When it comes to snowboarding gear, the sport is dominated by mainstream brands like Burton, K2, Rossignol, Ride and Never Summer. Most of these companies started as small, boutique companies before their products revolutionized the industry. Today, these companies are the industry standard. But what’s the next big thing when it comes to snowboards? To answer that question, look no further than the long list of custom snowboards on the rise.
There are lots of custom snowboards made in North America that are busy creating revolutionary rides and related gear that’s just as good, or better, than what major companies are producing. Snowboarders who appreciate a quality product with exception craftsmanship are leaning more toward homemade boards these days.
If you’re looking for something different when it’s time to get a new snowboard, check out these handmade snowboard brands. These custom snowboards are on the rise! Here are our 14 favorite independent snowboard manufacturers listed below.
Hey ladies! Isn’t about time for a snowboard company just for women? Well, wait no longer. Pallas Snowboards makes women’s snowboards and split boards that are forged with love and deigned for the trail less taken. The company has excellent boards ranging from freeride to freestyle that handle well on powder and groomers just as fine as at the terrain park. Signature models like the Hedonist, Epiphany and Zeitgeist feature uber-colorful top sheets and are prefect for floating and carving hard.
Foreign snowboard maker Baguette Boards cooks up tasty decks at their Austria facility. Beautifully crafted, the company lineup includes French-inspired boards specifically for freeride, carving, cruising and all-mountain outings. From ultra-fat models like the Bonanza Cruiser to thinner “mountain skateboards,” Baguette Boards has a little something for everyone.
Riders who want bang for their buck should take a closer look at Zion Snowboards. The company has snowboards and split boards the are top-notch performers on the mountain without breaking your bank. We love the Wonk series because it’s a solid board at a great price. It performs great all over the resort: on snow, metal, wood and concrete. It’s also available in either a Z-Rocker or traditional camber, so it’s super versatile.
Kindred Snowboards on Vancouver Island, Canada is making a big name for itself with its small-batch specialty snowboards that are created from scratch. The company makes bespoke snowboards, split boards and skis that are tailored to the rider and feature wood marquetry artwork. Cores are crafted from hearty local Douglas fir and cypress trees. Each board is a complementary brew of art and craftsmanship and incorporates composites like fiberglass, basalt and carbon fiber.
Custom snowboards are constructed from sustainably harvested wood from the nearby mountains of Silverton, Colorado for Venture Snowboards. The eco-friendly board maker operates its factory on 100 percent wind power since 2004. The company makes awesome decks that are also offered as a splitboard that’s a hit with uphillers.
Notice Snowboards will make you stand to attention. The Whitefish, Montana board maker sells full custom snowboards, wake boards and some apparel. The company specialized in rider-specific boards that fit an individual’s personal riding style. Choose from all-mountain, back country, boarder cross, park, powder and racing models. All boards are made to order and are usually completed within four weeks.
A relative new kid on the block, Vega Snowboards has only been in business a couple seasons but is quickly gaining favor in the Calgary, Alberta area. Their Vegabond model is a twin-tip, go-anywhere beast that crushes both steep lines and terrain park slush. The colorful LocGnar model has over-exaggerated blunted tips and a centered stance for hitting powder jumps and obstacles like street rails. Both are playful boards with a snappy design and mesmerizing top sheet. Keep an eye on these guys!
Oregon ski maker Deviation Ski & Snowboard have been hand-crafting quality gear from locally sourced materials since 2012. The company uses a wood called Purple Heart that increases the dampening of their skis significantly. Purple Heart Dampening (PHD) technology delivers an unrivaled vibration absorption that result in a super-smooth ride.
California-based Tribe Snowboards is a lesser-known name right now, but we expect huge things soon from this Mammoth Mountain board developer. The company strives to craft boards that “play big” on powder, in the back country or in the terrain park. Riders can use Tribe’s online board design tool to find the perfect shape size and camber for your deck.
Handmade in the Appalachian foothills, Gibson Snowboards rely on good old-fashioned American artisan manufacturing. Their next-level boards are fashioned from locally sourced Pennsylvania Poplar trees that meld with steel elements to create a soft edge that’s ideal for drifting and floating. Riders can choose from all-mountain, freestyle, freeride and powder boards in a variety of grand designs.
Niche Snowboards have a world-class feel, probably because the company is based out of Salt Lake City but are crafted across the globe in a small town in Austria. Environmentally friendly with a small carbon footprint, the company has men’s and women’s models for park, powder and all-mountain adventure. Best selling models include the Ember, Maelstrom and Nightshade.
Founded in 2009, PowderJet Snowboards has been churning out about 150 boards a year for the past decade. The Vermont-based board maker offers custom snowboards and board building classes. Boards are constructed with All-American poplar trees laminated with a Ptex base, stainless steel edges and fiberglass. Builders can choose from 13 different tail designs and 13 separate noses to create the ideal snowboard.
Igneous Snowboards, based in Jackson Hole, has made a name for itself crafting sweet custom skis since 1993, so it should come as no surprise that their boards are awesome, too. The company’s snowboard line hits the mark with the perfect big mountain freeride powder deck that can withstand some harsh elements.
Prior Snowboards out of Whistler, British Columbia, serves up a sweet collection of freeride, freestyle, all mountain, powder and alpine snowboards with killer top sheets and base graphics to complement its numerous options for length, width, flex and construction composition. The popular Pow Stick is the company’s signature big mountain board with a sturdy powder rocker that can handle the massive big snow at snowboarding havens like Whistler.