Assembling your perfect snowboarding setup is like rebuilding that old Chevy you always kept in the garage. Sure, you can throw any old carburetor in there and slap on a few wheels, and then you're good to go — disclaimer, all my knowledge on rebuilding old cars comes from film montages. But if you really want that beast to purr, you need everything working in harmony. You don't just want to be slapping any old parts onto your spanking new engine.
Your snowboarding gear is the same. You need to piece together an ensemble that reflects your riding style and complements the other pieces of your riding setup. It's all well and good buying a brand-new snowboard, but if your snowboard bindings are rattling loose and your snowboard boots are bursting at the seams, you'll spend the day wondering why your new board isn't popping like it's hot. Our snowboarding gear awards are here with the best equipment of 2023 to help you start your season with a roar, not a whimper.
Burton Custom Snowboard 2023
Best all-mountain snowboard
Building on its GOAT status, the Burton Custom is back with a sleek and playful 2023 model. Built around the SuperFly II 700G core, carbon highlights in each layer of the glass add the fine-tuning that Burton always strives for. Combine that with the ever-reliable camber for solid edge control and hard-driving, precise turns, and you have a daily driver that can absolutely shred in all conditions.
Of course, there's more to it than the technical side of things. The lightweight build and directional setup on the Custom give you a playful board designed to pop from the tail and give you that little extra float where you need it.
That's even before we get onto those graphics. Now, I love a clean-looking snowboard, and Burton has nailed it with the 2023 custom. The black top deck with the white accent is understated and sleek, hiding the in-your-face pink base that will absolutely pop in your shredding photos.
CAPiTA Ultrafear Snowboard 2023
Best park snowboard
If you've watched even a tiny percentage of the freestyle snowboard videos available at the click of a button, there's no way you haven't seen one of these bad boys in action. The CAPiTA Ultrafear is a mainstay of the park and urban snowboard scenes, with jibbing in its very nature. Whether you're a rail rider, putting down those spins, or just learning to nose butter, the Ultrafear has got you covered.
The profile of the Ultrafear is a combination of camber, reverse camber, and zero camber in different areas along the deck. This might sound over the top, but what it gives you is the pop and play of a cambered board with the predictability and ease of zero camber. CAPiTA has also included carbon aramid body armor and a cork edge dampening system, so you can give this board everything you've got and more. Don't be put off by the name — the Ultrafear is a friendly beast that can take everything you throw at it.
Burton Step On Genesis Snowboard Bindings
Best step on bindings
It's time to move on. Those days of getting off the lift, finding yourself a snow bank, and settling in to strap up are behind you. The best part? The look on your skiing buddies' faces when you cruise off ahead of them. You really can't go wrong with Burton, the pioneers of the Step On binding, or the Burton Step On Genesis 2023.
The Genesis snowboard bindings are a step up from Burton's basic model. They're stiffer and more responsive, adding a whole new dimension to the previous designs — stiffer, but not too stiff. The mid-flex profile and adjustable high backs mean you can choose whether you want an engaging ride for carving or a more playful day in the park. Burton has streamlined the step-on, step-off tech, too, so you'll get a smooth catch and an easy release when you need it. Isn't it time you retired those strap-up bindings anyway?
Burton Ion Step On
Best step on snowboarding boots
To use those step on bindings, you need a step on boot, but the Burton Ion Step On isn't any old snowboarding boot. The Ion is Burton's most responsive step on snowboard boot, with a stiffness profile that's been elevated to give you optimal performance without compromising on comfort.
As usual with Burton boots, there are separate quick-pulls to tighten the upper and lower parts of your boot. This gives you greater control over tightening the boot to fit your foot profile without having to ride out sore spots or tight areas. Burton has also included a Snugger Strap on the ankle. This tightens easily to give you extra heel hold as you carve those turns or slash through the powder.
All that technology is wasted if your liners won't wick away the moisture. Burton's Life Liner boot liners combine lightweight materials and a relaxed fit to not only make it feel like you've just slipped your feet into a cozy pair of slippers — albeit the most responsive slippers you've ever worn — but to keep your feet warm and ride-dry all day. Heck, let's say all season.
