Although it is a trend that has been coming for a few years now, the short, wide and fat powder boards are in full force now. Slowly I have noticed a change where they aren’t all necessarily being aimed at being full on powder boards, lots are being marketed as all-mountain boards – just with a different shape.
This list is quite big, and could be much bigger, but I have kept it to a manageable amount. Most of the boards on this list will have a recommendation to ride anywhere from 3-10cm shorter than your normally ride, as the lack of length is made up by the extra width. Sometimes they are called volume shift boards – there are a couple of advantages to the extra width:
Similar or increased surface area that is equivalent to a much bigger board, so that you get a good amount of float in deep powder.
Shorter widths means you can often make quicker and smaller turns, which will help with a “surfy” and more nimble feel in tight trees.
The wider waist widths are very handy for riders with big feet, especially if you have US sie 13’s or above. When you are up around those sizes, even classic wide boards aren’t always that wide. The old go-to board for big guys with big feet use to be the Skunk Ape, though now there are plenty of options in all camber profiles.
In general, wide boards are 260mm or wider, though most of the boards in this list will be anywhere from 265 all the way up to crazy 280mm.
Quite a few on this list are board that have a good reputation, with the Lib Tech Orca and Ride Warpig being the very popular standouts right now. For all kinds of reasons, they are the quickest to disappear from stores.
I bought my first wide board a few years ago, when it didn’t seem like there were so many options around, the Yes 420 and the K2 Cool Bean were the main ones that came to mind.
I found a Capita Slush Slasher on sale, and couldn’t pass it by. Although it technically isn’t a powder board, that is almost all I used it for. Assuming that they have roughly the same specs that they did on the original white version, that means the 147cm I had has a giant waist width of around 284mm. I was wearing size 10 ThirtyTwo TM-2s at the time, so I didn’t have to deal with too much heel or toe overhang anyway – even on regular width boards.
Yeah, it would have been slower edge to edge, but who cares – if you want it to be quick you are going to want a narrow camber board anyway for that type of feel.
As soon as a good powder day came around, the strengths of the short wide board really came through. With the short length, and super short tail the board had a very easy, surfy feel – and could turn with no planning in even the tightest trees. The width, giant nose and rocker/flat camber gave it crazy float, at times it seemed like I could almost ride uphill in deep snow compared to a regular board.
Lots of the boards below have a few camber changes, as well as sidecuts that will help them to still ride well on hardpacked snow, so that you aren’t limited to having a board that is great in powder but hard work on everything else.
Lots of these boards are designed to be ridden smaller, don’t be scared to buy one that is way shorted than you are used to – if you want to get technical look at the surface area of a short board and compare it to your regular size board, you might be surprised.
Lib Tech Orca
Another board in the Travis Rice set in Lib Tech boards, it would have to be one of the most sought after boards after only being around for one season. Originally it came in the 3 sizes – 147, 153 and 159, but since it has exploded in popularity they made a bunch of sizes in between the originals.
The waist width is big – the majority are 265mm and above, make sure you size down. With the C2X profile, it has rocker between your feet, mellow camber on the nose and some more aggressive camber in the tail.
Find out more about the Orca
The Warpig has been around for a few seasons now, and originally coming in just the Small and Large sizes, since it got so popular there are now sizes from XS to XL.
Plenty of rocker in the nose, flat in the middle and rocker on the tail. Not really designed as a powder board, it’s more of a weird shaped do everything board. Still very wide, the waist widths vary from 250mm on the smallest all the way up to 277mm on the biggest.
I rode mine in very deep powder, and was quite impressed, even without setting the bindings all the way back. Make sure you size it down from your normal board, then go down one size again. Really, smaller is better for this one.
Read my review of the Ride Warpig
The flat profile of the Warpig did lack some pop, so the Superpig came around added a whole lot of extra stiffness, with a regular camber profile. Same shape as the Warpig, with a faster base, stiffer flex and more pop.
Read my review of the Ride Superpig
Another with a bit of a reputation, it has the design needed for a short, floaty surfy ride.
Find out more about the Sushi.
K2 Party Platter
Although it isn’t, the Party Platter is a bit closer to a twin than a lot of the others on this list. Ride is somewhere between 5-7cm shorter than normal. Camber under your feet for some pop and stability, bigger rocker on the nose and a bit of rocker in the tail.
More details of the Party Platter.
Capita Spring Break Slush Slasher
It is marketed as a spring slush/party board, but it has a very fun ride in deep snow – and is probably one of the cheaper boards on this list. Although everything on this list is wide, this has a giant sidecut, either way – it floats like crazy. If I were to buy one again, I would go even shorter than I did last time.
Find out more about the Slush Slasher.
Never Summer DF (Drag Free) Models
Although not necessarily powder boards, these special version still get a mention. In the Never Summer range, there are their regular width boards, X which are the wide models and now a few select models have the DF options, which are Drag Free super wides, made for riders with really big feet. These DF models are a good options for guys with big size 14s or above, who want minimum toe and heel drag, but without necessarily getting a powder board with a crazy shape.
Some more info on the West Bound.
Lib Tech Skunk Ape / Stump Ape
The Skunk Ape used to be the go-to board for guys with big feet, though it is still a board that you ride in your regular width. They now have the Stump Ape, which just comes in the 157 and 162cm models, that have crazy wide waist widths – at 281 and 284mm. Still made for the big 200lb guy, just not in the long lengths of the Skunk Ape.
Lib Tech MC Wayfinder
A tiny sidecut on this board, with only a 4.8m radius, with a 4″ setback stance makes it a super floaty and surfy option.
More details on the MC Wayfinder.
One size, 154cm, with mega wide nose at 340mm, and a swallow tail. Although obviously made for deep deep snow, it has a traditional camber profile, so you can expect it to still hold a strong edge on groomers.
More info on the Pow here.
Jones Storm Chaser
Wide, with a fairly small sidecut for tighter more surfy turns, there are a couple of things that make this a little different from the rest. It has a lot of base shaping, or spoon in the nose and tail, as well as a speed channel in the middle of the tail.
A few versions of the Storm Chaser here.
Bataleon Party Wave
Ride this one 5-10cm shorter than normal, it has the Pow 3BT base shaping, which means that the profile gives it a subtle camber shape, and the 3d base shaping means that it has a thin center base, with plenty of uplift for the surfy, loose feel.
Comes in a 145cm and 150 model, it’s a short, wide cambered powder board. It has the exaggerated version of the Upride Fenders, which lift the contact points. The Pow version of the Uprise Fenders help to give more float in powder, and make turns smoother.
Read more about the Arbor Cask.
The three sizes that the Sickstick comes in are all different shapes made for riding different terrain, the smallest is also the widest. At 151cm, the small size is made for a short, surfy feel that can make quick turns.
Read more about the different shape Sicksticks.
Maybe the craziest shape of the lot, a stiff rocker, crazy shaped mega wide surfer.
Technical information on the Terrapin here.
Yes 420 / 420 Powderhull
One of the older weird shaped boards, it has a wide, but tapered shape with plenty of rocker.
K2 Cool Bean
Stiffish flex, short swallow tail and big rocker nose. The sizes start at the very small 138, but even at that short length, the waist is still a monster 275mm.
K2 cool bean specs.