Backcountry Avalanche Safety Basics

Guy Snowboarding on Mountain

Venturing into the backcountry is dangerous.

If you’re not properly prepared and equipped, an otherwise perfect day of snowboarding or skiing can turn deadly in an instant.

As backcountry skiing and snowboarding continues to grow, more skiers and snowboarders than ever before are crossing the tape and heading out of ski area boundaries in search of untracked pow and unparalleled adventure. And with this increased rise in backcountry riding comes an increased need for avalanche education and awareness.

The danger of avalanche is ever present in the backcountry. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are like or what the advisories are. It doesn’t matter how close you are to the ski area. When you are in the backcountry, you can’t let your guard down. You have to be ready for the worst at all times.

The backcountry is so dangerous because the snow conditions are unstable and largely unmanaged. There is no ski patrol beyond the tape to immediately come to your aid. Saving your life or your buddy’s life will be largely up to you. Over 150 people are killed by avalanches every year – don’t be one of them.

Fortunately, the vast majority of these deaths are preventable with the proper education, awareness, and safety equipment.

Avalanche Education

Taking an avalanche safety course or clinic is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to deal with the unexpected on the mountain.

Most ski resorts and ski areas regularly host these classes during the season. Many mountain towns and towns near mountains also host similar classes.

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education lists a number of these courses. Start your search here and expand with a Google search for classes in your area. Make sure that the instructors are certified and experienced.

Avalanche safety courses go over much of the same information discussed here. However, that is no reason not to go. They cover everything in more detail, show real-life examples of rescue techniques, talk about location specific conditions, and answer questions that you might have.

Even if you’ve been to an avalanche safety class before, it is worth attending one again. You’ll probably know most of the information already but a refresher is a hell of a lot better than digging out the body of a dead friend.

First Aid Education

Every skier and snowboarder should have a basic knowledge of first aid. This is especially true if you regularly venture into the backcountry where emergency services are not close at hand.

Whether related to an avalanche or not, injury is common when skiing and snowboarding. Therefore, it pays off to know at least the basics of first aid:

  • CPR

  • Stopping bleeding wounds

  • Treating breaks and fractures

  • Preventing hypothermia

First Aid classes are relatively easy to find with a Google search in nearly any town in the United States and Canada. Wilderness First Aid will also prove to be a valuable research in pointing you in the right direction.

Avalanche Awareness

As mentioned above, it is essential that you are always aware of the danger of avalanche while in the backcountry.

Even when conditions seem absolutely perfect or you think you’re in a safe spot, the unexpected can occur.

A few of the ways you can improve your awareness include:

  • Avalanche Safety Course – Once again, a class will be able to fill you in on how to recognize and read snow conditions.

  • Books, Articles, and Videos – Supplementing what you learned from your class with as much additional information as possible is ideal. Learning more about how and why avalanches occur and what others did wrong in them can help you make the right decisions if worse comes to worse.

  • Experience – Unfortunately, experience is one of the only ways to truly learn to recognize avalanche terrain. Though they generally travel across smooth, exposed slopes, avalanches are significantly affected by slope angles, rocks, cornices, ledges, and vegetation. This is why riding with someone experienced in the backcountry is so important when you’re just starting out. Some avalanche classes also offer courses in the field, where guides show you the actual features to watch out for. Sign up for one of these if at all possible.

  • Homework – Planning a trip? Do your homework beforehand. Never head up the hill before researching the snow conditions in the specific area that you plan to ride. Give your local avalanche warning center a ring and have a good grasp of the weather forecast. Mobile apps like North Face’s The Snow Report (FREE on iOS) let you check current trail conditions, snow measurements, and avalanche advisories on the fly.

  • Human Factor – The human factor means two things. First, unsafe riding can often cause avalanches. Second, some people don’t handful stressful situations (a friend caught in an avalanche) well. Counter some of this by riding with a group of people who have similar attitudes and plans for the trip.

Avalanche Safety Equipment


You should never step foot in the backcountry without the proper safety equipment.

Your avalanche safety course instructor will hammer this into your head. They will also be able to show you how to use your safety equipment. There is no reason to carry it with you if you won’t know how to use it if needed.

The essential pieces of avalanche safety equipment include:

  • Avalanche Beacon – These tools act as transmitters and transceivers when someone is buried in the snow. The buried person’s beacon sends out a signal which allows the rest of the party to track their exact location. With price tags between $250 and $500, avalanche beacons are pricey but essential. Make sure that everyone in your party has their own.

