There is an overwhelming number of brands and boards out there in the snowboarding market place these days and to the new snowboarder and even the advanced who wants a new toy to ride – it can be rather confusing. So here are a few tips that will help you choose what is the best snowboard for you to buy.
- What do you want it for?
- What type of riding do you like?
- What type of rider do you want to be?
Be it shredding back country powder lines, jibbing hits in the park or flying 50ft in the air like some gnarly free bird; each rider has different preferences and the requirements along with the boards they ride can be vastly different. So know what you want it for. Know what level you are at – its not worth paying top dollar for a board when your a beginner and you cant make use of its high performance specs and tech.
If you know what type of riding you want to do then good. That’s the first major hurdle. The second should be price. Snowboards are a considerable purchase and can sometimes cost a lot of money. However there are ways to get the best snowboard deals and the best value for money.
Search for boards only in your price range. Consider how much use you will get out of it, how long it will last you. Are you still growing and will it be too small in a seasons time? Unfortunately snowboards don’t have much of resale value, so once you buy, its yours for good!
Understand you basic needs in a board – there are plenty of terms out there describing different technologies from different board companies. Truth of the matter is most of them don’t mean a thing to the individual rider. Unless you are very advanced you wont notice the difference in a lot of these things. For now, here’s a simple break down of some key factors.
Snowboard Length – Know what size a good board should be. These differ for different types of riding – check out our how to size a snowboard page for help.
Twin tip or directional – Just as it sounds. Twin tip is symmetrical – you can ride it either way, switch of regular. Directional is not the same – designed for only going one way.
Flex – Bow bendy a board is. The basic rule is the stiffer it is the more stable it will be and the more pop you can get. The softer it is be better for park things like jibs and rails. Flex ratings typically range from 1-10 with 10 being the stiffest.
Sidecut – Sidecut determines your turning radius to an extent. a deeper sidecut, the sharper your turns will be.
A few other points on how to choose a snowboard – make sure it fits your bindings if you already have some and don’t want to buy new ones. While most boards and brands this is not a problem, but there are some like Burton that have special binding systems.