5 Best Carving Snowboards

best carving snowboard

Carving is a fun skill to have in the bag as you learn how to ride and improve your abilities. It’s not one specific technique, but more of a style thing that reflects several advanced skills smashed into one.

I’m a snowboarding instructor who has helped many different riders improve their skills over the last ten years. I often include carving advice in my lessons, and having a board suited to the technique can help. 

The best carving snowboard currently out there is Burton Family Tree 3D Deep Daze.

Other options out there can help you learn how to carve better or highlight the skills you have already built with carving in mind. I’ll show you some of my favorite carving boards in this post so you can make a decision that matches your needs. 

You don’t necessarily need a carving board to carve, but it can help you focus on the technique, and some boards are better suited to the task. 

Let’s carve out a look at the best boards.  

Quick Summary

Best Carving Snowboard: Top Picks

All of the boards you’ll find here have some specific design traits that you can use to your advantage to help with your carving. 

1. Burton Family Tree 3D Deep Daze

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key features: Great edge control, 3D shaping that boosts carving ability, narrower tail, rocker nose, stable at speeds
  • Shape: Directional
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Cost: $$$

The best snowboard for carving you can currently find is the Burton Family Tree 3D Deep Daze. This board features some unique design elements that allow it to excel under the demands of steady carving, and it does so naturally and effectively. 

The directional shape allows you to harness your speed into quick and easy carve turns. You can take wide-arching carves and let the board work for you. It will also respond to quick carves at a moment’s notice. 

3D shaping gives the Family Tree a unique feel that advanced riders will pick up on quickly. It’s floaty by nature and has a tremendous edge grip, which is unique compared to some other boards and allows you to take advantage of the thicker shape. 

The board also has 20mm of taper in the front, which lifts the tip off of the snow so you can change direction with ease. A shorter width tail lets you stay in command while you change direction. 

Another thing I like about the Family Tree is its ability to generate power when you are deep in a turn. Some boards feel loose as you sweep, but this one lets you get creative without losing the driver’s seat. 

It is a bit heavy, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner’s option. Other than that, it gets high marks all-around. 

2. Lib Tech X Lost Rocket

  • Best for: Advanced Riders
  • Key features: Aggressive all-terrain contour profile, stable at high speeds, quick and responsive carving ability, magne-traction edges, sintered knife cut base
  • Shape: Directional
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Cost: $$$

Experienced snowboards who love to carve will appreciate all that the Lib Tech X Lost Rocket has to offer. This aggressive carving board can tackle different conditions with ease, allowing for smooth turns the entire time. 

The Lost Rocket has a profile that caters to carving. A set back camber allows you to generate power while staying back in the saddle. This keeps response in check while also providing enough float to remain on top of deeper snow. 

It also has a progressive elliptical radial sidecut that increases carving abilities even further. This design slices into hard-pack snow to give you precise control and a smooth feel even when conditions are not ideal. 

It’s also a fairly wide board, so it is excellent for wide turns at high speeds. The sintered knife cut base keeps you running smoothly across any condition that comes your way. I like how simple the board is to turn while remaining powerful and aggressive. 

Another feature worth mentioning is the magne-traction edges that are durable and reliable. These won’t require much of a tune-up unless you hit a rock or dirt. An eco-sublimated poly top adds durability and cuts down on weight as well. 

The Lost Rocket is a powerful board and can easily overwhelm even intermediate riders. This one is best left to advanced snowboards who love to carve. 

3. Never Summer West

  • Best for: All-Mountain
  • Key features: Fusion rocker camber profile, Recluse Web Carbon Layup, floaty, versatile, high-performance option
  • Shape: Tapered Directional
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Cost: $$$

The Never Summer West is an excellent carving board with many other benefits. This thing will allow you to slice and dice wide turns while also delivering high-end performance in a range of other conditions on the mountain. 

The tapered directional shape of this board is built with freeriding in mind. That means you’ll get impressive performance when you want to carve, hit big lines, dive into powder, or haul on groomers as fast as you can. 

The Fusion Rocker Camber has an extended transitional area that blends both profile elements into an effective carving and snow dissecting machine. There is enough camber to keep you on top of deep snow, while camber underfoot gives you the ability to dig in and rip. 

The West also comes with a superlight wood core that Never Summer is well known for. It’s a powerful design feature that increases response without weighing the board down. It’s strong, durable, and effective. 

The board is also impressive at higher speeds when you want to let loose. An RDS 2 dampening system allows for limited chatter and a soft feel when you want to point the nose and reach terminal velocity. 

This is another board that is best left in the hands of experts and isn’t recommended for beginners. It’s very capable but also quite demanding. 

4. Burton Flight Attendant

  • Best for: Beginners
  • Key features: Balanced freeride geometry, good edge control, versatile, quick turning capability, directional flex
  • Shape: Directional Twin
  • Flex: Medium 
  • Cost: $$$

If you are just learning how to carve and want a board that can help you improve, check out the Burton Flight Attendant. This is a versatile option that will benefit you in many ways, and it has some solid elements that enhance its ability to carve. 

The freeride directional shape is great for progression and versatility. The nose is longer and tapered, allowing you to make quick turns and stay on top of deep or cruddy snow. The tail is shorter, and that translates into fast and responsive turning. 

The core also features a 10mm taper that assists with carving pursuits and the board’s effectiveness in variable terrain. It allows for a sliding and sweeping feel when you want to turn, which is great when learning how to carve. 

The directional camber bend is also an excellent feature of the Flight Attendant. There is a camber underfoot to help you learn how to generate pop at the start of a carve, while a rockered tip and tail are forgiving when you need them to be. 

