Among the many recent advancements in snowboarding technology, few have been as successful as volume-shifted snowboards. Sorry step-in binding advocates, it’s still not happening!
But if you are interested in experimenting with a new, innovative approach (that professionals are actually embracing), our guide to volume-shifted snowboards is the perfect place to start.
We’ll review the most popular products on the market and explore the ins and outs of this new(ish) phenomenon taking the snowboarding world by storm.
This article contains affiliate links. We may make a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
The 5 Best Volume Shifted Snowboards
- Best All-Mountain Volume Shift Snowboard: The Ride Warpig
- Best Freeride Volume Shifted Snowboard: The Lib Tech Orca
- Best Volume Shifted Snowboard for Powder: The Jones Storm Chaser
- Best Freestyle Volume Shifted Snowboard: The Ride Twinpig
- Best Volume Shifted Snowboard on a Budget: The Bataleon Party Wave
What is a Volume Shifted Snowboard?
First, let’s cover the basics (or skip to my snowboard recommendations).
A volume-shifted snowboard is wider and shorter than your conventional board, whilst retaining the same surface area.
In the past, big mountain setups were typically built tall for speed, and park boards were shorter for control.
Volume-shifted boards offer both approaches by decreasing the height and increasing the width to keep roughly the same surface area. The idea is to optimize control while still allowing the board to float elegantly across the deep stuff.
While the initial volume-shifted design was created for powder, they quickly became the go-to for versatile, all-mountain boards.
Top Volume Shifted Snowboards
1. The Ride Warpig
Profile: Directional Zero Camber
Base: Sintered 4000
Shape: Directional (Tapered Bi-Radial Sidecut)
Pairs With: Rome Katanas
Additional Features: Performance™ Core, Slim Walls,
- An all-mountain wizard!
- Unusual shape makes for unusual fun!
- Top-end build quality
- Can be sized down for agility
- Poppy, snappy and did I mention... fun?
✖️ Somewhat slower edge-to-edge (given the added width)
Introducing the best volume shifted snowboard of the season, the infamous Ride Warpig!
At first glance, its shape stands out — a directional tapered design with a wide waist, allowing for deep carves and a stable base. The board also boasts a directional rocker profile, making it exceptional in powder, yet versatile enough for groomers and park laps.
The Slim Wall® technology (Ride’s proprietary sidewall design) promises durability and a smoother ride by absorbing impacts.
Add to that the Carbon Array Laminates, which enhances board control with carbon stringers radiating out from underfoot towards the tip and tail.
The moment I took the Warpig out, I understood the hype.
The fine-tuned volume shift allowed me to navigate tight spots with surprising agility. On groomers, the Warpig carved like a beast, laying down quick and aggressive turns with ease.
Its versatility impressed me the most. One moment I was enjoying a relaxed cruise, and the next, I was pushing the board to its limits in the park. The Slim Walls® truly shone on harder landings, offering that additional cushioning and resilience.
However, if I had to pinpoint a downside, it would be in icy conditions. The Warpig performed admirably overall, but I felt it lacked a bit of grip on really icy patches.
The Verdict: The Ride Warpig is a board that challenges conventions and emerges triumphant. It’s a versatile, fun, and aggressive snowboard that is truly a joy to ride. For those looking to invest in a board that offers a blend of agility, power, and sheer fun, the Warpig is a top contender.
2. The Lib Tech T.Rice Orca
Profile: Hybrid C2x
Base: Sintered Knife-Cut Base
Shape: Tapered Directional
Pairs With: Bent Metal Transfers
Additional Features: Magne-Traction
- King of the drawn-out carve
- Kicks ass on groomers and powder
- Super stable
- Looks amazing
- Surprisingly good for butters
✖️ On the heavier side
✖️ Too stiff for the lighter or inexperienced rider
The Lib Tech Orca, right off the bat, commands attention with its striking graphics and distinct design. This board is a product of Lib Tech’s collaboration with snowboard legend Travis Rice.
Touting a hybrid camber/rocker profile (C2x), the Orca is designed for superior float in powder while still providing solid edge control on harder surfaces.