  • Avalanche Probe – When a friend is buried in the snow, an avalanche probe will help you pinpoint exactly where they are. Though they can be used on their own, they are most effective in conjunction with a beacon. Simply probe the snow until you hit something soft yet firm – that’s your buddy.

  • Avalanche Shovel – Extremely lightweight and often collapsable, avalanche shovels can easily be strapped to your backcountry backpack. Every second counts when you’re digging a friend out of the snow and an avalanche shovel will help you get them out as fast as possible.

  • Emergency Gear – Not everyone does but I always carry a small amount of emergency gear with me on backcountry trips. Extra water, a small first aid kit, and high-energy food are musts. On slightly longer trips, I throw in some extra warm clothing and even some basic camping gear. Better to be safe than sorry if you’re stuck overnight.

Each of these types of avalanche safety equipment will be discussed in greater detail in future posts. We will show you how to use each of them.  We will also give a few recommendations on the best brands and models to look for.

Remember that simply knowing how to use one of these pieces of safety equipment won’t do the trick. You need to have actually practiced with each of them before heading out. Using an avalanche beacon to track a buried friend is a lot more difficult than it might sound. Practice makes perfect so practice, practice, practice.

Smart Riding

Using your head while riding can help prevent avalanches.

Keep your eyes open while riding and don’t overlook clues. Avalanche hazards leave clues (unforested gullies and loose pack snow are a few – this will also be discussed in more detail in later posts). Furthermore, you should never get stuck in the mindset that avalanches only travel in large paths. Basically, anywhere that you can ride on your skis or snowboard, an avalanche can slide through.

It is essential to let snow settle after a big storm. Though the pow might be outrageous, it’s best to wait for at least 24 hours before heading out. On this same note, slopes with tracks from other riders aren’t necessarily safe. Wind, sun, and temperature constantly alter snow stability. What might have been safe to cross an hour ago, might not be now.

Finally, never travel alone in the backcountry. That’s always a recipe for disaster. For one thing, no one is there to help you if you get into trouble. For another, having two or more sets of eyes will pick out dangers and unsafe conditions that you might not have noticed yourself.

Avalanche Safety While Skiing and Snowboarding

This article wasn’t meant to scare you. Chances are you will never need to rescue a friend from an avalanche. But if you ride in the backcountry at all, whether it’s on a regular basis or its a one time mission, you need to know how to. Better yet, you need to know how to prevent and avoid avalanches in the first place.

I’ll end this with a video on avalanche safety from professional snowboarding madman Jeremy Jones. He knows what he is talking about. View the video by Teton Gravity Research below:

2014 Burton Sweet Tooth Snowboard Review

Girls that have a sweet tooth for powdery slopes and fresh powder will want to keep it locked and loaded this winter on the 2014 Burton Sweet Tooth Snowboard.

The all-mountain snowboard is designed to soak up just about any terrain with ease. A fun and playful feel is thanks to Raduction, which shrinks the overall shape, allowing you to confidently ride a board up to 5 centimeters shorter than what you’re used to. This results in increased boardfeel and precision without sacrificing pop, float, or stability.

The Burton Sweet Tooth combines Flat Top rocker with a catch-free tip and tail for the ultimate in all-mountain madness and stability. Throw a sick graphic on an already sick snowboard and you’re ready to rip.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this all-mountain shred machine.

2014 Burton Axis Snowboard Jacket Review

Need a high-performing jacket that won’t set you back a month’s salary? That’s exactly what the folks at Burton designed their Burton Axis Snowboard Jacket to be. The advanced piece of outwear has all the features and performance of top-shelf jackets at only a smidgen of the price.

Warmth is the name of the game when it comes to the Burton Axis Jacket. Waterproofing backs the warmth up when it comes to protection from Mother Nature. The strategically mapped configuration of DryRide Durashell 2L Fabric is both eco-friendly and completely waterproof/breathable.

The jacket’s tailored fit and less baggy look make it a favorite among snowboarders both on the mountain and around town. Another nifty feature is the recycled lining which combines antimicrobial fibers and carbon fiber Heat Cycle lining. This serves the dual feature of fighting off sweat stink and keeping you warm and toasty through reflective heat retention.

Don’t wait. Cop your very own Burton Axis Jacket and own it on the mountain this winter.

