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Brands do matter greatly when shopping for anything. If you’ve had a positive experience with some brand, then you probably will come back to it in the future and won’t be thinking about finding someone new to work with.
The same applies to snowboards. But if you are a beginner, which snowboard brands to get started with? There are so many brands to choose from on the market, and newbies are likely to get overwhelmed and be unable to make a decision.
Well, our overview of the 12 best snowboard brands out there may be able to help you. We’ve picked 12 brands that we think are the best out there, and we’ve identified their key features to help you get a clearer idea of what you are dealing with.
Let’s see what those 12 brands have to offer!
12 Best Snowboard Brands
If you ask any experienced snowboarder what the best brands are, you are more than likely going to see Burton on the number one spot. And it’s no wonder – Burton is one of the older players on the market and the most recognizable snowboarding gear brand altogether.
Started from just a barn in 1977, Burton now manufacturers a wide range of snowboarding gear pretty much for any skill level. Snowboards, boots, bindings, protection gear, jackets, hats – Burton has everything to offer to aspiring snowboarders.
Burton is represented particularly well in the high end, which is going to make this company more appealing to experienced snowboarders. Skilled athletes probably don’t need to be introduced to Burton.
Burton snowboards also boast the proprietary Channel mounting system that allows users to create a personalized boarding experience within the Burton product line. Conventional bindings have far less flexibility than Channel, and Burton snowboards should allow you to get an experience tailored for you.
One thing that you may particularly like about Burton is that the company is pursuing a sustainable manufacturing process. Compliant with Fair Labor Association, Burton claims to provide a safe and healthy environment for its workers.
Burton also claims that their products are produced without the use of harmful substances like heavy metals, phthalates, or chlorinated solvents. The company works hard as well to minimize air and water emissions during the manufacturing process.
All this may not contribute much to the performance of Burton products, but it certainly makes the company stand out.
With all that being said, Burton snowboard gear tends to be pricier than gear from other companies, so they may not be the best for those on a tighter budget. But it’s well worth it for buyers who want great performance for the money.
You can check out some of Burtons gear here.
The Arbor Collective doesn’t just produce solid snowboards – you can buy skateboards from them too.
In contrast with Burton, the focus of The Arbor Collective on snowboarding is a little weaker – while they do offer a comparable snowboard line, they don’t sell snowboard boots, jackets, and the other stuff that you would need for your snowboarding journey. This means that you may need to mix components from different brands, which doesn’t always work perfectly.
With that being said, founded in 1995, The Arbor Collective is nearly 20 years younger than Burton, so they are yet to conquer the heights that Burton is at today.
The snowboard selection is great though. With The Arbor Collective, you can find snowboards for pretty much any preference and skill level. Whether you want a snowboard that is soft or stiff or one that can you ride in powder, you should be able to find the right model from this company.
Just like Burton, The Arbor Collective boasts sustainable practices throughout its manufacturing process. In fact, The Arbor Collective claims to be the first action sports brand established specifically with consideration of the environment.
Since the very first day, The Arbor Collective has donated to groups that protect and restore forest areas. The company’s donations primarily go to preserving the Koa forests of Hawaii. Within the scope of The Arbor Collective’s partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, over 300,000 Koa trees were planted on 800 acres of former forest areas.
The Arbor Collective also supports environmental organizations like The Conservation Alliance, the Surfrider Foundation, and Arbor Day Foundation.
You can check out some of Arbor snowboards here.
3. DC Shoes
DC Shoes probably isn’t the brand that comes to mind when you are talking about snowboarding. As you may be able to guess from the name, this company has started as a manufacturer of skateboarding shoes. And their skateboarding shoes are indeed outstanding!
With that being said, DC Shoes is a major player in the snowboarding market. Well, it’s not that difficult to jump from skateboarding to snowboarding since these two sports are pretty darn similar.
Furthermore, DC Shoes offers quite a good selection of snowboard gear. They are much less represented on the skate market – to be more precise, you can find only skate shoes and some accessories on the DC Shoes website.
