Whether or not it is always the best idea, people love the idea of one-upping their friends and getting something expensive and cool that has Golden, Mega, Ultra, Super or Pro in the name.
Is it going to be overkill for your riding? That’s something only you can work out.
Capita Mega Merc / Mega Mercury
The Capita Mercury has been a very solid board for the last few years, building a good reputation as a very capable all-mountain board (and one of my favourites). The Mega Merc takes the same recipe the Super DOA followed to upgrade a good board even further.
For an extra $150 the Mega Merc has a lighter core with a lighter topsheet, and although it still has the same base, it comes with structure. Although the core is quite different, and there is quite change in the carbon additives, the shape, flex rating and profile are still the same.
If you want the option of the an even lighter board than the Mercury, then have a look at the Mega Merc.
Lib Tech Golden Orca
The original Lib Tech Orca has been super popular over the last few years, with its distinctive shape and much less “Lib Techy” graphics. The Golden Orca takes the original shape and makes the tail a bit longer, getting a little closer to a centered board, to help with landing and riding switch in powder.
Lib Tech have 3 major levels of core construction – Original Power, Horse Power and then Fire Power. As you go up the list, the wood used in the core generally gets lighter, a little stiffer and has more additives like Basalt to help dampen the ride.
The Original Orca had the mid range Horse Power construction, while the Golden Orca has the high end Fire Power as one of its upgrades.
Capita Super DOA
This one has been around for a couple of years now, and is the high end, upgraded version of the very popular regular DOA (Defenders of Awesome).
The upgraded core makes it noticably lighter, and the base is faster with added structure. It is a touch stiffer (6/10 rather than 5.5) though that is hardly a major change.
Read more about the Super D.O.A.
The Surfer got quite popular a few years ago with some crazy carving videos, though the shape alone would get enough attention. With a super wide and shaped nose, setback stance and deep swallowtail, it has everything you would want for super deep days.
The very pronounced 3BT shaping in the nose makes sense for riding in powder, though I didn’t expect that I would like it much on hardpacked groomers, though I was very surprised with how well it rode.
It is an expensive board anyway, there is the high end version of the Surfer LTD, which they only make 150 of.
Although only being around for a short while, the Dancehaul quickly got a good reputation as a board that is fun to ride anywhere. It has a volume shifted, directional shape and retro look, which make it stand out.
Seeing that the regular version was very popular in its first season, the new Pro version has a stiffer flex, lighter core, faster base and fancier sidewalls. As far as I know the Pro is quite limited, so it won’t be available in many places.
Bataleon Party Wave
The Party Wave is one of Bataleons volume shifted, short and wide board that is made to let you carve really hard and float in powder.
It is a cheaper and more affordable board, made with lower end materials to keep the price down – a simple core and an extruded base.
With the giant wide width and 3BT shape, it does float really well in powder, which you can see in my review here.
With the balance of its ride, price and looks it ended up becoming quite popular, so now there is an upgraded version, the Party Wave +. The plus version has a better core, stiffer flex and a faster base, with the same shape.