Expert Review: Weston Snowboards Riva Women's SnowboardPublished on 08/28/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in March of 2022.
Photos courtesy of Tyese Messerman
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in March of 2022.
The Weston Riva Women’s Snowboard is a fantastic board for an advanced snowboarder looking for a big-mountain board that excels in bowls, powder, and going fast. This board can also hold its own at a resort, but it really shines on bigger terrain.
About the gear
- Model: Weston Riva 2023
- Size: 147cm
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130 lbs
- Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding
- When I tested this: I got to test this in March of 2022
- Days tested: 2
- Mount position: +12/-9
- Boots: Salomon Ivy
- Boot Size: 8.5
- Bindings: Burton Cartel
- Where I’ve used it: Washington
- Terrain: Groomers, Uneven terrain, Trees, Powder
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking at boards that would be the full package if I was to travel with only one board. I wanted a board that was good in powder but also could go off-piste through uneven terrain and chunder well and still be able to carve on the groomers. I knew all of those elements were a big ask, but I started looking.
Why I chose this gear
I was really interested in Weston as a company because they specialize in splitboards. From what I understood, they design their splitboards first and then make solid versions, which is the opposite of most companies. So I figured if they specialized in splitboarding, their boards probably used technology that excelled in the backcountry, in powder, and through unexpected conditions.
I had four boards I was very curious about. Those were the Hel Yes by Yes, the Jones Flagship, and the Never Summer Lady West. These boards all cater to an advanced freerider, but the Riva caught my attention with its fatter nose and deeper sidecut because I like tree runs, which made the board easy to turn fast and speed check quickly.
What I love about it
- Speed: I felt very stable at high speeds on the Riva. I could really dig into my turns on the groomers, and through chunky terrain, I felt like I didn’t need to slow down as much as I do on some boards because the Riva maintained great stability. It is a bit narrower at the tail, so combined with the sidecut, I felt like I could do quick speed checks without losing a lot of speed.
- Edge hold: The edge hold felt great on the Riva. It felt smooth on the groomers, but on some steeper runs off-piste, it held on over icy chunks better than I expected. I’m not sure if this is because it is slightly more flexy than a lot of freeride boards or not, but it felt like the perfect balance of edge hold on and off-piste.
- Turns: I felt like I could easily make larger swooping carves on this board, but it also seems to excel at tighter turns. It was easy to use my back foot ever so slightly to make quick turns and carves, and the back end is more narrow and, in turn, lighter weight than the front, so it was quick to throw around.
- Groomers: For excelling at a big-mountain freeride style of riding and in powder, this board is still surprisingly fun to cruise on the groomers. It was easier to go fast than slow, so I wouldn’t ride this if I were out with a big group going slower or teaching someone how to snowboard, but overall, it held its own on groomers. The only two boards I tried that are more fun to carve on groomers are the Hel Yes and the Jones Stratos.
- Powder: The Riva does great in powder. Its wide nose and narrower tail really help it float through pow effortlessly, and it is directional with a setback stance to add to the float. There is rocker at both the tip and tail, which also helps.
- Trees: This board is great in trees. When there is powder in trees, it is even more fun. It feels easy to make quick turns and corrections with my back foot, and it feels nimble in tight spaces. It feels pretty lightweight as well, which helps turn quickly.
- Moguls: The narrower design and lightweight design made this board feel like it was pretty easy to throw around quickly and go through moguls. It is a little softer of flex compared to a lot of boards like it, so it wasn’t such a choppy feel going through moguls.
- Backcountry: This board is fantastic for unexpected terrain that might come up in the backcountry. It’s great in powder, fun in trees, and plows over choppy conditions with good stability. It seemed to hold a strong edge despite uneven terrain and didn’t feel chattery.
- Durability: One of my favorite things about the Weston boards I have tried so far is their topsheet. The topsheet is made using castor beans, and it is really textured and feels super durable. It didn’t feel like it would chip easily and felt very scratch-resistant. It also seems to have fully wrapped edges to avoid problems.
- Weight: The core is mostly very lightweight paulownia which is very lightweight and has carbon stringers for pop. Overall, this makes the board feel fairly lightweight and responsive.
- Stability: The Riva has good pop, does not feel chattery even at higher speeds, and overall offers a pretty damp ride.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: I didn’t get to take this board into the park, but it was just so-so when trying to hit kickers. It definitely has a pop to it, but it wouldn’t be my board of choice if I really wanted a freestyle-forward feel.
- Switch riding: This is a very directional board with a fatter tip than the tail and a setback stance, so it is not ideal for switch riding.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this board was a tree run at a small resort in Washington. I was chasing a friend, and I was absolutely amazed at how quick and nimble the board was in tight spaces. It was so fun to fly through the trees and feel like I could maintain great control the whole time by being able to make quick speed corrections. The day ended with a great dinner in a new town to top it off.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think the Riva is a great deal. It is over $100 cheaper than the Jones Flagship and is very similar in pricing to the Lady West. The durable topsheet combined with the directional taper makes this board really special, and I think it is worth every penny if someone’s looking for a big-mountain board.
This board is an awesome choice for a high intermediate to advanced snowboarder looking for a board to ride on big-mountain terrain. It floats great through powder, holds an edge, feels stable over chunder, and is quick to turn through trees. This would be a solid choice for anyone looking to ride more off-piste than on and wanting a board that is easy to control.