When you have progressed beyond the basic levels of snowboarding skills, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to get you to the next level. An intermediate level snowboard will keep you progressing season after season.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor who has been teaching many types of riders over the last decade. I’ve seen many good intermediate boards over the years and want to share some of my favorites here.
The Jones Frontier is my choice for the best intermediate snowboard.
All of the items outlined in this article are recommended for intermediate riders. They can keep pushing your skills while allowing you to explore all areas of the mountain to focus on whatever skills you choose.
Let’s get in the lift line and get after it.
- Who Should Get This
- Top Intermediate Snowboards
- How to Select Snowboards for Intermediate Riders?
- Useful Tips
- Final Verdict
Who Should Get This
All of the boards you’ll read in this guide are good options for intermediate boarders. They are recommended for those who have a bit of experience on the mountain but aren’t yet ready to take on the most challenging runs.
They are also good choices for newbies who want to improve their skills or take the next step in their boarding career. While many assume that intermediate snowboards are only for intermediate riders, they also make great stepping stones for more advanced beginners.
Top Intermediate Snowboards
Here are my top picks for the best intermediate snowboards currently on the market. These options are great for different purposes and will help you continue to grow and expand your skills in the snow.
1. Best Overall: Jones Frontier
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Directional rocker, Traction Tech 2.0 edges, stable, versatile, easy to turn but still aggressive, Sintered 8000 base
- Shape: Directional
- Flex: Medium stiff
- Cost: $$$$
At the top of this list is the Jones Frontier. This is the number one choice for an intermediate snowboard because it has a solid build that will last for years while improving your skills ever closer to advanced.
A directional shape is versatile and allows you to take advantage of the all-mountain characteristics this board provides. From steep groomers to deep snow and even the backcountry, this board does well across the board.
The Frontier also comes with a directional rocker profile that provides plenty of float so you can bust through chop and stay on top of deep snow. This is great for intermediate riders because you can handle different snow conditions that beginners shy away from.
The board also comes with Traction Tech 2.0 edges that are very durable and reduces edge catch. This is another design feature that allows you to avoid falls as you bounce around terrains and through a season’s worth of conditions.
Other key features include a Sintered 8000 base that adds durability and an Eco-plastic top sheet that reduces weight without sacrificing much in terms of strength.
The Frontier is on the expensive side of an intermediate option and is far from a budget option. It’s also not a great board for freestyle and park riding.
2. Best Women’s Option: Salomon Gypsy
- Best for: Women
- Key features: True twin shape is versatile and fun to ride, quadralizer sidecut makes for easy turning, sintered base
- Shape: True Twin
- Flex: Medium
- Cost: $$$
The Solomon Gypsy is an awesome intermediate option for women. This is a solid all-around board that blends freestyle fun with all-mountain versatility. I like this board a lot and recommend it often to other riders.
The true twin shape is excellent for anyone who wants to explore the park, ride switch, or improve any other freestyle skill on the mountain. The Rock Out camber profile is poppy and responsive to keep you on top and in control in different situations as well.
It’s also a durable and strong option that can be ridden hard without worry. This is good for riders who want to start exploring challenging conditions and need a tough enough board to live up to the task.
A sintered base keeps the Gypsy free-flowing and smooth in changing snow conditions and is another nod to durability. Quality construction increases lifetime use and makes this a board that can be reliably used for many seasons.
The true twin shape is great if freestyle is your focus but can be limiting in other big-mountain situations. The board can also start to chatter just a bit at higher speeds, though you’ll need to be cruising to notice that.
3. Best Budget Choice: Rossignol Circuit
- Best for: Budget Pick
- Key features: Affordable, great for progression, strong construction, AmpTeck rocker profile, no catch edge.
- Shape: Directional
- Flex: Medium/Stiff
- Cost: $$
If you are looking for an intermediate board but don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Rossignol Circuit is a recommended option. This is a quality board at a budget price and gives you plenty of room to grow and improve.
The Circuit is designed as an all-mountain board with a focus on progression. That means it will help you improve your riding skills all-around and is a great first option for the intermediate rider.
The AmpTeck Auto Turn rocker profile is a cool design that Rossignol includes on many of their boards, and it can provide easy turning and carving capabilities. It results in effortless use that is beneficial for any rider who is trying out new terrains.
The board also comes with a directional shape that caters to all-mountain use. This adds versatility in many different areas of the mountain and will keep you busy throughout the season as you perfect new skills.
It’s also a stable board at high speeds when you want to go fast but soft enough under your foot to keep you in control and allow for easy maneuverability.
