The Boards That My Favorite Pros Ride: Tommy Gesme, Jed Anderson, and Dillon Ojo

Snowboard Expert Joseph Attwood walks us through three professional snowboarders, the snowboards they ride, and why the pros love these boards in particular!

A snowboarder hitting a rail on a snowboard.

Tommy Gesme in Tommy Gesme and the Sleepwalker. Video by Colton Feldman, courtesy of Salomon

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Everyone has role models in their life or heroes they look up to in some form or fashion. For me, these pro riders are a big reason I even got into snowboarding in the first place. For many years, I have been influenced by their riding style to the boards they ride on. It was really cool for me to be able to see all these riders in person, snowboarding at different points in my life. As a true gearhead, I have always been very interested to see all the gear they use and getting a glimpse at the details of their stance and general setup.

Salomon Sleepwalker: Tommy Gesme

Starting with my all-time favorite, Tommy Gesme has been riding on Salomon snowboards for a good while now. Always riding a fairly classic camber twin shape great like what is now the modern-day Sleepwalker model. He rides 155cm. This deck is perfect for a freestyle master because of the nice flex rating and overall forgiving edge feel. The deck perfectly fits Tommy's style and allows him to express himself on the snowboard fully. The Sleepwalker has a “rock out camber profile,” which gives it a forgiving feel with the edges and runs softer on the flex rating side with a 2 out of 5 rating.

The Salomon Sleepwalker Snowboard.

A mostly aspen core provides high-quality tier wood as its heart. The board has ABS plastic for sidewalls, which is fairly common within the freestyle world of decks. The Sleepwalker has a very tough base with the extruded EG base. It holds up great when getting bashed into everything and anything you ride it on. All this tech makes the Sleepwalker a top-tier freestyle deck overall.

Ride Kink: Jed Anderson

Also, another legend in snowboarding is Jed Anderson. He has been through several huge companies for his sponsorships, some of which came and then left snowboarding, like Nike. For example, it started making snowboarding boots around 2008 and only lasted until 2014/15. Within this timespan, they picked up a number of strong riders but then dropped them when the company dipped out of snowboarding. Even though Jed has seen big companies like Nike come and go through the industry, he has still been a pro-level rider for over a decade now and has seen many changes come and go, like the product and style of gear made over a long period. With this said, Jed knows what is quality or not quality when it comes to snowboards and the rest of the setup.

I was hyped to meet him in person at Woodward Park city a couple of seasons ago. As of now, Jed has been riding for Ride snowboards for the last couple of years, and the company gave him his own model design called the “Kink,” which he uses in the 151cm size. This board has a true twin hybrid camber shape, designed with the streets and rail tech in mind. It isn't the best choice for big jumps or backcountry, but that is what Jed is best at: the heavy tech stuff.

With a mellow response flex rating, this deck is very playful and bendy when you need it to be. Also, the size is slightly limited to not very big cm sizes because it was just built for jibbers and by jibbers. Yet, the core is still very strong. You can rely on the aspen combined bamboo plank not to break on those high-impact landings and when slapping rails hard.

The Ride Kink Snowboard.

The Kink is one of the lightest decks in the ride lineup. Knowing Jed and his style with lots of 270s on rails, you'll definitely want something that feels a bit more lightweight under the feet and does not hold you down or feel sluggish. The Ride Kink does a good job of getting rid of the issue you would have with a heavier deck.

Some cool tech, like double impact plates directly under the binding areas, helps strengthen the board's core and prevent a common snapping point. This is a key point to prevent the all too common times when you go for a big board slide and snap your expensive snowboard. Another nice feature the Kink has is the Cleave Edge tech, which uses 50% more steel on the entire edge for maximum durability. Overall, this deck is perfect and fits a rider just like Jed very well. Ride has put a good amount of effort into the artwork and design of Kink with each passing year; I have faith the model will continue to make some big improvements over time. Of course, any brand needs to refresh and present its model in a new light, which Ride has been doing so far.