Union Force Snowboard Bindings 2023
Best standard snowboard bindings
You're a hardened snowboarder, right? Well, if you're not yet, you want to be, right? In that case, you need a snowboard binding that can keep up with you whether you're cruising groomers, slashing powder, or sending it big in the park. The Force is Union's most trusted all-mountain binding, renowned for durability and responsive riding. Seriously, if you were to buy a whole new setup today, there's a good chance that these bindings would outlast everything else you purchased.
They aren't just durable, though. The mid-stiff feel of the Force comes from the Duraflex ST baseplate and high backs. These are stiffened with fiberglass for a lightweight but responsive feel. It's good to see that Union has stuck with the aluminum heel cup, though. At the business end of the binding, the anti-slip straps and magnesium buckles form a reliable and responsive system. The Force is a binding you can entrust to any setup, and the color scheme doesn't hurt it either — check out that Cosmo look.
thirtytwo TM-Two Snowboard Boots 2023
Best standard snowboarding boots
Most snowboarders can only dream of having a whole quiver of boots to choose from. In reality, we usually end up going for a one-boot-fits-all style, unless you're a dedicated park rat or a big mountain backcountry rider. The good news is that the thirtytwo TM-Two boots are capable of extinguishing those needs. This boot is a quiver in itself.
The mid-stiff ride of the TM-Two means that it can take on whatever your imagination can throw at it. The choice between laces or a BOA system is a debate that will rumble on for years to come, but laces prevent you from overtightening your boot outer, and — in my opinion, at least — traditional just looks that much better. If you don't agree with me, then the good news is that thirtytwo also makes a BOA version of this boot. Whichever you choose, you can be sure of a solid heel lock, a performance liner, and a power strap for extra response. There's a reason these are worn by Scotty Stevens.
Dragon RVX MAG OTG
Best snowboarding goggles
If you've never ridden with frameless snowboarding goggles before, you don't know what you're missing. I'll tell you: Unparalleled vision. When you're no longer hemmed in by chunky frames, you can see every inch of the groomer, spot your landing early, or pick your line quickly. With the toughest anti-fog on the market and comfortable, conforming foam holding the goggles against your face, the RVX MAG OTG goggles are the latest in a line of top-end snowboarding goggles from Dragon.
And just when you thought they couldn't improve things further, Dragon has brought out their Swiflock Lens Changing system. With a release lever on one side, the lenses are secured with magnetic contact points to give you a seamless lens change on the mountain, making it almost impossible to scuff, scratch, or drop a lens as you change them over. The RVX MAG OTG goggles are helmet-compatible, and OTG — over the glasses — ready.
Smith Scout MIPS
Best snowboarding helmet
If you're on the market for a new helmet and you don't buy one featuring MIPS technology, you're not doing this right. We're not going to go into the full technical details here, but the MIPS tech counteracts rotational forces — like what you get with a snowboarding bail — and prevents that force from being passed onto your brain. Of course, there's more to a snowboarding helmet than just the MIPS, but we're serious when we say that it's an important starting point. That's why companies make such a big deal of it in their helmet names.
The Smith Scout MIPS helmet features — you guessed it — MIPS technology. More than that, though, the ABS shell withstands high impacts with minimal damage and is designed to take on everything you can throw at it. Smith is a company that knows a thing or two about snowboarding. They also know that you don't want to replace your helmet when the temperature changes so that you overheat or risk having an ice-cream head. The ventilation ports on the Scout MIPS helmet are designed to maximize cooling where it counts but minimize those cool breezes that freeze your head on those mid-winter days. Pair that with the removable ear pads and you've got a helmet for all seasons.
One Ball Jay Hot Wax Kit
Best snowboard waxing kit
If you want to keep your riding at its best level, you need to keep your gear maintained through the season. This Hot Wax Kit from One Ball Jay includes everything you need to keep your board gliding and prevent any unwanted grabs from dry spots. Two high-performance waxes, a wax iron, scraper, fiber-tex pad, and even some P-Tex candles for small base repairs give you everything you need for some DIY snowboard care. It even comes with full instructions so you can learn to wax your snowboard this winter.
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