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The Best Snowboard for Choppy Snow, Bumps, and Moguls

The Best Snowboard for Choppy Snow, Bumps, and Moguls

While choppy snow and moguls are not typically something snowboarders seek out, they are often difficult to avoid.

Opinions aside, being able to ride in varying terrain can improve your freeriding ability and can even be enjoyed as a technical and physical challenge

The best board for bumps and moguls combines soft and friendly with technical and progressive. Ideally, mogul riding requires a soft flex to absorb shocks, short length for quick turn initiation, and a hybrid rocker profile and progressive sidecut for agility and edge hold in icy conditions.

While riding moguls is all about knee strength and flexibility, cardio stamina, and good balance, there are certain features to look out for on a board that will make your riding experience a lot more pleasant:

Best board for mogulsPriceHighlights
GNU Riders Choice$600Soft and forgiving feel, fast turn initiation, possible to load up pop and kick off moguls, asymmetrical sidecut for added heel side balance, reliable edge hold.
Niche Aether$530Balance between loose and technical, feels powerful and snappy underfoot, fast turn initiation, floaty feel, stable in chop.
Never Summer Proto Synthesis$610Damp base, loose with good edge hold, quick turn initiation and fast from rail to rail, great riding switch, cruises over bumps with ease
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Features of a good snowboard for chop, bumps, and moguls

Riding moguls requires a rider to fully commit to a line while maintaining flexibility in the knees.

It’s a slow technique that requires practice, and while it feels extremely quick when you’re riding, moguls involve a lot of tight radius turning between bumps. 

Snowboard flex for moguls

The most important feature for a mogul board is its flex rating. Boards with a medium torsional flex are ideal for riding through choppy terrain. 

With a softer flex, your board will absorb the shock of chatter and allow you to push off the walls of moguls to turn between them.

However, a board with too soft a flex will have little control when riding at speed. 

So ideally, the best option for moguls and bumps is a medium flex board (between 5/10 and 6/10) with a damp base to absorb extra chatter and flex with the bumpy terrain.

When riding a medium flex board, you can almost feel the snow under your feet, allowing the boards flex to guide you into your turns.

Torsional flexibility offers a lot of control for tight radius turns, which is necessary when riding through bumps. 

Snowboard size and profile for bumps

Naturally, bumpy riding can refer to a wide range of terrain – from perfectly carved moguls to undulating terrain to churned up tree runs to packed out icy bumps. 

If you spend a lot of time in bumpy terrain, it’s recommended to get the shortest board that you feel comfortable riding.

A shorter length makes it easier to swing the back of the board around and do sharp short radius turns in between chop.

Choose a board with a hybrid rocker profile. With a rocker between the feet, camber underfoot, and rockered tips, a hybrid rocker has a looser feel than a camber, making it easier to ride from rail to rail in tight spaces. 

with a rockered profile, the weight of the rider flattens the two camber zones and creates a pressurized area which stores energy.

The flick towards the tips of the board gives you even more pop, speeding up turn initiation and making it possible to hop over moguls and even get some air time.

Snowboard shape for moguls

Riding through unpredictable bumpy terrain requires the ability to turn super fast and at times, spin into switch.

True-twin boards with a centered stance typically have a faster turn initiation and are easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

You can also try widening your stance to give your legs more control over the board on uneven surfaces.

Some riders prefer a board with slightly more taper (wider nose than tail) to help plow through tricky terrain.

Good edge hold is essential when riding through icy moguls. Rockered boards typically have slightly less edge hold than traditional camber snowboards.

To balance this out, the best mogul riding boards have sharp Magne-Traction edges and progressive tight sidecuts, which act like serrated knives that cut into the icy snow for grip. 

The following is a selection of 3 top snowboards for mogul riding.

#1 snowboard for bumps and moguls: GNU Riders Choice

Key featuresGNU Riders Choice
Price$600
StiffnessMedium flex (5/10)
ProfileHybrid-rocker
Size151.5, 154.5, 157.5, 161.5, 155W, 158W, 162W, 166W

Flex

With a medium flex rating of 5/10, the Riders Choice has a soft and forgiving feel which is agile and pleasant to maneuver between moguls and chatter. 

