Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at snowboarding, you surely need to find the best fit for your requirement if you want to have a memorable experience playing the sport. There are many different types of snowboards designed especially for different types of terrains. Hence, when it comes to choosing the right snowboard, apart from thinking about your level of expertise in snowboarding, you also must think about what type of terrain you prefer.
Snowboards not only vary in quality but also vary in length, width, flex, and many more. In this guide, we will provide you complete information on snowboards, their types and help you figure out which one will be a best fit for you.
We have listed 5 types of snowboards below. Let’s make sure you choose the right one to make your snowboarding experience a hassle free and memorable one.
- All Mountain Snowboard
- Split board
All Mountain Snowboard
All-Mountain snowboards are the most popular snowboards. These are specially designed to work on each and every type of terrain. It doesn’t matter if you are snowboarding on the mountain, slide on a powder surface, want to carve perfect curves, or go through bumps and lumps, this snowboard is a perfect fit for all.
Many snowboarders prefer buying an all-mountain snowboard because it is suitable for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an expert. This type of snowboard has a directional shape that clearly states that the tip of the snowboard is different from its tail.
Typically, these snowboards have a flatter and narrower tail than the tip. Using a directional shape makes the snowboard more balanced in the tail area. In addition to its shape, it can easily be ridden backwards with the help of a tail.
Freestyle snowboards are generally small and lightweight, and are particularly well-designed for snowboarding in half-pipes and terrain parks. These snowboards are great for playing with tricks and techniques.
If you want to use a snowboard to travel fast through curves, then freestyle is not an option as they come with a limited edge grip. Many freestyle snowboards come with directional twin tips or simple twin tips. Hence, it is the best snowboard for beginners to move back and forth easily.
Freeride snowboard is a popular snowboard type among people who love a more adventurous snowboarding experience. This snowboard is wildly popular among snowboarders who like terrains that are less populated and allow more freedom to carve their own way.
A freeride snowboard is stiffer than other types of snowboards and hence, it allows more stability at higher speeds. Further, it has a slight chamber in its profile, allowing better edge hold. Lastly, this snowboard has a tapered directional shape. This allows you to go down the hill in a much more aggressive manner. Hence, if you’re an experienced snowboarder and are looking for some adventurous experience, this snowboard is most preferrable for you.
A powder snowboard is the best choice for deep powdered snow, where you can glide on the surface without submerging in the snow. It has a well balanced design to distribute your weight evenly and enable better surfing experience. Everything, including the nose and tail, is designed to support agile snowboarding in deeper snows. The design also prioritizes the flex of the board that is suitable for deep powdered snow. Many powder snowboards feature rockers to allow better floatation. Hence, if you’re in a region that experiences heavy snowfall, this snowboard is the best choice for you. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you need this snowboard to enjoy a hassle-free experience of the sport.
Split boards are best for snowboarding in the backcountry. These amazing snowboards can be cut into two halves for making it two skis, and later on, you can join both of them to make one snowboard while coming downhill.
It is the best snowboard for people who love exploring new slopes and love to adventure new backcountry areas.
Now that we know the different types of snowboard present in the market, the question we must answer is: What are the factors we must consider while choosing a snowboard?
Factors to Keep in Mind While Selecting a Snowboard
Type of Snowboard
As we read above, there are different types of snowboards depending upon the use. Hence, you must choose the snowboard according to the terrain and the snow conditions of the place where you are planning to snowboard. Apart from that, choosing a snowboard based on your skillset is also important. For instance, if you’re a beginner, you might not want to choose a free-ride snowboard. However, an all mountain snowboard may be the best option for you.
Camber and Rocker
There are many variables to choose from, when it comes to the chamber and rocker. If you are looking for a perfect snowboard to carve fast on groomed runs, then a snowboard with a camber is a perfect choice. On the other hand, if you are planning to carve on soft snows, then nothing is better than a flat rocker snowboard.
When you have the right width of the snowboard, it will make you feel more comfortable as your feet will move slightly towards the edges of the board. If you overhang, then you can easily lose control and it can make you drag. Hence, you should use a snowboard height and width tracker to choose your ideal choice.
When choosing the right snowboard, the shape plays a vital role in deciding the type of experience you have. If you want a snowboard that can aid high-speed curving, you must invest in a twin-shape snowboard that can help you ride well on park/pipe terrains. On the other hand, if you want a snowboard for mountain terrains, you can get a directional twin-shaped snowboard for mountain terrains.
The size of the snowboard is defined according to the ability level of the snowboarder i.e., beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Beginners should adhere to the standard requirements for snowboards such as length, width, and weight. You can check some soft boards as they help beginners get down the hill quickly by softer flexing.
