The 13 Best Snowboard Brands
Not sure where to start when picking out a board? Snowboard Expert Bri Dornisch breaks down the top thirteen snowboard brands.
It’s that time of year! The start of snowboard season means deciding which shredstick to add to your quiver! In this article, we break down the best snowboard manufacturers in the game, so you can start making that all-important choice between boards. Before taking to the slopes this season, check out this list of the best snowboard brands, listed in alphabetical order. As for the number one slot, we’ll let you be the judge.
Closing in on their 25th anniversary in November 2021, The Arbor Collective has set themselves apart by keeping sustainability at their core. From their thoughtful manufacturing choices to the innovative materials used, minimal impact on the environment is Arbor’s top priority. That story continues through the +350,000 trees they have planted in Hawaii—a number that grows all the time. Arbor, as a company, knows the importance of protecting the places we love and making those places accessible for all.
Traditional and beautiful craftsmanship pairs with simplistic artistry to result in snowboards that are equally stunning to behold as they are to ride. Arbor Snowboards use their proprietary “The System” build strategy to bring you true rocker and camber profile shapes with specific technology to maximize the potential of each platform. Parabolic Profiles form a gentle transition from board to snow for the cleanest possible ride, Grip Tech gives more contact points for an ergonomic and natural flow, and Power Ply Technology, which incorporates sustainably sourced materials, such as bamboo, in the topsheets, creates a resistant, durable piece of gear with loads of pop.
Recommendation: Arbor Element Camber
In so many ways, the name “Burton” is synonymous with snowboarding. Burton was born as a passion project in the Northeastern winter paradise of Vermont. Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of the brand, is attributed with creating the first true snowboard in 1977. Out of a quaint New England farm, the first pieces of the sport we now know and love were crafted – Burton snowboards manufactured in the barn and sold out of the living room. From then on, they have been at the forefront of evolution within the industry. Burton has always placed enormous value in user feedback and uses that feedback as the driving force behind their constant push for progression.
When it comes to sustainability and accessibility efforts, the list could go on forever as Burton is a 100% bluesign, 100% fair labor, and a certified B-Corp organization with team riders ranging in ages from young to old from all around the globe, including Kelly Clark, Danny Davis, Anna Gasser, Shaun White, Mark McMorris, and Zeb Powell. Burton focuses on creative expression and having as much fun as possible as a community of riders. It is that true love for winter and standing sideways that has kept them and their equipment at the top for over 40 years!
Recommendation: Burton Custom
CAPiTA’s mantra, “Everything is possible,” tells you all you need to know about the company. CAPiTA started in a garage in Seattle and shortly made their way to the high Alps of Austria. Still the manufacturing base camp, The Mothership is the most advanced snowboard manufacturing facility in the world. Its location is strategic as 98% of all materials used are locally sourced, lending itself to an inherently minimal carbon footprint. The building is powered by 100% clean energy and thus, has claimed the Energy Globe Award, the most prestigious environmental award out there.
Butters, rails, jibs, switch riding? CAPiTA is a master of the freestyle board. CAPiTA snowboards have always been promoted by riders who are truly driven to push the limits of snow sports. Their out-of-this-world graphics, often considered controversial, have drawn in serious riders looking to throw down serious lines for years. An all-star cast, with the likes of Scott Stevens and Jess Kimura—each with pro models in CAPiTA’s lineup—helps to forge innovation year after year. It is all of these factors that have won CAPiTA countless awards for some of the most creative and well-loved boards on the mountain, such as the Black Snowboard of Death and the D.O.A. (Defenders of Awesome), and given them the title of one of the top snowboarding brands available.
Recommendation: CAPiTA D.O.A.
Unreal. Weird. Innovative. These three words are the standard GNU has always held themselves to, and in these categories, they truly reign supreme. At GNU, women riders have been shredding as hard, and often harder, than the men since the very beginning. GNU is not only uber-accessible and downright wildly ingenious, but also super environmentally friendly. Out of the great state of Washington, comes Mervin Manufacturing, a magical piece of the PNW where snowboards are built with wind and water-generated power, zero hazardous waste, and FSC-certified, fast-growing renewable forest products. Mervin has their own woodshop, which means they have complete control over the manufacturing process, from the time the tree comes out of the ground to the time it goes back into the earth as recycled sawdust from snowboard building scraps.
Along with delightfully designed hybrid camber technology profiles and Mervin’s Magne-Traction, GNU snowboards also tout asymmetry as a key component to the effortless and ergonomic flow they provide their rider. The company recognizes that every body is built differently and accounts for this with an exaggerated directional shape—a longer effective edge on the toe side enhances the ride, from beginner to expert and park to powder. More contact length on the toe side allows for precise control and a steeper activation angle while a shorter heel side provides power at a lower activation angle. Talk about creative genius! Varying degrees of asymmetry means there is something for everyone. Not to mention, they team up with some incredible artists for graphics and designs that will have you swooning!
