When it comes to snowboarding, beginners usually don’t have many options, especially on the type of terrain they choose to ski.
Most of the terrains, such as steeps, powder, cats, moguls, and bumps, are too challenging, and it’s easy for them to get frustrated when building their skills.
However, groomers, or corduroy, are the snow choice for many skiers and snowboarders. They’re the perfect playing ground for beginner snowboarders but can also offer more capable riders a range of terrains to enjoy.
But even in the right conditions, snowboarding in groomers requires the right snowboard.
See, while expert snowboarders can ski on any terrain with any snowboard, beginners will require a snowboard for groomers to progress their skills.
Snow grooming like a boss requires having a board that holds an edge through any terrain effortlessly. Unfortunately, not all boards can achieve this.
However, the best snowboard for groomers will get you through some hard snow or ice patches to make it to the powder pockets in the backcountry.
These boards are not only great in powder but also for bombing the compact snow. They tend to be more aggressive and more directional, so great options for any riding conditions.
So, whether you’re adding more spins to your bag of tricks or simply improving your fundamentals, a snowboard for groomers is a confidence-inspiring option that will make all the difference.
To help you choose the best board for groomers, we’ve rounded up the top 5 options we think are best for riding in these conditions.
Table of Contents
The Best Snowboards for Groomers For The Money
#1 Burton Custom X - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Nowadays, there’re numerous rocker profiles available, but the few I’ve ridden simply can’t handle the firm conditions as well as I’d like.
For this reason, I strongly feel that there’s still a place for a traditionally cambered board.
See, I travel a lot, so I prefer having a board that I’m confident enough to perform well at high speeds in all snow conditions, and especially on very firm, icy lines.
The Custom X fits this criterion well.
The board is a full-cambered option that Burton describes as the “hardest charging board” they’ve created.
True to the description, Custom X is a great board for anyone who likes riding aggressively.
It’s also a great pick for riders who want to tackle the entire mountain but still want to carve it up and get their elbows low while generating speed.
It’s an advanced board, though, and might not fit the needs of beginner or intermediate snowboarders.
But is it the right pick for you?
Features and Benefits
Shape and Flex
Pretty much every review I read about Custom X describes the board as a stiff cambered hard charger. In fact, most riders gave it a stiffness rating of 9, with which I strongly disagree.
While it’s a full camber and on the stiffer end of the spectrum, I believe, it’s nowhere close to the death plank which reviewers seem to experience.
On the contrary, it’s pretty much playful, and riders have no problem buttering the board.
While it definitely requires a little more elbow grease than the regular boards to get it going, it’s more than “doable.”
It has an excellent buttering feel, and riders can lean on to it way more than the softer boards do.
Carving / Groomer Performance
Custom X’s bread and butter is probably the charging ability.
With a full cambered profile, the board snaps into and out of carves with a nice amount of pop, and it’s supposed to give you plenty of stability when you point it downhill.
While I believe there’re more stable boards out there, Custom X is less likely to wash out in turn, even in firm conditions. So, it’s a board riders will enjoy using on groomers.
In chopped up, cruddy conditions, Custom X is quite still damp for a fully cambered design.
This is astonishing considering how snappy and responsive the board is and how much edge hold it provides.
To be clear, though, the board needs to be ridden fast, especially when conditions are soft and it’s not very forgiving.
Undoubtedly, Custom X is a fast board.
Riders have no problem with coasting on flats or even keeping momentum on up-hills.
The sintered base, along with the sidecut and camber profile, help you achieve high speeds.
And, more importantly, the board feels stable even at speed.
The only quibble I had with the board is its pop.
This part is disappointing as the board doesn’t have the amount of pop I anticipated.
While it has a narrow sweet spot to pop from, it’s quite hard to find, and even if you do, it doesn’t feel refined.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like with this board, and I find it perfect for my grooming and carving needs.
What I like most with Custom X is how it blends stability and playfulness, which in my opinion, makes a wonderful choice for groomer riding.
