With the Rocker you want for you style of riding, what makes one board more expensive than another. K2 has an array of features that, as the price increases the more options are included. They use a dampening layer built in to the board...it feels flexable when you touch it, they call it Harshmellow, they are starting to use Bamboo as a core material, the bamboo gives it strength and tons of snap. They call these cores Bambooyah and guarantee these for 5 years. Some boards have an Ollie bar, this carbon pre stressed layer adds more pop, especially on the jib Rocker boards. They have a carbon web on some boards which gives the board more torsional stability and is on the flatline and all terrain boards. There are different core materials, base material upgrades and other add ons as you go up the food chain. The latest is the "tweekend", a new shape to the tip and tail to allow more of the base to contact the snow for more stability. The more features the nicer the board and the more expensive it is in its Rocker catagory. The answer is to pick the nicest board you can afford, within your Rocker catagory.
K2 snowboards have been in the fore front in board design, K2 started the whole Rocker technology and have taken the concept and run with it. They took one level and redefined it into five levels of Rocker to refine the boards for specific usage.
The Flatline boards (Slayblade) take the camber and make it so the board is flat on the snow with the least Rocker.
The Catch free Rocker is designed for the entry level rider to take them to the next level...it makes turns effortless
The Jib Rocker (Fastplant) is designed to make the park/pipe rider have a smooth loose forgiving feel with lots of pop.
The All Terrain Rocker(Turbo Dream, Raygun) gives the best of all options, use it all over the mountain or in the park
The Powder Rocker (Girator) has the most Rocker, it allows the deep powder rider the ability to slide through the deep stuff.
Snow board boots are going BOA...The BOA system is a device that eliminates laces and uses a fine stainless steel wire that coils around a dial, the era of laces isw coming to an end, We are selling 99% BOA systems at this point. Burton and others have used sone sort of "easy lace" system but have all fallen short. Ride and K2 seem to have the most BOA system boots available. The more expensive boots have multiple BOA coilers to adjust the different sections of the boot. The boot with three coilers has one for upper, one for lower and one that tightens the inner boot. While riding the boot being too loose or too tight is always a hassle, the laces coming untied and dragging in the snow, wanting to loosen the boot while riding the lift, all answered by the BOA coilers. Your next boot needs to have this option.
Ride has only one board that is "cambered", the company defines their Rocker in different terms than the K2 boards. They differ in the way they upgrade the boards within the catagory. As with the K2 boards when you move up the food chain the boards get more features and get more expensive. Where the K2 boards use a dampening called Harshmellow , the Ride boards use slimewall. The sidewalls of the boards are made of different stiffness of urathane"skate board wheels". The urathane not only dampens but makes the boards more durable. The urathane can't break on impact. They use "pop rods" instead of K2's ollie bar, they have a "carbon array" instead of the carbon wed of K2. In the ride boards they have different levels of carbon, the more the stiffer. As with the K2 boards the core, base material and other options increase the ridability and the cost.
Low Rise is their all mountain Rocker..it echos the tweekend now in the K2 boards
High Rise is their powder Rocker
Pro Rise is their lowest rocker...the K2 flatline
Low Pro is a hybrid Rocker lower in the tail and Pro Rise in the front.
Camber this is the traditional camber board that have been arround for years. Just one model
Burton seems to be off in their own world, rather than improve on the Rocker technology they have 11 men's full camber boards...they then go into a full barell stave Rocker for their park and pipe boards, the Flying V Rocker combines camber and rocker, The S Rocker uses a multiple camber sections/Rocker to form a ripple look on the camber profile. The camber hump boards use camber in the back half of the board and extended camber in the front of the board and last easy rocker a forgiving full barell stave camber on their entry level boards. It seems Burton is walking to the beat of a different drummer...what was the leader in board technology seems to be stuck in old camber based designs and not meeting the needs of the boarding public. We mentioned earlier that the BOA system is the direction to go...Burton no BOA boots at all. Burton on all their boards have gone to their "infinite position" technology. Here a channel running down the middle of the board allows the binding to be mounted in any angle or fore and aft positioning, the only problem is that the binding is attached with only two screws and they have a tendency to loosen. The next problem is that only Burton bindings can be used. They make good bindings but you are forced to use "only" their bindings. Even with the reputation from past success, it seems that Burton is floundering and there needs to be a different direction from the management. We hope that Jake comes back in the leadership roll to bring Burton back as a leader.