Lib Tech’s signature Magne-Traction edges are serrated, which provides multiple contact points for enhanced grip, especially on icy slopes. Additionally, the board incorporates an eco-friendly construction approach with the use of renewable materials.
From my first run with the Orca, it became evident that this board was designed with speed in mind. The increased width never felt cumbersome; instead, it aided in quick, responsive turns.
Magne-Traction is not just a gimmick either. The serrated edges genuinely improved grip, especially on those icy mornings. I was skeptical at first, but after a few runs on icy slopes, I was a believer.
The Orca really shines in mixed conditions, transitioning smoothly from powder to groomers.
While the board’s versatility is commendable, I did find it slightly challenging in the park. But let’s be honest, this isn’t what the Orca is built for!
The Verdict: The Lib Tech Orca is a powerhouse when it comes to freeride and backcountry snowboarding. If you’re searching for a board that provides unparalleled performance in deep snow and mixed conditions, the Orca is hard to beat.
3. The Jones Storm Chaser
Profile: Christenson Surf Rocker
Base: Sintered 8000
Pair With: Jones Meteorite Surfs
Additional Features: 3D Contour Base 3.0, Progressive Sidecut
- Insanely agile in tight trees
- Perfect for snorkel-deep days
- Eco-friendly build and materials
- Destroyed our tests in Japan
- Designed by Jeremy Jones and legendary surfboard shaper Chris Christenson
✖️ Slightly less versatile
✖️ The price-tag
The Jones Storm Chaser is a work of art, not just in its visually stunning design but in its meticulous construction.
It’s inspired by surfboard designs, making it one of the standout shapes in the Jones line-up. With its pronounced rocker profile, the board also promises exceptional float in powder.
The Traction Tech 3.0, with its enhanced edge grip, is particularly designed to navigate those tricky icy patches.
The board features a bamboo surf core, which makes it lightweight, yet incredibly responsive. Additionally, the sintered 8000 base ensures durability and maintains an impressive glide in all conditions.
Cards on the table, I freaking love this board!
I might be slightly biased though, given that I tested it during 2-weeks of bottomless Japanese pow!
The board maneuvered perfectly – swift, agile, and with an uncanny ability to float in the deepest snow.
The Traction Tech 3.0 was a standout feature for me. On days when icy patches popped up unexpectedly, the board’s edge grip came into its own, providing a much-needed confidence boost.
While the Storm Chaser is undeniably a powder board, it held its own on groomers. However, I’d be hesitant to take it on park runs or highly technical hard-pack terrains. It’s a specialist board, and it excels in its specialty!
The Verdict: The Jones Storm Chaser is a masterpiece for those who dream of powder days and a surf-like ride. While it might not be the all-rounder some riders seek, for those dedicated powder hunts and backcountry adventures, the Storm Chaser is one of the finest boards available.
If deciding between the Orca and this, choose the Orca for more versatile big-mountain riding, the Storm Chaser for powdery slashes and tight tree lines.
4. The Ride Twinpig
Profile: Twin Standard Camber (Hybrid)
Shape: True Twin
Pair With: Rome Katana
Additional Features: Asymmetrical Sidecut, Double Impact Plates, Cleave Edge™,
- The best volume shifted park snowboard
- Double blunted nose for easy spins
- Wider waist makes for stable stomps
- Extremely durable (more on this below)
✖️ Unless you're super park-focused, the OG Warpig is probably the better overall choice (unless you have a quiver)
The Ride TwinPig is the mischievous younger sibling of the renowned Warpig, boasting a true twin design optimal for freestyle exploits.
With its asymmetric shape, the board offers distinct heel and toe edges to aid in carving. The board employs a hybrid rocker profile, ensuring versatility across varied terrains.
Jumping into action with the TwinPig was so much fun. It’s freestyle potential was immediately evident in how nimble and playful it felt, especially in the park.
Ride have also given the board some bulletproof reinforcements (okay, not literally). The thickened Cleave Edge steel and Double Impact Plates are designed to hold up against park abuste.