2014 Premier Ghettobird Snowskate Review

Heavy into skateboarding? Bummed out about all the snow that’s dropping? If you’re a skate rat that doesn’t head up to the big mountain all that often, then a snowskate might be for you. And the Premier Ghettobird Snowskate is one of the absolute best around.

Measuring 37 inches from tip to tail and 8 inches wide, the Ghettobird shares similar dimensions with your standard skateboard deck. A soft rubber top for the ultimate in grip and stick acts like grip tape and prevents you from slipping and sliding. A P-tex channel base makes getting traction easy while also limiting slip outs.

The Premier Ghettobird Snowskate doesn’t feel or ride exactly like a skateboard but it is as good as it gets for skaters this winter. Unless, of course, you prefer hanging out in the garage all winter long.

The Best Snowboard Boots of 2014

Boots are an important and essential piece of gear for any snowboarding setup. Rather than just pick up any old pair, why not invest a little of your hard-earned dough in a top-quality set of shred kicks this winter.

The best snowboarding boots might cost a little more but they offer the very best in comfort, performance, durability, and support. There is a good chance that your riding will improve as you’ll feel more comfortable on your board and be offered a greater range of motion and comfort. Plus, the best boots last a lot longer than a bottom of the shelf pair.

Here are the best snowboard boots of 2014 in no particular order:

1. 2014 DC Travis Rice Snowboard Boots

You can be all but certain that any snowboarding product with Travis Rice stamped across the top are top-quality and his 2014 DC Travis Rice Snowboard Boots are no different.

Designed by the professional snowboarding powerhouse, the high-tech snowboard boots absolutely rip. Incredible comfort and superior stability are at the core of this boot. A stiff feel with a leather upper and articulated cuff the 2014 DC Travis Rice Snowboard Boots are a great choice for all-mountain and freeride madness.

Find out more about the 2014 DC Travis Rice Snowboard Boots.

2. 2014 Vans Infuse Snowboard Boots

Well-known as a powerhouse in the skate/casual shoe market, Van’s has been producing killer snowboard boots for the past couple of years. The 2014 Vans Infuse Snowboard Boots are their high-tech take on an age-old classic.

A rugged exterior and a plush-interior give the boots the best of both worlds: comfort and durability. The boots hold up well to harsh landings and lots of chop and will last more than a couple of seasons without losing their superior feel or great looks. The hybrid closure system and traditional laces keep your feet locked down and snug. With the Infuse boots, you have the ability to adjust the flex depending on riding conditions and your personal preferences.

Find out more about the 2014 Vans Infuse Snowboard Boots.

3. 2014 Adidas Blauvelt Snowboard Boots

Adidas is also a relative newcomer to the snowboarding game, but their 2014 Adidas Blauvelt Snowboard Boots, designed by none other than Jake Blauvelt, are one of the hottest pairs of the season.

Inspired by the football (soccer) cleats that Adidas is most well-known for, the Blauvelt is a top-of-the-line boot with the highest-quality construction. Comfort is at the center of the boot with a merino wool inner that wicks away moisture and keeps your feet snug. Aerotherm thermal barriers and RECCO integrated avalanche system are a few other special features to write home about. Need a versatile boot that can shred any terrain? Cop the Blauvelt.

Find out more about the 2014 Adidas Blauvelt Snowboard Boot.

4. 2014 Nike Lunarendor Snowboard Boots

Style, comfort, and support are all evident in the 2014 Nike Lunarendor Snowboard Boots, one of the very best boots of the year.

The pinnacle of Nike’s 2014 boot line, the Lunarendor comes complete with a molded upper, external backstay, flywire inner lacing harness, adjustable flex liner system, and lunarlon tooling. These features add together for impeccable lightness, otherworldly cushioning, and boardfeel like none other. Dynamic support keeps your legs and hips comfortable by ensuring they are naturally aligned in your snowboard stance. The Lunarendor is a top-quality pair of boots for snowboarders that demand the very best.

Find out more about the 2014 Nike Lunarendor Snowboard Boots.

5. 2014 Burton Ion Snowboard Boots

There is no question about it: Burton is one of the absolute best creators of snowboard gear around. And their 2014 Burton Ion Snowboard Boots are one of their best products yet.

Rooted in comfort above all else, the Ion barely feels like a boot at all…it feels more like a…uh…pillow for your feet. This comfort also translates into cushioning for harsh landings, rough terrain, and just about anything else you can soak up on your board. The flex and response are incredible and the boardfeel is in a league of its own. You can’t go wrong with a pair of Burton’s Ions.

