Academy Snowboards Master Series Chris Roach Snowboard Review (2019-2020)

Academy Snowboards has been building quality camber profile snowboards since 2002. Starting in 2018 Academy partnered with Never Summer Industries to ensure long term quality, durability and consistency in their product line continues for years to come. The Master Series, by Chris Roach, is Academy Snowboards freeride and all mountain series snowboard that is right at home at your local mountain.

Snowboard Tested and Rider Specs:

  • Academy Master Series Chris Roach 2019-2020
  • Master Series Chris Roach Size: 157cm (waist width 25.5)
  • Bindings: Rome Katana (medium)
  • Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV size 9
  • Stance: 22.5″
  • Rider Height: 5’9″
  • Rider Weight: 180

Conditions/Terrain Tested: groomers, park, and all mountain terrain (carving)

Key Features from Academy Snowboards:

  • Directional Shape
  • Ultralight Core
  • Carbon V Tech
  • Hyper-Cord Topsheet
  • Sintered P-Tex Sidewalls
  • Durasurf 4501 Sintered Base
  • Featherweight dampening system
  • Underfoot Balancing Stabilizers
  • Micro Camber construction with early rise tip and tail
  • Vario Power Grip Sidecut
  • Full Wrap Metal Edges
  • Set Back Stance
  • Made in the USA at the Never Summer Industries Factory Denver, CO
  • Sizes: 155, 157 and 161
  • Flex 7 out of 10 (Medium Flex)
  • A percentage of the sales of the master series boards will go back to the


I’ve ridden a few different boards from Academy Snowboards and I’ve been impressed by how awesome micro camber construction works in their line. The Chris Roach Master series continues that tradition with an O.G. directional shape that’s built for all mountain ripping with set back stance options for powder days. The Chris Roach Master Series catches your eye immediately with the surf influenced graphic on the hyper-cord topsheet it’s a very dreamy topsheet material that you have to see in person to truly appreciate. The construction of the Chris Roach is solid with p-tex sidewalls, carbon V stringers, and full wrap edges made in the Never Summer Factory in Denver, CO so you know it’s built to last several seasons, it’s fairly light for all the tech packed into this board which is probably the most tech I’ve seen Academy put into any board in their line up. This will equate to a higher price point for the 19-20 Master Series Chris Roach as compared to other boards in their line up, also a percentage of each sale will go back to the (Encouraging and inspiring youth development by sharing authentic mountain and outdoor experiences) which is pretty great in my opinon.
This board can hold its own all over the mountain from powder to park and carving on groomers it’s all a blast on the Roach. I felt confident this board would be my go to ride for all mountain days. This board is built to take on powder days and even though we didn’t have much, I felt it would float really well if I had the opportunity to ride it in on a pow day. Even with a directional shape most riders should not have any problem riding the Chris Roach switch. The early rise tip and tail take a bit more effort to pop an ollie on but it’s super fun to jib and butter all over the mountain. I heard rumors that the Chris Roach might be a bit stiffer in the nose than the prototype I rode, and I felt it was great with the flex rating of 7 as it is, hoping it doesn’t change much in the production run since it was such a fun board to ride.

Overall Impressions:
The Master Series by Chris Roach has a fun directional shape with a surfy feel when carving and would serve anyone well as an all mountain board. I felt this board could take on most any condition you could throw at it, and even though I didn’t get a pow day on this board, I’m confident it would float like a dream. For those all mountain riders that want a unique shape this board will serve you well for years to come!


  • Fun Shape and Graphics
  • Solid Construction
  • Carves Great


  • None


Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Performance:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Design:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Overall:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

2 thoughts on “Academy Snowboards Master Series Chris Roach Snowboard Review (2019-2020)”

  1. Yo Chris!
    I’m seriously considering this board as a daily driver, the 157. I’m 5′ 11″, 165 lbs, 10″ boot. I’m also considering a couple other boards to choose from: lib tech Orca 153, Warpig 152, or the Mind or Ultra Mind Expander. Having a hard time looking past these short, volume shifted boards that invoke the surf feel. I live in Santa Cruz and have a surfing foundation. When I surf I like to pump deliberate long carving turns on the faces of waves to build up speed if need be. My question to you is, will this Master’s series board feel more like a traditional camber board that’s been around for awhile and therefore not have the benefits of these other boards provide, such as float in powder and surfy feel in groomers? Or will this board mimic the feeling of pumping long carves on a wave and also be more versatile across the board than these other boards. Seems like the Masters will carve and hold a rail so I’ll be able to get that big bottom turn feeling that creates speed. I demoed the Warpig last year and was blown away at how fun it was. Also, what about in the trees? Do you think the lib tech and the mind expander are too specialized compared to the Masters to be daily drivers? I’m curious to read your thoughts.
    Thanks for your time

    1. Yo Ebbtide!
      First thank you for such a descriptive question you really gave me a lot to think about. So, I have ridden most of the boards you’ve referenced above, except for the Ultra Mind Expander. Knowing that, I believe the short and wide boards truly become very specific for usage in your quiver. I would use the Orca on deeper pow days, sized down, so it’s nimble and floaty for example. The Warpig could be a good all around daily driver and will definitely be a good option on pow days, so it’s a contender for a daily driver. The Master Series in my opinion, is a great daily driver with traditional camber characteristics that will let you do what you want, draw out those carves all over the mountain. It’s really nimble too. I didn’t get to ride it in much pow (we did have a few inches and it floated well in those conditions). This board will do it all. I do feel the Master Series will hit the mark as a daily driver, and rip it up in the pow too. Academy builds all their boards to perform well in every condition and I think the Master Series 157 is a great choice as a daily driver. I like the waist width on the Master Series too for your boot size. I always say it’s best to check out a demo day near you if you can, but in 2020 that could be tough. I hope that helps, and if there’s anything else I can touch on let me know. Thanks again for the comment!

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