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Snoplanks Model A Review

Quality construction with a versatile and predictable shape
Snoplanks Model A
Photo: Snoplanks
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Price:  $850 List
Pros:  Progessive flex, edge hold on firm snow, switch performance, stability
Cons:  Expensive, hard to butter
Manufacturer:   Snoplanks
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2020
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Edging - 25% 9
  • Float in Powder - 20% 6
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9
  • Playfulness - 20% 6
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Snoplanks Model A is built to go big and fast. It has an all-mountain freeride design to support you when you want to send it. Its bamboo construction has a progressive flex that can blast through chunder and pop high. It has an energetic and responsive ride that is best for advanced riders. The Model A is for advanced riders who want to add a freestyle flair to the mountain and be able to send the resort's gnarliest lines.

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Snoplanks Model A
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Snoplanks Model A
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Price $850 List$502.46 at Backcountry
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Pros Progessive flex, edge hold on firm snow, switch performance, stabilityFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulGreat value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphicGreat value, powder and park, playful, nimble
Cons Expensive, hard to butterSwitch performanceTopsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slipperyCan slip on hardbackCan slip on hard-pack, hard to maintain long radius turns on heels
Bottom Line Quality construction with a versatile and predictable shapeOur first choice that we would recommend to anyone on the hunt for a new rideHas a playful merit to its high-performance abilitiesPorsche performance at Honda pricesOne shape that can do it all
Rating Categories Snoplanks Model A Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Jones Frontier Ride Warpig
Edging (25%)
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Float In Powder (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Stability At Speed (20%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Playfulness (20%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Pop And Jumping (15%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Snoplanks Model A Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Jones Frontier Ride Warpig
Riding Style All Mountain Alternative Freeride Freeride All Mountain Alternative Freeride
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Soft Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Directional Rocker
Flex Stiff Stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 6.91 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.44 (lb) 6.2 (lb)
Tested Length 158 cm 151 cm 156 cm 159 cm 151 cm
Available Lengths 149, 154, 158, 162 cm 151, 154, 157 cm 144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162 cm 152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W cm 142, 148, 151, 154, 158 cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Bambooyah Carbon-wrapped wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Wood Wood
Waist Width 26 cm 26.6 cm 25.6 cm 25.4 cm 26.5 cm
Radius Tapered 6.5 m 7.5 m 7.5 m 5.4/6.5 m
Taper 0 mm 6 mm 20 mm 0 mm 10 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Model A is a longstanding hard-charger and versatile board. For 2021 it has received a redesign to bring out even more potential from this flagship model. The Model A has received moderate shape changes to achieve more directionality. It now features a moderately blunted tail and a well-blended longer nose, both of which should help powder performance. It still employs a camber profile and is now complemented with a longer sidecut.

Part of the complete redesign is a new hickory top sheet. Hickory is an uncommon material in snowboard construction. Snoplanks states the natural stiffness, hardness, toughness, and strength is not found in any other commercial wood. To top of the redesign, the Model A has a new core layup. The bamboo core now uses poplar stringers and a full layer of carbon. This should make the board a little bit stiffer and increase the levels of pop and stability derived from this board. The following review is from our hands-on testing before this redesign took place.

Handmade in Bend, Oregon, the Model A has an edge to it. It brings the progressive and lively characteristics of bamboo into an all-mountain freestyle/ ride package. Its seeming burly construction seems to have your back no matter how large you send that cat-track or how bumpy the landing is.

Performance Comparison


Strong edge hold from the Snoplanks Model A.
Strong edge hold from the Snoplanks Model A.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Edging


The Snoplank A is a beast on edge. However, you don't have to work hard to get it there. This board was easy to get on edge and transition from heel to toe. The Model A board likes to ride and turn fast, and it favors medium and long radius turns at higher speeds. The strong, soft camber profile is reinforced with carbon and fiberglass provides support and stability when mashing through crud.