Find out more about the 2014 Burton Ion Snowboard Boots.

The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2014

The snowboarding industry is filled with dozens of superb companies offering a wide range of top-quality products for boarders and skiers alike. While forking over moola for a new jacket might not be quite as exciting as, say, investing in a new snowboard, it cannot be denied that it is equally (or near equally) as important.

A good snowboard jacket is warm, waterproof, comfortable, and rugged. And the best snowboard jackets are all of these things in addition to stylish, lightweight, and able to regulate airflow.

We’ve rounded up our very favorite snowboard jackets of the year here at Much Awesome. The five jackets below are the very best of the best for 2014 as far as we are concerned. If you are in the market for a new outer layer, look no farther than these five best snowboarding jackets.

Here are the best snowboard jackets of 2014 in no particular order:

1. 2014 Outdoor Research Vanguard Jacket

Clocking in between $450 and $600, depending on the particular model and where you are shopping, the 2014 Outdoor Research Vanguard Jacket is one of the absolute best of the season.

Top-of-the-line performance is evident in the Gore-Tex soft shell that combats moisture while remaining breathable. The durable nylon face fabric looks good and prevents scratches, holes, and other abrasions while the fleece-lined inner is soft and comfortable. The Vanguard Jacket is built with a slightly relaxed fit, upping overall comfort and allowing enough room for a middle layer. CrossFlo chest-to-hip vents promote airflow by pushing overheated air out and moving fresh air in.

It’s available in black, glacier, and pewter/solar.

Find out more about the 2014 Outdoor Research Vanguard Jacket.

2. 2014 North Face Free Thinker Jacket

Headed out to the backcountry this winter? You’ll be all but naked if you’re wearing any jacket other than the 2014 North Face Free Thinker Jacket.

The most technical shell in North Face’s Summit Series, the Free Thinker features a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro shell, fully taped seams, and water-resistant zippers, all working together to guarantee waterproofing without sacrificing breathability. The jacket sports an active fit that gives you a full range of motion and provides enough room for a middle layer when needed. Venting under the arms prevents buildup of warm air when you’re hiking or trekking to the top of a steep peak.

It’s available in black/blue aster, yellow, and black.

Find out more about the North Face Free Thinker Jacket.

3. 2014 Helly Hansen Thrym Jacket

Helly Hansen is all about the highest quality and performance in their outwear and the 2014 Helly Hansen Thrym Jacket is no different.

Constructed specifically with breathability and air-regulation in mind, the jacket is 100% waterproof and ultra-warm but is able to regulate your body temperature to a t. There is no need to add or remove layers when wearing the Thrym. Pit-zips, body-mapping, and top-quality synthetic materials (including PrimaLoft and goose down) all help the jacket regulate your body heat, pumping out the warm air when needed and keeping you snug when conditions require that. No other jacket regulates your body temperature as well as the Helly Hansen Thrym.

Find out more about the Helly Hansen Thrym Jacket.

4. 2014 Strafe Nomad Jacket

A versatile and stylish jacket with a decidedly “snowboarding” look, the 2014 Strafe Nomad Jacket is an excellent option for those snow rats looking for comfort and performance at a reasonable price.

The 3-layer Gelanots Hybrid Shell jacket is designed to keep moisture out and warmth in. At the same time, however, its lightweight and functional design makes for a high level of breathability and temperature regulation. A slim fit and a longer cut gives the jacket loads of style, comfort, and even more protection from the elements. The Strafe Nomad is just as at home on the manicured corduroy as it is in the deep fluff of the backcountry.

It’s available in stealth, mint, blue, and grapefruit.

Find out more about the 2014 Strafe Nomad Jacket.

5. 2014 Airblaster Grumpy Jacket

Airblaster has long been a favorite brand of snowboarders around the world and their 2014 Airblaster Grumpy Jacket is sure to become a staple on the slopes no matter where you are shredding.

A bare-bones style jacket, the Airblaster Grumpy takes the stance that perfect simplicity is much better than a bunch of random features tacked onto an otherwise good product. 10,000mm waterproofing and 10,000gm breathability make for a jacket that protects you from Mother Nature and keeps you cool. A tailored long fit, mesh lined underarm vents, wrist gators, and removable powder skirt are a few of the simple features that make this baby a top contender in 2014.

