If you subscribe to the mag, you’ll recognize this list. In every issue we round up a few boards in the Gear section from each genre for you to consider when purchasing. In this Round Up from the April issue, we focused on boards that excelled on rails. Take a look at our list and decide what you’d like to upgrade to in order to get the most out of your season. Enjoy!
When selecting a rail-oriented shape in the Byerly line, it only makes sense to pick the appropriately named Byerly Jib. This shape is unique in the line for one main reason: flex. The Jib has a foam core with three wood stringers and a thinner profile to enhance the tip and tail flex on rails while keeping the board stiffer between your feet. The ABS sidewall and P-Tex base make this board bulletproof on even the harshest of obstacles.
Clay Fletcher’s 2014 board of choice, the CWB Woodro is a full wood core park board that should bring out the mountain man in the best of us. The Woodro features a variable height ABS sidewall running the perimeter of the board that extends three-quarters of an inch into the core for bonk-proof durability. The soft flex pattern and featureless tip and tail set the rider up for a jibby catch-free feel on rails. If you are looking to get your jib on this summer while becoming one with the forest, this is the board you have been looking for.
Kyle Schmidt really hit the nail on the head with this shape. Deep channels run the length of the board and fade out to nothing toward the tip and tail. This allows the board to really grip the water when finless at the park and yet remain catch-free on rails. The tip and tail has been thinned out for deeper presses and given a mellow concave to lock into pipe rails. And if the quality materials and killer graphics weren’t enough to convince you, these babies are handmade right here in the USA.
HYPERLITE FRANCHISE FLX
With the thinnest profile in Hyperlite’s lineup, the Franchise FLX aims to be one of the best park boards that Hyperlite has ever produced. Between the ABS sidewall surrounding the entire perimeter of the board, a fully sintered base material, catch-free featureless tip and tail shape, and the crossover flex core that combines wood and foam to get the best of both worlds when it comes to flex and response, this shape should impress any rider at the park.
The Paradigm, Sean O’Brien’s pro model board, was designed to be versatile enough to ride on both the boat and the cable. This shape ended up quickly turning into O’Brien’s most popular park board for various reasons. Between the wood stringers, tapered thickness for a stiff belly and flexible tips, catch-free featureless convex belly, and lightweight profile, this board stands out as a durable, strong, flexible-where-you-need-it, jib-friendly ride for 2014. Keep an eye out!
LIQUID FORCE RAPH HYBRID
The Raph Hybrid is a park board designed to keep up with phenomenal rail rider Raph Derome without compromising anything. With a similar build to the original and extremely popular Peak Hybrid, this board should live up to your expectations. With wood stringers running the length of the board, this shape aims to keep its liveliness all season long. This thin, light, durable, catch-free board should outperform your expectations at the park this year.
RONIX EL VON VIDEL SHNOOK (Nu Core, Cable Edition)
Ronix really put a lot of thought into this design. The concave bottom tip and tail allow for lots of ollie power combined with an ability to lock into nose and tail presses on narrower and piped rails. Designed with less rocker, it glides across the water easily, which makes the board much faster. The board is also torsionally softer to allow the rider to hold presses longer. The El Von Videl Schnook is definitely a board worth looking into when considering your 2014 park board.
Since the board’s birth, the Shredtown crew has done nothing but prove that there is nowhere that this board can’t go. From sliding on everything from upside down shopping carts to pallets and concrete ledges, this board can take a beating. For 2014, it features a thinner overall core from tip to tail, which allows for more flex on whatever you come into contact with. Slingshot also added a wider outline to the perimeter of the board, increasing the surface area and making it more stable on rails and more absorbent on landings.