In contrast, the snowboarding inventory of the company includes snowboards, boots, neck warmers, jackets, and other sorts of must-have gear for the sport. And just like Burton, DC Shoes offers a selection of snowboards for kids, women, and men, though Burton has many more options to choose from.
Burton is also better represented in the high end, and it remains one of the few snowboard brands out there that produce gear for professionals. However, DC Shoes could be a better option if you are looking for middle-end snowboarding gear.
You can check them out here.
K2 has been on the market since 1962, and the guys at K2 certainly know what they are doing. This company isn’t as well-established in the world of snowboarding as Burton in spite of being 15 years older, but it still is a reputable brand that has a good selection of snowboards to offer.
All in all, as of September 2019, K2 featured 27 snowboard models, which is a good enough selection for most people.
The snowboard boot selection likewise consists of 27 good-looking models, and you also have 18 bindings to choose from. K2 also offers apparel, but this definitely isn’t the brand’s strongest suit at the moment.
In contrast, K2 is somewhat better represented on the ski market with over 50 ski models, 16 poles, and 25 boot models.
Finally, K2 also has a sustainability initiative aimed at:
- Developing high-quality products with a long lifetime.
- Making smart material choices with minimal use of harmful chemicals and aim at recycled content.
- Improving manufacturing processes to use cleaner energy, reduce waste, minimize shipping, and otherwise reduce its footprint.
You can check them out here.
5. Lib Tech
Lib Tech isn’t just about snowboarding – this company is pretty strongly invested into other board sports too. Those interested in skiing, surfing, wake surfing, or skating could also find the right equipment from Lib Tech.
Lib Tech’s selection of snowboards is pretty solid – they have over 30 models to choose from, though the vast majority of the available snowboards are in the men’s category.
Particularly remarkable is the Skate Banana freestyle snowboard model. The name of the snowboard comes from its unique rocker/camber shape that curves up from the middle. Such a shape allows for better weight distribution and improved contact points.
In terms of pricing, Lib Tech’s snowboards are in the middle and high end. At the moment of this post’s writing, Lib Tech wasn’t represented in the lower end of snowboards, so it isn’t the best option for snowboarders on a budget or beginners. Experienced snowboarders though should find a few good models here.
With that being said, when it comes to apparel and accessories, the selection of Lib Tech isn’t as good. Boots, bindings, clothes, and other crucial pieces of snowboarding equipment will have to be purchased from other brands – for example, from Burton since they have a huge range of snowboarding accessories to offer.
Lib Tech is more focused on boards. You can find some great boards with them, but you may dislike the fact that you can’t buy all the necessary equipment from one place. This won’t be a problem if you only need to replace your old snowboard though!
You can check them out here.
Ride’s line hit the snowboarding market in 1992 with just 4 models, but the team’s hard work along with a great ad campaign have ensured a lasting success for the brand.
Back in the days, the snowboard gear available on the market wasn’t too beginner-friendly. Recognizing this, Ride has paved their road to success by filling this gaping hole on the snowboard market.
The modern Ride snowboard gear is far more complicated than back in the days, and the company is well-represented in the more expensive price range. Their bindings are some of the most trustworthy on the market, and Ride’s Preston proprietary mounting system has built the company a solid reputation.
Today, the line of Ride snowboard gear includes snowboards, boots, and bindings, with a good selection in each of the categories. Ride again is better represented in men’s snowboard gear, but they have a solid line of women’s gear, as well as 2 models of snowboards, boots, and bindings for the youth.
This is far behind what giants like Burton offer, but if you already have apparel and are looking to update your core snowboard gear, Ride may be the brand to go for.
You can check them out here.
Salomon is a fairly solid alternative to Burton. This company’s snowboard gear selection is perhaps not as wide as Burton’s, but there are many things you could find from them!
As of September 2019, Salomon offered 21 men’s boards, 8 women’s, and 6 youth’s, which is quite a solid assortment, but again, it’s not as wide as Burton’s.