Find out more about the 2014 Airblaster Grumpy Jacket.

2014 Poler X Nike Vapen Snowboard Boot Review

Poler Stuff and Nike have done it again with their 2014 Poler X Nike Vapen Snowboard Boot. The collab came out of a similar project between Poler and Nike Skateboarding and is the first time Poler and the snowboarding side of Nike have worked together.

The Vapen Boot is one of Nike Snowboarding’s absolute best products. It boasts a mid-flex feel that makes it the perfect choice for any type of riding. The boot is warm, high-performing, and comfortable. It features all the stability and support you could hope for without sacrificing anything in the way of board feel or maneuverability.

The highlight of the Poler X Nike Vapen Snowboard Boot is the colorway. Specially designed and inspired by the Morgan Mid 2, the boot has a camo tongue and interior liner along with other nifty highlights.

The Poler X Nike Vapen Snowboard Boot is one of the highest performing and all around best snowboarding boots of 2014. And it is far and away the coolest looking.

2014 Capita The Black Snowboard of Death Snowboard Review

It’s hard to go wrong with a snowboard with as cool of a name as the Capita The Black Snowboard of Death Snowboard. Though the name is a little funky to get off the tongue, the board is pimped out to a startling degree of quality.

Completely redesigned for the 2014 season, the Black Snowboard of Death is an all-mountain freestyle monster that is well-suited for just about any rider, from experienced beginners to full-on pros. Though it’s a highly technical board, it does not take a highly technical rider to rip on it. The Capita Black Snowboard of Death is just as happy on mellow groomed runs as it is airing out huge park kickers.

The Capita The Black Snowboard of Death features a Mountain FK shape that has camber throughout the mid-section. A zero-hybrid tail and a custom-designed rockered nose round things out on the ends. Pop, control, and float are the benefits of this profile.

A Hover Core paves the way for a super lightweight snowboard. And Pre-Cured Carbon Fiber Boosters and a Wax Infused Rotation Sintered Speed Base make the snowboard fast and furious.

Though it runs for $570, the 2014 Capita The Black Snowboard of Death is one of the most advanced snowboards on the market. Whether you’re planning on sticking to the park or hiking up into the backcountry this winter, your very own Black Death Snowboard is sure to keep you stoked.

Much Awesome Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Holiday Gifts for Snowboarders

The holiday season is upon us once again and people everywhere are rushing around in an attempt to pick up the very best gifts for their loved ones.

If there is a snowboarder in your family or friend group, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t try to base your gift around that passion. For one thing, a snowboarding-related gift is sure to make any snowboarder happy. For another, knowing that you need to look in this specific area will make your holiday shopping all the easier to do.

Ten of the best gift ideas for snowboarders include:

1. Snowboard

The Black Snowboard of Death

Perhaps the absolute best gift you can get for the snowboarder in your family is a brand new snowboard. Of course, you really have to love someone to get them a gift this expensive!

A great place to start looking is in our “best of 2014” guides. We have sorted through all of the year’s offerings and picked out the best 2014 splitboards, the best 2014 freestyle snowboards, and the best 2014 all-mountain snowboards to make your life easier. You can also look through our “gear” tag for other awesome snowboards that didn’t make this year’s lists but are still worth every penny.

It’s important to note that giving the gift of a snowboard as a surprise is only a good idea if you have a solid understanding of the sport. If you don’t, then taking your snowboarder board shopping with you is always smart. This will ensure they select a snowboard that matches their height and weight, skill level, and preferred discipline.

2. Season Pass

Few holiday gifts for snowboarders are as awesome as a season pass at their local ski area. Though prices for passes are quite a bit higher if you buy them after opening day, they are still worth the money for a true lover of the snow. For instance, a season pass at Mt Baker, my local snow paradise, is worth nearly as much (or more) than a top-quality snowboard.

Head to your local mountain’s website for more information on purchasing a season pass as a holiday gift.

3. GoPro Hero3

GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition

Want to get your snowboarder a gift that kicks ass without dishing out too much money? The GoPro Hero3 fits that bill perfectly. Created by the top action camera company around, the Hero3 has 4k filming capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi, and a durable and intuitive design.

Learn more about the GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition.

4. Avalanche Vest

An avalanche vest is one of the best gifts for the safety-conscious gift giver. If you know a snowboarder that likes to trek out to the backcountry to float over fresh powder on a regular basis, then this is one of the best gifts possible for them.

