After researching dozens of the top boards, we bought the 9 best women's snowboards on the market to ride side-by-side and find out which board is truly the best. We evaluated and compared how these boards handled across the entire mountain, riding everything from the fluffiest powder days to the iciest groomers. We looked at how playful and maneuverable each board is, as well as how stable they are at the fastest speeds. Check out our comprehensive review to see which snowboards reign supreme, which is the best board for bargain hunters, and which are true quiver-killers. If you're looking for a unisex or men's board, check out our reviews of the best snowboards on the market.Editor's Note: Spring and summer are great times to pick up last season's boards at a deep discount. Our women's snowboard review was updated on May 18, 2023, to ensure product availability.
The 3 Best All Mountain Snowboards for Women of 2023
$385.00 at Backcountry
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|Pros||Fantastic all-around board, great in powder||Unmatched pop, great edge hold, supremely stable||Fast, fun to ride||Cool graphics, fun for freestyle riding||Great float, tons of pop|
|Cons||Not the best beginner board||Not the best board for powder||Not the best edge hold, struggles to float on the deepest days||Not our favorite powder board||Not the best edge hold, could be more playful|
|Bottom Line||If you want the best of the best all-mountain board, it’s hard to find a better option||Earning the highest honor, it did exceptionally well in all our tests||A twin board for aggressive riders but definitely isn’t for everyone||If you want a fun freestyle board that can rip across the entire mountain, this is a good option||A solid all-around board but we wished it had a bit more edge hold|
|Rating Categories||Yes. Hel Yes - Women's||Gnu Ladies Choice||Capita Birds of a F...||Lib Tech No. 43||Jones Twin Sister|
|Edge Hold (25%)|
|Powder Performance (20%)|
|Pop and Jumping (15%)|
|Specs||Yes. Hel Yes - Women's||Gnu Ladies Choice||Capita Birds of a F...||Lib Tech No. 43||Jones Twin Sister|
|Shape||Directional Twin||Asymmetrical||True Twin||Freestyle Twin||Directional Twin|
|Measured Weight (Tested Length)||5.4 lbs.||5.6 lbs.||5.6 lbs.||5.2 lbs.||5.7 lbs.|
|Available Lengths||146, 149, 152, 155||142.5, 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5||140, 142, 144, 146, 148, 150, 152, 154||146, 149, 152||140, 143, 146, 149, 152, 155|
|Core Material||Poplar, paulownia, and bamboo wood||Aspen, Colombian Gold, and paulownia wood||P2 Superlight Core||Aspen and paulownia wood||Paulownia and poplar wood|
|Waist Width||24.4 cm||24.2 cm||24.4 cm||23.9 cm||24.4 cm|
Best Overall Women's Snowboard
Yes. Hel Yes - Women's
If you want an all-mountain charger that will rise to the challenge in any condition, check out the Yes. Hel Yes. We loved this board for its ability to step up in all types of snow, from the most challenging icy chop to the softest champagne pow. The Hel Yes. has the perfect combination of all-mountain versatility, solid handling, and playful fun that even the most aggressive riders will appreciate. It offers some of the best edge hold out of any board we tested and is incredibly stable at high speeds, but offers the perfect amount of surfy float in deep powder.
We had a difficult time finding faults with the Hel Yes. However, this board might be a bit challenging for beginners and probably isn't ideal for riders who plan to spend most of their time in the park. We recommend the Hel Yes. for all-mountain hard-chargers who demand responsiveness and control without sacrificing playfulness and fun.
Read more: Yes. Hel Yes. review
Another Superb Performer
Gnu Ladies Choice
The Gnu Ladies Choice also earned a top-scoring award for its superb performance, tying with the Yes. Hel Yes. for the highest overall score. This is an extremely versatile all-mountain board that cuts through pretty much any type of snow, instills confidence at high speeds, and may be the best freestyle board of the bunch. After all, Jamie Anderson won gold in Pyeongchang riding this model, which also happens to be her signature edition.
This board has a ton of float in powder, but it can't quite compete with some other boards that have a ton of powder-specific design features, like a directional profile and a huge nose. The Gnu Ladies Choice is a true twin tip freestyle board that kills it on pretty much the entire mountain. We would highly recommend this board to almost anyone, hands down.
