How To Choose The Perfect Snowboard For You

February, 12, 15

How To Choose The Perfect Snowboard For You

  • How To Choose The Perfect Snowboard For You
How To Choose The Perfect Snowboard For You

If you are a snowboarding enthusiast, you know that there are hundreds of options of snowboards that you can choose from. With different features, price range and qualities, each one has a unique quality and specialty.

So how do you know which is the best one for you?

BOARD TYPES

When buying a new snowboard the first thing you need to think about is how you are going to be riding it. Snowboards generally come in a few categories that give you an idea of their intended use.

1. Mountain boards

They are extremely versatile and can handle anything you throw their way. You can use them in a variety of terrains and they provide enough steadiness and control for spin off jumps or slash deep stashes.

2. Freestyle boards

They are extremely fun for riders who want to do a ton of tricks in the park and outside of it. They are lightweight so doing tricks in either direction is super easy.

3. Powder boards

These are situational boards that give maximum float on snowy terrains. They have extended noses, a tapered shape or both to increase surface area and avoid your legs from getting too tired.

FLEX, FEEL AND SHAPE

A snowboard’s flex pattern considerably has an effect on how it can be ridden. While stiff boards react fast and give a powerful feel to maintain control, they are also less forgiving. On the other hand, softer boards are easier to manhandle and are easier on you when you make a mistake, but they are also a little less stable.

Almost all snowboards will list their flex or feel ratings, so you can get an idea as to where they belong. You can also find some snowboards that fit somewhere in between the two kinds, to provide a more stable characteristic.

Related to flex is a snowboard’s shape. As snowboarders generally prefer a specific stance when riding, most all-mountain snowboards feature setback insert patterns and a directional flex that is harder at the back to offer more float and energy on snow. Some are even tapered to emphasize this.

Freestyle boards are more proportioned with centered stances to deliver a reliable feel when riding in both directions. Snowboards that feature a completely symmetrical shape with flex pattern are known as “true twins,” while ones that have symmetrical shapes with directional flex patterns are called “directional twins”.

PROFILE

The profile is a chief characteristic of any snowboard. Until sometime back, all the snowboards were created with traditional camber, but now each manufacturer’s snowboard profiles are slightly differently. They have 4 basic types:

1. Camber boards

They have the most control and steadiness, but are not as forgiving and more difficult to keep on top of snow.

2. Rocker boards

They partly lift their edges out of the snow to decrease hang-ups and increase flotation, but may compromise on control and dynamism. Most snowboard manufacturing companies use grip-enhancing edge technologies to remedy this.

3. Hybrid boards

They employ rocker and camber in different areas to pool together the benefits of both. Depending on how this is used, the board can exhibit characteristics of both on the rocker/camber spectrum.

4. Flat boards

They lie in the middle of hybrid and traditional camber styles, when it comes to pop, control and forgiveness. They are generally more stable than a rocker or hybrid, but prone to snagging an edge.

LENGTH AND WIDTH

The size of snowboard you choose depends on the rider’s weight and almost all manufacturers have a list of recommended weight ranges for their board. But keep in mind these are not ironclad rules and can also depend on the comfort of the rider and his riding style.

When it comes to width, you should choose carefully as one that’s too narrow may skid completely out of control. Normal width boards are good for a men’s foot size 10.5 (US) or if you are size 11 or bigger, a wide board may be more preferable. On the other hand, women snowboards are narrower to adjust smaller sizes.

With these tips you may be able to narrow down on your selection. Here is a round up of the best snowboards you can buy.

1. Flow Viper Snowboard 2014 - $199.99

Shape: Twin, All-mountain

Core: TruFlex

Base: Optix 2000

The Flow Viper Snowboard is a smooth operating snowboard that has a hybrid sidewall construction and is great for beginners as well as experts. Great for all kinds of conditions, the Viper has an EZ-Flat (Mellow Rocker) profile with a gently rockered nose and tail. Tough, light and durable, it features a mellow EZ-Dual Transition Sidecut along with TruTwin and a TruFlex Core.

2. Lib Tech Skate Banana Wide Snowboard Dark 156 - $399.99

Shape: True Twin, All terrain

Core: H-Pop

Base: TNT

The Lib Tech Skate Banana Wide Snowboard Dark 156 is an easy to ride and fun to use snowboard that has high performance abilities. It works great on powder, rails, hard pack or ice and can be used by both beginners and pros. The art on the skateboard is by Mike Parillo, while the geometry has been designed by the Lib Tech experiMENTALdivision. Available in different sizes like narrow, regular, and wide widths, this banana skateboard is a rocker that has flat to mild camber on contact points. It features mild tip pressure for floating and jibbing and is easy for turning and ice edge holds.

3. Arbor Westmark Men’s Snowboard 2015 - $394.95

Shape: Twin

Core: Wood

Base: Extruded P-tex

Created with 100% Poplar Wood, The Arbor Westmark Snowboard is a great snowboard for intermediate to advanced level enthusiasts that can be used in the park or even on the mountains. The System Rocker delivers easier turn beginning, cleaner tracking and improved float. And in the park you can execute enhanced spins and slides along with improved speeds. The snowboard’s medium-to-soft flex will provide better response, pop and stability when needed. With 360-Degree Full Wrap Sidewalls, this board is extremely resilient and impact resistant as well.