While it’s a joy in park and on groomers, it’s not my go-to for deeper powder days. If I could only own one board, I’d grab the Warpig. But if I was more freestyle focused or building a quiver, the Twinpig would be in my arsenal for sure!
The Verdict: The Ride TwinPig is a freestyle lover’s delight. Agile, playful, and optimized for park runs and groomers, it’s a board that promises bottomless fun-filled sessions. While it may not dominate in deep powder, its park performance makes it a worthy pick for those seeking playful versatility.
5. The Bataleon Party Wave
Base: Sintered (Hyper Glide S)
Pair With: Rome Crux
Additional Features: SideKick, 3BT™
- A fun, budget-friendly option
- Can be ridden 5-10cm shorter!
- New pin tail improves switch performance
- 3BT makes for super easy transitions
- A surprisingly great carver
- Upgraded with a sintered base (2024)
✖️ Old swallowtail version better for powder
✖️ Flex is slightly too soft for heavier riders (go for the Party Wave +)
The Bataleon Party Wave brings the festive spirit to the slopes with its uniquely crafted shape and vibrant design.
At its core, it’s one of the best volume shifted snowboards, offering a ludicrously fun ride.
The brand’s signature Triple Base Technology (3BT) is put to good use, with uplifted sidebases to aid in float and minimize edge catches.
For 2024, they’ve switched out the swallow tail for a pin tail design, and added a sintered base.
Riding the Party Wave, as the name suggests, was pure fun. The shape ensured great float in powder, and I was pleasantly surprised by its nimbleness, given the wider design.
The 3BT tech, while it takes a moment to get used to, truly shines in reducing those dreaded edge catches. It loves to carve and the stubby tail is surprisingly poppy.
While it’s fantastic for laid-back rides and powder days, I felt it was less aggressive for carving on hardpack. However, Bataleon have now released a “+” model which packs more punch.
The Verdict: For those looking for a joyful, relaxed snowboarding experience with ample powder performance, the Bataleon Party Wave delivers in spades. It’s not your aggressive carver, but for leisurely rides, powder days, and pure fun, it’s hard to beat (especially at this price-point).
A Guide to Volume Shifted Snowboards
The Best of Both Worlds?
Volume-shifted snowboards use the same principle as fish surfboards.
The fish was designed as a hybrid between long and short boards so riders could have optimal control by adding volume and buoyancy.
A fish surfboard rides like a short board but paddles and stands up easier.
Utilizing this logic, the volume-shifted snowboard was born!
One of the first extra wide boards, the Burton Fish, hit the market over a decade ago. However, the trend has really caught on in the last 3-5 years.
Today, modern volume-shifted boards allow for maximum control and easy rideability. Thanks to the innovative design, you can seamlessly transition from powder to park without sacrificing performance.
You can read more about snowboard shapes here.
How Do Volume Shift Snowboards Work?
Traditionally, powder snowboards have been longer than an all-terrain or park board. The increase in length provides stability at higher speeds, and more surface area allows the rider to float through deep snow.
While these two attributes are essential to riding big mountain terrain, a longer board can make for a less enjoyable experience. With a longer board, carving, popping, spinning, and log jibs are more difficult.
Volume-shifted snowboards solve this problem by offering more control, all whilst maintaining float.
You won’t feel restricted by the board length, as you would if you brought your park board into deep powder, but you’ll still have to move fast to treat ungroomed features like freestyle terrain.
Should I Buy a Volume Shifted Snowboard?
The rise in popularity of volume-shifted boards is due to their versatility. Most riders want a board that can accommodate a broad range of terrain while maintaining the highest level of control possible.
Before you make a purchase, we recommend reviewing our pros and cons below:
Volume-shifted snowboards are the ideal all-terrain option. You won’t lose performance in the park or barreling down a narrow chute in the backcountry.
As a result, the design is perfect if you frequent a diverse mountain with access to bowls, trees, and exposure, as well as a contemporary terrain park.
In addition to being highly versatile, the volume-shifted board design is a game-changer if you are taller, weigh more, or have a larger foot than the average snowboarder.
