A Look at the Snowboard Gear in the X Games 2023Published on 05/25/2023 · 9 min readSnowboard Expert Shane H. overviews the major moments of the 2023 X Games and shows you the gear that helped the riders achieve peak performance.
The Burton team cleaned up at Winter X this year and walked away with 10 medals—four of which were Gold. Mark McMorris took first place in Slopestyle and made history by becoming the winningest snowboarder in Winter X Games history. With a total of 22 career medals, McMorris is the undisputed king of Winter X.
The Buton women’s team actually swept Gold in every event this year! Zoi Sadowski-Synnott slayed the competition by coming away with Gold in Slopestyle and Silver in Big Air. 14-year-old Gaon Choi took home Gold and became the youngest X Games SuperPipe champion in history, clinching the record by a matter of months over previous record holder Chloe Kim. To round out the women’s winners, Burton’s Iwabuchi Reira took the top spot in Big Air.
The Nitro Snowboards Team had the next-best showing with six medals. Half of them came from Marcus Kleveland, who put on an absolute clinic on how to rip in multiple disciplines. Marcus threw down the most impressive performance of the 2023 Winter X Games by winning Golds in Big Air and Knuckle Huck, and just barely missing the top spot in Slopestyle, coming away with the Silver. Fellow Nitro riders Cai Xuetong, Jan Scherrer, and Laurie Blouin added to their team’s medal count with solid showings in SuperPipe and Big Air.
2023 Winter X Games Results
- Gold: Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (Burton)
- Silver: Tess Coady (Salomon)
- Bronze: Murase Kokomo (Burton)
- Gold: Mark McMorris (Burton)
- Silver: Marcus Kleveland (Nitro)
- Bronze: Mons Roisland (Burton)
- Gold: Gaon Choi (Burton)
- Silver: Maddie Mastro (Salomon)
- Bronze: Cai Xuetong (Nitro)
- Gold: Scotty James (No Board Sponsor)
- Silver: Jan Scherrer (Nitro)
- Bronze: Valentino Guseli (Burton)
Women’s Big Air
- Gold: Iwabuchi Reira (Burton)
- Silver: Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (Burton)
- Bronze: Laurie Blouin (Nitro)
Men’s Big Air
- Gold: Marcus Kleveland (Nitro)
- Silver: Otsuka Takeru (Burton)
- Bronze: Su Yiming (Burton)
- Gold: Marcus Kleveland (Nitro)
- Silver: Halldor Helgason (Lobster)
- Bronze: Dusty Hendricksen (Salomon)
The Winning Gear
There’s no doubt that these riders are so skilled that they could rip a lunch tray better than most of us can ride a high-end pro model! That said, it never hurts to have the best equipment under your feet—no matter your skill level. While most of us will never be able to toss down tricks like an X Games athlete, having the right gear can make the difference between a frustrating session and performing your best on the local slope. Below, we’ll check out some of the Winter X gear that can help you step up your game on the mountain.
As a multi-discipline snowboarding contest, it’s no surprise that every rider in the Winter X Games had a freestyle board under their feet. With as much switch-stance riding as these boarders throw down, a true twin or slightly directional twin is necessary for consistency while riding with either foot forward. Whether you like lapping the park or just want a board that can go anywhere in the resort, freestyle snowboards are the bread and butter of the sport. Here are a few of the boards that these athletes used to show their skills on Buttermilk Mountain.
Unisex board ridden by Ayumu & Kaishu Hirano, Yiming Su, Otsuka Takeru, and Mons Roisland in Superpipe, Big Air, and Slopestyle.
The OG of freestyle snowboards, Burton’s Custom has been in production for over 25 years. By improving the board’s characteristics each year, the Custom is one of the most predictable riding boards on the market. Available in two camber profile options, the Custom comes with either a Flying V cam-rocker profile or traditional camber.
- Intermediate riders looking for a forgiving ride and anyone who prefers a surfy feel with additional powder float will like the ‘Flying V’ profile.
- Advanced riders who value precision over forgivingness will prefer the traditional camber profile.
Middle-of-the-road flex combined with a Superfly II core makes the Burton Custom poppy and lightweight. Riders of all ability levels can rely on the Custom to be responsive and predictable, wherever they choose to take it on the mountain!
Burton’s team riders were showing off next year’s version of the Custom. While the board specs won’t change much, the graphics will be different. Next season’s edition has a white top sheet with an orange stripe that fades to black down the middle. The base graphic looks similar to this year's—with ’90s throwback colors—but shifts to an orange sunfade instead of pink. Ever evolving but still classically clean, the Burton Custom looks great season after season!
Men’s snowboard ridden by Marcus Kleveland in Big Air, Slopestyle, and Knuckle Huck.
Marcus Kleveland absolutely stole the show in men’s Big Air. In the most progressive contest to date, no rider even bothered with any spin less than a 1620. It took landing a 1980 to even place, and Kleveland easily bested them all. Add to that another Gold in Knuckle Huck and a Silver in Slopestyle, and it’s no wonder that everyone wants to be on the same board as Marcus.