As long as you pick the right line, this board has fast turn initiation and will absorb most of the chatter as you edge through moguls at high speeds.

Size and profile

Designed for intermediate to advanced riders, the Riders Choice has a short yet aggressive hybrid rocker profile with camber underfoot. 

It has rigid tips that give the rider plenty of opportunities to load up energy and hop over bumps.

This makes the board extra agile for dicing between bumps, yet also possible for expert riders to power over bumps and treat them like kickers.

Those who ride predominantly bumpy terrain should consider sizing down one size for faster turn initiation.

Shape

The Riders Choice has an asymmetrical shape that cuts deeper into the heelside sidecut, as well as an asymmetrical flex which is softer on the heelside.

This creates a shorter effective edge, making it easier to balance on your heel edge. The sidewalls of the board are super sharp and have clearly defined Magne-Traction edge hold technology.

With specifically placed contact points along the edges of the board, this serrated knife-like technology gives the board very good edge hold and control in icy and bumpy mogul conditions.

#2 snowboard for bumps and moguls: Niche Aether

Key featuresNiche Aether
Price$530
StiffnessMedium flex (6/10)
ProfileHybrid-rocker
Size153, 156, 159, 162

Flex

The Aether has a 6/10 flex rating with a directional flex pattern, giving it a good balance between loose and locked in.

The upper-medium flex rating, which is softer at the tip and tail and more rigid between the feet, gives the board a powerful and snappy feel.

It feels slightly stiffer in the tail than in the nose, which allows your back foot extra control and is great for quick turn initiation.

Size and profile

The hybrid rocker profile, which Niche calls multi-camber, offers the rider the pop and edge control of traditional camber with the loose and floaty feel of a rocker.

This is a versatile board that’s a good all-mountain board for chop, ice, and moguls. The Aether has a sintered damp base that can handle bumpy terrain well.

With a soft and not particularly dominant long nose, it can’t plow through bumps too well, yet does well to cruise over them with its shock-absorbing flex and damp base.

Shape

The Aether is a symmetrical twin (with a directional flex pattern) with a centered stance. It has progressive Magne-Traction sidecuts which offer stability and control in icy moguls.

The asymmetrical flex doesn’t interfere with your balance when riding switch, and is just as efficient riding either way.

The serrated edge technology gives this board the superior edge hold needed to cut through deep and icy moguls.

#3 snowboard for bumps and moguls: Never Summer Proto Synthesis

Key featuresNever Summer Proto Synthesis
Price$610
StiffnessMedium flex (6/10)
ProfileHybrid-rocker
Size149, 152, 155, 158, 161, 154X, 157X, 160X, 163X, 159DF, 162DF

Flex

The Proto Synthesis is one of Never Summer’s top all-mountain boards with a medium flex rating of 6/10. It’s one of the most agile and damp boards on the mountain and offers a lot of bounce

The Proto Synthesis has a carbon X built into the base between the bindings for added torsional rigidity, as well as a carbon web built into the tip and tail for extra pop.

The flex feels slightly softer than expected, giving the board a looser feel on the snow. This is ideal for quick turn initiation and being able to maneuver the board between unpredictable bumps and moguls.

Size and profile

The board features Never Summers’ Shockwave hybrid rocker profile with an extended camber section for pop, power, and stability.

A shortened rocker section maintains the loose and forgiving feel of a hybrid rocker and allows initiating turns and moving the board quickly.

Shape

The Proto Synthesis is an all-mountain true-twin ripper that rides switch as well as it does regular.

It’s super agile at slow speeds and serves you well in a variety of conditions including the icy park, moguls, and tight tree lines. 

It doesn’t have the same bouncy feel as the Niche Aether and is better for cruising over and around bumps than popping off them like kickers.

Final Words

While moguls might seem like more work than fun, they can be great for those wanting to improve their all-mountain or freestyle technique. A board with a medium flex, sharp sidecuts, and a shorter length will ease your ride.

The bindings and boots you wear, as well as your personal riding technique are also important for protecting your knees and lower back from the impact of moguls and the undulating vibrations from choppy terrain.