Read more: Gnu Ladies Choice review
Excellent for Powder
Lib Tech T.Rice Orca
If you are planning on riding in the deepest of deep snow, who better to bring along than a true denizen of the depths? Earning our choice for powder, the Lib Tech T.Rice Orca is our absolute favorite when it comes to riding the fluffy stuff. This board is unmatched when it comes to floating in deep snow, saving your legs, and letting you maximize your powder day. It is also one of the more stable boards — even at high speeds — and has a solid edge.
However, the Orca isn't necessarily the best for intermediate riders. It wants to go fast and be ridden aggressively, and a more novice rider is going to have a hard time checking that impulse. It also isn't as playful and lacks the pop of some of the other boards we have tested. It can also be a little squirrely on uneven terrain. It has enough edge hold that you can still have fun with it on choppy snow, but you can tell that the Orca isn't crazy about icy bumps. Despite these flaws, it's still our go-to board for the days with the deepest dumps, hands-down.
Read more: Lib Tech T.Rice Orca review
Why You Should Trust Us
Before we get to shredding, we pour hours of research into our selection process, comparing specs online and deciding which boards are worthy of purchasing for our review. We've spent nearly 120 hours testing and comparing the boards in this review, riding them in every possible snow condition. We performed a series of maneuvers and tricks with each board in each condition and scored their performance side-by-side. Once we had settled on some potential award winners, we spent some extra time taking those boards out and comparing them head-to-head to truly find out which board is the true all-mountain quiver killer.Our testing of women's snowboards is divided across five rating metrics:
- Edge Hold (25% of total score weighting)
- Powder Performance (20% weighting)
- Stability (20% weighting)
- Playfulness (20% weighting)
- Pop and Jumping (15% weighting)
Our lead snowboard tester, Marissa Fox, has over 25 years of snowboarding experience and has ridden mountains around the world, from Heli-boarding in Canada to shredding Swiss Alps. She is a former professional athlete in big air competitions. We've also consulted with other expert riders on our selection and testing procedures, as well as getting their opinions on the different snowboards and how each one handled in varying conditions.
Analysis and Test Results
To find the best women's-specific snowboard of them all, we began by undertaking an extensive research project to identify all the most promising boards, then bought them all to test side-by-side. Our testing process is divided into five weighted rating metrics. We rated and scored them on everything from stability at speed to playfulness and pop.
While many of these snowboards cost about the same, the Yes. Hel Yes stands out when it comes to getting the best bang for the buck. Right off the bat, it typically has one of the lower retail prices of the group. Additionally, it is one of the best all-around options, riding well across a wide variety of different terrain and snow conditions compared to some of the more niche boards available. This make the Hel Yes one of our favorite boards to recommend to anyone shopping on a limited budget. Our other award winners all cost a bit more, while specialized boards like the Orca and Japow cost a pretty penny and are powder boards. We wouldn't really want to ride these boards in all snow conditions, so a more versatile, well-rounded board gives you a bit more bang for the buck.
By far the most important of our testing metrics, our series of edge hold tests account for 25% of the total score for each board. Having a board that grabs and locks into harder snow and ice is critically important for anyone who isn't exclusively riding freestyle. Freestyle riders will actually detune their edges, so they don't grab when doing a trick or riding a rail or other feature, but they are the exception when it comes to edge hold. Anyone else on the mountain will want a solid edge hold, regardless of whether you are zipping through the trees or carving up groomers.
Aggressive edge hold lets you ride hard and fast on all sorts of terrain. We took each board out in various snow conditions and rated how well they grabbed with both the toeside and heelside edge, paying particular attention to how grabby each board is with hardpack snow, crud, and ice. This was one of the first tests that we did, relying on the factory tuning of each board out of the box. Most newer boards have some sort of serrated edge, marketed under various names — Magne-Traction, Grip-Tech, etc. — and we found this made a huge difference when it came to edge hold, with all the top-scoring boards having some sort of scalloped edge.
Tying for the top spot of the group are the Yes. Hel Yes and Gnu Ladies Choice. These boards grabbed the firmest of snow and ice with ease, and we rarely slipped or got washed out in the course of our testing. The Ladies Choice has serrated edges that saw into icy snow, giving us plenty of confidence to open up the throttle on steep runs and icy groomers.
