Shred Test 2015: Pow, Corduroy and Charging Through Chop

To Whom It May Concern,

We speak on behalf of snowboarders everywhere when we say, “We shred and we have high standards.” We’re picky, well versed and eccentric. Twenty years of a pastime will do that to you. If it’s not our profession, it might as well be. For some of us, it is. Regardless, it’s our favorite thing to do, and this week it’s all we’re doing.

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[Photo] Matt Berglund

In and out. In and out. One Track Mind, the snowboard shop at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, is seeing more foot traffic this week than a L.A. Swap Meet. There’s gear everywhere. More gear than we’ve ever seen at this annual test—must be a sign that backcountry snowboarding is headed in the right direction. Riders are coming and going, assembling and disassembling. Splits, bindings, boots and skins are on the floor, hanging from boot dryers and lockers. We’re tripping over all sorts of equipment. And it’s awesome!

Testers that participate in the annual Board & Gear Test commit to a minimum of “as many boards as I can,” and they’re held to it. Sounds pretty dreamy, right? Ride from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. four days in a row, and you’ll be exhausted. Then go another three days. Fortunately, we have photographers to document the events so we don’t lose track of all the calamity (and fun).

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[Photo] Matt Berglund

We’re shredding pow, carving corduroy, traversing slick ice and charging through chop. Conditions couldn’t be better for an all-mountain snowboard test. If it were all powder, we’d give every plank a 10. “That board was sick!” would become cliché. And that wouldn’t be legit. This equipment needs to be put through the wringer so we can sufficiently report the facts. Crispy groomers, monster moguls, tight trees, steep straight-lines, airs to flat, jibs, jabs, stumps and jumps; Crested Butte is absolutely littered with obstacles, and we have to thank all the brands who sent us their brand new gear to put on trial. We’ll do our best to return it in ‘fair’ condition.

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[Photo] Adam Broderick

Tomorrow we wake up and hit the skintrack. After that, we’ll hit another. Then it’s supposed to dump a few tons of flakes on us, so we’ll bust out the fatties. Expect an update in a few days…after we return from The Whiteroom.

Sincerely,

The 2015 Backcountry Board & Gear Test Team

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