Ride Burnout: Dillon Ojo

And last but definitely not least, I have to pay big respects to one of the all-time greats and maybe one of the best to do it: Dillon Ojo. I will never forget one of the best summers of my life so far: the summer of 2018 at Mt. Hood, Oregon. I was still a teenager at the time and early on in my snowboard journey, as well. I clearly remember Dillon Ojo’s boardslide pretzels—one of the best I’ve ever seen. I watched from the lift around the lower part of Stormin’ Norman Park. That moment really will stick with me forever, just effortless style and making it look perfect.

He rode the 158 W Burnout, a fairly stiffer board for freestyle and jibbing. Its shape is a classic camber with a bit of early rise. But compared to most other freestyle decks, it's stiff and also locks in great on bigger jumps with an overall strong deck for heavier riders or someone looking for a strong jib and jumps deck. This is by far one of the more sturdy decks within the Ride line up and actually having the chance to test ride one myself, I can promise that it does indeed feel fairly heavy in a good way. It reminded me that it uses some quality materials meant to hold up to the toughest conditions. It’s fairly blunted on both sides of the twin shape to help with spins and jibs.

The Ride Burnout snowboard.

Ride is owned by K2 Sports LLC. That being said, the bigger corporate-sized company behind them allows a bigger budget for making boards which helps tons with making sure Ride boards, which helps make sure Ride boards hold up well and are overall good quality.

Dillon had a solid jump game, which is why he chose Burnout as his main daily. It has the tech needed to deliver with lots of air time and a wooden core made from bamboo and lightweight paulownia. Another big factor as to why Dillion chose this board was that the nose and tail are extra wide compared to most boards on the market. The width helps with riding away on those landings where you are just fighting to hold on and helps a ton with just any heavy landing in general, no matter where you are riding at.

Also, unlike a couple of other freestyle models, the Burnout uses Slimewall edge tech combined with a carbon sidewall. Along with Roll-In construction, which helps prevent top sheet chipping, which is pretty common in all snowboard brands and models. A strong sidewall is key for any snowboard model, whether freestyle or regular all-mountain board. At some point, you might smash the metal edge into a rock or whatever comes your way while riding. So best hope the edge and sidewall quality on the deck is strong, or it will start falling apart very quickly. The 4000 Ptex sintered base provides durability. The Burnout just overall holds up for a long period. This is why Dillon had stuck with the Burnout type model for years.

I love the clip above of Dillon Ojo. It’s the perfect example of a very high-impact landing, putting his personal Burnout model to good use. The landing is the definition of a top-tier impact in the streets, not to mention the runout of pure streets with little to no snow. Many people forget how rough a regular road can be on the base of a snowboard. One solid grind across an uneven piece of concrete for a regular base can destroy it instantly but not for the Burnout. A regular simple wax and the board will still be fine.

Many elements of his riding played into why he got his own personal Burnout model. With bigger sizes available up to 162 W, anyone interested in the deck has multiple choices for what size they may need. It costs a bit more than many other models in the market but with good reason because it uses more and higher quality materials.

Final Thoughts

Overall, each one of these pro riders has played a big role in my life. They’ve inspired me to pursue the snowboarding dream and had a huge impact on the sport as a whole. From the outwear they wear and the general style they carry to the exact setups they ride, I have always followed the gear they use. All pros have ridden many snowboards and therefore have a great sense of what is good quality and what isn't. I like my snowboards to hold up for a long time and so do most of my favorite pros. Plus, there's always the idea people have that they might just look like their idols if they use the same gear. Maybe not, but everyone has the right to dream! Each one of these deck models has helped me find the board that works best for me, so reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated for help finding your dream setup.

Snowboard Expert Joseph Attwood
Joseph Attwood
Snowboard Expert
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I live SLC Utah and love to ride at Brighton, Snowbird and also the new Woodward park city resort. I also like to ride road&mountain bikes. I usally get close to 200+ days of riding a year because of the summer riding I do at Mt.Hood Oregon and also other summer riding locations helps me reach that...

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