Recommendation: GNU Riders Choice
From the mind of freeride heavyweight Jeremy Jones, comes Jones Snowboarding—a performance-driven brand committed to resource and planet protection. Jeremy once said, “Snowboarding is not my job, it’s my life.” That love and passion shine through in some of the boldest stiff flex backcountry and freeride boards available. For big mountain snowboarding and deep powder days, there is almost nowhere else to turn.
There is really something for everyone in their lineup, though, and the Jones Snowboards’ 3D Contour Base Technology sets them apart for all riders, regardless of experience or style. The 3D technology takes the smooth and catch-free feel of surfing a crisp wave and brings it to the snow with effortless float. Even available on splitboards, each and every line will feel like something out of a dream with this tech. The Jones brand gives back through environmental outreach, backcountry education, and partnership with 1% for the Planet—a program through which 1% of all sales go to their non-profit partners, Protect Our Winters and Community Carbon Trees.
Recommendation: Jones Flagship
Another board brand hailing from Seattle, K2 Sports strives to develop high-quality products that will hold up to the elements and last a long time, while using source smart, sustainable materials that do not sacrifice quality or longevity. The company was the original brainchild of Bill Kirschner, an inventor often thought to be beyond his time. He was filled with creative ideas that he brought to the winter sports arena, starting with skis and eventually moving into snowboarding gear. K2 puts loads of focus on some of the major pillars of the sport: passion, integrity, inclusion, quality, performance, and above all else, fun. The company is tried and true and has been long-loved by many for obvious reasons.
They spare no time or expense when it comes to research and development (R&D) to always bring you the most innovative tech and gear. K2 has paired up with a variety of non-profits, including She Jumps, SOS Outreach, and BCRF because heart really is the foundation of what they do. Masterminds of both K2 snowboards and Ride snowboards, the company brings high-quality and easily accessible snowboard boots, bindings, helmets, snowboards, and much more to the table.
Recommendation: K2 Passport
Lib Technologies, another brand out of Mervin Manufacturing, is arguably the best all-around snowboard company on the market. Artists, such as Jamie Lynn, Mike Parillo, and Matt French, have been teaming up with Lib for years to bring some of the boldest and brightest graphics to market the industry has ever seen. Their Zero Hazardous Waste printing process unleashes aesthetically brilliant colors and designs perfect for the self-expressionist in all of us. This creative energy paired with unmatched innovation is what sets Lib Tech apart from their competitors. Travis Rice, master of mountain freestyle, has played a big role in the R&D for many Lib models, ranging from their medium flex all-mountain boards to their more specific stiffer-flex powder boards.
Magne-Traction Edges and Original Banana Technology are some of the creative and unique concepts to have hailed from the minds of Lib that have forever changed the snowboarding world as a whole. The serrated edge technology that allows for more contact points, hence more control and precision carving, as well as the state-of-the-art reverse camber/rocker profile concept born of Lib’s genius is what spawned the last decade of snowboard build progression. The brand flipped the snowboarding world on its head by inverting the traditional camber board design. Lib went on to build varying degrees of rocker-camber hybrid profiles, utilizing creative new shapes, as well as multiple material constructions intended for different purposes—essentially harnessing a custom ride for every snowboarder. Legendary riders of Lib Tech snowboards Austen Sweetin, Eric Jackson, and Chris Rasman push the limits of the tech and inspire further innovation.
Recommendation: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
True children of winter, Never Summer originated in Denver, Colorado in 1991. The company has chosen to put all of their focus on high-quality, durable materials and unmatched craftsmanship. Veering away from heavy endorsements and hype, they are the epitome of keeping it core. They lean heavily into the R&D process, throwing boards into the gnarliest of terrains, be it epic park runs or pow lines in the backcountry of the steep and formidable Rocky Mountains they call home. All-mountain, freeride, freestyle, powder? Pick your poison. The guys and gals of Never Summer will not disappoint. No matter what level you’re shredding, you can trust these snowboards to ride hard, push the limit of what you thought possible, and hold up for years to come! In or out of resort, you are guaranteed stability, durability, playfulness, trippy graphics on strong decks, and that smooth, yet precise board feel that inspires confidence in every rider.
Recommendation: Never Summer Proto Synthesis
The Nitro snowboard team is unique in their approach: people have always and will always come first. Snowboarding is about community, about family. Keeping that mindset at the forefront of the company through their growth is what has helped them to thrive in the industry. Working with family-owned and operated suppliers, making quality of life the #1 priority for their staff, and paying attention to their customers’ wants and needs on an individual level, has resulted in an incomparable fan following. Working so closely with their community has allowed them to craft equipment for every rider’s needs. They believe in diversity—in both people and in snowboards.
