Freeride boards excel in off-piste riding, charging through variable snow at high speeds. They are usually built with a stiffer flex for optimal responsiveness at high-speed, with a cambered profile for idealized edging.
Freestyle snowboards tend to have softer flex and are designed to be playful and forgiving. They are often ridden in shorter sizes that make the board more agile. This makes freestyle snowboards ideal for experienced park riders and beginner all-mountain riders alike, since they are easy to maneuver.
Powder snowboards are built for surfing deep snow. They generally have a directional shape that helps keep weight on your back foot, and are built with a fat nose to maximize surface area and floatation. Powder boards are often built with rocker to make them super flowy and fun to ride in the deep.
These categories are helpful in searching for a snowboard, but are not the end-all be-all to what a board can do. Most snowboards available today are capable of all-mountain riding, but excel in one of these categories. As you start shopping for snowboards, one of the most important considerations is the snowboard size. OnTheSnow’s snowboard sizing chart is a good place to start.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s check out some of the state-of-the-art snowboards available today.
Women’s Snowboard Round-Up
Jones Twin Sister (All-Mountain)
The Jones Twin Sister snowboard is a top option for an excellent all-mountain snowboard. It has a medium-stiff flex for optimal responsiveness and stability, without being too rigid. The Twin Sister features camber between the bindings and rocker at the tip and tail, keeping things both powerful and playful. “Featuring a CamRock profile and a friendly flex, the Twin Sister offers amazing float in pow, turns on a dime, and is easy to ride switch or take into the terrain park,” write the experts at Jones.
Never Summer Proto Synthesis (All-Mountain)
Never Summer’s Proto Synthesis is another excellent choice for an all-mountain snowboard. This board is designed with Never Summer’s signature Shockwave Rocker Camber, giving you ultimate energy transfer while still maintaining the playfulness of a rockered snowboard. It has a true twin design, great for throwing tricks and riding switch, while the medium stiffness and Power Grip Sidecut holds an edge with the best of them. “On the preeminent women’s all-mountain twin you’ll always get back twice as much as you give,” boast the board makers at Never Summer. “Simply put, you’ll just ride better.”
GNU Barrett (Freeride)
For hard charging with precision and control, the GNU Barrett is an excellent snowboard. This board is cambered to perfection, creating precision carving on groomers and slicing through chopped up afternoon snow with ease. The directional shape gives this board a tight feel at top speed. Carbon strips in the core help reduce the weight and provide a nimble feeling on the feet, while the Progressive Magne-traction optimizes edge control. This board performs everywhere on the mountain, but especially on those off-piste hot laps.
Jones Women’s Flagship (Freeride)
Jones Women’s Flagship is a monstrous snowboard, great for the experienced and aggressive rider tearing through variable snow. Jones declares that the Flagship “is one the most confidence inspiring freeride boards on the planet.” Its stiff flex coupled with the directional rocker profile make this thing a speed demon with on-a-dime control. The Flagship also has a tapered tail that sinks in powder for back foot steering, while the wider nose floats like a champ. The Basalt Power Stringers and Power Core increase torsional response while dampening vibrations over choppy snow.
Capita Birds of a Feather (Freestyle)
Capita’s Birds of a Feather has won every major industry design award in recent years, and for good reason. This is a do-it-all snowboard that excels in freestyle riding; an all-mountain snowboard that has an affinity for popping, spinning, and playing. Its flex level is on the softer side of medium for a fun and forgiving ride, while the elongated effective edge maximizes edge control. The Birds of a Feather has positive camber underfoot for the pop and power of a fully cambered board, with reverse camber at the tip and tail to minimize the chance of catching an edge, giving you some peace of mind when landing tricks.
Niche Minx (Freestyle)
The Niche Minx is a soft-flex freestyle snowboard that still performs well all over the mountain. “The Minx is the perfect companion for all-day park sessions, fluffy powder days, and everything in between,” writes Niche. “It floats well in powder, is soft enough to press, yet stable enough to hit jumps, and really… any other terrain you’d like to enjoy.” The Basalt Stringer and woodcore make this board super poppy and reduces chatter over choppy terrain, while the flat to early rise camber makes it difficult to catch an edge. Not only is the board a great option for experienced freestyle riders, but also for beginner snowboarders. The soft-flex is forgiving, and the fact that it’s so hard to catch an edge is super forgiving. Not to mention the friendly price point.
Bataleon Love Powder (Powder)
Bataleon beckons you to “Unlock the full potential of a powder day with the Love Powder.” The 3D-shaped nose floats dreamlike in powder, while the directional tail sinks, providing responsive steering in deep snow. It has soft flex that’s easy to press in the snow and won’t buck you off if you make a mistake. The poplar core with hardwood beech stringers makes this a flexible yet sturdy piece of machinery, creating a poppy and fun ride. For those who love to surf in snow, the Bataleon Love Powder snowboard is the tool for you.
Salomon HPS Annie Boulanger
Yet another excellent option for the powder hounds out there, the HPS Annie Boulanger snowboard will have you swimming and slicing through snow like butter. It has a tapered directional shape with a swallow tail that provides that euphoric lift in deep powder, with camber in between the feet for carving, and a huge rocker in the nose for floatation. This board excels in powder, but is certainly no slouch everywhere else on the mountain. The medium-flex and radial sidecut holds an edge on hardpack, while the Ghost Green Core provides maximum pop and reduces weight. This is an awesome all-mountain board with an emphasis on surfing.