With that being said, Salomon’s snowboards are well-represented across all price ranges. These guys have a few lower-end models, a few higher-end ones, and a wealth of middle-end snowboards to choose from.
The boot and binding selections are also pretty solid, with prices again ranging pretty widely, so beginners and more experienced snowboarders alike should be able to find what they are looking for with Salomon.
The apparel collection of Salomon is remarkable as well – you can find many jackets, tops, midlayers, and other pieces of clothing equipment with them. Not only that, but Salomon offers a good range of protective equipment.
Finally, it should be noted that Salomon also boasts a great ski & accessory lineup, so if you are into skiing, then you may look no further than Salomon.
You can check them out here.
Gnu’s lineup is more focused towards freestyle snowboarding. And while this company does offer a few powder, jib, and all-mountain boards, their selection is noticeably more geared towards freestyle snowboarding.
Part of the reason for the orientation of Gnu is the use of the banana technology, the exact same one used in Lib Tech’s Skate Banana snowboard. The banana shape is used in many of Gnu’s snowboards, which means that you could expect to get a great speed, control, and float from them.
In terms of pricing, Gnu’s snowboards are skewed towards the middle end, so they are probably better for more experienced snowboarders. What may particularly matter to you is that Gnu offers a great women’s lineup, with 10 models available versus 12 in the men’s line.
The youth line, including 3 models, isn’t the most versatile, but it should allow kids to get started in snowboarding as well.
Aside from snowboards, Gnu offers a few binding models, but their selection isn’t too wide – Gnu had 6 binding modes in total as of September 2019. When it comes to snowboarding gear other than the boards themselves, you probably will have to look elsewhere.
You can check them out here.
Owned by Jeremy Jones, Jones certainly knows what snowboarders need. Having put countless hours in perfecting its craft, this brand has been prominent in the industry since the mid-90s. Not only that, but Jeremy Jones originally desired to manufacture snowboarding equipment with sustainable methods. And he continues to follow sustainable manufacturing techniques today.
The snowboard models offered by Jones are leaning towards the higher end, so we’d say that this brand is a good option for the more skilled snowboarder. With that being said, Jones does offer a few youth models to help kids to get started with snowboarding.
In terms of accessories, Jones isn’t on the strong side – it offers a few bindings, but when it comes to boots and safety gear, you will have to get them from other brands.
Aside from snowboards, Jones also manufactures splitboarding gear, which may interest some people out there as well.
And, as mentioned above, Jones pursues to use environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods. Particularly, the company has contributed to non-profit fundraising campaigns and also harnessed the 200k combined social media following to help keep the planet a better place.
On Black Friday 2017, Jones joined REI’s #OPToutside campaign and shut down its North American store for the day, encouraging customers to get out and enjoy the outdoors rather than support the buying frenzy.
You can check it out here.
The history of the Rome brand is pretty interesting.
It all started in 1985 when snowboarding was in an embryonic state. The founders of the company – Paul Maravetz and Josh Reid – first tried out snowboarding in 1985 when they were seniors in the high school. Separated by hundreds of miles, they’ve known nothing about each other but were connected by a common interest – snowboarding.
But the establishment of Rome wouldn’t happen until 2001. It’s just that the guys have become deeply involved in snowboarding back in the mid-80s.
The future founders spent years, struggling to study and work and find some time for their favorite activity. And in the late 90s, they saw the business potential of snowboarding. In 2000, Paul and Josh decided the take the opportunity of filling the void in the yet very young snowboarding.
Their first concepts were conceived in a garage in Stowe, VT. In winter 2000-2001, The Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate was born to “put snowboarders in control of snowboarding.”
Now, Rome catches the eye with a wide selection of snowboards in any style, though Rome snowboards are a bit more powder- & freestyle-focused. To complement this, Rome offers mountain apparel, boots, bindings, and other stuff that would help a beginner get started with snowboarding.
A pure snowboarding company like Burton, Rome has been particularly praised for its customer support. These guys seem to truly care about their products and customers, which is a huge plus for any kind of company.