The medium to stiff camber ride provides knife-like edge hold in firm conditions. The profile of the board maintains a connected feeling with the snow. You can feel the entire edge working to provide security. Sounds pretty good, right? Just wait till you hear about the bamboo.

Bamboo has a progressive flex. This means the more you flex it, the stiffer it gets. We like to think of this as a powerband on a dirt-bike. You can cruise in the regular range, but if you really engage the throttle, the RPM's kick up and amplified power. The turning experience of the Model A is similar because of the bamboo. The bamboo had more acceleration out of turns more than your standard wood core. The energy built up throughout the core was amplified in the "power band" for accelerated turn finishes. This was a very unique feeling to the snowboard, which differentiates it amongst other models on the market.

Based on this board's stiffness and sidecut, shorter radius turns required more technique and strength than a softer board with rocker in the nose. Overall it has a lively edging style that prefers a high speed and longer turns.

Action Jackson is loving the longer radius turn of the Model A.
Action Jackson is loving the longer radius turn of the Model A.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Float in Powder


The Model A is designed to perform in all conditions, and powder is no exception. Despite having a camber profile, this board floats well. This is due to the wider waist width and 12 mm taper. The wider waist width works to increase the surface area, which results in added floatation. The taper works to keep the nose up by naturally directing the rider's weight to the back of the snowboard.

We were always excited to ride this all-terrain thrasher in powder. However, it wouldn't be our first choice for powder days based on the slightly above average amounts of powder floatation.

Stablity at Speed


Zoom Zoom. Whether it's ice, moguls, or slush bumps, the Model A didn't seem to care what type of surface was below us. Its medium-stiff camber profile showed no signs of chatter when straight-lining. Overall we found this to be a very confidence-inspiring ride for straight line or landing whether the terrain is smooth or bumpy.

We couldn't find the speed threshold on the Model A.
We couldn't find the speed threshold on the Model A.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Playfulness


This board means business; it's meant to be your everyday board and versatile, and it can handle variable conditions and chunder. We could hit jumps in the park, slash berms, and pop methods off side hits around the mountain. It still likes to play around. We found we were able to sit into our butters and the bamboo core really locked us. The stiffer flex requires a little more effort to lock in a press. The board has a freestyle meaning to the term playfulness. Our testers found it more difficult to maintain a playful style at lower speeds and slash turns at medium speeds. That is because it is built to handle and excel at the expert terrain.

With the right technique, it's easy to disengage the edge to slash...
With the right technique, it's easy to disengage the edge to slash out turns.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Popping and Jumping


Stability and power are two strengths of this board. It has a subtle directional shape that allows for plenty of tail to pop off and land on. The bamboo core has the same amplifying effect with popping as it does turning. With some leg strength and technique, you can pop this thing to the moon — although it can prove challenging to harvest this benefit without these components.

Value


As with any craft product, the Model A comes at a higher price tag than most solid boards, primarily because they're using very high-quality materials manufactured by hand in the US. There is definitely a great ethos to supporting brands such as Snoplanks; they are snowboarders making high-quality snowboards. The feeling and ride of the Model A is truly unique, and something you can only get from this brand. Conceptually, this is awesome and adds value to the product for certain individuals. Numerically speaking, the price to performance of other boards provide a higher score at a substantially lower price.

Conclusion


The Model A provides a distinct feeling that is exclusive to Snoplanks and their construction. This board is built to be your everyday board that can do whatever you ask and do it well. It provides an incredibly stable ride, which increases your confidence and security when conditions are not the best. Its medium-stiff flex (from the bamboo core) blasts through what is in your way, and it has a versatile directional shape ideal for takeoffs and landings. This board is ideal for a rider who wants to push themselves in advanced terrain and put a freestyle flair all over the mountain. We wouldn't recommend it for beginners because of its love for speed and the progressive nature of its core and profile.

The Model A chopping up the firm spring corduroy.
The Model A chopping up the firm spring corduroy.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Isaac Laredo