Finding the Right Snowboard
There arent many things more exciting than flying over the snow down the side of a mountain. You need the right snowboard for a fun day of snowboarding, and there are a lot of different kinds to choose from from manufacturers like Arbor Snowboards, Salomon, and Bataleon.
Which Type of Snowboard Do I Need?
- All-mountain snowboards are the most versatile type of board. Theyre good for going fast on prepared slopes or for backcountry rides. Depending on the design, they can be twin-tip or directional. Directional all-mountain boards are bigger at the nose than the tail, so theyre good for riding downhill. Twin-tip snowboards can go either way, which is useful if you like to switch feet.
- Freestyle snowboards are shorter and more flexible than all-mountain snowboards, and are almost always twin snowboards. The reduced size makes them less stable but better for doing tricks. If you are more interested in half-pipes than cross-country rides, this is your style of snowboard. Jib boards are another option if you like doing tricks on rails and walls.
- Freeride snowboards are the opposite of freestyle snowboards. These snowboards are long, stiff, and stable. They are also usually very directional with a more flexible, wider nose, and a harder tail for smooth carving and extreme speed.
Which Size Snowboard Do I Need?
- Your height is a major factor. Taller men need longer snowboards, while shorter men need shorter boards. A good guideline is that if you stand your board up in front of you, it should reach to somewhere between your collarbone and your chin for an all-mountain snowboard. A freeride snowboard might even be taller than you are.
- Weight also matters. Heavier people need larger size boards to spread their weight out over the powder. This usually means a longer board, but wider boards are also useful for bigger riders. Heavier men will also need tougher snowboard bindings.
- Rider experience also plays a part. All things being equal, beginner snowboarders will benefit from the more forgiving nature of a shorter, more flexible snowboard.
- No matter what size of snowboard you prefer, it needs to be wide enough that your snowboard boots dont hang over the edge. If you wear size 14 boots, you need a wide snowboard.
Which Other Features Should I Look For?
- The shape of your snowboard isnt just about its length. Camber snowboards have a raised middle which makes them very responsive when carving. Rocker snowboards are the opposite, and their raised ends give them extra lift in powder and makes it less likely that you will catch an edge.
- Material matters. Most snowboard cores are made from springy laminated wood, but some manufacturers use carbon fiber, aluminum or foam. All of these provide different handling characteristics.
- Splitboards are mostly for dedicated cross-country riders. These snowboards can split to form a pair of skis for hill climbing.