Endeavor. Personally they showed up on my radar because Scott Serfas kept posting about them last year. Which is kind of funny because the first thing on their site isn’t a picture but instead it’s a link to their “about us” page. Which isn’t a bad idea, they’re a small brand and telling people who they are is probably legitimately needed. What’s interesting though is the first sentence states “We ride 50+ days a year…” It’s honestly refreshing to see a snowboard company not lie about how much they get to snowboard. It’s fine and good if pro’s can get 100 days a season, but real people with real jobs just don’t have that kind of time. Of course riding is important, but the real work of designing and building boards happens at a desk, not on a lift. So right off the bat- high marks for honesty and showing that they take this board building shit seriously.
They got this right too. Instead of being intentionally vague and cryptic, their board picker just asks you to make two choices. Why style of riding you’re looking to do, and how good you want your board to be. Unfortunately the choices they give you are nonsense- “All Terrain”, “All Terrain Park” and “All Terrain Freestyle”. All Terrain and it’s buzzword cousin All Mountain are just terms marketing departments love that don’t really mean anything. Any board can ride anything, just look at how often one of the CAPiTA x Spring Break “powder” boards show up in a Yawgoons edit. And the construction choices are “E-Tech”, “E-Tech 2”, and “E-Tech 4”. That’s some U2-style math right there.
But the result is hard to fault. You can quickly narrow in on what boards will suit your needs, and then it’s just a question of how good a board you want/how much you’re willing to spend. It’s so straightforward, why isn’t this the standard?
So all and all Endeavor is doing everything right, right? WRONG.
Apparently Endeavor has got in bed with the big B to put all their boards on The Channel, Burton’s ex-Forum technology that let’s you … okay I’ll be honest I don’t know what The Channel actually does. Burton claims it makes it easier to adjust your bindings, but it’s not like that is hard with modern inserts, and it’s not like you couldn’t achieve the same stance options with a standard disc mount. But my problem isn’t so much that The Channel is bad so much as that it’s a proprietary system. Yes it will technically work with most major bindings, but you don’t really want to ride it with anything other than Burton EST bindings. And when you bottleneck something like that, you lose the options for innovation and improvement that an open system allows.
Hold up. I know retro snurfer boards are all the rage right now, but that isn’t a tribute or a reimagining of a past that never was. That’s a straight up Burton Backhill.
So they’re honest about how much work it is to actually make snowboards worth riding and they make it easy to pick which board works for you, but they are letting The Channel out of Burton’s cage and setting it loose on the industry while cloning one of the most iconic boards of all time. Good job Endeavor, but not good enough, even without the butts Bataleon would have held onto the lead.