The shorter outsoles of a low profile boot allow a rider to ride a narrower snowboard. Don't forget the appropriate avalanche safety equipment and skills, knowledge of the terrain, weather and snow conditions plus climbing skins when you head out on your splitboard.
Each snowboard brand has its own look and feel. Since style is such an important part of snowboarding, companies have made an endless amount of snowboard graphics to choose from.
If you are getting products from any of these brands then you know you are buying quality gear. Similarly, someone with little related action sports skills can keep their snowboard gear purchases to the basics, until they know what they like. Solid packed snow and manufactured snow are mostly prevalent in the eastern ski resorts that are required to make snow due to a lack of consistent snowfall.
If you will be snowboarding in these types of areas, your snowboard should contain more vibration absorbent material, which allows a smoother ride across hard packed snow. Lighter weight powder snow is more prevalent in the western states and Rocky Mountains, where abundant snowfall can be dependable every year. The additional board length will help the snowboarder stay on top of the deeper snow. Conditions can change quickly in the mountains. A longer board is best for all mountain riding, unless you will be concentrating your snowboarding skills on freestyle riding, in which case you will just have to work a little harder when riding in deeper powder snow.
Prices are an important consideration when buying the right snowboarding gear. You can also save money by purchasing a snowboard package, which will include all the major items you need to get started. Subscribe RSS Connect with me. Most snowboarders are versatile creatures of winter and explore all that the mountain has to offer.
If you decide you want to take a few laps in the park before winding your way through some woods runs, you might just be an all-mountain maniac. For the curious adventurers of all that is shred, this is definitely your category. The all-mountain board type is meant to accommodate all you can throw at it. Take it off jumps in the park, have fun in the pipe, blaze groomers, and even get buried in a fresh dumping of powder. These things do it all well.
Snowboards that fall under the all-mountain board type can have various board shapes and camber profiles. Find your favorite combination and get after it. This board type is also a great category for beginners to start with. The all-mountain versatility will allow you to ride anything you want until you find a type of riding that you do most.
For the pipe jerks, park rats and back-alley street cats, your riding style falls into the freestyle category. If you spend more time on tow-ropes and handrails than you do on the chairlift, your riding style is certainly freestyle. Sure freestyle snowboarders can do it all, but their main focus is to progress in the park, pipe and street and they do that with a freestyle oriented deck. Freestyle snowboards are usually sized-down a bit from your average length deck and contain a bit more flex.
The shorter size allows you to throw the board around easier when performing tricks. And a softer flex will allow you to tweak those tricks for proper style and steez. These boards are often built with a badass base and some hardcore edges to withstand daily park-induced punishment. Freestyle boards have a true twin shape and can have a range of camber styles such as flat, traditional, rocker, or a combination.
This is another board type often used by beginners because of the low weight and forgiving flex of the board. The smaller board allows beginners to gain control of the board and its edges easier and quicker. The freeride riding style category encompasses riding from blazing groomers to plowing through a pile of pow in the backcountry. This riding style is common among riders who are fortunate enough to have legit mountains to ride or happen to get a good amount of snowfall in the area.
Freeriding is snowboarding at its core and will always be a huge part of the sport. Freeride board types are often on the longer end of your board size range. That extra few centimeters makes all the difference for staying atop pillows of pow.
Freeride boards are most often directional shaped boards but could also be a directional twin shape. These boards also have a stiffer flex for added response and stability when bombing at high-speeds and slashing deep.
The war of skiing verses snowboarding is over. These people earn their turns by hiking up every inch of what they descend. Anybody who says ski and board bums are lazy has never heard of split-boarding. Splitboards are the type of board for extreme freeriding. Use the skis to climb up and through some newly found terrain, then reattach them together and shred your line back down on a snowboard. Board shapes will either benefit the rider or hinder a riding depending on what type of terrain is being ridden.
Most common among freeride snowboards and sometimes found on all-mountain boards, the directional shape is a non-symmetrical construction designed to be mostly ridden in one direction. This means that they have a specified nose and tail; each end may differ in stiffness, shape and contact points. Directional boards usually have a stiffer tail than nose to create a stable ride when flying down mountains.