You can check them out here.
We absolutely love how Capita represents its products on its website.
Each of the snowboard models – and there is a good selection of them – is characterized by vivid graphics that let buyers know what a given snowboard is best for. Visual information is easier to digest, and you could determine whether a snowboard is suitable for you just at a glance at its product page.
Simple yet informative – this is how one could characterize how Capita introduces its snowboard lineup to buyers. Whether you are interested in a stiffer snowboard, one that’s more focused on all-mountain performance, or something that has a positive camber, you should be able to quickly identify the right snowboard model for you.
Capita also has an extensive guide explaining all the key pieces of technology that have been used in the snowboards. The tech descriptions may be filled with marketing lingo, but you can still get a good idea of what to expect from the company’s snowboards.
The guide also covers the key things to look for in a snowboard, including the flex rating, the sidecut, and blend zones.
In short, it’s really amazing what Capita has done to ensure that all the advanced stuff is more accessible to buyers.
In terms of the snowboard assortment, Capita is well-represented in the middle-end. With a few not too expensive models, this brand should be good for beginners, while the pricier models should be able to satisfy the more skilled snowboarders.
With that being said, the women’s selection had only 4 models as of September 2019, whereas the men’s lineup consisted of 17 models. Aside from that, Capita doesn’t offer bindings, boots, or other snowboarding accessories, so you will have to look for them separately.
And yeah, the research & production facility of Capita should also be mentioned. Dubbed MARS1 (Mothership Advanced Research Station 1), it is 100% hydro-powered and, as claimed by Capita, has zero ozone depletion & global warming potential, as well as zero CO2 emissions. And as claimed by Capita, they are the only snowboard manufacturing company to use 100% hydro-powered facilities, which is pretty cool.
You can check it out here.
Established in 1907, this French company was one of the first companies in the world to produce plastic skis. With over a hundred years of experience in the industry, Rossignol sure does know how to produce excellent skis along with apparel and accessories.
Snowboard production at the company’s facilities began relatively recently – in 1987 – but with a wealth of experience in snow sports behind its shoulders, Rossignol likely didn’t have difficulties with the new discipline.
The boot selection of Rossignol is relatively limited, but it does have quite a few snowboards along with bindings to offer. The company also offers a couple of safety goggles and helmets to choose from, as well as an expansive collection of apparel.
Aside from snowboards and skis, Rossignol also has 12 mountain bike models to offer, with prices ranging from about $400 to over $4,000! With this in mind, Rossignol does seem like an excellent brand for those who are deeply involved in mountain sports, albeit it isn’t the very best when it comes specifically to snowboarding.
You can check them out here.
What’s the Best Snowboard Brand for You?
So we’ve overviewed what we think are the 12 best snowboard brands out there. And as you could have noticed, each brand has its own unique things that make stand it out.
With that being said, as a buyer, you need to make a choice here. Should you pick one brand or several? And which one(s) to pick exactly?
Well, this will depend on your needs. Below, we want to provide you with a little guide on how to choose the right brand for your demands. Particularly, we want to talk about the things that you should pay attention to in each brand.
First, of course, comes snowboard selection. A snowboard isn’t the only thing you may need to buy, but it’s the most important one.
Each brand is going to offer a varying number of snowboard models. Not only that, but even with the same number of boards, brands may have vastly different model lines due to differences in price, snowboard type, etc.
So, when researching a brand’s snowboard selection, pay attention to the following things:
- How the snowboards are priced and whether the brand offers models in the desired price range.
- The styles of snowboards – e.g. powder, all-mountain, or freestyle – and whether the brand has the right kind of snowboards for you.
- Lines for men, women, kids, and how much variety there is in each of the lines.
Use the search filters on the brands’ shop pages to help you find the desired models.
Then comes your usual buying process which involves research of snowboard specs & features and comparison of snowboards from different brands. And needless to say, which snowboard and brand to choose in the end comes down to your needs and preferences.
