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Best Snowboard For Groomers: Choosing A Board For Packed Runs

Best Snowboard For Groomers: Choosing A Board For Packed Runs

While groomers are the perfect playground for beginner snowboarders, they can also offer more capable riders a range of terrains to enjoy.

From man-made moguls to icy steeps to corduroy slopes, groomers are a melting pot of diversity for snowboarding styles and techniques.  

Ideal intermediate to advanced groomer snowboards handle high speeds with stability and hold a strong edge when carving and making tight turns.

A good groomer snowboard should have decent pop and flex to hop over moguls and explore the edges of a groomed run, while being agile enough to ride among busy crowds. 

Halfpipe boardBoard PriceHighlights
Burton Custom X$750Unbeatable edge hold, ideal for carving, ultra damp and fast
Lib Tech T.Rice Orca$650Made for bombing steep hills, ideal for carving in softer groomer snow, extreme precision
Never Summer Ripsaw$560Progressive edge hold, lightweight materials for stability at high speeds, powerful carves
Jones Flagship$650Cruises over moguls and chatter, agile for large crowds, difficult to catch an edge, stable on icy surfaces
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Groomers snowboard #1 review: Burton Custom X

Burton Custom X
Key featuresBurton Custom X
StiffnessStiff 9/10
Size150, 154, 165, 158, 162, 154W, 158W, 162W, 166W

The Custom X is ideal for laying into low carves and when paired with stiff boots and bindings, will hold an edge like no other on groomers

This board has an aggressive twin-flex rating of 9/10, which is symmetrical across the board.

With a traditional camber profile combined with a setback stance and a directional shape, the Custom X carves with precision at ultra-high speeds. 

The board has camber between the bindings and underfoot, followed by a rockered flick towards the tips.

This profile combined with knifelike edges holds its own when laying into carves in hard to icy snow, yet doesn’t grab too much in soft powder pockets.

The directional shape and lightweight materials make it one of the dampest and fastest boards on the market, and it will cruise over churned up terrain and moguls with ease.

Check out the Custom X here on Evo or Amazon

Groomers snowboard #2 review: Lib Tech T.Rice Orca

Key featuresLib Tech T.Rice Orca
StiffnessMedium/stiff flex (7.5/10)
ProfileHybrid rocker
Size144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 159

The Orca is a tapered directional board with a hybrid rocker profile and a setback stance.

The board is slightly shorter and wider than the average groomer board and is designed for those who like to bomb hills at speed and carve in softer groomer snow. 

With a flex rating of (7.5/10), the Orca is a technical ride for more advanced to expert riders.

Designed with both resort riding and backcountry in mind, the board rocks a hybrid rocker profile with a shortened rocker between the bindings, a lengthened camber underfoot, and a rockered flick towards the tips. 

With Lib Tech’s Magne-Traction knife-edge technology, it’s a great hybrid for ripping anything from groomer corduroy to on-piste powder, and will hold an edge with control and precision.

See the Lib Tech T. Rice Orca on Evo or on Amazon

Groomers snowboard #3 review: Never Summer Ripsaw

Key featuresNever Summer Ripsaw
StiffnessMedium/stiff flex (7.5/10)
ProfileHybrid rocker
Size156, 159, 162, 157X, 160X, 163X

The Ripsaw has a dramatic hybrid rocker profile with a rocker between the bindings, camber underfoot, and rockered flicks towards the tips.

Its rockered profile combined with a powerful flex and Never Summer’s progressive Power Grip sidecut mechanism, gives it excellent edge hold, pop, and extreme stability at high speeds.

It’s a true-twin board crafted with ultra-light carbon laminate fibers, designed for aggressive riders who like to spend their days bombing groomers at speed and linking powerful carves.

The Never Summer Ripsaw has an upper-medium flex rating of 7.5/10, giving it a technical feel and solid edge hold for a rockered board.

Check out the Never Summer Ripsaw here on Evo

Groomers snowboard #4 review: Jones Flagship

Key featuresJones Flagship
StiffnessMedium/stiff flex (8/10)
ProfileHybrid rocker
Size151, 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 167, 169W, 172

Designed for advanced to expert riders, the Jones Flagship is one of the top men’s freeride boards on the market.

The Flagship has a directional taper and a hybrid camber, with camber underfoot and a rocker towards the tip and tail.

The elongated nose of the board makes it perfect for cruising over crud and moguls and for speeding down steeps at high speeds. 

The long rockered tip floats the nose above the snow, making it both agile and difficult to catch a front edge. Meanwhile, the camber under your bindings increases the boards’ response and edge hold when riding groomers.

The Flagship’s sharp edges make it ideal for icy edging as well as high-speed carving. It also handles steep lines well and confidently absorbs chatter at speed.

If you’re looking for speed, this board straight lines like a machine and will maintain stability and precision in dicey conditions.

