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How to Choose A Snowboard

February 07, 2022 5 min read

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How to choose a snowboard

How To Choose A Snowboard

There are several things to consider when choosing the right snowboard. With so many models on the market today, it can make picking the right board a little bit overwhelming. Many snowboarders have one board they use anywhere and all day. But some snowboarders out there have a few boards that they switch out depending on conditions. Here is a handy guide to choosing your new snowboard, whether it's your first board or you're adding another one to the collection.

Snowboard Style: Snowboards for the Right Terrain

Where you go snowboarding, and the type of snowboarding you do will influence the length and shape of the board you choose. You can use any board in any condition, but each snowboard is made for riding a certain way. So picking the right snowboard can make your day on the hill much more fun!

Freestyle/Park: Park snowboards are often shorter in length and have a true twin or asymmetrical shape. Park snowboards are lighter and allow the rider to make quick, sharp turns and have more control when riding rails and boxes.

All Mountain: All-mountain snowboards are designed to ride well in any condition and on any terrain. They are versatile and are a great place to start when buying your first snowboard.

Freeride: Freeride snowboards are suited for riders that spend most of their time off-piste among the trees and varied terrain. They have a stiff flex and are ridden in longer sizes. Freeride boards are generally directional and can make great powder boards too.

Powder: Powder boards are made for soft, fresh snow and feature a lot of nose rocker to give optimal float. Sizes can vary as some powder boards feature fish or swallowtails for a surfing feeling while riding.

Split Board: Designed with backcountry exploring in mind, split boards separate into two pieces. Climbing skins can then be attached for uphill walking, and the board can be re-assembled to ride down again.

What Snowboard Size is Right for Me?

With many styles of snowboards on the market, choosing the right size board can be intimidating. In the past, a sizing chart was the only way to pick your board. A snowboard size chart is a good guide, but your riding style can affect the final size. With so many defined snowboarding styles, different riders will select boards based on their type and terrain.

Height plays a large part in determining the length of the board you will ride. Generally, beginners should choose slightly shorter boards to make learning and turning easier.

Weight must also be taken into consideration when choosing your board length. If you are heavy for your height, you may need to size up. You may also want to go for a slightly stiffer flex board. If you are a beginner, you may want to go with a shorter snowboard. For more help with size, refer to the snowboard size chart on the right >

Snowboard Width

The width of your snowboard will depend on your boot size. When securing the bindings, a snowboard technician will ensure minimal overhang of the boot heel and toe. Having the boot extend slightly over the edge can improve leverage and control over the board. A wide board is recommended if you have large feet, generally over a size 10 or 11. For more help with size, refer to the snowboard width chart below.


Snowboard Rocker

Every ski and snowboard has a profile that describes its curve while laying flat on the ground. The three main profiles are rocker, camber, and flat. Snowboards will generally be one of or a combination of these profiles. With modern technology changing every day, snowboards now come in various hybrid profiles. Here are three of the most common.

Camber evenly displaces your weight along the sidecut and the contact points on your board. Snowboarders that like to go fast or ride in the park often use camber boards.

Rocker is great for snowboarders that want to ride in powder or for beginners. The rockered tips can help with turn initiation and reduce edge-catching.

Flat snowboards are super stable and have excellent edge hold in variable conditions. Flat boards are also great for beginners to practice with as they are stable, and it gives learners more surface area on the snow.

Snowboard Shape and Flex

The shape of your snowboard should match the style of riding you intend to do. With that in mind, there are several variations of shape.

Directional boards are made to travel in one direction, hence the name. They can be ridden switch but have a definite tip and tail. Directional boards are great at high speeds and for carving.

True twins are symmetrical boards that perform the same way whether you're riding them normal or switch. Many park boards are true twins because they allow for great central balance.

Directional twins are a combination of twin and directional snowboards. They make great all-mountain boards and are suitable for almost all terrain.

Have you ever seen someone in a snowboard shop give a snowboard a big flex? It may look goofy, but it is an excellent way to feel the flex of a snowboard. Softer boards are going to be easier to turn and more forgiving. That is why they are suitable for beginners. Although a bit wobbly at higher speeds, they have a buttery feel when going slower. Many brands make freestyle and all-mountain snowboards with softer flex to suit different riders. Stiffer boards are usually built for free-riders and backcountry riding. They have better edge grip and are more stable. Some lighter snowboarders find stiffer boards more challenging to flex torsionally (twisting or turning).

Binding Hole Pattern and Compatibility

If you are in the market for a new board, you're probably also in the market for a new set of bindings. If that's the case, Auski staff can recommend a new pair to go with your new board. If you already have a set of bindings, make sure they will work with the new board. Some boards have a track system, and other boards have pre-drilled holes. You'll want to make sure that your board and binding combination are compatible.

Choosing the right snowboard can take time but with so many options out there, it is possible to find a board that is suited to your ability and style. Auski stock a range of snowboards from the best snowboard brands out there like Burton, Capita, Salomon, and Lib Tech. Give Auski a call or pop into one of the stores and see a snowboard specialist to get advice on which board to buy.


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