#2 Lib Tech T.Rice Orca - Best for Steep Terrain
The Lib Tech Orca couldn’t clinch the top spot overall and isn’t the best board for groomer choice for most snowboarders.
However, the Orca is our absolute favorite when it comes to riding steep terrains and deep snow.
It’s an exceptionally stable board, even at high speeds, and has an awesome edge hold.
It’s on the stiffer side, though, so it’s not the most playful option. It doesn’t have a lot of pop either, but I would highly recommend the board for anyone who likes to go fast in deep snow despite the flaws.
Features and Benefits
Aptly named the Orca, this board is blubbery, with ample width and somewhat unconventional shape and design.
The board rides wide and expansive surface area only but provides a hovercraft-like float in powder.
Of course, the surface area alone isn’t the only feature promoting performance on powder- much of that comes down to camber.
Orca’s camber profile is, in my opinion, near perfect.
The board has a prominent dip of rocker between the bindings.
The rocker pockets act as a fulcrum on a seesaw. When you step back on the tail, the snow lifts out of the snow, much like a breaching whale. This is essential when floating over the loose powder.
Carving on groomers with the Orca is a delight, and you’ll be surprised by how nimble and quick the edge-to-edge transitions are.
The Magne-Traction edges offer increased control by adding a wavy edge in the “dead zone” area of your edge, sitting right under your feet while carving.
Orca’s superior edge ensures you rarely spiral out of control when you hit an icy patch and that you profit from fluid carves.
While it’s not the snappiest board, Orca is great at cutting through chop and is super forgiving.
Orca doesn’t fail in this department, and even after taking the board in the steep groomers and opening up the throttle, the board did exceptionally well.
Regardless of how hard and fast you push the board, Orca never gives you any cause for alarm and will cut through chop with ease and isn’t prone to speed wobbles.
Orca is a bit on the serious side and isn’t the most playful snowboard.
It’s ultra-stiff, so many riders find it challenging to flex and maneuver.
But considering Orca isn’t a freestyle board, riders should take this criticism into context.
For the riders looking for a board to carve, surfy free riding, drops, and playing in deep snow, the Orca is real fun.
Pop and Jumping
As with other volume-shift directionals with a tiny tail, it’s hard finding the snap on the Orca.
The board isn’t the most versatile option and feels quite heavy, so it’s overall harder to jump and doesn’t want to lift off quite as well as some of the more flexible boards.
Of course, you can still perform a tail press, but you can tell Orca doesn’t want to.
#3 Never Summer Ripsaw - Freestyle Pick
Never Summer Ripsaw is an aggressive all-mountain snowboard that tears through anything in its path.
It’s designed to suit the needs of riders who like charging hard and fast riding.
The board’s stiff flex, complemented by a hybrid camber profile, gives riders the pop and stability of the camber combined with the rocker’s float.
Features and Benefits
Ripsaw doesn’t feel super floaty over patches of powder.
It’s not a surprise considering the specs don’t suggest either.
However, the sliding performance isn’t awful, especially when you compare it to other aggressive mountain freestyle boards like the Hot Knife or Rome Rocker.
Carving and Turning
Ripsaw likes to carve, and we love that it holds a carve much better than the old Rocker and Camber profile boards.
However, it likes carving at pace.
For instance, when riding it slowly, it feels a bit heavy to turn and lacks agility.
On the other hand, as soon you get going at a reasonable pace, it starts to purr.
It feels nice holding long carves with the board, and riders can now get more of a surf style lean back on the tail at the end of a carve.
You’ll have to put a lot on the board to get the best out of it, though, but once you throw in that effort, it becomes easier riding the board.
As we mentioned earlier, Ripsaw likes to ride at a pace.
The board doesn’t feel that comfortable going slow but comes into its own once you get a bit of speed.
And the best part it feels stable at speed and doesn’t have the speed wobbles.
Ripsaw is a stiff board, so it’s quite unforgiving on the uneven terrain.
The best way of riding the board is to charge, and if it’s cruddy, you can try going slow.
Either way, riding Ripsaw isn’t the easiest, especially without a technique.