Until the innovation, you’d be forced to ride a longboard if you didn’t want your toes hanging off your front edge. Volume-shifted boards allow above-average-sized riders to experience the control only shorter boards offer.
While a volume-shifted board may seem like a no-brainer if you are looking for an all-terrain board, you need to be aware of some technical side effects of decreasing the height and adding width.
Having your edges further apart makes transferring from toe to heel slightly more challenging. As a result, the time increases between carves.
Long, drawn-out turns are also less smooth with a shorter board. So, if you are strictly seeking to carve icy groomers from top to bottom, maybe reconsider picking up a volume-shifted board.
Otherwise, you won’t be disappointed!
How Volume-Shifted Boards Handle Different Terrain
Whether you are looking to add to your arsenal or purchase your first snowboard, a volume-shifted board is an excellent option. Here are how they perform on different parts of the mountain.
This is what the volume-shifted design was made for; you’ll glide across the top of powder while having maximum control in tight terrain.
The problem with riding a short board in powder is you’ll likely get stuck in a flat spot… sinking once you slow down. However, the volume-shifted design floats over even the deepest powder due to the increased surface area.
Carving on ice is possibly the only flaw in the design. While learning to carve has a lower barrier to entry with a volume-shifted board, it’s not as enjoyable for experts or downhill racers.
But many volume-shifted boards have a rocker profile, which allows for a smoother edge-to-edge transition making carving more enjoyable with the right all-terrain board.
Some boards designed for powder are also ideal for the park. You have more control, are less likely to catch an edge, and the concave design gives you more room for error on butters and jibs.
Volume-shifted boards also perform well on jumps and kickers, whether around the resort, in the park, or backcountry. Short wide boards are easy to pop, offer more control when you spin, and have less edge for you to worry about catching on the run-up to the lip.
Sizing for a Volume-Shifted Board
Understanding the sizing when buying a volume-shifted board is critical. You don’t want to buy a board that is too short, as you will lose your top speed. However, to maximize control, you can go shorter; you just need to add width to retain the same surface area.
Generally, you want to size down 3-6 cm when shopping for a volume-shifted board. So if you usually ride a 159, you’ll want to size down to a 156 or 153.
Remember that the shorter you go, the more agility you’ll have, but you will likely lose some speed.
I recommend choosing a shorter board if you spend more time in the park and opting for a longer option if you prefer riding powder. If you don’t know your ideal snowboard size, check out our snowboard length and width charts.
The added width gives you the volume necessary to float across deep snow. In addition, you want to err on the wide side if you wear a size 11 or above. Fortunately, most volume-shifted snowboards will accommodate this!
Is the Lib Tech Orca Volume Shifted?
Yes, the Lib Tech Orca snowboard is considered a “volume shifted” board. This means it’s designed to be ridden in a shorter length than you might on a traditional board (due to an increase in the width or overall volume of the board).
The Lib Tech Orca is wider than many traditional boards, allowing for increased float in powder, improved stability, and a nimble turning radius despite its shorter length.
Should You Buy a Volume Shifted Snowboard?
Any new board is a huge commitment, especially if you are trying out a new design or technology for the first time.
But there’s a reason why volume shift boards have caught on; all types of riders from various skill levels love their fun and versatile approach.
Generally speaking, volume-shifted snowboards perform well in most conditions; however, differences in width, concave, and flex will deliver a substantially different feel when you’re on the mountain.
As a result, I highly recommend checking out our recommendations and reviewing the product specs before making a purchase.
As the snowboarding landscape continues to evolve, it looks like volume shifted snowboards are here to stay. And rightfully so!
These boards, with their unique design and game-changing features, are rapidly carving a niche for themselves.
The models I’ve highlighted in this article represent the pinnacle of volume shift tech, each bringing its own set of advantages to the table.
However, as with all equipment, the best board ultimately depends on your individual preferences, riding styles, and specific snow conditions.
Embrace the shift, and let me know how you get on!
Happy (volume-shifted) riding!