To recap, you first identify the brands that cover the desired price range or snowboard style and then you compare whatever snowboards those brands offer in the desired category.
Then, you may need to look for other snowboarding pieces of gear and accessories if necessary.
If you are new to the world of snowboarding, then you will need to buy not only a snowboard but also all sorts of other gear to ensure safety and comfort. One of the items that you will need to buy are boots.
The approach to selecting a brand of boots is similar to how you’d do it with snowboards – you have a look at what each brand offers, pick brands that cover the desired range, and go comparing from there.
There is one thing that you should keep in mind though.
Some brands sell only snowboards, while others sell boots, bindings, and all sorts of other snowboarding equipment. Buying from one brand may be a bit more convenient since you won’t have to track several orders, and you may also be able to save money on shipping or when buying in bundles from a single brand.
You may buy your snowboard, boots, and other items from different brands, but you could run into the issue of compatibility if you aren’t careful.
Speaking of compatibility, you should very carefully consider bindings for your snowboard. Again, if you are a newbie, then you must buy bindings as well, but if you just want to upgrade from your old snowboard, you may not need new bindings.
Bindings are an integral component in ensuring your connection with the board. It’s not only important to choose the right bindings for your style of snowboarding, but it’s also crucial to make sure that the bindings are compatible with the snowboard and the boots.
So first of all, you need to have a look at what kind of binding selection a snowboard brand has. Like with snowboards or boots, you need to pay attention to the price, style, and other features of bindings.
Then, you need to consider how the bindings attach to the snowboard and how they fix your boots in place. For example, Burton has the so-called step-on bindings that only work with Burton step-on boots. You won’t be able to use other kinds of boots with these bindings.
Some brands may have their own proprietary mounting systems that work only with a limited selection of boards and boots. If you don’t want to make an expensive mistake, then do make sure to research what kind of mounting systems the desired bindings are compatible with.
And again, for convenience & money saving, you may want to buy all your stuff from a single brand, unless buying from different brands is going to be more cost-efficient for you and if a single brand can satisfy your snowboarding needs.
Apparel & safety gear
A snowboard, boots, and bindings may be the key pieces of equipment for snowboarding, but you can’t go sliding yet until you have proper apparel & safety gear.
Brands like Burton or Salomon offer not only snowboarding gear but also apparel and safety equipment. Other, smaller brands often don’t go beyond the core snowboarding gear, so you will have to look for apparel elsewhere.
When it comes to snowboarding apparel and safety gear, things are arguably a little bit easier than with snowboards, boots, or bindings. You will have fewer variables to consider, and you won’t have to worry about compatibility.
We suggest that you go for brands that have a wide range of apparel & safety gear, such as Burton or Salomon. They will just have a bigger selection of styles and price ranges to choose from.
How informative a snowboard brand is with its products is very important as well. After all, the more information you have, the easier it will be for you to compare boards within the brand or between different brands. And ultimately, it will be easier for you to make a choice.
As mentioned in our brand overviews above, Capita had the most eye-catching approach among the 12 brands. They’ve provided plenty of information on each of their boards, and their approach was very visual and easy to read.
Burton also goes pretty detailed with its snowboards, providing information about the tech used in the boards, their terrain style & personality, shape, bend, and other things that matter in snowboards.
One thing to keep in mind here is that no matter how informative brands are, you can’t always directly compare metrics provided by say Burton and Capita. Their measurement approach may and probably will vary.
With that being said, the info provided by snowboard gear manufacturers can provide you with a point of reference for comparison. Just don’t expect it to be 100% accurate.
Aside from informativeness, it would be great if the brand provided in-depth measurements on their boards. Some brands go into more detail than others, and the more info you have at hand, the more you will know about the available snowboards, and the more likely it is that you will buy the right model.
Whatever snowboard gear you are buying, you may want to make sure that it’s backed up by a warranty.
Snowboards are usually backed by 3-year warranties where you can have your board repaired or replaced for free. However, you will need to research the warranty of each brand separately, as well as check which cases the warranty covers and which it does not.
