2015 Snowboards Preview from the Stratton Demos

We just got back from three days of demoing next season’s gear at Stratton Mountain.  We got the inside scoop on all the best that 2014/2015 has to offer the snowboarding world.   While there were some old favorites that we knew we were going to like, there were also a fair number of surprises.

The first day we were there, conditions were pretty typical east coast conditions…hard pack groomers.  There wasn’t a lot of ice out there, but the hardpack areas were quite solid, so edge hold was definitely a factor.  The second day was a pow day!   With a storm total of 11”, we awoke to several inches and it snowed all day long.  So day three was another bonus day.  While powder days (and the day after) are wonderful, they are not the best scenario for testing boards for an east coast market because they are so rare.  But they sure were fun!

Knowing that the snow was coming, the race was on to try as many boards on day 1 as possible.

2015 snowboards

Roxy, Arbor, Salomon, Jones, and Gnu snowboards got most of our attention.

Here’s what I tried

Day 1

  • Roxy Radiance 148
  • Gnu Ladies’ Choice 148.5
  • Gnu Smart Pickle 149
  • Arbor Cadence 147
  • Arbor Swoon 152
  • Rome Lofi 152
  • Roxy Torah Bright 149
  • Gnu Gateway 149

Day 2

  • Gnu Ladies’ Choice (again)
  • Roxy Banana Smoothie 153
  • Salomon Gypsy 150
  • Jones Twin Sister 149
  • Gnu Ladies’ Choice (detecting a pattern here)

Day 3

  • Salomon Wonder 150
  • YES Hel Yes 149
  • NOW IPO (in small, finally!!!)
  • Flux GS Bindings
  • Arbor Poparrazi 150
  • Arbor Draft 150

The pick of the week (and next season’s ride)

2015 snowboards

Gnu Ladies’ Choice…this is the board I was most excited to try going in, and it did not disappoint.  This board is an all mountain freestyle board chock full of tech.  I tried this in hard pack and it was great….in powder it was a blast….and in the bumped out, sticky stuff at the end of the day, it was still hanging tough.


Surprise from Day 1

Rome Lofi…this board has gotten great reviews for years and consistently wins awards.  So it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it is flat between the feet and rocker at the tip and tail, and that’s not a profile I typically like.  This was a nice ride.  It’s very comfortable under foot and I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about it.  At the same time, it didn’t get me super excited.  But I can definitely see that it would be a good choice for many people


Day 2 Standout

The Salomon Gypsy.  It was super fun in the bumped out snow. It is a camber board that rides like rocker (according to the rep’s description).  It had lots of pop, was really quick edge to edge (which would probably make it a lot of fun in the trees), and it was pretty forgiving.  It seemed like it would hold a decent edge on hardpack, but I only hit one little unexpected patch and it skidded a bit but didn’t wash out.  It was a really fun board to pop around on, and it was soft enough that buttering was fun.

2015 snowboards

Day 3’s big surprise

The Hel YES was awesome!


Surprise of the week…

YES’ women’s board is the Hel Yes…Hel yes I would be happy to call this my board!  It is similar in profile to the Jones Twin Sister, which I have ridden at demos for three years in a row now.  But the Hel Yes is the wilder sister.  The Twin Sister is a nice, predictable, ride.  It is very pleasant, very easy to ride, comfortable and you know exactly what you are getting.  The Hel Yes is Helen Schettini’s pro model.  While it shares a profile with the Twin Sister, it is much more lively underfoot.  It was incredibly responsive and fun, and it felt like it was made to ride with the NOW IPO bindings.  It had a skatey, surfy feel that was more fun than your average board!  Wish I had spent more time on it, it was the sleeper hit for me.

Scariest ride of the week

Roxy’s Torah Bright.  When you demo a lot of boards, it’s not uncommon to get on a board (or a couple) that are just kind of scary.  The Roxy Torah Bright was that board for me.  The new XC2 profile from Mervin has shortened up the rocker section between the feet and the camber is more pronounced.  It wants to go FAST…really FAST!  It was way too much board for me to reign in.  Though it didn’t do anything that I didn’t want it to do, I never trusted it (or me on it). I can see how Torah Bright throws down her medal winning pipe runs.


The one(s) that got away…

  • Roxy XOXO and T-Bird…but I had trouble getting my hands (or feet) on them
  • NOW Select…these were a big hit and I was unable to connect with a pair all week
  • Flux GU
  • One more Salomon board


2015 snowboards

But by letting them get away I got to try a few boards that weren’t in the original plan…

  • Hel YES
  • Gnu Gateway
  • Roxy Torah Bright
  • Roxy Banana Smoothie
  • Arbor Poparrazi
  • Arbor Draft

This is just an overview of how we spent our week checking out the 2015 snowboards…watch for another post with more specifics on some of these picks.  There is some fun stuff on the horizon for next year!  Get out there and get on it!



Tags: jones snowboards 2015, roxy banana smoothie ri, 2015 snowboards, roxy snowboards, gnu snowboards, gnu snowboards 2015, snowboards by roxy, roxy xoxo, gnu smart pickle, arbor snowboards 2015

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