Virtual Snowboard Gold: ‘Shredders’ Is Impressively Realistic

Snowboarding video games have evolved substantially since SSX ruled the genre 20 years ago. This year’s Shredders just might offer the most lifelike riding experience you’ll ever get without strapping in.

Developed by actual snowboards at FoamPunch, Shredders aims to offer grounded, gravity-bound gameplay that mimics the physics of the real world. Unlike arcadey snowboarding games that permit absurd floating 540 from flat ground, the controls of Shredders challenge players to utilize momentum, technique, and form — even if it’s all executed via a handheld controller.

We’d never suggest that a virtual substitute can live up to the singular experience of carving through deep powder and crisp mountain air, but the graphics of Shredders are admittedly realistic.

In one clip, the simulated sun shines through wispy cirrus clouds, and the quality of light perfectly mimics a bluebird morning in spring. The three-dimensional surface of the snow features edge-carved grooves and corduroy groomer stripes, each with its own micro-shadows and highlights.

In-game gear is based on existing brands and product designs. Every minute detail is in play here, from boot laces to binding straps.

In campaign mode, players steer an unnamed young snowboarder through a series of hijinks at a fictional resort called Frozen Wood. Real professional snowboarders including Arthur Longo, Leanne Pelosi, and Zeb Powell star in voice-acting roles.

One noteworthy ridable map is a near-perfect replica of the Slopestyle Olympic course from the 2022 Beijing Olympics. From off-kilter kickers to the big air money booter, the most technically advanced slopestyle course in history is recreated in full.

Check out this video of a player sampling the Beijing Slopestyle map.

Runtime: 10 minutes

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Austin Beck-Doss

Austin Beck-Doss has been writing about climbing, hiking, and snowsports for five years. Prior to that, Austin worked as a rock climbing guide for an adaptive recreation organization. Now based in Wyoming, Austin enjoys hiking through the limestone hills, recording observations as drawings, and looking for new (old) rocks to climb.

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