4. Roxy Sugar Banana Women's Snowboard - $230.97

Shape: Twin, All Mountain

Core: Precision Stock

Base: CX 2500

Roxy Sugar Banana Women's Snowboard has been created for beginners and pro riders and can make snowboarding extremely fun! Great for progressing your skill, this board feature friendly flex for learning freestyle tricks and has a flexible twin shape for power and steadiness. From top to bottom, the banana is great for riders as it is easy and catch-free. The deep sidecut is easier to edge and permits cleaner turn linking and the board’s biaxial fiberglass is soft and forgiving.

5. K2 Lunatique Women’s Snowboard - $233.95

Shape: Dual Progressive

Core: Rhythm Core

Base: 2000 Extruded

With the clean style of the K2 Lunatique Women’s Snowboard, snowboarding has never been more fun! Specially designed for women who have a lot of experience with snowboarding, this board will help push your limits and experience it all. The board can handle any mountainous terrain with plenty of confidence and ease due to its solid edge control and easygoing control. You can effortless execute amazing turns through any types of snow with this playful, light and always sturdy snowboard.

6. Flow Quantum Men’s Snowboard - $299.89

Shape: TruTwin

Core: Re-Flex Core

Base: Sintered P-tex

The Flow Quantum Men’s Snowboard is a shredders board that is great for use at the park but will do great even when outside it. This EZ-Rock rocker has a convex base with Whiskey Rocks and Shooters. It features 3D-Transitional sidecut that holds on to ice but does not regulate the rider’s movements. The Flow Quantum provides extreme versatility for a softer ride with high performance. The Whiskey Shooters makes use of 4 carbon strips provide you with a lot of pop while ensuring that the nose and tail remain loose for agility of the rider. The Rocker Band gives you a smoother ride, while the Quadrax Glass boosts the Verve’s torsional flex.

7. Avalanche Source 158 Mens Snowboard + Sapient Stash Bindings - $181.95

Shape: Directional

Core: Wood

Base: Extruded

The Avalanche Snowboard 158 Men’s is a board that provides high performance, sturdiness and value to its rider. A great choice for intermediate users at the park or mountain slopes, this board is the best among its competition durability wise, and will last you a long time even after a lot of wear and tear. It has a true camber design that provides the rider with additional sturdiness and gives you more control on shaky terrain. The completely wooden core makes it an easy to maintain board with low upkeep.  

The Sapient Wisdom Bindings are great for all terrains. Equipped with extensive coring of the base plate and lightweight straps, it is very light and easy to ride in. Featuring padded baseplates, metal ratchets, a high back and an ankle strap that can be adjusted quickly, you can match it with the board for a coordinated look.

8. K2 Raygun Snowboard 153 - $233.95

Shape: Twin Hyper Progressive

Core: W1

Base: 2000 Extruded

The K2 Raygun Snowboard 153 has won the Transworld Good Wood two time and is an all terrain snowboard that is perfect for riders of all levels. It has an all terrain baseline hat has been created for versatility and lets the rider execute easy turns on hardpack, or float on softer snow and crud. The board's all mountain hyper progression structure is competent, gives high performance and a great quality experience on mountain slopes.

9. Nitro Spell Snowboard Women's - $379.95

Shape: Twin

Core: Power Core II

Base: Extruded

The Nitro Women's Spell Snowboard features the company’s new hybrid-flat profile with a medium-soft flex, and railkiller edges that are great for a spin at the park. Its Flatout Rocker profile is equipped with early-rise tips that provide a catch-free ride with a lot of pop and steadiness. It is also fitted with Nitro's new Power Pods that spread its width. The 20% thicker railkiller edges, lightweight Powercore II poplar core and biax glass all give the board extra strength, maximum pressibility and durability.

10. Avalanche Crest 150 Men’s Snowboard + Sapient Wisdom Bindings - $181.95

Shape: Twin

Core: Poplar/birch full wood core

Base: Extruded 4400

The Avalanche Crest 150 Men’s Snowboard is great for people with little experience as well as pros at snowboarding. This board is very uncomplicated and will provide the rider with reliable performance with the ability to easily execute turns and stunts. Created using solid birch wood that has been reinforced with triaxial fiberglass, its great design permits clean turns and extreme sturdiness and control in all kinds of terrains, whether it is the park or mountain slopes.  

The Sapient Wisdom Bindings are great for all terrains. Equipped with extensive coring of the base plate and lightweight straps, it is very light and easy to ride in. Featuring padded baseplates, metal ratchets, a high back and an ankle strap that can be adjusted quickly, you can match it with the board for a coordinated look.

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Arshiya

I am a freelance writer who is always on the hunt for cool new gadgets and products on the internet. With never ending love for animals and a new found interest in drones, I enjoy writing about all things Apple, quadcopters and the newest tech accessories.