The Circuit is better suited for intermediate riders who have just surpassed being a beginner. It’s not the best choice for upper-level intermediates.
4. Best for Park: Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space
- Best for: The Park
- Key features: Freestyle camber, park focused but still versatile, magne-traction edge hold, good control but still playful
- Shape: Asymmetrical Twin
- Flex: Medium
- Cost: $$$
Park riders will love the Gnu Forest Bailey Head Space. It’s a solid option for freestyle riders that will increase your abilities of any feature inside the park with enough versatility to let you explore anywhere outside as well.
The board features a mild rocker profile in the middle with camber underfoot. This keeps things responsive but playful as you ride but still powerful enough to generate pop and push at speeds or under challenging conditions.
The asymmetrical twin shape is a unique design feature that allows for fun freestyle performance. Riding switch and catching air is a breeze on the Head Space, which can help you improve in-air skills and maneuvers.
The Head Space isn’t a great option if you don’t want to ride in the park and can be a little too much board for those just starting to catch airs and hit rails.
5. Best All-Mountain: Never Summer Snowtrooper
- Best for: All-Mountain
- Key features: Versatile board, fun to ride, great for intermediate and advance riders, playful yet capable
- Shape: Directional
- Flex: Medium
- Cost: $$$$
The Never Summer Snowtrooper (review) is another great intermediate board and one of the best options for anyone who wants all-mountain versatility. Never Summer even calls this one the Swiss Army Knife of snowboards.
The directional shape combined with an original rocker camber profile is entirely focused on versatility. From groomers and packed snow to deep powder and crude, the Snowtrooper will have you in control and on point through it all.
It also has a medium flex that is perfect for intermediate riders. It’s stiff enough to help you charge through challenging runs while soft enough to let you turn and carve with ease. It’s another solid design feature that I really enjoy.
The biggest downside of the Snowtrooper is its cost. While I think it’s entirely worth it, this is an expensive option that not every rider will be able to afford.
How to Select Snowboards for Intermediate Riders?
When you are looking for an intermediate snowboard, be sure to keep the following factors in mind to make a choice that best suits your abilities and riding style.
Your snowboard length, while important, is dependent on the type of riding you like to do. Freeriders, or anyone who plans to head off-piste, want to get a longer board to provide them with extra stability and speed.
Freestyle boarders should get a shorter option that helps them jump or spin in the park. Make sure whatever style you get fits your size and weight.
No matter what type of snowboard you’re looking for, you need to consider flex. That refers to how much give a board has, and companies rate their flex on a scale from 1 to 10. Beginners need a lower flex, while more advanced riders want a higher one.
Intermediate boards tend to have a flex that sits somewhere in the middle or more towards the lower end. That range will make it easier to turn and give you better control at low speeds. But there are upper-intermediate boards with a stiffer flex.
Durability is another big concern with any board. Strong materials, as well as options made by well-known brands, are a good idea. A solid core inside a strong outer shell is a must, especially if you’re someone who often finds themselves in rough conditions.
Sturdy boards do tend to cost more than options that use cheaper materials. Always keep your budget in mind.
Here are a few commonly asked questions relating to intermediate snowboards and intermediate riding.
What is considered intermediate snowboarding?
Intermediate snowboarding is a level of above basic maneuvers but not yet advanced enough to ride anywhere and everywhere. If you can ride on steeper terrain, know how to turn and carve, and feel like you are steadily improving, you are an intermediate.
What is the difference between beginner and intermediate snowboards?
Beginner boards generally have a softer flex and shorter length than an intermediate board. Intermediate boards will have a medium to medium/stiff flight that will allow you to explore different types of terrains more effectively.
How can I improve my intermediate snowboarding?
The best way to improve your intermediate snowboarding is to get out in the snow and ride as often as you can. The more time you spend in the snow, the more experience and practice you will have. That’s really the key to improving at any level.
No matter how well-made your board is, it will only last if you take care of it. Maintenance is essential when it comes to increasing longevity. The steps listed here will ensure you get the most out of your board each and every season.
Intermediate riders are experienced, but anyone can always learn more. If you want to get serious about taking your skills to the next level, this video will help.
If you consider yourself an intermediate snowboarder and you want to get a board to match your abilities, the Jones Frontier is one of the best options currently available. It will allow you to venture all over the mountain and keep improving your on-snow skills.
The other options you’ll find on this list also come recommended for snowboarders who are confident enough in their abilities to ride a more aggressive board that will help you work towards becoming an advanced or expert rider.
The best thing about any intermediate snowboard is that it is versatile enough to be used in advanced and challenging situations while also forgiving enough to allow you to grow.About Lorraine