Ripsaw is a fun board to jump on, especially the larger jumps.
First, it has a solid landing base, and secondly, it has an awesome pop.
I love how it snaps into the air on an ollie, and it feels stable when performing tricks.
But like everything with the board, you need to give some effort to get the pop out of it.
#4 Jones Flagship - For Expert Riders
Jones Flagship is a great freeride option excelling in powder, backcountry, and carving.
It’s a fantastic pick for those who like steep and deep.
The 2020 model is more agile at slower speeds, better in bumpy terrain, and a little less aggressive than the 2019 model. While not quite as stable at speed, it’s still good in that department.
However, the board is only for advanced to expert riders. We find it too stiff and technical for beginners and even intermediate riders.
Features and Benefits
While the original Jones was sick in powder, this model is even better now.
It has new additions, including a 3D contoured base and a greater difference between the tip and the tail length.
The board feels more in the powder, and the nose does an amazing job of keeping up.
Carving and Turning
The Flagship didn’t lose any of its carving prowess with the new changes. It’s still responsive and a great board for carving up the groomers.
The only thing we think that changed, but for the better, is the maneuverability at a slower speed.
While it’s the kind of board that loves pace, it’s definitely much easier now at a slower pace than it used to be.
I can’t get enough of this benefit, especially when riding around trees, as I don’t have to lose control when evading the obstacles when riding slow.
The other change we’ve seen on the board is the skidded turns. It’s now easier to skid turns than before, but it’s still not beginner-friendly.
Flagship hasn’t lost a bit of its bomber eel with the updated look.
While the board isn’t well suited for the straight-line bombing, it’s still good at it, though not quite the missile it was.
However, what we observed with the board is it glides well, typical of the Jones board.
It’s a major plus considering it’s not something you notice with most snowboards within its class.
Uneven Terrain Performance
The Flagship excels in uneven terrain, and we couldn’t help but notice it was better over and around bumps.
It has better maneuverability and has a slightly improved mellowed flex.
The board is much better in crud too, and whether you simply need to power through it or dance over it, you’ll enjoy using the board.
#5 Yes. Hel Yes - Best for Women
The Yes. Hel Yes is an all-mountain option, suitable for different terrains, whether flying down groomers or riding powder in the trees.
It has a wonderful edge hold and is stable even at high speeds.
It’s a hard-charging boar, suitable for the women interested in shredding the steeps and playing in the trees.
Features and Benefits
We’ve taken the Yes. Hel Yes on different snow conditions, taking note whether it washes out under us when turning.
For instance, we rode off the steeper terrain at high speeds to see at what point Yes. Hel Yes’s edges lose their bite.
Interestingly, the board pretty much refuses to slip, regardless of where and how we rode it.
The board doesn’t slip, and we love how it bites into ice just like it was freshly laid corduroy and gives you the confidence that you can send it carving at top speed on the steep icy terrain.
I know you’re interested to learn how Yes. Hel Yes performs in the deepest snowstorms.
The good news is it floats well and handles the deepest snow like a champ.
The directional camber profile and the big nose provide the board with tons of float, and this ensures your legs don’t get pumped.
Yes. Hel Yes is also nimble and responsive, giving riders a super fun and surfy ride.
Taking the snowboard down the steep groomers at maximum speed, you’ll notice Yes. Hel Yes wants to go fast.
The sintered base gives riders a hard time catching up with the board, so you better be prepared.
But the good news is the board is stable and offers a solidifying performance at higher speeds, without signs of a speed wobble or any vibrations.
While the board has an overall stiffer ride and is rock solid at carving, the design promotes a lot of flex for a playful experience.
Yes. Hel Yes is fun to ride, with the lightweight paulownia core giving the boards tons of playfulness.
The board is nimble and responsive, and it’s an absolute blast on boardercross style features.
Pop and Jumping
Yes. Hel Yes has a medium flex, but it has tons of pop.
Whether you need to ollie or jump new heights, you’ll love what the board offers.
It’s also pretty good in the park, though many riders prefer to play with the board in the backcountry environment.