The Lib Tech No. 43, Weston Japow, and the Lib Tech T. Rice Orca all delivered solid performances in our edge hold tests, grabbing into all but the hardest snow and ice without issue.
The Orca is one of the stiffest boards of the group and is fantastic at cutting through chop, holding an edge exceptionally well — even in very icy conditions. However, there were one or two times where we took a corner a little too fast on steep icy terrain and felt the board begin to slip out from under us, resulting in a couple of tumbles. The Weston Japow isn't a terribly stiff board but does bite into the hardpack surprisingly well. However, we could tell that it's such a powder-specific board that we felt its heart really wasn't in it whenever we took it on icy groomers.
Next, the Jones Twin Sister, Dream Catcher, Arbor Swoon Rocker, and Capita Birds of a Feather all received above-average marks. This group of snowboards all have decent edge hold in most conditions.
However, we noticed some significant slippage when turning if there was an icy patch or uneven chop — enough to cause one or two crashes when we hit an unexpected patch of ice at high speeds.
For our next metric, we moved on to assessing how well each board handled powder. To determine scores, we looked at the amount of float each board had, how it handled, the effort required to turn, and how much fun it was to ride in the deepest powder stashes. Altogether, these tests account for 20% of the final score for each board.
While many of the boards are a total blast to ride in powder, the Weston Japow and the Lib Tech T. Rice Orca both thoroughly impressed us when it came to riding the deepest days. The Orca is a stiff, directional board that offers an insane amount of float and makes powder days an absolute blast. Plus, it has a surfy feel that is very easy to turn, saving your legs and making sure you aren't too tired to check all your favorite stashes.
While the Orca does well in powder, it isn't quite designed to be as powder-specific as the Weston Japow. This directional board has a giant nose with a setback stance and a swallowtail, giving it just about unparalleled float. It's super graceful and easy to turn through the deepest snow, thoroughly enhancing your powder day experience. The Yes. Hel Yes. has a directional, asymmetrical profile.
The Jones Twin Sister has a symmetric twin tip profile, which usually wouldn't yield the most fun on powder days. However, it has a slightly set back stance, helping you keep your weight back and your nose up. The Yes. Hel Yes. and Jones Twin Sister both have great float but get a little more bogged down in the deeper snow, making them more fatiguing to ride on the best pow days.
The Gnu Ladies Choice, Arbor Swoon Rocker, Lib Tech No. 43, and the Jones Dream Catcher all did well in most powder days but began to struggle as the snow got deeper. The Ladies Choice has tons of camber and pop, so it can't match the float and lacks the surfy feel of the big boards.
The Arbor is decently fun in the powder, but its springiness makes it a bit more of a park board than a powder board. The Dream Catcher has tons of float, but it isn't as much fun to ride and can be a bit slow edge to edge when going through the trees. The Lib Tech No 43 has a directional stance and a tapered shape to help it float to the top but lacks the fun surfy feel of some of the top boards. It feels solid and stable while carving in fresh snow, but we just felt like the ride was a little less effortless and more forced compared to some of the other boards.
The Capita Birds of a Feather brought up the rear of the group in our minds when we compared powder performance. It's a camber twin board that fares alright on powder days if you are used to this style of snowboard, but it can take quite a bit of practice to get competent at floating and turning on the deeper days. It's not impossible to get the hang of, but you also would be hard-pressed to keep up with some of the more powder-focused boards, no matter how much you work at it.
Next, we ranked and scored each board on how comfortable we felt when riding it at maximum speed. To test this, we took each board down the steepest groomers we could find, noting if it developed any speed wobbles or other instabilities when on an edge or flat and how it handled any sections with chop or crud.
The Yes. Hel Yes. and Gnu Ladies Choice thoroughly impressed us with their rock-solid stability at speeds. These boards instill a sense of confidence when you open up the throttle and are a ton of fun to go fast on. They never really exhibited any chatter or speed wobble either.
We also like that these boards handled varying snow conditions at higher speeds without any issues, slicing through chop without giving us any cause for concern regarding the stability of the board, and we never felt like they would wash out from under us. These boards delivered a predictable and consistent ride, even at maximum speeds.
