How to Choose the Right Snowboard

Are you looking to buy your first snowboard or just get a new one to replace your current board? Choosing a snowboard can be a tedious task especially if you are a seasoned rider and really want a quality board that will suit your needs well. There are several things you need to think about when when looking at snowboards including your riding style, the size and style of board your prefer, your budget and a few other aspects. Let’s talk about some of the things you need to do to learn how to choose a snowboard wisely.

The first thing you should take into consideration is your riding style. Some snowboarders are aggressive and want to bust out big tricks and grind rails where other, less experienced, riders may just want to be able to cruise down a mountain casually. If you are more of a trick snowboarder you will want to get a professional quality board that is designed to take the stress of landing hard and withstand grinding well. If you are more of a casual rider, however, you can look at a bit simpler snowboard to purchase.

There are many different riding styles other than just what we’ve described as “trick snowboarding” and “casual snowboarding”. There are three major riding styles that are clearly defined in snowboarding. These are all-mountain, freeride and freestyle. Each of these riding styles have different aspects. Let’s talk about each style for a few minutes so you can figure out exactly what your style is to make it easier for you to choose a snowboard.

Snowboarding Styles & Board Types

All-mountain snowboarding is basically another way of saying all terrain. All-mountain riders are those who like to take on any and every surface they possibly can whether it be the fresh powder of a ski resort, untracked back-country of parks and mountains or half pipes. Most snowboarders use snowboards that fall under this class simply because the boards can take just about any abuse no matter what level of experience you are.

Freeride snowboarders typically like to stick strictly to back-country areas and also love to go fast down well-maintained runs. Snowboards designed for freeriding are generally known as “directional” boards which are primarily made for riding downhill only. If you want to grind rails or logs you might as well forget about getting this type of snowboard. Directional snowboards are just not designed for this. They are stiff and will not work on non-snow surfaces very well.

Freestyle snowboarding is what most of us are used to seeing on T.V. during the X-Games. This is extreme snowboarding and is made up of riding half pipes, rails, boxes and pretty much anything else. Freestyle snowboards are usually made of lighter materials, are shorter than other snowboards and are known as “true twins” or “directional twins”. These boards are designed to be more flexible to nail tricks and go over rails and boxes without the worry of the board breaking under stress.

Now, let’s talk a bit more about each type of snowboard in more detail. First off, you have what is known as the “directional” board. This type of snowboard has a stiff tail and is wider at the nose. Directional snowboards are designed to make turning and carving easier. These snowboards are generally best for regular riding on well-maintained slopes. These boards are capable of going quite fast as well.

Next up are the “true twin” snowboards. These are symmetrical boards that are the same size on both the tail and nose. True twin snowboards are generally very soft and are decent to use for both casual riding and performing tricks. Then you have the “directional twin” snowboard. These are also symmetrical boards but the nose is usually a bit more flexible than the tail in these designs. Directional twin design snowboards are best for all-terrain riding as well as freestyle.

Figuring out which style you ride is crucial to knowing which type of snowboard will be best suited for you. Be sure to thoroughly read the descriptions above and decide which style you are. Once you have completed this you will have a better understand of which snowboards will work best with the way that you ride.

The next thing you should consider when going to purchase a snowboard is how much money you are willing to spend. Most snowboards will cost anywhere from $150 to $450 or more. If you want a quality snowboard that will last you a while you will probably want to go for one that is in the middle or higher. Sure, the $150 boards make for a cheap fix, but are they worth it? Not really. These snowboards are cheap for a reason. They aren’t made from great materials, they don’t last very long and they don’t provide a good riding experience, either.

How often you plan on snowboarding should also be something to think about before you make a snowboard purchase. If you are only going to hit the slopes a few times the entire season then buying a cheap $150 snowboard may actually prove to make sense for you. Sure, they don’t last long, but if you’re only going to be snowboarding a few times then you have a perfect reason to justify buying one. If you, however, are planning on snowboarding a lot during the season it would be a much better idea to spring for a more expensive board.

If the mid-range boards seem a bit pricey for you, don’t worry. Most of the time if you keep your eyes peeled you can find great deals and discounts almost any time of the year. A lot of snowboard shops, especially online, run frequent sales where they knock down the price of their snowboards. During these fantastic sales you can usually pick up a great snowboard for %40 to %60 less than you would normally. Just keep an eye on snowboard retailers’ websites and be sure to sign up for their email newsletters as well. Most snowboard retailers send their email subscribers even further discounts and let them know about any sales long before anyone else.

Once you find a retailer that has boards priced to your liking it’s time to pick one out. This is one of the most fun parts of getting a board. Most riders love to pick out a snowboard that has graphics that appeal to them. But don’t forget to choose a board that fits well with your riding style, has the camber type you prefer and makes sense for how much you plan on snowboarding. These are all very important aspects to think of when browsing snowboards.

After finding a board the is priced within your spending limits and has all of the qualities you want including graphics, camber and style, you should proceed to figure out what size board will work best for you. One of the best ways to go about this is by using a size comparison chart. Almost every snowboard retailer’s website will include one of these charts for you to look at before purchasing your board. These charts should tell you appropriate board lengths for your weight. These will vary from person to person and greatly between men, women and children. Make sure you are looking at the right chart before you select your board. Each chart should be identified by who it is made for: men, women or children.

Once you have found the right size the only thing left to do is order your board! Be sure to do a Google search for coupon codes for the retailer you are buying from before you actually buy. You may be able to come across a code for free shipping or for some cash off your purchase. You may even be able to find a package deal that will allow you to get boots and bindings for much less than usual. If not, it’s O.K. With the earlier tip you should be buying from a retailer that is holding a great sale right now anyway!

In conclusion, if you use the tips and suggestions above when choosing a snowboard for yourself you will be able to come a decision that you will be happy with. Selecting a snowboard can be a tedious process but the tips listed here will help make a much easier task of it. Just remember to always keep your riding style, how frequent you snowboard, what type of snowboard you prefer and how much money you want to spend in mind when you go to buy a board. After all is said and done you will have a brand new snowboard on the way. Not to mention the next time you have to buy a snowboard for yourself, or anyone else for that matter, you will know exactly what to look for. Share this information with your friends and family that snowboard as well to make their lives easier, too.

May 2011



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