Your snowboard will affect the way you ride. Fact.
You don't need to be a technical snowboard expert to know this. Truth be told, I'm easily confused and most of the time I forget what camber I am riding, whether my board is multi-directional and geez, one time I even set up my board backwards! In my defence, those were the early days, I've come a long way since then. Mick is the tech guy between us, but what I do know, is that your snowboard does have an impact on how you ride. As my experience and riding style has evolved, so have the snowboards that I have owned. I remember struggling with a board at the beginning of our season in Colorado, a board that I had previously loved. I finally bit the bullet and bought a new board. It held an amazing edge, I could take it down the iciest of runs and it gripped like rubber on a road. I remember saying to Mick, "it's good but not very fast" to which he responded, "are you sure?". Turns out I was going about 10kmph faster than my previous board but it was so smooth and stable that I didn't notice! And that's when I fell in love with my new board. On the flipside, I've also had a snowboard which I rode for a week and just couldn't gel with. I couldn't explain it. It had great reviews but we just didn't get along. We went our separate ways shortly after. So yes, your choice of snowboard will affect the way you ride. I'm not saying it will make you a superhero on the mountain, but the right snowboard will definitely enhance your experience.
What's the deal with custom snowboards?
We've been asking ourselves the same thing. The concept of a custom snowboard has intrigued us and we're hearing about them more and more, so we went looking for answers. Turns out the definition of a custom snowboard is extremely broad.
There are loads of companies producing 'custom' snowboards. Custom can literally mean custom graphics. That's one side of the spectrum, however, most will mean a snowboard which is built to suit your profile. They will grab details from you like your height, weight, foot size, camber preference and riding ability, and use that profile for your custom snowboard. Often they will have a number of ready to go templates/patterns which they have designed to suit the majority of riding combinations. There will often be add ons such as choice of base material and graphics and boom, you have your very own custom snowboard! No doubt, you're going to end up with a pretty compatible board but if you have a bit of understanding about board sizes, shapes, flex and camber, then you would easily be able to find an off the rack board which is just as compatible. All it requires is a bit of time looking at specs and reviews.
At the other end of the spectrum is the full monty, the bee's knees of custom snowboards. This is where customisation takes into account your riding style, terrain preferences, ability, places you ride and what is important to you when you ride, such as speed, stability and edge grip. It's true customisation because the board is designed and built from scratch, specifically for you and takes into account so much more than the standard specifications.
Is A Custom Snowboard Worth It?
We're about to find out. And of course we're going the full monty, because if you're going to go custom, you might as well do it properly right? We discovered Australian company Savage Panda Snowboards recently and were pretty blown away when we learnt about how bespoke, detailed and specific each and every one of their snowboards is.
"Far more than length, width, camber and top-sheet: We actively get inside your DNA as a snowboarder and hand craft a snowboard that understands all your nuances and skills, your aspirations and challenges, your style and terrain preference, and reflect you as an individual rider.
To the Savage Panda team, creating a custom board is a blend of art and process. We will uncover a board that has your perfect performance mix of:
Some call us crazy, they’ll say it’s not possible, but we’re on a mission to disrupt the norms of the snowboard industry and do away with ‘average’. Savage Panda is uncommon and we do things differently. We embrace the uniqueness and diversity of who you are as a snowboarder and work WITH you to build what you desire in your snowboard experience – from the core out."
- Savage Panda Snowboards
And so just like that, we're going custom with Savage Panda Snowboards! We want to find out whether a custom snowboard is all that it's hyped up to be. Aside from offering what we believe is true customisation, we love that each board is made in their factory in Melbourne, Australia.
"We guarantee that no two Savage Panda snowboards are the same, except in quality and sustainability. Materials used will differ based on the snowboarder and his or her needs in a board. We don’t use a recipe … we create from scratch.
You can expect the boards to be constructed with the lightest and strongest materials in the marketplace. And while snowboard production isn’t exactly an eco-friendly practice, we do our best at every intersection to source recyclable components such as base materials and wax."
- Savage Panda Snowboards
Stay tuned as we go through the design, consult and build process before we test them out for the first time in Japan at the end of February! We're super excited!!! Have you gone custom before? Let us know in the comments below.
Update: Check out our review of Savage Panda Custom Snowboards after we rode them for the first time in Japan!
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.