Now that snowboarding has been around the block, trends in this action sport aren’t always about pure innovation. Sure shapes continue to morph, but these days what’s “new” in snowboarding may actually be a little nostalgic. Or niche. Or nuanced.
Check out these three developments to see just where snowboarding is going:
Let’s go retro.
With the people who grew up in the sport now running the show, there’s been a nostalgic shift in snowboard art and styling—something that mirrors a larger trend for anything vintage. Think: return of the Polaroid. In snowboarding, more than ever this season you’re going to see everything from Burton’s “step on,” a new spin on the convenient step-in binding that no one’s been able to master, to ironic board art like Nitro’s stack of VHS tapes and Sims’ ‘80s vibe a la icon Jim Sims.
Chicks on splits.
Finally, the snowsports industry has figured out that girls like to snowboard in the backcountry, too. Women’s avalanche classes are growing and so is this niche of the winter sports world. But for the ladies who are getting serious about it, they need serious gear. Thankfully, companies like Never Summer, Jones and Weston are now making women’s-specific splitboards. The all-female Coalition was already on it.
Community brands elevate.
Outside of big established brands like K2, Ride and Burton, there seems to be a new faction of small or mid-sized snowboard makers coming into their own. These “community” brands—most run ex-pro snowboarders or industry insiders who want to shake things up—are setting a new tone for what’s to come in custom snowboard product. You may know Jones or Yes, but do you know Dinosaurs Will Die, Niche, Slash or Signal? You will soon.
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Photos: Courtesy of Weston Snowboards