Boards that feature this shape also tend to have the binding inserts set back closer to the tail end of the board so your body weight is correctly distributed for a fast and powerful ride through deep pow. Although this shape can be found on just about all board types, true twin dominates the freestyle scene. True twin, also known as twin tip, means that the tip and tail are identical.
The symmetrical shape allows park, pipe, and street riders to perform and land technical switch tricks easier. True twin boards open up a whole new window for freestyle snowboarders.
With a nose and tail with the exact same flex patterns and measurements, riders can have complete confidence in their board when riding switch. Commonly found in all-mountain boards, the directional twin shape is a great all-around board choice. Directional twin consists of a nose and tail that are different in construction. Although the tip and tail might not be exactly the same, riders may ride switch in the park or pipe without noticing any negative effects.
Directional twin boards often have a slightly longer nose than tail and could also have a softer nose than tail or a combination of the two.
The added length to the nose gives you an edge when riding powder and a stiffer tail will create more stability when riding at higher speed. Looking at the board from the side and you can roughly decipher what Profile Shape a board has. The information below is to be used as reference to help you decide what Profile Shape is the best fit for your riding style. Camber is the tried and true standard for a snowboard profile.
It is still the most popular camber style and will probably be around forever. A traditionally cambered board has a smooth arch underneath the middle of the board that comes down and touches the ground near the tip and tail when no additional weight is applied.
When a rider straps into a cambered board, the board flattens out on the snow and creates an evenly applied pressure to the edges. This camber profile provides explosive pop and response and is good for all types of riding. The Rocker profile has become extremely popular among freestyle riders and powder-hounds alike.
This profile is the exact opposite of a traditional camber. It consists of a single central contact point that when weighted, flexes to create less edge contact on the tip and tail for easy pivoting action and all-day playfulness. The rocker is also a more forgiving camber style when landing spins, jibs and other tricks. Less edge contact means less hang up on the lips and landings. A Flat board profile is another great option for progressive riders.
The completely flat shape is implemented from near the tip to near the tail and is a versatile design. This profile has the forgiveness and butter-like characteristics of a rocker board, but with precise edging capabilities similar to that of a traditional camber. This camber profile is ideal for freestyle riding and is usually found in the park or street.
There are a variety of board profile combinations out there. Snowboard companies are doing more and more experimentation with the construction of modern snowboards. Each company has their own name for their snowboard profile combinations and each profile has its own specific purpose and function. Make sure to check out the manufacturers technical specifications for more details.
You never know, you could find a new favorite. Powder Camber Profile Shaped boards offer a great ride both in and out of powder. In powder the cambered mid section and tail can be pressed to lift the nose of the board even higher than it already is. Powder Rocker combination board are great for doing powder butters and even riding switch in powder. Riding fast is a crucial component of a successful powder run, and Powder Flat combination board tend to float through snow while keeping the nose afloat and sinking the tail for epic slashes.
Most 3-Stage boards fit within the all-mountain freestyle and freestyle genre of snowboards. The flat stable zone in between the feet offers stability while carving or setting up for tricks, and the flat zones on the nose and tail offer a great ollie platform for ollieing off of lips and locking in presses.
Flex is another important factor in determining the proper setup for your riding style. There are a couple different directions a board can flex in. A longitudinal flex is a bend in the board along its length and an important factor in initiating turns and maneuvers. The second direction of flex is across the width of your board and is called torsional flex. The torsional flex direction is a determining factor in the amount of edge hold a board has. There are several different varieties of flexibility, or softness, in the snowboards offered now days.
Once again, it is personal preference, but below are a few guidelines to live by when deciding on a new board that has the right flex for you and your riding style. Freeride boards designed to man-handle the mountain and backcountry bowls are usually a bit stiffer than boards used in park or street setups. However halfpipe riders often need a stiff board for stability at high speeds. The stiffer side-to-side flexing, or torsional flex, provides an insane amount of grip when carving turns at higher speeds.
