Introduction to Snowboards

Whether you like to cruise groomed runs, hit features in the park, or seek out fresh powder in the mountains, there’s a snowboard setup that’s right for you. In this guide, we’ll explain the different parts of a snowboard setup and how to select the right gear for you.

What Makes Up a Snowboard Setup?

Three main parts make up a snowboard setup: the snowboard deck, or board, the snowboard bindings, and the snowboard boots.

Let’s start by learning about the deck, or board.

Now let’s learn about what connects you to the deck, the bindings.

Last, though definitely not least, let’s talk about boots.

Now that we’ve covered the parts that make up a snowboard let’s learn more about your options.

What size snowboard to I need?

There are a lot of factors that go into determining the best size snowboard for an individual. Check out our Snowboard Sizing Guide for more information on this.

Kid's Snowboards

The most important thing to consider when buying a snowboard for your child is getting the right size. While it might be tempting to buy a board that they can grow into, a board that’s too big will be hard for them to turn and control, while an appropriately sized board will be easier for them turn and ultimately more enjoyable to learn on.

One great option that ERIK’S offers, if you’re concerned about buying a snowboard setup for your growing child, is our ERIK’S Kid’s Downhill Ski and Snowboard Lease Program.

Snowboard Buying Guide

Snowboard Shapes

Directional

Directional boards, which are often all-mountain and freeride boards, are designed to be ridden in one direction. The binding inserts are usually set back slightly towards the tail to shift the rider's weight back. The board is generally softer in the tip and stiffer in the tail, to allow for carving at higher speeds

Twin Tip

Twin tip boards are common in the freestyle/park category. The boards have an identical tip and tail design, both in shape and flex while the binding inserts are centered on the board. The twin shape allows for the board to be ridden in either direction, which makes it ideal for riding in the park.

Asymmetrical

Asymmetrical boards may look odd at first, but the reasoning behind them makes perfect sense. Humans are mostly symmetrical left to right, but definitely not front to back. This is why if you’ve ridden before you’ve undoubtedly noticed that turning on your toe side is usually easier than turning on your heel side. To help overcome this, asymmetrical boards will have a deeper and shorter sidecut on the heel side of the board. Some asymmetrical boards will even go a step further by making the core on the heel side softer and thus easier to flex. The combination of these two tweaks makes the board feel more consistent between its toe and heel sides.

Snowboard Profiles

Camber

Camber was traditionally found on all boards. When laid on a flat surface the tip and tail of the board make contact and the board curves upward. The board essentially stores energy when it’s flexed, providing for lively turns when you move from edge to edge, or providing pop when you hit a jump or the top of the pipe.

Rocker

Rocker, also called reverse-camber, is essentially the opposite of camber in that it curves upward. When laid on a flat surface, the board's tip and tail will kick up in comparison to the center of the board. Where and how much that board kicks up will vary depending on the board’s design. Rocker boards are designed to be a bit easier to ride since the tip and tail are less likely to dig into the snow when moving from edge to edge and are more forgiving if you under-rotate a spin. They also float better through powder by lifting the nose.

Flat

As the name says, these boards are flat between the tip and tail. If you laid one down on a flat surface, it would sit flush. These boards offer a compromise between camber and rocker with less chance of catching the tip or tail when turning while still holding its edges well.

Hybrids

Many boards fit into this category. The blend of camber, rocker, and flat that a board manufacturer chooses will match the style of riding that the board is designed for. Some will offer rocker at the tip and tail for ease of turning and float in powder or choppy snow, with camber in the middle of the board to better hold an edge and provide more pop. Other boards will move the cambered sections under the bindings with rocker between the feet to provide great carving and pop.

Got more questions about snowboards? Our Gear Experts are here to help! Click for Live Chat, give us a call (877-885-2453), or send an email.

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