We love summer, but all the ice cream we’ve been eating has us looking forward to other frozen treats, like the glorious powder days to come.
Surfing and skating may be occupying these warm summer days, but they can’t help keep snowboarding out of our dreams. While there’s still plenty of time left before we can don our snowboard jackets, strap into our bindings, and ride, we can still gawk over all the new gear that will have us looking fresh and riding smoothly this winter.
We talked to Matt Sklar from evo’s marketing team — he’s been on snow for 24 years and is no stranger to the newest innovations in the game. He gave us the rundown on some of the most exciting snowboards for the upcoming snow season.
evo’s Favorite Snowboards and Gear
“This is the snowboarding gear that we are stoked about heading into winter,” Sklar told us. “We ride and stand behind the gear we sell. You’ll see these snowboards in the mountains with evo employees; they’re all available now or on preorder at evo.”
Sklar’s take: When the Orca first came out, the board sold out nearly instantly. Sure, the eye-catching graphic — and Travis Rice’s name — helped, but the board deserves plenty of credit.
This pow-focused board has the chops to handle deep days and even makes the not-so-deep days nearly as much fun. The short and wide shape features a super-wide waist and a setback stance. This means you’ll want to size down from your typical snowboard size to make the most of the Orca’s unique dimensions.
Another bonus of the Orca is protection. No, we’re not talking snowboard helmets, but protecting the namesake orca whales. A portion of each sale will go to the Orca Conservancy for the protection of the Salish Sea’s southern resident killer whales.
Sklar’s take: There’s one snowboard that might not ever leave our list of favorite gear of the year, and that’s the CAPiTA Defenders of Awesome. Perpetually one of our bestselling snowboards, the DOA remains one of the best snowboards of the year.
Always seeking to improve, CAPiTA has made some tweaks to the core profile that will give it a touch more power and stability while retaining the awesome all-around performance that has vaulted it to fame.
Another plus is CAPiTA’s factory is perhaps the greenest around, using 100% renewable energy and many other eco-friendly processes. For riders looking for one snowboard to rule them all, this very well may be the ticket.
Sklar’s take: If you can’t tell yet, we’re sitting here in our home offices sweating out summer in our snowboard pants, reminiscing about the classics. And what’s more classic than camber? We’re seeing a camber comeback, and the Arbor Shiloh is one of our favorite examples. Crispy edgehold, great pop, and a precise ride — all reasons we love camber and this board.
A great daily driver, the Shiloh lets you make the most of the mountain but isn’t too stiff and serious to be a good time. For those watching their carbon footprint, Arbor is doing their best to cut back with bioplastics and other less-impactful materials like bio-resins.
Sklar’s take: The Ride Warpig was an instant classic when it hit the scene a few years ago, and the 2021 model continues the legacy. The directional shape and flat/rocker profile make the mountain a playground, with stability from the width and maneuverability from the shorter lengths that you can get away with.
While the Warpig thrives out and about on the mountain, thanks to the fun shape and stiffer flex, this piggy isn’t even afraid of a little bit of park action either. Versatility and a fun, snappy ride are the keys to take away with this hog.
Sklar’s take: For this upcoming winter, Salomon welcomes a women’s board into the progressive Hillside Project lineup. Progressive is the name of the game here, taking from Annie B’s riding style. A high-volume nose with a setback stance immediately screams “powder performance.”
Lightweight core construction teams up with the shape to keep the ride lively, surfing through deep powder or arcing turns on a groomer.
Bottom line: This is the board that you’ll want on those days you dream about all summer long.
Sklar’s take: Sure, your snowboard deck may get the glory, but don’t sleep on your bindings. New this winter are the “X” versions of the classic Burton Cartel and Lexa bindings. On the techy side, these bindings are stiffer for shredding precision and are built with a new one-piece highback.
Total it up, and we put this on the “stiff” end of the flex spectrum. So if you’re looking for improved response and power, take a look at these fresh bindings. For riders that prefer the more free-flowing flex of the originals, don’t worry, they haven’t gone anywhere.