Looking to buy a snowboard? The good news is that there are a lot of options! But how to choose a snowboard can be a little overwhelming. Let us help! The goal of this blog is to help you answer the key questions you need to answer to find the perfect snowboard for you.
There are a few basics to cover when deciding which type of snowboard is right for you. First, you need to nail down the type of snowboard that fits your needs. Below we’ve broken down the different types.
All-Mountain snowboards are a very versatile style of board. Great for beginners and experienced riders alike, the all-mountain board is best for riding when mixing in different types of terrain. It is not specifically suited for one type of riding, but rather a hybrid. The All-Mountain snowboard will be great for the rider mixing in long groomed trails and maybe a couple of trips to the terrain park.
Freestyle snowboards are great for riders out there looking for progression and hitting some sweet tricks. These boards are generally for intermediate or experienced riders who have a better idea of what they are looking for and what type of rider they are. There are more specialized freestyle boards as well depending on if you like riding half pipes, jumps, boxes, or rails.
Freeride snowboards can be a little more advanced and generally require more skill and know-how. They are often uniquely shaped for off-trail riding and cutting through deeper powder.
The different types of freeride boards can vary depending on the activity they will be used for. These range from back bowls and tree runs to backcountry riding and even helicopter drops down steep mountains.
Now that we have covered the 3 main categories of snowboards, let’s dive into the fit of a snowboard.
Obviously sizing is important when you choose a snowboard, but there isn’t the perfect size for one person. It also comes down to preference as well. That being said, there are definitely some important guidelines especially if you are new to picking out a board. You can also read more about sizing in our sizing guide.
A person’s weight will generally be the determining factor when choosing the length of a snowboard. This is because the amount of weight pushing down on the board will correlate to how the snowboard rides on the snow.
Height is a factor in sizing as well and you can learn more about this in the sizing guide. Like it was mentioned earlier, there are distinctions to these rules and many snowboards will have their own size chart. Preference comes into play as well – for example, a freestyle ride will likely prefer the maneuverability of a shorter board, while backcountry or deep powder riders may like the stability of a longer board.
Another key sizing option for a snowboard is the width. Boards that are too wide can be hard to turn and control. On the other hand, a snowboard too narrow can have you clipping an edge easier or catching your boots on the ground and can send you out of control. A common way to size the width is boot size. Most “normal” width boards will fit a boot size up to 10.5. Women and kids’ snowboards tend to be narrower to accommodate smaller boot sizes.
You will probably notice snowboards come in a lot of different shapes. This overlaps a bit with the types of snowboards we discussed earlier but is good to know what each shape is useful for.
True twin snowboards are just like they sound – the same whichever side the board is facing. This is very common in freestyle boards because it allows for the rider to easily ride the board or regular when attempting tricks.
Directional snowboards generally have a nose and a tail and are more beneficial for Freeride or All-Mountain boards. The nose is generally longer than the tail to give the board optimal performance in one direction
A Directional Twin still has a nose and a tail but is more balanced than a standard Directional style. This makes it ideal for an All-Mountain style board because the nose helps perform better going downhill and the balanced construction helps you ride switch when you need to.
Tapered boards are great for your deep powder and backcountry cruising. The wider nose helps you stay on top of the deep powder and the narrow tail is ideal for digging in and carving through. This makes a tapered board perfect for Freeride boards.
Asymmetrical boards put a different focus on the toeside and heelside making carving back and forth more efficient. This style board does not fit as obviously into any of the three categories above and is a relatively newer style.
So there you have it – the key questions you need to answer to find the perfect snowboard. Whether you’re trying to decide on the type of snowboard, size, or shape check out what we have available online or come into your local ERIK’S shop and talk to one of our experts today!