Ever since the invention of snowboarding, snowboards have evolved into many shapes, sizes, colors and many, many features! Every snowboard is unique as is every rider. It is important to know which board is the best for your riding style, height, and weight. In this article you will find out how to choose a snowboard that is perfect for you.
The first thing you want to figure out before you buy a snowboard is, what kind of snowboarding will you be doing? Are you going to be cruising all around the mountain? Or are you going to be hitting the bowls and back country? Or are you going to be ripping it up in the park?
All Mountain – All mountain boards are good for any rider that likes to ride a variety of everything on the mountain. From groomed slopes, park, back country, to park. These boards are often twin shaped for switch riding and have a medium flex. All mountain boards are typical good for beginner riders since they are very versatile all over the mountain.
Freestyle – Freestyle boards are for riders who like to do tricks with their board. They spend most of their time in the terrain park grinding on rails and doing grabs, flips, and spins off jumps. Freestyle boards often have a softer flex for more jumping and jibbing ability. If you do mostly rails in the park you might want a board with more flex as appose to someone who does mostly jumps wants a stiffer board. Picking a freestyle board a size or two below you’re normal board size is usually good as it will allow you to move, jump, and spin easier.
Backcountry – Backcountry riders spend most of their time in the trees and ungroomed snow. A back country snowboard is stiffer than the average board and has sharper edges for cutting through thick snow. These boards are usually bigger than the normal board size to allow you to ride through ungroomed snow easier. Splitboards are snowboards that split in half for hiking up backcountry and snap back together for riding back down. They are back country specific boards that help with hiking up snowy terrain easier.
Rocker, Camber, or Flat Base?
There are three different shapes the base of a snowboard can have. Rocker, camber, and flat base. Each base shape has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Rocker – Rocker boards get their name from their U-shape design. The nose and tail are raised a little for easier maneuverability and more play. Jibbers and back country riders often look for a rocker board as it lets them pop onto rails easier and ride on top of pow with ease.
Camber – Camber boards are the newest snowboard base design out there. The tip of the nose and tail are raised slightly and the board arches in the middle. Because of the spring like design camber boards allow for maximum pop and responsiveness. Most experienced riders prefer camber since its very responsive and explosive with its popping ability.
Flat – Flat boards are the basic snowboard shape. Mostly flat throughout the whole board with a little raised nose and tail. Flat boards are great for cruising on groomed slopes as you can feel the snow better and make quicker turns. If your’re looking for a board that is a smooth ride for cruising, a flat base is the way to go.
Hybrid – A hybrid base means that the base has two or more base designs implemented into it. Putting different base designs together can make boards more versatile and have more functionability.
Snowboard sizes are measured in centimeters, anywhere from 90 – 170cm. The board when standing up should come up to about your shoulders or chin area. The size is measured on your height and weight but mostly just your weight can determine you’re snowboard size. Below is a chart that will help you determine the right size for you based off your weight.
To recap to find the perfect snowboard you need to figure out what kind of riding you will be doing, what type of base you want, and what size board you will need. There are hundreds of different boards out there but don’t worry about not picking the one that is exactly perfect for you, especially if you are a beginner. Most boards will do the trick either way. Look around at many boards to see what’s out there to find one you love.