From X Games gold medalists in Aspen to progressing riders on their local slopes, the Nitro Beast is the ultimate weapon for those who demand a freestyle board that can do it all. A refined true camber profile gives this board reliable snap and edge control when it counts. A stiff flex pattern keeps the Beast stable at high speeds and allows for supreme pop off jumps.
Built to provide the most outstanding support, stability, performance, and durability possible, the Beast is the epitome of pro-caliber freestyle snowboards.
Due to the expensive nature of snowboard production, most boards are only available in a single colorway each season. However, the Nitro Beast is not only one of the highest-performing boards available on the market but also available in a choice of graphics. In addition to the standard production package, Nitro has collaborated with Volcom and the band Iron Maiden to offer three graphics choices. No matter which option you pick, the Nitro Beast will keep you styling while ripping the mountain.
Unisex board preferred by Zoi Sadoski-Synnott, Red Gerard, Zeb Powell, and Valentino Guseli in Slopestyle, Big Air, Knuckle Huck, and SuperPipe.
The Blossom is a true unisex board chosen by Burton’s most technical freestyle riders. Perfect for any feature in the park or ripping through the resort, the Blossom is a freestyle-focused twin that riders of any ilk can enjoy.
The Blossom is stiff enough to stomp landings off big jumps but flexible enough to hug rails and press through any feature. A traditional camber profile gives riders a predictable ride that feels comfortable right out of the wrapper. Riders who like to shred the whole resort but spend most of their time in the park will dig this one.
Women’s snowboard ridden by Anna Gasser, Reira Iwabuchi, and other female pros.
Ladies that spend their days in the park or searching for side hits can rely on the Talent Scout for smooth control and predictability anywhere in the resort. From park to pipe or peak to peak, this board wants to explore every slope. If you’re an all-mountain freestyle shredder, the Talent Scout will help turn your dreams into reality.
Other Notable Boards
- Burton Process: Mark McMorris
- Burton Free Thinker: Darcy Sharpe and Taiga Hasegawa
- Salomon Huck Knife: Dusty Hendricksen and Sven Thorgren
Bindings are the interface between a rider and their board. In order to properly transmit power and control to the snowboard, straps need to be comfortable and responsive. Here are some of the most popular bindings we saw at this year’s X Games.
Used by Burton’s Men’s Team.
Burton packed a ton of high-tech features into their Malavita Bindings. Double Take ratchets ensure a solid, no-fail connection while features like the Heel Hammock, Supergrip Capstrap, and Asym Hammockstrap wrap around the boot for a seamless fit and ultimate comfort. The Malavita is the binding of choice for most of the Burton team. Unparalleled comfort and response make these straps a great choice for any rider looking to up their game on the slopes.
Rumor has it that Burton will cease production of the Malavita next season. As they have been a team favorite for many years, you can bet there are tons of riders hoarding these bindings for future use. Don’t wait until they’ve sold out! Once this season’s stock is gone, we may never see the Malavita on store shelves again.
Available in Men’s and Women’s. Used by Queralt Castellet, Scotty James, and others.
For spring-loaded take-offs and perfectly cushioned landings, Union uses the most advanced manufacturing capabilities in the industry to redefine how a freestyle binding should ride. Every component of the Ultra acts as a suspension system that will reduce fatigue and lengthen ride time. Any skill level—from expert to beginner—will appreciate the responsiveness and durability of these bindings.
Outerwear & Accessories
While hard goods get the most attention, there’s a lot of equipment that will improve your comfort on the mountain. Curated has you covered from boards to outerwear to accessories.
Sported by Marcus Kleveland, Valentino Guseli, Scotty James, and a whole host of other rippers.
Snowboarders who demand technically advanced outerwear and refuse to compromise on style are guaranteed to find something they love in Volcom’s line. The patented Zip Tech interface keeps snow out and body heat in by connecting jackets to pants. The Thermal Defense System places insulation in strategic locations to seal in warmth while maximizing flexibility.
Since 1991, Volcom has been the leader in high-tech snowboarding fashion. As a rider-driven company, they put experience to work by using riders’ input to advance their outerwear each season. No matter which style you prefer or what price range you’re shopping within, Volcom will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
Used by Tess Coady, Zeb Powell, and others.
If you can’t see well, you can’t ride well. Smith is known for their crystal-clear optics and no-nonsense functionality. Depending on your budget and needs, Smith offers high-quality goggles for everyone from occasional riders to everyday enthusiasts. Their line includes goggles with interchangeable magnetic lenses like the I/O Mag and 4D Mag, to more affordable options like the Squad and Skyline. Available with either spherical or cylindrical lenses, Smith Goggles offer a wide array of choices with Chromapop lenses that will enhance clarity and depth perception.
Check Out This Gear and More on Curated
Whether you’re new to the sport or remember the days when snowboards weren’t allowed at most resorts, Curated has the gear that will help you have more fun on the mountain. From high-performance freestyle snowboards like you see in the X Games to forgiving entry-level equipment that anyone can enjoy, our Experts can help pinpoint what will work best for you. Reach out to us today and we’ll show you the gear that fits your budget and best suits your needs!