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The 9 Best Freeride Snowboards of 2022-2023

By: Stew Langner: Snowboard Buyer | November 14, 2022

 

The next time you find yourself in awe of the bigger terrain in and around your local resort, OR the latest pro’s high-flying video part, take a moment to consider what sort of equipment you’d need on your feet to step to that sorta stuff. More than likely you’d be imagining something close to a board on this list. We’ve got a list of 9 of this year’s best freeride snowboards ready to get as buck as you wanna take them. These high-tech snowboards are ready to take on the steep and deep while holding a solid edge when you really need it.

New This Year:

Though the term “freeride” can contain a fairly wide range of boards, freeride snowboards are united by their penchant for natural terrain, powder snow, and mutual respect for the almighty turn. Surfy full-on powder-day options like the Capita Navigator and Ride Peace Seeker share this list with aggressive chargers like the K2 Alchemist and Arbor Clovis, plus lots of gender-neutral sizing spreads mean you'll certainly find something here to satisfy your inner soul-boarder or big-line-charger in 2023 when choosing your next snowboard.

Capita Navigator

Capita Navigator

Human being straps into mysterious alien craft and travels through a dazzling wormhole that bends time and space. No, it's not the plot of the 1986 science fiction movie, Flight of the Navigator, it's a blow-by-blow account of your first run on the CAPiTA Navigator Snowboard. This powder-hungry freerider combines a tapered directional shape and a super set back stance for hoverboard-esque performance in deep snow. Newly updated with a poppy P2 Superlight Core and Powerdrive Base capable of achieving warp speeds. A huge size range, and an approachable medium-flex, means the Navigator can accommodate riders of any size. And for something this high-tech and specialized, it’s surprisingly affordable, coming in at just under $500. The Capita Navigator is going to be best for riders looking for the deep stuff, with a few years on snow under their belts. That being said, it is more approachable than some of the more aggressive steeds on this list.

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/Rocker5.5/10$499.95

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K2 Alchemist

K2 Alchemist

The K2 Alchemist Snowboard is your directional big gun for full-throttle freeriding. It's stiff and cambered for tons of power and edge hold, but with a setback stance and upturned nose to stay on top when it gets deep. If your idea of a good time involves cliff drops, face shots, and no speed limits, the Alchemist is a solid candidate for the only board you'll ever need. The Alchemist is K2’s highest-end snowboard, and it’s got a price tag to match. But quite frankly, with a list of tech as long as a freaking book, we’re surprised it isn’t even pricier. S1 Core, Triaxial Glass, Spectral Braid, Carbon Power-Fork, etc., etc., etc. We don’t have room here to fully explain, but we encourage you to take a deep dive on the product page to see what this bad boy has to offer. The K2 Alchemist is for intermediate to advanced riders who want to go fast and hit big terrain.

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber9/10$699.95

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Season Aero

Season Aero

The Season Aero Snowboard is a rocket ship, surgeon’s scalpel, and artist’s paintbrush rolled into one. It’s that friend you can rely on to drop everything to go ride - the same one who makes you feel ten feet tall when things get spicy. Crafted with traditional camber and a powerful flex, it exudes confidence in rugged terrain and purrs when you open up the throttle to paint fast, clean arcs through the chop. Top to bottom, bell to bell, the Aero is built to fly. Let’s take a peek under the hood real quick. The Aero pairs a stiff flexing and lightweight paulownia and poplar wood core, with traditional camber underfoot. There’s a bit of entry and exit rocker thrown in so you don’t pearl in powder. A sintered base means you’ll keep up when the snow gets sticky, and a massive size range means there’s an Aero out there for any size or gender rider. The Season Aero is going to be best for those hard-chargers who like to fly a bit under the radar. Understated aesthetics, solid fundamentals, ready to take to the Air-o.

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/RockerStiff$599.95

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Burton Cartographer

Burton Cartographer

Where to next? No need to rely on the trail map for your next move - the Burton Cartographer Snowboard has the answers you seek. This pow-friendly all mountain shape is engineered to explore all the nooks and crannies of your local hill. It comes with a bomber Super Fly® 800G core, powerful Triax™ glass laminates, a stiff, chunder-busting forebody, and a slightly tapered shape to keep that nose up when the going gets deep. This is another offering with a massive size range (144cm to 162cm) which can accommodate many different sized riders. The waist width runs a bit on the wide side, which is good for bigger-footed fellas, or if you want to size down slightly from your typical board length. A bonus is that the Cartographer comes in at under 500 bones, which is a rarity for such an aggressive stick. Throw that extra skrilla at an upgraded pair of boots or bindings, or just an extra lift ticket or two this coming season!

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/RockerStiff$499.95

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Salomon Highpath

Salomon Highpath

Take the high route with the Salomon Highpath Snowboard. The Highpath is the culmination of Salomon's sustainability efforts paired with their years of making the ultimate performance boards. Eco-friendly and recycled materials in the core, topsheet, base, and edges are kind to the earth without sacrificing shredability. The classic Rock Out Camber and stiff flex are made for high-speed stability and the Popster core with C/FX Basalt adds powerful response to your turns and side hits. The mix of camber and rocker, plus a touch of taper means this thing is ready to drop from the top ropes. If all of that isn’t enough to get you on board, just look at this thing; sophisticated, subtle graphics, but clean and evocative if you take a closer view. Again, we have another board with a big size range. This means you, your boyfriend, your mom, and your kids can all take the High Path, if they’re so inclined!