Best Snowboards for Groomers Buying Guide
In the guide below, we shall share everything you need to know about selecting the grooming’s best snowboard.
But first, let’s have a brief look at the different types of snowboards in the market.
Types of Snowboards
The all-mountain snowboards are best for any terrain and conditions. They’ll perform anywhere on a mountain, including groomed runs, backcountry, and even park and pipe.
Most riders prefer the all-mountain boards because of their versatility.
The freestyle options are best for a playful ride in and out of the park.
These boards are normally light, short, and flexible.
Freestyles are suitable for riders who need a lively ride. However, they’re not so good for stability and cruising.
The split boards are backcountry-specific boards, perfect for adventurous devotees who have the skills and confidence to explore unpatrolled slopes.
Now that you’ve an idea of the different snowboard types let’s look at the essential factors to consider when selecting the best snowboard for groomers.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Snowboard for Groomers
A snowboard’s defining feature is its flex, or rather how much it bends across its length and width.
Generally, most boards are assigned a flex rating on a scale of 1-10, but it’s important to note the ratings aren’t standard across the industry.
- Soft Flex
Boards with a soft flex are typically tuned for beginners and lightweight riders.
They offer better controllability and require less effort and muscle to maneuver and turn.
While they’re a lot of unto maneuver, they sacrifice stability and prone to chattering and being overly loose.
- Medium Flex
The medium Flex boards are at the sweet spot of the mountain category.
The boards are stable and still retain enough pop for hitting jumps in and out of the park.
They also don’t require much effort to manage.
- Stiff Flex
The stiff-flexed boards are serious options and require a lot of energy to maneuver.
They’re better suited for the professionals as they’re super stable and damp at speed.
The boards rarely get bounced around as much as in variable snow.
Another critical feature to consider on a board’s character is its profile or how easy the base curve.
The popular types of snowboard’s profile are”
Camber board arches up between the nose and tail, giving the board energy as it’s pressed flat.
Because of their flex, cambered boards are responsive, poppy, and easily hold an edge through the tight and wide curves.
The reverse camber is also known as the reverse camber, the rocker profile is shaped like a banana with a lifted tip and tail.
Generally, they’re more forgiving because of their resistance to catch an edge and initiate tur.
They’re also easy to press and are suitable for riders who prefer a looser feel or want a surfing board.
Flats have a flat section in the middle of the section but with raised tips and tails.
They’re versatile options and can maintain some of the poppy of the camber shapes.
Unfortunately, they’re not all perfect as they’re prone to catching edges and offer less maneuverability.
- Hybrid Rocker/Camber
The hybrids are popular in the all-mountain market as they harness the benefits of various profiles.
The boards exhibit different “personalities,” depending on where and how much they’re used.
In general, though, the hybrid profile is suitable for intermediate to expert riders looking for the most versatility.
A snowboard’s shape refers to the general symmetry between its nose and tail.
The shape dictates where the board should be used, so it’s critical to ensure the board suits your riding style before purchasing.
As with profile and flex, the shape can also be broken down into a few categories, including:
As their name suggests, directional boards are designed to be ridden in one direction.
The boards are also stiff and purpose-built for stability and carving at speed.
Overall, they’re tailored for those looking for a fast all-mountain board.
True to their name, these boards are symmetrical at the nose and tail.
The boards are useful all over the mountain, but they shine in the parks and pipes.
In general, they’re the least aggressive compared to other shapes.
- Directional Twin (Semi-Twin)
The directional twins combine the semi-twin and the directional boards.
They’re almost but not entirely symmetrical.
Their well-rounded shape makes them the most common shape type in the all-mountain category.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best snowboard for groomers is the Burton Custom X.
We choose this board as our editor’s pick because it’s a pragmatic option suited for any groomer conditions.
Despite the specified stiff flex, the board is super responsive, and playful and riders have no problem buttering the board.
Its greatest strength, though, is the stability it offers, especially when charging at pace. The board keeps in control and won’t let you wash away even in the darndest of the groomer conditions.