Working much like an airbag system in a car, the vest actually expands when an activation handle is pulled, providing the floatation needed to keep the wearer on top off or near the top of the sliding snow. The best avalanche vests also provide ample storage room so that you don’t need to take a backpack along with you on your mission.

One of our favorite avalanche vests is the North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest.

5. Avalanche Beacon

Give the gift of safety this year with an avalanche beacon.

While avalanche airbag systems are relatively new phenomena in the snowboarding and skiing world, avalanche beacons are not. In fact, every rider who ventures out into the backcountry needs one of these on hand.

Avalanche beacons basically act as transmitters/transceivers if worse comes to worse and someone is buried under the snow during a backcountry trip. They help you locate your fallen friend as quickly and efficiently as possible. They are one of the most effective ways to rescue a friend in a backcountry accident before it is too late.

A few of our very favorite avalanche beacons include the Mammut Pulse Barryvox Avalanche Beacon, the Pieps DSP Pro Avalanche Beacon, and the Ortovox Zoom Beacon.

6. Voile Split Kit


The Voile Split Kit is a gift that is sure to make just about any powder monkey smile. The kit allows you to transform any old snowboard into your very own splitboard. So if you know someone with an old board sitting around collecting dust, this is the gift for them.

The best thing of all about a splitboard? Wide open lines and powder for days all accessed without a ski pass…

Find out more about the Voile Split Kit.

7. Airblaster Ninja Suit

Some of the best long underwear on the planet, the Airblaster Ninja Suit is a great addition to the growing pile under the tree. Available in a variety of cool designs, the suit features a one-piece design with a full seven-panel form-fitting hood to keep your noggin warm. A full-length front zip and thumb-hole cuffs keep you locked up tight. Don’t let your loved ones get cold this winter.

Find out more about the Airblaster Ninja Suit.

8. Snowboarding Goggles

Few presents are better to unwrap then a fresh pair of goggles. A great gift in more ways than one, it is hard to go wrong with snowboarding goggles. Not as hard to size or to find a quality pair as other snowboarding equipment, goggles are a great gift to give a snowboarder if you don’t know much about the sport yourself.

A few of the very best snowboarding goggles of 2014 include the Oakley Airbrake Snowboard Goggles, the Anon M2 Goggle, and the Smith I/OX Snowboard Goggles.

9. Winter Socks

More along the lines of a stocking stuffer, a solid pair of warm winter socks is never an unappreciated holiday gift. Perfect for snowboarders, winter socks keep your toes warm and dry while you’re up on the mountain shredding it up.

You can never go wrong with anything from SmartWool. Snowboarding giant Burton also does socks right.

10. Snowboarding Movies

Every snowboarding nut loves a good snowboarding movie. When the weather is terrible or you just can’t make it up to the mountains, a video featuring the best snowboarders on the planet is a surefire way to ease the pain and pass the time.

Check out our list of the ten most epic snowboarding videos of all time for gift-giving inspiration.

2014 Rossignol Templar Magtek Snowboard Review

It’s just about that time of year…when nearly every ski resort across the country opens up and snowboarders from all over flock to get their shred on.

But why head up to the mountain with anything but the best? You don’t want to be left in the dust.

That’s where the 2014 Rossignol Templar Magtek Snowboard comes in. It’s a killer stick that will put you at the front of the pack. Head to your local mountain with the utmost in quality this year and make 2014 your best snowboarding season to date.

The Rossignol Templar Magtek Snowboard is sick. There is no other word for it. It’s an all-mountain beast that runs for $400. As far as top-quality boards go, that’s down-right cheap.

The Templar Magtek is an all-around easy snowboard to ride. Rossignol Amptek All Mountain profile and Magne-Traction provide superior grip on just about anything. Camber between the bindings and a rockered tip make way for a solid and sturdy feel on big landings and a floaty ride when the pow is fresh.

A slightly stiffer flex between the bindings, courtesy of Aramid core reinforcement, bumps stability up yet another notch. However, the tip and tail remain soft to give you a little more cushion when the going gets choppy.

The 2014 Rossignol Templar Magtek Snowboard is a fast and ferocious animal in the snow. It is quick, lightweight, and incredibly durable. It is able to soak up bumps and hard landings without sacrificing float. And did we mention it has pop galore? It does. Now we have.

Make 2014 your year with the 2014 Templar Magtek Snowboard.