Kevin, Outerwear & Bags Buyer: "Very lively feel while still offering enough comfort to handle variable conditions. Directional but with freestyle tendencies the Highpath is the perfect choice if you are looking for a go-to premium all-mountain board."

Read Salomon Highpath In-Depth Review  

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/Rocker4 out of 5$649.95

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Ride Peace Seeker

Ride Peace Seeker

Every year we make our pilgrimage. From the low places fit for human habitation, we venture forth to isolated peaks crowned only by jagged rock and gusting snow. Ask each nomad what fuels their journey and you'll get different answers: adrenaline, excitement, comradery, fun. But in one way or another, we're all up there seeking solace. And when we drop down below the peaks, into the bounty that cold winter has whipped up for us, we find a place at the apex of each turn that is free from thought, resistant to distraction, and utterly complete within itself. In pursuit of this voyage to chase the special serenity that can only be found at high speeds and in deep powder, we give you the Ride Peace Seeker Snowboard. Now we know that might be some spiritual mumbo jumbo, but if you use this thing as directed, you might actually find Nirvana. The Peace Seeker is a stiff, cambered board, with rocker in the tips and tails, featuring a ton of high-end tech and a seriously wild (and WIDE) shape. This is not likely going to be your daily driver, but if there is a hole in your quiver for those extra deep days, or you want to spice up your early morning groomer outing, the Peace Seeker can certainly fill a void.

Young, Receiving Lead: "This board is built to dig trenches. And it does them so well that you’ll wonder why you ever wanted to do something different. From powder to hardpack, it’ll be your go to in no time. Boards like these are why the directional carvers are the new ‘it’ board."

Read Ride Peace Seeker In-Depth Review  

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/CamberStiff$599.95

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Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero

Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero

If you're the guy whispering in hushed tones about top secret lines, talking in hand signals known only to you and your tightest crew, we have the board for you. The Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero Snowboard is the choice of superlocals, hidden stashers, and all-season slashers. Designed to blast through bunk and lay waste to chunk on its way to the holy land of deep funk, the Hometown Hero is an all-around ripper's ride. A moderately stiff flex and directional camber profile combine with a little taper and a lotta setback for a ride that lays the hammer through pow and crud alike. Coming in 144cm all the way to a 165W means this board is suitable for any gender and most sized riders. The Super Fly II™ 700G Core and Recycled Sintered WFO base will keep you light, nimble, and quick regardless of the snow quality. The Hometown Hero is going to be best for those who ride all over the hill but are looking to put in days in the steep and deep when the conditions align.

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/RockerMedium$659.95

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Yes. PYL Uninc DCP

Yes. PYL Uninc DCP

You might have the hottest boards - every shape, every style, every color - but they're all obsolete once the Yes. PYL UnInc DCP Snowboard joins your quiver. This is a pow-friendly shape with true all mountain capability. In some ways, it's just like all your other favorite boards, with tons of hard snow edge hold and a stiff flex for aggressive riding. But in the pow, the coreless tail and tapered underbite shape sink the tail to deliver superior float and maximum fun. This is one of those boards where you sort of have to dive into the nitty gritty details to really understand what’s going on. First off, there’s a lot of taper on this rig, and YES’s underbite tech corrects for the loss in turning power you might usually feel. Another thing to note is the waist width, coming in at 260mm on the 155cm; that’s much wider than your standard ride at this size. This means you can size down fairly significantly from your usual length while maintaining buoyancy in waist-deep fluff. The Yes PYL Uninc DCP is for the tech-minded charger who wants a new feel under their feet, but who also wants to keep sending it off the high dive when the opportunity arises!

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Rocker/Camber/Rocker8/10$649.95

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Arbor Clovis Camber

Arbor Clovis Camber

Grab your toothpicks, it's Mark Carter time. The Arbor Clovis Camber Snowboard is the Wyoming cowboy's trusty six-shooter, and oh boy does it pack a punch. Arbor bills this snowboard as a "directional gun," and we'd have to agree. With an oversized nose, tapered tail, and extra core reinforcements, the Clovis wants to be pointed off something big and land in something soft. It rips, pops, and slashes, and as long as you can hang on for the ride, you're in for one heck of a time. Though Carter may bill himself as a traditionalist, the Clovis is hiding some new-age tech under the hood. Uprise fenders in the nose provide catch-free turns and extra float in pow, grip-tech contact points on the edges help with traction on ice and hard snow, and a Carbon A-frame lays on top of a Paulownia and Bamboo core for lively response underfoot. The Clovis is best for big-mountain chargers riding the resort and in the backcountry, but we bet this thing would rail a mean turn on an east coast groomer as well!

Camber ProfileFlex RatingOriginal Price
Camber6/10$599.95

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The Selection Process:

Our snowboard buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things snowobarding stemming from years of experience in the snowboard industry in tandem with their countless hours spent on slopes everywhere from groomers to the remote backcountry around the world. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Stew Langner

Hey y’all! My name is Stew Langner, and I’m the Snowboard Buyer here at evo. A little bit about myself… I grew up in Michigan where I learned to snowboard on golf courses and in my grandma’s backyard.  My love for boarding brought me out West. The first spot I landed was Tahoe City where I worked at resorts and shredded 100+ days a year. Eventually, I discovered the wonders and POW of the PNW, and I moved to the Seattle area about 10 years ago. Upon arriving in Seattle, evo became my home base as I landed a job selling boards in the flagship store. Over the years, I worked my way up the ranks at the shop and eventually into the evo office on the Merchandising team. Now as the Snowboard Buyer, I strive to bring the latest & greatest in the snowboard world into evo – all while managing to still get my days on the mountain 😉