Times are tough.
Cash is in short supply.
You’ve saved all summer for that beautiful, shiny new deck.
But are expensive snowboards worth it?
Expensive snowboards are worth it for experienced riders who value high-end technology, premium materials and optimal performance. However, past a certain price-point there are diminishing returns.
Allow me to explain…
What Are "Expensive Snowboards"?
Everything is expensive these days.
The average cost of a snowboard is now around $450!
An “expensive” snowboard is therefore in the region of $600-800. This is the price-point I’ll focus on today.
You can of course find even more expensive boards. In fact, the most expensive snowboards in the world sold for over $30,000.
Are Expensive Snowboards Always Better?
Sometimes a snowboard will be thousands of dollars more expensive just because they are limited edition or have a “featherlight core”.
Most people would barely tell the difference when it comes to actually riding them!
I do believe that discerning or experienced riders will need to spend a certain amount in order to be satisfied with their board.
When buying brand new, you probably need to spend >$450 in order to have certain key features.
Features Of Expensive Snowboards
1. Sintered Bases
Faster but much more expensive. Most cheap boards instead have extruded bases.
Whether the upgrade is worth the extra money is up to you.
Note: some riders actually prefer extruded bases. They’re durable and can be waxed less often.
2. Edge Hold Technology
If you’d prefer edge hold technology (serrated edges like Magnetraction) this usually costs a little more.
3. Premium Materials
Most snowboards are made of a combination of wood, aluminium and glue. Expensive snowboards include materials like kevlar, carbon and cork – providing durability, dampness or extra pop.
4. Asymmetrical Sidecuts
If you want an asymmetrical deck (a tighter heel-side radius), you’ll need a little extra dough.
P.S. These are the top asymmetrical snowboards of the season.
5. Progressive Shapes
If you’re looking for an innovative new design, you’re going to pay a premium.
The Bataleon Surfer (pictured on the right) is an absolute beauty, but it’ll cost you around $850.
Do You Need An Expensive Snowboard?
Some of my favorite days on the mountain were spent on an old Salomon Villain – bought for $100 on ebay.
Having an expensive snowboard can actually ruin your day. Imagine discovering the snow cover is terrible – and you’ve only got your $1000 limited edition board!
Meanwhile your buddies on cheap jib boards are hopping rocks and features without a care in the world.
The Benefits Of A Cheaper Snowboard
Ultimately, only you know your financial position.
If it means going without lessons, lift tickets or comfortable boots, you should not be spending all of your money on a board.
Cheaper boards actually have a few benefits:
- Durable, low maintenance, extruded bases.
- They’re great for street riding or jibbing.
- Extend your season – you won’t be worried about snagging rocks and branches at opening/closing.
- You can afford to change your board more often.
- More money for more important things – lift passes, transport, lessons, beer!
Conclusion: Are Expensive Boards Worth It?
It really comes down to personal preference.
What’s expensive for me, might not be expensive for you… and vice versa.
Plus I’m a bit of a gear
hoarder collector. I love the opportunity to try the latest tech. Shiny new boards are totally worth it for me (unless the wife finds out).
Overall, it’s usually better to buy a board in the middle of your affordable price range. You’ll get plenty of tech, a nice board, and you won’t feel too precious about it.
But what do you think?
Let me know in the comments.