Boots are typically covered by a 1-year warranty, while the warranty on bindings may vary significantly. For example, Burton and K2 back up their bindings by a 1-year warranty, but Burton additionally covers the binding baseplates by a lifetime warranty. Such small differences clearly demonstrate why you should carefully read the warranty terms of each brand.
Gear for other sports
This point goes a little beyond snowboarding, but it may be important for some people.
Probably most snowboard brands you will find out there will be snowboard-specific. Burton sells snowboard gear, Capita only sells snowboards, while brands like K2 also offer ski equipment.
Buying from one place is convenient, as mentioned above. Aside from that, if you already have some positive experience with some brand, you will be confident when buying gear from it in the future. All we know that brand reputation matters a lot, and if you can buy most of the necessary gear from one good brand, then you should do so.
Sustainability is a thing that many snow sports brands pursue nowadays. And while the quality of the gear may not necessarily change from sustainable manufacturing, environment-friendly production practices today are more important than ever.
Brands may implement sustainable manufacturing in a variety of ways – they may avoid using harsh substances in production, they may only use hydropower (like Capita), and/or they may contribute to the cause of certain environmental organizations.
By buying from a brand that strives to follow environment-friendly practices, you will be voting for the preservation of your surroundings with your money. Moreover, you will be yourself contributing to making the planet a better place. So strongly consider buying from a brand that does follow safe practices, which many snowboard manufacturers do.
We’ve already briefly touched upon pricing, but there are a few things we should elaborate.
Each brand is going to offer products in different price ranges. Some are going to be better represented in the middle end or high end, while others are going to be equally focused on all price ranges.
First and foremost, prices matter for your pocket. If you have a limited budget, then there’s no point in choosing a brand that mostly focuses on expensive stuff. You would need to identify the brand whose selection covers the desired price range.
Your skill level will also matter. We generally recommend beginners to go for cheaper snowboard gear for two reasons – newbies don’t yet know their snowboarding style, and newbies probably won’t be able to make use of the advanced features of pricey boards.
The latter is pretty clear, but we should elaborate on the former.
If you, as a beginner, don’t know yet which snowboarding direction you would go, then it wouldn’t make sense for you to spend say $800 to buy a high-performance all-mountain snowboard, for example. What if you gain experience and then discover that you want to do freestyle snowboarding? Those $800 would just turn out to be a waste of money!
Lower-end snowboards cost around $300, and while this still is a lot of money, the price difference between a low- and middle-end snowboard is still considerable. It’s better to buy a cheap (but good) snowboard and then move up once you understand what you need than buy a pricey model and find out that it’s not right for you.
The same applies to boots and bindings.
Overall, as a beginner, we suggest that you opt for brands represented in the lower end, while more skilled snowboarders may go for something more expensive.
Finally, consider what other people think of the brand in question.
Each brand has its own strong and weak sides. Among the things to pay attention to are:
- How good the brand’s interaction with customers is.
- How reliable the brand’s gear is.
- Whether the brand’s gear lives up to its price.
- Whether there are any issues or manufacturing errors that a big number of people have encountered. If there is something a lot of people are talking about, then you may want to be a bit more careful.
A brand’s reputation is key not only in snowboarding but any other field, be it footwear, electronics, or photography gear. Established and experienced brands will probably have a reliable product line, a lot of options to choose from, good customer support, and no hiccups when dealing with issues or warranty claims.
While you should try to find one-two good brands to buy gear from, don’t be afraid to purchase equipment from other manufacturers as well.
Brands that have been on the market for a few decades probably know what they are doing, and the very fact that a snowboard production company has been operating for a long time shows that their products have been successful with their customers.
Choose a reputable brand, but be flexible and don’t limit yourself to just one name.
With all that being said, all the 12 best snowboard brands that we overviewed should be able to satisfy a wide range of snowboarders. But each of these brands is going to have its own strong and weak points, and you will need to do some in-depth research to identify which brand to go for in the end.