Check out the Jones Flagship on Evo

What does riding groomers mean?

Features of a good snowboard for groomers

When we think about snowboarding on groomers, we automatically think of fresh corduroy lines within the designated boundaries of a ski resort.

While these slopes are a big part of groomer riding, the unpredictable weather conditions in mountainous regions can change the tracks of a slope very quickly.

Even without changing conditions, groomer tracks can look completely different after they have been scrubbed away by the early crowds. 

Groomers are beginner and intermediate riders’ terrain of choice as they are the most predictable and safest routes to take on the hill and make for an easy cruise at whichever speed. 

For more advanced riders, groomers can be used for high-speed bombing, carving down hard or icy slopes, hopping off moguls, or even used as a flat park for jibbing and buttering. 

See also: Linking turns vs carving vs skidding on a snowboard

Features of a good snowboard for groomers

You might choose a different snowboard depending on whether you spend your days carving hard, hopping over moguls, or cruising down subtle lines.

Groomer riders typically opt for boards with reliable edge hold, a medium to stiff flex for stability at speed, and a hybrid profile for maneuverability.

Mostly, we’re talking about freeride and all-mountain snowboards with the following qualities.

Board length

Most groomer-focused boards are average in length, however, some freeride snowboards are slightly shorter and wider with a shifted surface area.

Aggressive freeride groomer snowboards are generally directional and boast different length tails and tips. This makes them suitable for speed and gives them extra stability and control for hard carving on groomers.

You should generally size up slightly when purchasing an aggressive freeride board.

All-mountain snowboards sit in the center of the sizing chart and are great for those who enjoy riding groomers with more of a surfy feeling.

These boards also have a directional stance and double as great powder boards. Many intermediate riders use these boards as a one-board quiver, ‘go anywhere, anytime’ board.

Flex rating for groomers

While the best flex depends on your riding style, ability, and weight, the best groomer snowboards usually fall between a medium and stiff flex profile (optimally 7 to 9 /10). 

A stiffer flex is best-suited for low hard carves and provides a lot of stability and edge hold, especially when riding fast.

Many freeride boards that double as powder and groomer boards have a softer flex in the nose than in the tail. The stiffer tail helps keep the board stable under your back foot, while the softer nose allows for better float in softer groomer snow.

All-mountain boards tend to be slightly softer than freeride boards (between 5 and 8 /10). The flex in these boards depends on whether the board is oriented towards backcountry powder or more freestyle terrain. 

Backcountry oriented all-mountain boards are more aggressive and stiffer, and give riders a more stable edge hold on hard groomers. Freestyle-oriented boards are softer for easier butters, jibs, and hops.

Board outline

Most groomer-specific boards have a dramatic taper as well as a setback stance. Taper technology – often a disruption in the sidecut section between the feet – gives the rider control over the edges of the board in hardpack snow, as well as stability when carving at speed.

Camber profile

When it comes to groomers, instead of a specific camber being ideal for riding on piste, different cambers dictate what the board does best on the groomers.

All camber profiles can work on groomers, but there are preferences based on your style and where you ride most. Most boards are designed for specific types of riding style (freeride, freestyle, urban etc).

Camber boards and flat profiles are great for those learning to snowboard on groomers. This traditional profile is ideal for learning how to ride switch, link turns, and cruise over corduroy runs.

Depending on riding style, hybrid camber and hybrid rocker shapes are typically the best profiles for intermediate to advanced groomer riders.

Hybrid camber boards are more often chosen by intermediate riders. They are great for turn initiation and will give you better float over churned up snow.

The camber underfoot gives the rider ultimate control and will hold an edge like a serrated knife. It makes it easy to pop and flex over moguls and bumps by simply pressing down and leveraging your feet, which lie flush with the snow.

For the more advanced rider, hybrid rocker boards are a good choice for carving and turning, feeling slightly looser than a hybrid camber. With a cambered section underfoot, hybrid rocker boards offer dynamic pop when carving from rail to rail. 

Often preferred for its technical aggression and precision, this profile is a great all-rounder that will let you butter over groomer runs, spin your tail around and ride switch whilst being quick and stable carving from edge to edge.

Boots and bindings

If you’re planning on spending most of your time on groomers, you should set yourself up with medium to stiff boots. Medium flex boots offer balance and mobility and support your ride whilst being comfortable for a long day.

Groomer cruisers, namely, should focus on comfort. Make sure your ankles are supported and can’t flex too much in either direction.

More aggressive advanced riders might choose stiffer boots for a stronger edge hold when horizontally carving down steep hills.

Beginners may opt for soft to medium flex boots which are more comfortable and agile. However, they will generally feel loose and won’t protect your ankles as you start riding faster.

Good all-mountain groomer bindings typically have a medium flex for good response and shock absorption on undulating tracks and mogul runs. Boot flex should generally match the bindings.