The stable resistance of a stiffer flexing board also helps keep your speed up so you can burn past all your buddies. Stiffer flex in a board is also good when looking for an added edge hold at higher speeds. It is also recommended that heavier riders utilize a slightly stiffer flex to prevent board wash-out or uncontrollable bails.
In general stiffer boards are designed for advanced riders that can manipulate the board in anyway they choose. Medium flexing boards are great for just about every riding type. Similar to the position of an all mountain snowboard , a medium flexing board encompasses all spectrums of the snowboarding world. Medium flex ratings can be found in freeriding and freestyle snowboards. If you like powdered and also like cruising down groomers or like hitting larger jumps and the pipe a medium flexing board will be a great choice.
If a board is too stiff it can be inoperable at low speeds, if a board is too soft it can wash out if you land a trick off center. Choosing a medium flexing board will help you navigate any type of terrain.
Boards made for freestyle riding tend to be on the softer side. Some all-mountain boards also feature a soft flex for a playful versatility. Soft flexing boards are ideal for tweaking tricks in the park and pressing handrails due to their ability to bend with ease. The extra ability to flex makes it easier to control your board at slower speeds for technical maneuvers. A soft flex is not the most stable design for jetting down mountains at super high speeds, but can hold its own in park and street setups.
Softer boards are also recommended for beginners and lighter weight riders. A soft flex is good for a beginner because it will help them start linking turns easier and will be a little more forgiving if they bail. Riders who are light for their snowboard size ranges will benefit from a softer board also.
They will be able to bend the board easier, allowing them to perform properly. Every board has a precisely calculated sidecut radius designed for a specific purpose and function. Deeper sidecuts, often depicted in a lower number of centimeters, are present on boards with narrower waists and have the ability to turn quicker and sharper with less effort. Deep sidecuts are good for beginners and park riders alike. Mellow sidecuts, a measurement with a higher amount of centimeters, are found on boards with wider waists such as some freeride boards.
While sacrificing the ability to turn on a dime, boards with a shallow sidecut float easier on powder due to the added amount of surface area. These boards will also handle better at higher speeds and in tougher terrain. Radial Sidecuts are the bread and butter of the sidecut world. The entrances and exits of turns have the exact same arc, meaning if the Radial Sidecut is centered on the board a carve could become a perfect circle with enough speed.
If a board was built with the same feel as a Ferrari it would have a Progressive Sidecut. The egg shaped arc makes the transition into turns smooth and the exit out of turns aggressive.
With a smaller heelside edge sidecut radius a rider has the ability to make quicker more agile turns that mimic that of a toeside turn. Multiple Sidecut boards are the SUVs of the snowboard world. Contact points are in connection with the snow more than the rest of your effective edge. Edges should be sharpened routinely to maintain a precise edge hold. Dulling your edges for freestyle riding purposes gives the board less chance to hang up on the surface you happen to be jibbing but will be more difficult to turn on hard groomers or ice.
Hole-patterns refer to the round, threaded metal insert holes that every snowboard features to secure your bindings to the board. It can be nice to know the difference between the hole-patterns if you are looking for that perfect stance that provides optimal comfort.
These holes can be arranged in multiple orientations. There are a handful of different hole-patterns that snowboard manufacturers utilize most. Each style of hole-pattern has their pros and cons and they should all be considered when shopping for a new board.
This is a tried-and-true insert construction and offers a moderate amount of stance opportunities. This insert arrangement works with almost all binding disc designs with a few exceptions. This design offers more holes placed vertically on the board, which are all spaced an equal two centimeters apart.
Snowboard Width. A key measurement in board sizing that often gets over-looked is the width of the board. The width of a snowboard is usually measured at the board’s narrowest point (usually the center of the board) and should correspond directly to your boot size. To determine the proper snowboard waist width for your snowboard boot size view the chart below. Size 10 and size Burton Grail Boots shown in Union Force Bindings on a Lib Tech Park Pickle BTX with a waist width of mm. Height and Weight. The old rule of thumb was that you just more or less picked a board that hit between your chin and your nose. But choosing your snowboard length involves a mix of subjective and objective factors, including your height AND weight, the type of riding you’ll be doing, and personal preference.