As an intermediate, if you’re trying to stay within the size and weight range of your snowboard, using a board height and width calculator will easily tell you what exactly to look for.
By the time you reach an advanced level of snowboarding, you might already know the right type of board you need from the experience you have gained. However, do check on technical specifications such as side cut, fiberglass and others. You also need to pay detailed attention to the board rather than just the brand name so that it helps in improving your overall abilities.
While choosing the best snowboard, you need to consider its length. The length of the snowboard depends on your height and weight. Along with that, you need to also consider what type of snowboarding you want to do using that particular snowboard.
When snowboarding was new, many people used to check its length by standing boards on their tails at the bottom and checking its length according to their height. The nose of the snowboard must reach somewhere between your nose and chin, if yes then it is the right size of the snowboard for you.
Snowboard by Gender and Age
Usually, the snowboards which are specifically designed for women have narrow waist widths as they need to fit according to the smaller size and smaller feet. The Women’s snowboards are of soft flex and less camber.
While getting a snowboard for your children, you must get a bigger or oversized snowboard. As we all know that kids grow fast, they will adjust to bigger sizes and will upgrade their snowboarding skills.
Snowboard Camber and Rocker
When you have a snowboard, just keep it down on the snow and check its shape from corners. There are many snowboards that are rising from the middle above the snow whereas other middles are flat all over the snow. This difference is known as Camber and Rocker of a snowboard.
Camber helps in providing a stable ride. It also helps in offering a livelier ride and responds well on groomed runs and even on turns. These snowboards work well for professionals and speed-oriented snowboarders.
A flat snowboard is the one that doesn’t rise from the middle. Flat snowboards are perfect for floating at ease and taking quick turns.
Rocker snowboards have upwards tips and tails hence, they are perfect for powder snow and while jibing in parks. These snowboards are softer than camber and give a soft and easy feel while turning. Novice riders prefer to get rocker snowboards.
Camber and Rocker
Camber and rocker snowboards are the perfect combinations of both, this snowboard gives a great edge of camber underfoot and best for easy turning and floating towards the tip and tail.
Flat and Rocker
Flat and rocker snowboards basically feature flat in the middle section and rocker from the outer section. It gives a perfect hold on harder snow. It is best for easier turning around and floating in soft snow.
Snowboards come in different widths among which one suitable for your height, weight and shoe size resides. To find your perfect fit, you will have to place the snowboard boots on the waist of the snowboard to check how it fits. To get the best and right size, you must check that snowboard boots need to move slightly towards the edges of the snowboard, as it supports best turning.
While getting the best snowboard, you must choose an ideal shape for the type of the terrain you plan to ride on.
Snowboards that have directional shapes are best for high-speed turning and carvings. Directional snowboards are built to support single sided turning and carving. All freeride snowboards and all-mountain snowboards are directional shape snowboards.
True twins shaped snowboards are perfect for riding in pipelines or parks. they are symmetrical and do not make any difference while riding forward or backward.
A directional twin snowboard has a symmetrical nose and tail. However, the difference between directional twin and directional snowboards is that they tail might be stiffer than the nose. These are the best snowboards for mountain riders, parks, and groomers too.
While you purchase a snowboard, you must also check its flex. Snowboard has two different flexes that vary from its length and width. You must test the board’s flex before you start riding.
Snowboards that have soft flex, have a tendency to flex more than compared to other snowboards. They are also easier to use. If you are a person who loves to make turns without any resistance, then prefer taking a soft flex snowboard.
If you are a beginner or a lightweight person, then this design will suit you the best and will allow you to move freely. Soft flex boards will also suit park riders while riding in nature.
Stiff flex snowboards are not easy to handle, as compared to soft flex boards because they are hard. But these boards help in maintaining higher speed. If you want to ride at a fast pace then buy a stiff flex board especially if you are racing.
The one thing you must know while purchasing a stiff flex board is the experience you need to handle such boards. It is perfect for professionals and as these boards don’t turn easily, you need to know some special skills.
Always remember, a snowboard must have flex on both sides, if it is on one side, you can end up in trouble.
The last thing you must consider is the snowboard’s edge and its radius which have a major impact on your ride. Usually, riders have a special name for Snowboard’s edge, i.e., sidecut radius. By edge, you can define whether you will have tight turns or broader turns.
A sidecut has the potency to affect your turn’s accuracy and edge holding capacity. A sidecut also determines the grip your snowboard will have while making a turn.
So now that you know the different types as well as the features of snowboards, you can easily consider them when buying the best snowboard according to your requirement. Can you now decide what kind of snowboard is right for you? When you’re getting started with snowboarding, feel free to experiment with different types to gain your footing. As you get more experienced, you will become more comfortable with the different types of snowboards and understand which one is the most suitable for you.