Beginners will love this board, but more advanced riders will be left wanting more. It is a bit limited in more challenging carving situations like in really steep terrain. It’s also on the flexible side, so you’ll see a bit of chatter at higher speeds. 

5. K2 Simple Pleasures 

  • Best for: Intermediate
  • Key features: Bamboo core with carbon stringers, good hybrid profile, excellent carving and freeride attributes, fun in powder
  • Shape: Directional 
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Cost: $$$

The K2 Simple Pleasures is my recommended carving board for intermediate riders. It’s a very capable and somewhat aggressive board that will allow you to charge through all sorts of conditions and carve whenever you want. 

This board has more of a powder board design and does excel in deeper snow. If you want to carve through powder, this is a solid option that will give you surfy and floaty characteristics and easy turning abilities. 

It also has a great blend of rocker and camber in the profile to keep you on top of deeper snow while maintaining power and response. In that regard, the Simple Pleasures has a freeride feel that is a ton of fun to ride. 

It has a bamboo core with carbon stringers that help keep the weight down without compromising any strength. For a lightweight option, this board is very stiff, which is great when taking on more challenging terrain. 

This isn’t the best option for carving on hard-pack snow because it has more of a powder focus. It is versatile, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you expect some fresh snow at least every once in a while. 

How to Choose The Best Snowboard for Carving

When looking into a snowboard to help you carve, consider the following factors. 

Flex (Stiffness)

The flex of a snowboard is a preference consideration alongside a style concern. For carving purposes, a medium to stiff flex is ideal because this allows you to generate enough power to turn effectively.  

If you want to do the extreme carving, you need a very stiff board since it is very likely that you will be riding at higher speeds. A stiffer flex will give you a better edge grip and improve stability when you are riding at high speed. 

Length

A longer board is more challenging to turn since it can be slower when changing directions. This won’t affect you that much if you are an experienced rider, but beginners may struggle with longer boards for carving.  

Longer boards are also more stable at faster speeds, which can be ideal if you are an experienced rider who wants to carve while also hauling down the mountain.

They have more edge hold, and this results in added stability as well. The longer and heavier the board is, the more stable it will be and hence more vibration resistance it comes with.

2 – 3 cm longer than average is always a good start when shopping for a board for carving. It doesn’t need to be a great deal longer than what you typically ride, but it should be at least a little longer. 

Directional Shape

Most carving snowboards will have a directional shape. They can sometimes be a directional twin but usually not true twin shape.

They are primarily designed for better performance when riding at high speed. You can still ride switch with a carving board, but honestly, it would be much more difficult.

Snowboard Profile

Profile is another personal preference consideration but is important with riding in mind. A camber profile would offer more stability at a higher speed, so many freeride snowboards are traditional camber or hybrid camber.

Width

The narrower the snowboard, the quicker it is from edge to edge. The wider the board, the easier for the riders to ride on different terrains. This translates into a looser carve, and if you are a carving fan, it’s a good idea for you to get a narrow board.

Make sure your width is not too narrow for your boots, and always ensure your boots won’t overhang and drag the snow when you turn. Check out our snowboard size calculator to learn how to choose the correct width.

Set Back Stance

A setback stance enables you to carve deeper into the snow. Most freeride snowboards would come with a setback setting, but you can also just move your stance a bit backward to the tail to help increase float and carving abilities. 

There is no standard setting for your stance. You can experiment with different stances until you find the setup you like the best. 

Binding Angle

Most carving lovers set their binding at a relatively aggressive angle, e.g., front foot between 30 – 12 degrees and back foot with 12 – 0 degrees. It is difficult to say what is best, but you can also play with different angles until you find the one that fits you the best.

Edge Pattern (Wavy Edged vs. Straight Edged)

There are quite a few snowboards with a wavy edge instead of the classic straight-edged, also called Magne-traction. The main reason for getting a wavy-edged snowboard is to gain better control on icy slopes.

If you ride with a classic straight-edged snowboard, there is more contact with the edge of your snowboard to the snow, and therefore, it offers more stability at high speed.

FAQs

Here are some common questions you might have about carving snowboards.

What is carving in snowboarding?

Carving is when you are ride with your edges dipped into the snow instead of your base and edge are touching the snow while turning. After a carved turn, you can see a thin line on the snow since only the edge of your snowboard is touching the snow.

What’s the difference between carving snowboard and freeride snowboard?

I found it very common for people to look for a freeride snowboard when they are considering a carving snowboard. In my opinion, they do share some common features, but they are not the same.

For example, a wide fishtailed board would also be classified as a freeride board. These are great for powder and backcountry but not for carving! I noticed some websites would still categorize them as “freeride snowboard.” 

For those who want to know more about the carving world, you can check more information about “Hard Boot Snowboarding.” This is more the racer side, so I will not drill into it in this article.

The easiest way to explain this is: riders who are after high speed would consider a soft boot (standard snowboard) too forgiving, and therefore they tend to wear something as stiff as ski boots so they can tolerate riding at a higher speed.

Final Verdict

There are many different snowboards out there that would work as a carving board, but the best option currently available is the Burton Family Tree 3D Deep Daze. This board can let your carve easily and effortlessly. It’s a lot of fun to ride. 

Carving is a snowboarding skill that can take some time and patience to master. You might need to have a few seasons under your belt before you feel like you can carve effectively. Take your time, and don’t worry if it seems complicated at first. 

The best advice I can give a rider who wants to improve their carving abilities is this – practice, practice, practice. There isn’t an exact “do this, get that” sort of tip with carving. It’s more of a feel. Keep up the hard work, and you will eventually master the skill!

About Lorraine
I went to an indoor ski resort years ago and had my first snowboarding lesson. After ten minutes, I immediately fell in love with this exciting sport. I started this blog to share tips I found really useful during my boarding journey, from a beginner to an instructor.

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