Last February at ISPO Jeremy Jones announced the Ultracraft, a splitboard so light that it skimmed at least half a kilogram off its closest rival. Saving weight is even more important to splitboarders than it is to standard snowboarders because as splitboarding folk law goes, one gram on your feet is the equivalent of three on your back. So mr Jones must be feeling a little miffed that Amplid has released a splitboard a whole 200 grams lighter before the Ultracraft even hit the shop racks. The Amplid LAB Carbon split weighs in at an incredible 2.3kg!

Continue reading Amplid Announces the World’s Lightest Split

Amplid's owner Peter Bauer with the stealth looking LAB Carbon Split

Another year at ISPO and the snowboard industry has once again invented another million ways of calling a spade a spade; for this feature on the coming season’s gear we’ll toe the line.

Nose shaping is the new reverse camber. Blunted, pointy, asymmetric… whatever, as long as it’s not round its in-Vogue for next winter. It’s not all about aesthetics, a number of brands are increasing nose length and kick radius to increase surface area and improve floatation and following the lead of last year’s K2 Ultradream, which undoubtedly borrowed the concept from 5D ski shaping. The Nitro Uberspoon and Lib Tech Speedodeeps Travis Rice are good examples of snowboards where effective edge has been sacrificed for surface area. These boards make a lot of sense for those riders who want to get freestyle in the backcountry. Of course Slash continues to push the double mini swallow-tail introduced by the CAPiTA Unorthodox a good few years ago, the light-hearted graphics on the Happy Place are awesome. Head has also jumped on the double swallow-tail bandwagon with Alex Tank’s new pro-model.  We liked the nose shape on the Salomon Assassin a new all-mountain twin which replaces the long serving Grip.

Continue reading Snowboard-Review 2014 Gear Preview

On the first week of May for the last five years the team has made the pilgrimage to the annual UK Snowboard Test. in Kaunertal , Austria Usually an industry saturated event this year the event is being opened-up for the general public. So if you can afford a week of holiday in May why not make use of the tests ridiculously low price and get yourself some late season glacier action?

Continue reading Spring Break - Test for Yourself

Competition breeds innovation, fact. So while the snowboard industry might be having a bit of a hard time off the back of a terrible winter season for snow in the States and a global recession that the world economy just can’t shake, increased competition for board sales is driving innovation in Snowboard design and construction. It’s a pretty good time to be a consumer right now, with brands taking the brunt of materials, logistic and labour cost inflation but having to pump more and more revenue into RnD to keep their products desirable.

Continue reading The Endeavor Archetype Lab

In the last three years Splitboarding has become a hit with snowboarders tired of dodging the crowds; missing freshies after a dump because of work or family commitments and bored of riding the same terrain year after year. With Jeremy Jones’ documented splitboard adventures to exotic locations like Svalbrad and Antarctica in TGR’s movies Futher and Deeper, the growth in the number of people getting on a split each year has been phenominal. In February this year I was able to jump on the bandwagon and give my home-made Voile Split Decision splitboard a whirl.

Continue reading Voile Split Decision Review

There are many benefits of touring... fresh lines is one of them!

Colorado based freeride snowboard manufacturer Venture Snowboards’ recently announced “Shape Shack” appears to be off to a good start with its craziest shape to date, the Euphoria, taking an award in Backcountry Magazine’s annual test.  Developed by Venture’s co-founder Klemens Branner and snowboarding uber legend Johan Olofsson, the Euphoria has such a surf-board inspired shape with almost 100% reverse sidecut that you can bet that conditions during the test were deep and fresh. Anyway, here’s the press release:

Continue reading Venture Euphoria Wins Backcountry Mag Award

The Venture Euphoria - Powder Perfection... Groomer Hell

For the last two to three seasons the uncrowned king of Colorado snowboard manufacture Never Summer has been scooping more industry and magazine awards than you can throw a tree trunk sized stick at. At the forefront of the hybrid camber revolution the brand has certainly had its fair share of imitators all panning for the same Rocky Mountains gold dust which makes Never Summer decks sell like hot cakes. This year NS releases the Cobra, another addition to its now famous Carbonium series, ruggedly constructed snowboards with a braided carbon composite topsheet that packs great pop and unmatched dampening into classic NS shapes. The Cobra takes its design from the extremely popular SL’s set-back, directional, all-mountain shape and its upgraded materials spec from the Proto CT.

Continue reading Sh*t is Hot - 2013 Never Summer Preview

With more tools than Batman’s utility belt, an endless supply of materials ranging from the conventional to the downright ludicrous and a crew of riders and craftsmen hell-bent on creating snowboards that will never in a million years see production, if anything Signal Snowboards’ Every Third Thursday makes for addictive watching. We’re certain that Dave Lee and his band of merry men (and lady) make snowboards like Willy Wonka makes chocolate bars, under the influence of mind altering substances. If you missed the last series fear not, Signal have put together a medley jam packed with all of last season’s episodes in a six minute and thirty second edit.

Continue reading Signal ETT Best of Season 2

A trip to ISPO is never complete without a catch-up with K2’s UK SNowboard rep Pat. While we chowed-down on free Beef Jerky, Pat took us through K2 snowboards’ the new line designed for backcountry and sidecountry riding. The Peacekeeper, Ultradream and Highlife all feature K2’s new heavily blunted nose shapes with very gradual rocker in the nose and tail, they’ve labelled the new shape Tweekends. The idea behind the mellow rocker is that by reducing the sharpness of the transition area at the nose the board when layed into a carve is more likely to retain the turn shape you intended instead of becoming dive-y. The large blunted nose and tail shape allows for plenty of reverse sidecut at the nose and tail which should allow the rider to drift turns through the tail and nose without carving… it’s an idea pinched from the 5D ski shapes that have been on the market for the last couple of years. It’s an exciting line and we can’t wait to try them in Kaunertal in the next month.

Continue reading Sh*t is Hot - 2013 K2 Snowboards Preview

2012 hasn’t been a great year for the snowboard industry at large. A record low for snowfalls in the US and a very late start to the season in Europe has been compounded by the global financial crisis rearing its ugly head once again. It has been the perfect recipe for a terrible season in the industry. They say every cloud has a silver lining, and as a consumer the good news is that this year’s sales are ridiculous. Prices on boards have been cut so deep you wonder if the shops are making a loss, and there are still tons of boards on the racks to choose from. With that in mind SB-RV’s Tom Ewbank has put a list together of our favourite snowboards of 2012 to help you snag a bargain.

Continue reading Retrospective - 10 Best Park Snowboards 2012

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