Nitro has stayed true to their own creative concepts by keeping a swallowtail in the lineup every year since 1990. They put as much thought and effort into the all-mountain daily drivers as the more unique terrain-specific pieces. They build rental equipment that does not compromise functionality or technology so that even the most novice boarder has the same ride experience as the more advanced riders on the mountain. And they offer a ton of versatility—from groomers to the terrain parks, they offer decks in a wide price range! Nitro wants all of us on the mountain, and they do their part to get you there.
Recommendation: Nitro Drop
Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate began in Waterbury, Vermont with Josh Reid and Paul Maravetz. The two worked together at Burton and decided to transition to their own line, believing there was a need for more high-end, high-quality products. They have never considered the snowboard industry to be a sub-culture of skiing, but rather the “pursuit of fun on snow.” Rome has built themselves on the freedom we find in snowboarding, the state of flow you find on your most blissful days, and they have turned that passion into expertly crafted pieces of gear.
They have created a line of unique rocker-camber hybrid flex patterns much different from other brands with very exclusive uses. The tech that really sets them apart, though, is their use of Hot Rods. Constructed of varying materials, Hot Rods run through certain sections of the board to create responsiveness, power, snap, and pop depending on placement. Rome utilizes a wide range of base and core materials, resulting in super-specific board styles for any type of riding you could dream up. Diamond 3D tech makes for smooth turn initiation and a catch-free ride even at high speeds, while Impact Plates dampen chatter and lessen impact and fatigue.
Recommendation: Rome Ravine
For more on Rome and its board lineup, check out An Expert Guide to Rome SDS Snowboards.
Rossignol is a true mountain brand, getting their start in the French Alps in 1907. It wasn’t until 80 years later that the popular, high-quality ski brand brought their first snowboard to market. The Rossi team has seen many of the best freeride snowboarders over the years, including Travis Rice, Jeremy Jones, and Xavier de Le Rue. The company had a long history in the snow sports industry before entering the world of snowboarding, so they already had a reputation for quality craftsmanship and groundbreaking concepts. To this day, they continue to bring interesting ideas to the drawing board with tech like their L.I.T.E. frame for shock absorption, RadCut for superior edge hold, and Reverse Directional Flex for a much different power dynamic than you’re used to, with the nose acting as the stiffest portion of the board.
Recommendation: Rossignol Jibsaw
Roxy originally started as a female line of surfboards for the popular brand, Quiksilver. From their beginning, they have been reaching beyond the normal threshold of what female athletes can do in the extreme sports category. Roxy brought a line of snowboards to market in 2003 in partnership with Mervin Manufacturing. Shortly thereafter, they debuted their all-female pro snowboarding events around the globe, known as The Roxy Chicken Jam. The brand stays authentic to their surf-culture heritage with smooth, floaty rides. They have mastered a perfect balance between high performance and aesthetic appeal with setups for any riding style, ability level, or personality type—all catering to the different ergonomics of the female build. Because of their team-up with Mervin, the boards possess the same tech features as Lib Tech and GNU, such as Banana Technology and Magne-Traction. Roxy doesn’t just make snowboards for girls. They make snowboards for snowboarders. Who just so happen to be girls. Who shred hard.
Recommendation: Roxy XOXO
The Salomon Group began as a saw blade and ski edge company in Annecy, France in 1947. In the early years, they made a name for themselves with never-before-seen styles of ski bindings, forever altering the sport. While they have always been imaginative visionaries, it wasn’t until 1997 that they entered the world of snowboarding. Each year, Salomon releases a superb new lineup of snowboards for men, women, and kids alike. From true twins to directional twins, super aggressive to more laidback, freestyle fans to freeriders to splitboarders, Salomon assures that there is something for everyone in their line that has been tried and tested by both pro and amateur rippers. On their pro roster is Bode Merrill, Wolle Nyvelt, and Louif Paradis.
Salomon is a brand for the adventurer with key values of imagination, the spirit of family, commitment, diversity, and simplicity. With tech like Gunslinger Sidewalls, Ghost Green Core, and Ghost Carbon beams (all featured in the Assassin Pro), it’s clear they believe in bending the rules to best advance the sports we love. They pride themselves in being equal parts focused and playful, and that shines through in boards that promise to take you to the next level.
Recommendation: Salomon Assassin Pro
There are a ton of amazing choices out there when it comes to the best snowboard brands, but in the end it all comes down to personal preference, skill level, and rider style. If you have any questions about these brands or want to find the right gear for you, whether it be a board, boots, bindings, goggles, outerwear, or other accessories, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized advice and recommendations.