The Jones Twin Sister, Lib Tech T. Rice Orca, Lib Tech No. 43, Capita Birds of a Feather all earned great scores for their excellent stability at high speeds. The Twin Sister is on the stiffer side, so it rides with a damper feel that gives it a nice smooth ride. The Orca isn't as stiff as the Twin Sister, but both are awesome at carving at high speed. They just aren't quite as consistent in choppy snow at higher speeds as some of the top boards when it comes to stability. The Capita Birds of a Feather is similar. It does fine when flying down smoother snow but can start flapping a bit if you hit some chewed-up snow.
The Lib Tech No. 43 is very stable when going fast as long as you are on an edge. Its banana-board profile can get a little finicky during the transition between turns if you spend too long going to edge-to-edge — definitely something to watch out for until you get well acquainted with how this board rides.
The Arbor Swoon Rocker is on the softer side and has tons of pop and playfulness, but isn't the best at higher speeds. It tends to start wobbling or bouncing if you open up the throttle.
Next, we moved on to ranking and comparing how much fun it is to ride each board, which accounts for 20% of the overall score. We rode each board all over the mountain, awarding points for how well they spun, flexed, and maneuvered, as well as how enjoyable it was to ride each one.
The Yes. Hel Yes., Lib Tech No. 43, Capita Birds of a Feather, and Gnu Ladies Choice all stand out by offering particularly playful rides. The Hel Yes. is very light and responsive, making it an absolute blast to ride — particularly through dense glades and other off-piste conditions. Riding switch is easy, and overall it does a pretty good job as a freestyle snowboard.
The Gnu Ladies Choice is such an all-around top-notch board that it always seemed to put a smile on our faces whenever we rode it. It is a stiffer board, but it holds presses surprisingly well. You can tell this snowboard simply wants to go fast all the time, and it doesn't put on too shabby of a show if you take it in the terrain park.
The Capita Birds of a Feather is a fun and flexy board that can butter with the best of them. It's nimble and maneuverable, but we did feel the flat sections of this board's profile can dampen its fun factor, depending on your riding style. The Lib Tech No 43. rides almost the same but without the dead spots in its profile. Its centered stance and true twin profile let you effortlessly switch between riding switch and regular, and it's pretty good in the park.
The Twin Sister's rocker-camber-rocker gives it a very cruisy ride that is tons of fun and is an all-around solid park board. The Jones Dream Catcher has a much softer flex. It's a light board that is tons of fun in the park and on natural features. It's also one of the easiest boards to press.
Rounding out the back of the group, we have the T. Rice Orca and Weston Japow. Both are reasonably agile in deep snow, but can't even come close to matching the softer boards when it comes to playfulness.
Pop and Jumping
Our last series of tests rated and compared just how much pop each board has, accounting for the remaining 15% of the final score. We took each board off jumps and kickers, looking at how willing they were to launch to determine scores.
When it comes to becoming airborne, the Gnu Ladies Choice stood out, earning the highest possible score. This board has a ton of pop and wants to launch when you ollie or jump.
The Arbor Swoon Rocker, Capita Birds of a Feather, and the Yes. Hel Yes. also excelled in this metric. These boards all come close to the Ladies Choice but launch just a bit less. The Lib Tech No 43. and Jones Twin Sister are decently springy boards with plenty of pop, but neither of them fly like the Birds of a Feather or the other top boards.
The Dream Catcher doesn't seem to have an innate desire to fly, but you can catch a decent amount of air if the lip is steep enough or ollie if you try hard enough.
The Orca is a heavy board without much pop and seems to remain firmly on the snow. You can get it airborne with tons of speed and effort, but don't expect to fly all that far. The Japow can be fun to jump off natural features on a powder day and is stiff enough to stomp most landings, but its swallowtail can make it a bit weird if you decide to press or ollie it for some reason.
Hopefully, our review has given you a better idea of which board is best for your needs. One board may not be able to do it all if you're a multi-disciplinarian and love to rip groomers, float in deep powder, shred the steeps, and play in the park, but some of these boards come pretty darn close, and we were incredibly surprised at the versatility of some of the top boards. If you're seeking out some new threads for the slopes, take a look at our picks for the best women's ski jackets and the top ski helmets. To keep your legs warm, check out our review of the best women's ski pants (yes, they work for boarders too).
— Marissa Fox
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