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Weston Japow Review

A superior swallowtail snowboard for the steepest terrain and deepest snow
weston japow snowboard women review
Credit: Weston
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Price:  $629 List
Pros:  Fantastic for powder, phenomenal float
Cons:  Not as versatile as other options, not as playful
Manufacturer:   Weston
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 30, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Edge Hold - 25% 8.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 10.0
  • Stability - 20% 8.0
  • Playfulness - 20% 6.0
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 5.0

Our Verdict

While the Weston Japow is far from being an all-mountain quiver killer, it is a truly excellent board for the biggest pow days. This fast and aggressive board is a blast for big mountain riding. It has great edge hold and is stable at speed. However, it is relatively limited compared to most of the other boards we have tested when it comes to being a true all-mountain board. It's not the most playful board out there and doesn't have a ton of pop, but it's hard to beat when the conditions are right.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on September 30, 2022, to showcase the Japow's current graphics.

Compare to Similar Products

 
weston japow snowboard women review
This Product
Weston Japow
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $629 List$500.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$629.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$499.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$700 List
$699.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Fantastic for powder, phenomenal floatFantastic all-around board, great in powderUnmatched pop, great edge hold, supremely stableFast, fun to rideFantastically floaty, likes to go fast, stays stable
Cons Not as versatile as other options, not as playfulNot the best beginner boardNot the best board for powderNot the best edge hold, struggles to float on the deepest daysNot great with groomers, much more suited for advanced riders
Bottom Line A superior swallowtail snowboard for the steepest terrain and deepest snowIf you want the best of the best all-mountain board, it’s hard to find a better optionEarning the highest honor, it did exceptionally well in all our testsA twin board for aggressive riders but definitely isn’t for everyoneShould be your first choice if you are planning on diving into the deepest snow
Rating Categories Weston Japow Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Capita Birds of a F... Lib Tech T.Rice Orca
Edge Hold (25%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Powder Performance (20%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
10.0
Stability (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Playfulness (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Pop and Jumping (15%)
5.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Weston Japow Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Capita Birds of a F... Lib Tech T.Rice Orca
Shape Directional Directional Twin Asymmetrical True Twin Directional
Camber/Rocker Camber-Pow Rocker Nose Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid
Flex 6/10 7/10 4/10 5/10 7/10
Tested Length 154 155 148.5 152 147
Measured Weight (Tested Length) 6 lbs. 5.4 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 5.8 lbs.
Available Lengths 154, 159, 164, 169 146, 149, 152, 155 142.5, 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5 140, 142, 144, 146, 148, 150, 152, 154 138, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 159, 162
Core Material Poplar and bamboo wood Poplar, paulownia, and bamboo wood Aspen, Colombian Gold, and paulownia wood P2 Superlight Core Aspen and paulownia wood
Waist Width 25.6 cm 24.4 cm 24.2 cm 24.4 cm 25.7 cm
Radius 6.6 7.3 8.2/7.9 7.8 7

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Weston Japow is many things, but a solid park or freestyle board isn't one of them. It excels in the deep snow and is fun on natural features but we would strongly recommend you stay out of the park.

Performance Comparison


weston japow snowboard women review - the large nose and setback stance let the japow slice through fresh...
The large nose and setback stance let the Japow slice through fresh snow like a samurai.
Credit: David Wise

Edge Hold


For our first metric, we rated and compared how well each board bites into firm snow while carving at speed, which is responsible for 25% of the final score for each board. While icy groomers are far from what this board is designed for, it fared surprisingly well.


The Japow isn't an exceptionally stiff board, but the bamboo and poplar core with reinforcing stringers made from carbon is more than sturdy enough to carve down some groomers without issues. It's quick and responsive edge to edge, letting you cut banked turns smoothly and effortlessly.

weston japow snowboard women review - this board does a good job of biting into firmer snow.
This board does a good job of biting into firmer snow.
Credit: David Wise

This snowboard is made for powder — no denying that — but it holds its own in icy conditions as well. However, we can't guarantee that you won't get some rather odd looks from the lift if you are ripping groomers on Japow when it's so clearly made for the deepest of snowfalls.

weston japow snowboard women review - this board was designed for powder and it shows.
This board was designed for powder and it shows.
Credit: David Wise

Powder Performance


We were exceptionally excited to see how the Japow handled deep powder, with our series of powder tests responsible for 20% of the final score for each snowboard. As expected, the Japow completely killed it, delivering one of the best performances we have seen from just about any snowboard when it comes to deep snow.


The binding inserts are set back on this board, creating a much larger surface area under the nose of the board than its tail. The Japow has a taper running the length of the board, making it hard to keep this board from planing and floating to the top of deep powder.

weston japow snowboard women review - the swallowtail helps lift the nose of the board and maintain the...
The swallowtail helps lift the nose of the board and maintain the perfect angle when riding on the deepest days.
Credit: David Wise

The deep swallowtail keeps the tail of the board down and helps maintain the perfect angle for slicing through deep snow like the samurai sword printed on the top sheet.

weston japow snowboard women review - we rarely felt nervous from chatter or speed wobbles on the japow.
We rarely felt nervous from chatter or speed wobbles on the Japow.
Credit: David Wise

Stability


Next, we moved back to the groomers to see how well each board handled when we opened up the throttle. This metric accounts for 20% of the Japow's overall score. While this board might not be our first choice for setting any speed records, it did a fine job when riding at top speed.


This medium flex board didn't give us any major issues with chatter or wobble at high speed. It offers plenty of control and is responsive to ride when jamming down steep runs, giving us plenty of confidence to let the Japow rip.

weston japow snowboard women review - the setback stance on this board can feel a little awkward at first...
The setback stance on this board can feel a little awkward at first if you are really ripping down groomers.
Credit: David Wise

However, the setback stance can feel a little awkward at higher speeds until you get used to it.

weston japow snowboard women review - the japow isn't the most playful board but isn't so stiff that you...
The Japow isn't the most playful board but isn't so stiff that you can't do a press.
Credit: David Wise

Playfulness


While the Japow delivered excellent performances in our first three metrics, it faltered a little in these last two assessments. It's plenty playful on powder days but can't quite match some of the springier boards if the snow isn't fresh.


The Japow isn't so stiff that you can't do a press with it — with the setback stance aiding in this — but it isn't ideal for this by any means. This board is solid for freeriding but falters in the park for sure.

weston japow snowboard women review - we liked the board for launching off natural features but wouldn't...
We liked the board for launching off natural features but wouldn't really want it in the park.
Credit: David Wise

Pop and Jumping


As mentioned above, we would strongly discourage you from taking this board in the park. It does fine off natural features in wide-open terrain, but this board definitely wants to float more than it wants to fly.


While you can ollie, and the reinforced tail does stomp landings acceptably well with this board, it really feels like you are forcing this board to do something that it simply doesn't want to do. Our advice is to stick with the Japow for the deepest days and leave the tricks to other boards.

Value


Unfortunately, the Japow isn't a great bargain option. It's a far cry from a quiver killer and usually has a higher price tag to boot. If you are shopping on a budget, then we would suggest going with a more versatile board.

Conclusion


As the name would suggest, the Japow is a practically unbeatable option if you are riding in Japan-like conditions. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury to routinely ride snowfall similar to Hokkaido and would be better served by a more generalist all-mountain snowboard. It's a great addition to your snowboarding collection for advanced riders but probably won't become your daily go-to board.

Marissa Fox
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