2013 Editors' Choice Awards: Skis, Bindings, Boots, Snowboards
SIZES (CM): 156, 160, 164
WAIST (CM): 25.1 (156)
WEIGHT: 6LBS. 14OZ. (156)
+ "Its bomber edgehold on firm spring snow inspired confidence. Quick edge-to-edge response thanks to the right amount of torsional flex."
- "The swing weight was a little heavier than I expected. A little tough to maneuver in crud for my smaller frame."
= The all-mountain Abacus holds an edge when it counts most, and rips soft snow, too.
SIZES (CM): 148
WAIST (CM): 25.4 (148)
+ "'Light up and leave me alone': the Spliff is your ticket to the real snow show."
- "While climbing, the Spliff's stubby split skis sank a bit more than I wanted in deeper snow."
= A one-of-a-kind shape that makes mellow bc terrain more fun.
SIZES (CM): 152, 155
WAIST (CM): 24.4 (152)
WEIGHT: 6LBS. 13OZ. (152)
+ "My favorite splitboard of the test—so versatile, handles all speeds well and has the perfect flex—landed jumps great but you can still get buttery."
- "A little sluggish edge to edge on hard snow."
= This split earned the highest marks of any women's board in the test. End of story.
JONES SOLUTION CARBON
SIZES (CM): 161, 164, 163W
WAIST (CM): 25.4 (164)
WEIGHT: 7LBS. 2OZ. (161)
+ "Super lightweight and charges the fall line like a board possessed. Slices through windblown snow and rips steep powder."
- "A little sluggish to turn at slow speed."
= A finely tuned, highly responsive freeride split that rides best with both feet on the gas.
PRIOR AMF XTC
SIZES (CM): 156, 159, 162, 165, 169
WAIST (CM): 25.3 (162)
WEIGHT: 6LBS. 5OZ. (162)
+ "Super versatile and fun to pop off rollers and other natural features. Light and fast."
- "Flex is a little stiff for nose presses and other random acts of jibbing."
= An award-winning twin that just got lighter.
ROME DOUBLE AGENT
SIZES (CM): 154
WAIST (CM): 25.4 (154)
WEIGHT: 6LBS. 13OZ. (154)
+ "Flexible and playful. Light and easy to whip around. Nice and buttery; really fun in soft snow; the perfect backcountry freestyle split. "
- "Bouncy in crud/chop. Busted off a tail clip somewhere along the way."
= The most freestyle-focused design in this review, Rome's Double Agent beckons freestyle riders to the backcountry.
SIZES (CM): 160, 167
WAIST (CM): 25.9 (160)
WEIGHT: 7LBS. 10OZ. (160)
+ "So much fun in powder, I had to take another lap even though my legs were smoked. Big thwapper of a nose always stays on top."
- "Heelside turns got a little washy on harder snow. "
= Feed this Whale what it wants—powder. Lots of it.
SIZES (CM): 156, 162, 168
WAIST (CM): 33 (ALL LENGTHS)
WEIGHT: 9LBS. (162)
+ "Surfs like a dream in the pow. Incredibly agile and nimble for such a wide-waisted board. Extreme-ly fun in trees and open terrain."
- "I would not want to ride anything but soft snow; needs extra-wide skins for firm/steep skintracks.
= A powder-specific snowboard that opens up new possibilities in the backcountry.
SIZES (CM): 156, 159, 162, 162W, 165, 165W, 168 [MENS]; 146, 153, 156 [WOMEN'S]
WAIST (CM): 25.8 (165, MEN'S); 24.3 (153, WOMEN'S)
WEIGHT: 8LBS. 2OZ. (165, MEN'S); 6LBS. 14OZ. (153, WOMEN'S)
+ "Smooth sailing at all speeds. This is the split I've been looking for. Skinned like a welterweight prize fighter."
- "Not overly poppy for freestyle but still plenty of boost for jump turns."
= Voilé's new directional twins received rave reviews by men and women alike, thus both models earn Editors' Choice Awards.
SPARK R&D BURNER [EDITORS' CHOICE]
SIZES (CM): SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE
WEIGHT/PAIR: 3LBS.8OZ. (MEDIUM)
One tester's comments solidified the Burner's top ranking: "Stiff and responsive, these bindings did exactly what they were supposed to—I thought about riding, not about my bindings. Very easy adjustments and changeover from split-to-ride mode…I did it all with gloves on."
DEELUXE SPARK XV [EDITORS' CHOICE]
SIZES (CM): 6-13
WEIGHT/PAIR: 5LBS. 10OZ. (8.5)
Designed for pro rider Xavier de Le Rue, these freeride boots are on the stiffer side, testers found, and have a power strap that adds support and eliminates cuff slop. Interchangeable "shields" increase boot flex from a base level of seven to a nine out of 10 on the flex scale. If you like sneaker-soft boots, you best look elsewhere.