The recent Southern California storms are a snowboarder’s dream. While there’s a deep base of white stuff in Big Bear and other mountain resorts, sporting goods stores are already having late-season sales on some products, including some of the more innovative models such as those described below.
Lib Tech Magne-Traction: Innovative fun that can make everyone better on the snow.
Likes: Lots of stability, so beginners don’t fall as much. It holds an edge and turns skateboard-quick, so experts can push the envelope more. The 14 high points, or bumps, along the edges of the board give the rider more turning surfaces than a standard board. Turns easily on all surfaces, even icy, hard-packed snow.
Price: $519 to $599. (206) 270-9792. www.mervin.com.
Twice the action
Voile Split Decision: Ingenious snowboard for backcountry adventurers that divides into two climbing skis.
Likes: Great workout. No need to buy a lift ticket or carry a special backpack to hold snowshoes and a snowboard. To ascend a hill, split it into two skis and put climbing skins on for traction. Re- assembly for the descent takes from two to five minutes. Uses any regular snowboard binding and boot. Self-cleaning track prevents snow buildup that clogs competing brands.
Price: $750. (801) 973-8622; www.voile-usa.com.
Comfort and control
K2 Recon Riser: First board with ride-smoothing suspension.
Likes: Special vibration dampeners help deliver a smoother ride and reduce fatigue. Good in all conditions; floats well in powder and deftly handles groomers.
Dislikes: Not an ideal half-pipe board.
Price: $600. (800) 972-4038; www.k2snowboarding.com.
A transparent trickster
Burton T-6: A multipurpose, high-end board that is terrific for freeriding and aerial tricks.
Likes: The combination of a very lightweight board with stiffness helps you gain extra height and faster spins on half-pipe tricks. Very precise carving due to stiffened foot platform. Cool looks: stealthy, metallic-gray board that is transparent when held up to the light.
Dislikes: Probably too hot to handle for beginners.
Price: $650. (800) 881-3138; www.burton.com.
-- Roy M. Wallack