How To Find the Right Snowboard for You
Written By: Dan Sullivan, Rome Snowboards, Director of Sales
Snowboard design has become more complex and more specialized over the last decade. Park boards, rail boards and powder boards are just a few examples of how snowboard shape and design have become specific to a type of riding. Add to this the reverse camber revolution, and the choices can quickly become overwhelming for even an expert rider. But not to worry, with a little pre-planning making your snowboard purchase can still be an easy and fun process.
Before you head out to your local shop, or scour the internet for boards choices, you can simplify your purchasing process by asking yourself one basic question: What type of terrain will I primarily be riding? Defining this will put you on the path to making your board purchase.
For many riders the answer to this question is "I want to ride the entire mountain, and ride all the terrain my mountain offers." If you fall into this category, you have just narrowed your choice of snowboard to an 'All Mountain' category. Manufacturers vary on how they define this; however, there is a constant with all manufacturers that they make a board that is good for all types of riding and snow conditions on the mountain.
To further define this you can then choose between an All Mountain Freestyle board, the most commonly purchased snowboard, or an All Mountain Freeride Board. The defining differences between these two types of boards are flex and shape.
A board that is on the Freestyle end of the spectrum has a more forgiving flex, something that benefits those learning to ride. They also have a shape which is more twin-tip, or 'Twin', oriented. It's a simple fact that snowboards are fun to ride both forward and 'switch'. Whether you are a beginner or not, having a board that enhances your ability to do this makes your riding more fun.
A board that is on the Freeride end of the spectrum most commonly has a 'stiffer' flex pattern and a more 'directional' shape — a more defined nose than tail and a stance that is rear of center. If you think you are going to define your riding style by going fast and mainly in one direction, then you want to seek out this style of board.
There are more specific details you need for your board purchase, such as length, width and how much to spend. The sales staff at your local snowboard shop can help you with these. If you go to them prepared with the type of riding you want to do, you have taken a large piece of the purchase puzzle out of the game. Happing shredding.