It’s a difficult task to choose the right snowboards, especially for those new to the sport. However, with a bit of knowledge and research, you can find the perfect board for your needs. In this article, we will discuss the different types of snowboards available, key features to look for, and how to properly size your board.
Understanding The Basic Types Of Snowboards
First, it’s important to understand the different types of snowboards available. There are three main categories: freeride, freestyle, and all-mountain.
Freeride boards are designed for those who want to ride off-piste and in the backcountry. They typically have a directional shape, meaning the nose is longer than the tail, and are stiffer in flex. This allows for better stability and control at high speeds and in deep powder.
Freestyle boards, on the other hand, are designed for park riding and performing tricks. They have a twin shape, meaning the nose and tail are the same lengths and have a softer flex. This allows for easier maneuverability and flexibility when performing tricks.
These boards are best for playful rides in the park. Due to their lightweight and relatively short, they make it easier for riders that want to push their limits in terrain parks.
All-mountain boards are a combination of the two, designed for riders who want to ride both on and off-piste. Generally regarded as the best type of board to face any terrain and weather conditions, they are the most reliable when you’re riding on the backcountry, park, and pipes, as well as groomed runs. They have a directional shape and medium flex, allowing for a balance of stability and maneuverability.
Other Types of Boards to Consider
Powder boards are best used when you plan to ride on the deep powder. The board is designed specifically with these conditions in mind, from the flex of the board to the location of the binding inserts and the shape of the nose.
Splitboards are best for backcountry-specific activities as they can be split in half to form two skis. They allow you to climb backcountry slopes that are often untracked. Once you’re ready, simply reconnect them back together to form a board and ride down the slope or mountain!
The Board’s Key Features
Next, you’ll want to consider the key features of a snowboard. The length, width, shape, flex, and camber are all important factors to consider.
Length: The length of a snowboard should be chosen based on your weight, riding style, and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on. A longer board will provide more stability at high speeds, while a shorter board will be more maneuverable.
When it comes to picking boards with the right lengths, the rule of thumb is that if you stood on its tail, the nose of the board should reach between your nose and chin. Of course, you can always use size charts with recommended rider weights for more accuracy.
Width: The width of a snowboard should be chosen based on the size of your boots. A board that is too narrow will cause your toes and heels to hang over the edges, while a board that is too wide will make it difficult to control.
When you have a board with the right width, you’ll notice your boots extending just slightly over the board’s edges. You don’t want to let too much of your boots hang off the board as they could be dragged while on the snow because it can cause you to lose speed and control.
Shape: The shape of a snowboard refers to the directionality of the board. As discussed earlier, freeride boards have a directional shape, freestyle boards have a twin shape, and all-mountain boards have a directional shape with a twin flex.
If you’re aiming for carving at high speeds then you’ll want to choose a directional board. Planning for some grinding on pipes? Take the true twin boards instead.
Flex: The flex of a snowboard refers to how stiff or soft the board is. A stiffer flex will provide more stability and control, while a softer flex will be more maneuverable and forgiving. The flex should be chosen based on your riding style and skill level.
Camber: The camber of a snowboard refers to the curve of the board when laid flat on the ground. There are three main types of camber: traditional camber, rocker, and flat. Traditional camber provides the most pop and edge control, while rocker and flat provide a more forgiving ride.
Choosing the right camber and rocker profiles depends on your style. If you plan to spend most, if not all of your time going down groomed runs then a cambered board is the better choice. Rocker boards are better suited for riding on soft snow.
Size Does Matter
Finally, it’s important to properly size your snowboard. The general rule is to choose a board that comes up somewhere between your chin and nose when you stand it on its tail. However, it’s always best to consult with a professional or try the board out before making a purchase.
In conclusion, choosing the right snowboard is an important decision that will greatly impact your overall experience on the mountain. By understanding the different types of snowboards available, key features to look for, and how to properly size your board, you’ll be able to find the perfect board for your needs. Remember to always consult with a professional and try out different boards before making a final decision. Happy riding!