Choosing a snowboard is not an easy task, especially if you are not an experienced snowboarder. Choosing the right board can have a positive impact on your progress, guarantee your safety and ensure a certain level of comfort on the snow. Here are 5 tips for choosing the perfect snowboard.
5 Tips for Choosing a Snowboard
Types of boards depending on the type of snowboarding
First of all, it is important to know the different types of boards available for snowboarding, as each type of board has specific characteristics designed for each of the modalities. All-mountain snowboards are the most versatile type of snowboard available, capable of adapting perfectly to different terrains, such as packed snow, powder or ice, making them the preferred choice of most snowboarders. The level and experience of the athlete on the board is another element to take into account when choosing a snowboard. If you are a beginner or about to buy your first board, the All-Mountain type is the best choice so you can do a bit of everything in total comfort. Freeride boards have a longer length than conventional boards and are built with stiffer materials to add stability and power for high-speed descents and backcountry jumps. Freeride boards are designed for intermediate to high level riders and are normally used off-piste. Finally, Freestyle boards have a symmetrical profile so that you can glide on both ends equally. They are shorter in length to make them more manoeuvrable for all kinds of jumps and rail slides. Freestylers seek to unleash their creativity through a playful and recreational activity.
Shapes of the board: Camber, Rocker or Flat
Another fundamental aspect when choosing a snowboard is to know the different camber profiles, or in other words, the shape and curvature of the board in the area of contact with the athlete’s feet. If you want to buy your first snowboard, you might get lost in technical concepts such as camber, rocker or flat. Next. We will try to shed some light on the darkness so that you can get to know all the advantages that each camber profile can offer you. Traditional-camber boards have an arc shape and are easily recognisable because they have two points of contact with the ground near the ends of the board, while the middle part is held further away from the surface. This shape provides stability, precision and power on descents. Boards with an inverted camber or rocker have the centre as the lowest point, maintaining direct contact with the snow at all times. The ends of the board are held higher than the middle, giving the board incredible handling, making them a favourite choice for freestylers. Flat camber is halfway between the two previous types. The board is completely flat, which offers good grip and stability without sacrificing adaptability on different terrains such as piste, park or open field.
Board length according to height and weight
To choose the right snowboard you should select the size that best suits your height and weight. Fortunately, almost all brands have their own size guide where the manufacturer provides all the information you need to choose the best option. Normally, snowboard sizes refer to the length of the product, which is measured in centimetres. The choice of size is an aspect that should not be taken lightly, as a board that is too long will reduce your agility and manoeuvrability on the snow. On the other hand, if you choose a board that is too short you will lose speed and momentum on descents. It should also be noted, as mentioned in the first point, that depending on the type of snowboarding you prefer, some boards are longer than others. In the end it’s a matter of taste, and over time you will discover which length you feel most comfortable on the board.
Type of width: Narrow, Standard or Wide
In the previous point we highlighted the importance of choosing the right size when buying a snowboard, which refers to the length of the board. At this point we will also see how important it is to select the right width. If the width of the board is too short, your boots will stick out at both the heel and toe, which can cause some discomfort when you lean over the side. The boots will come into contact with the surface, slowing the descent and causing imbalances that can lead to a fall or injury. Conversely, if you select a board that is too wide, both your heels and toes are too far away from the end of the board to exert sufficient pressure, reducing your handling and agility when riding on the snow. Ideally, the boots should protrude about 2 centimetres from the snowboard. As a general rule, Narrow boards are less than 25 cm wide, ideal for people with small feet, equivalent to a shoe size below size 41 EU. The standard width comprises a distance of 25 – 26 cm (41 – 45 EU equivalent). Finally, the Wide width is intended for snowboarders with large feet and who have a foot size larger than 45 EU. Wide boards have a width that can exceed 26 cm. Again, the best option is to consult the brand’s size guide to choose the best option.
Flexible or rigid boards?
A snowboard with a flex pattern allows you to manoeuvre more easily. Freeride boards have a stiff tail for power and steering, and a more flexible front end for agile turns in deep snow, while freestyle boards are fully flexible for easy pirouettes, jumps and rail slides. Stiffer boards, on the other hand, aim for stability on high-speed descents. If you are a beginner and are looking for your first snowboard, it is advisable to select a board with medium flex that is forgiving and gives you stability on the snow.
If you are planning to go skiing, you can check out this article to find out about the 10 best ski resorts in Spain.