Choosing the right snowboard can be a difficult process, especially if you are new to the sport or if you’re hoping to try a new style, such as slopestyle or freestyle boarding.
There are a few things that you want to keep in mind when shopping for a new snowboard. Before choosing a board, take into account your riding style, ability, the width of the snowboard, and the length of the snowboard. Check out our tips for choosing the right snowboard and get out on the mountain!
Find the right style of board:
There is a board made for every style of riding, from mountain riding to freestyle boarding.
If you are a freestyle rider, you probably enjoy tricks, jumps, spins, flips, and riding rails. As a freestyle rider, you will want a board that performs well in the park and one that isn’t too concerned with the rest of the mountain. Check out a board that has a softer flex, a true twin shape (which allows the board to respond in the same way whether you are going forwards or backwards), and a centered stance. These boards are designed to ride switch, perform well on boxes and rails, and handle jumps and airborne tricks with ease.
As a free-rider or mountain rider, you might want a board that can handle steep and uneven terrain, glide easily down the mountain, and a board that thrives in powder conditions. These boards generally have a stiffer flex, a set-back stance, and a directional or tapered directional shape.
The right board for your ability or skill level:
Some boards are better for beginners, while others are intended for more serious or skilled boarders. There are generally four levels you will see when you choose your board from beginner, intermediate, to advanced, or expert.
While it may be tempting to get a board that is above your ability level or one that you can “grow into,” it is best to get a board that fits your current abilities. If you try riding an advanced board as a beginner, it could stunt your progression. The same would go for an intermediate or advanced boarder using a beginner snowboard. While you might still have a good time on the mountain, you might not get the performance out of a beginner board that you would want as an advanced rider.
The right width of board:
Choosing the right width is important and will ensure that you have a smooth ride and enjoyable experience. If your board is too narrow, your boots might overhang the edges of your board and might cause you to catch snow and wipe out. On the other hand, if your board is too wide for your feet, it might cause your board to be less responsive and make turns harder.
Tip: 1-2 cm boot overhang is ideal, which generally means that your feet will be covering the width of the board.
The right length of board:
Keep in mind your height, weight, riding style, and ability level when choosing the length of your snowboard.
Generally, the more you weigh, the longer you will want your board to be. Your height, riding style, and ability also come into play here as well. Most snowboard brands or shops will have a height/weight chart that will help you decide what length of a board is suitable for you.
Style and ability are also important when choosing a board length. If you are a freestyle rider, you will want a shorter board which allows for easier tricks. If you want to ride powder, you will want a longer board that allows you to cut easily through the snow.
If you are a beginner, a shorter board will be easier to learn on.
Tip: Check out demo centers at a ski resort, or rent a few different types of boards and try them out before you buy. Start with a smaller and softer board first, but as you get better at riding, remember to upgrade your equipment so your riding can be the best it can be!
Not sure what board is right for you and want to try one out without the full investment? Our easy lease options can get you in a new board for a fraction of the retail cost. Learn more!
image courtesy of redbull.com