How To Choose The Right Snowboard For You

Know Your Terms

Before you get started, here are a few terms you should know: 

“Camber” - Refers to a downward arc built into the core of the snowboard. Camber is generally present underfoot in most rockered boards, and the running length varies by model and usage. Camber flattens when force is applied to the board, acting like a responsive spring as the rider moves from turn to turn. 

“Flex” – Refers to a snowboard’s ability to twist lengthwise (longitudinal flex) and/or widthwise (torsional flex). A “softer” board has more willingness to twist, while a stiffer board has less.  

"Radius” – Refers to the degree of sidecut a board has. A lower number indicates greater maneuverability, and a board that is easier to turn.  A higher number indicates a board is better for riding at high speeds. 

“Rocker” – Refers to an upward shaping of the board before the tip and tail, making it easier to initiate and exit a turn, and helping the board to float more efficiently in powder. 

“Sidecut” – Refers to the inward arc created by the edges of the board.

Know Your Skill Level

Whether you are just starting out or have been riding for years, your skill level will influence the ideal length, shape, and material makeup of your new board.

Safe & Fun

You are just starting out, or board a few times a year. You’re still gaining experience with different snow conditions. You enjoy the easier runs and fun is your primary concern. 

Solid & In Control

You can handle most of the mountain.  You snowboard several times a year and are most comfortable with ideal snow conditions.

Fast & Confident

You snowboard everywhere on the mountain with confidence. You ride faster than most. Performance is your primary concern.

Know Where You Ride

Are you a slopes-only rider? Or do you enjoy practicing your skills on jumps and rails? Knowing where you prefer to ride and the typical snow conditions at your favourite mountain will help you in selecting the perfect board

Freestyle/Park

Riders who prefer to spend their time in the park and pipe typically lean toward shorter boards, which are easier to spin and maneuver. The majority of snowboards are designed as multi-directional, twin tip boards, with a rocker at each tip so that they can be ridden either direction.  These boards place the rider in the middle of the board, and provide more versatility for freestyle riders to land jumps and park tricks.  

All-Mountain

Riders who prefer to spend their time on the slopes typically choose a slightly longer board that provides increased stability, and more control at higher speeds. All-mountain boards are a great all-purpose choice for freeriders. Occasionally, freeriders opt for directional boards that are meant to be ridden primarily in one direction, and positioning the rider towards the back of the board. 

Know Your Weight

The length of your board varies depending on your body size. Snowboards are typically measured in centimetres, and should directly correlates to your weight and the type of riding you plan on doing. A rider who is too light for their board will have a hard time bending and maneuvering the board in their turns, resulting in less control and a greater potential for falls. Alternatively, a heavier rider can experience less control at higher speeds if their board is too short.

A note for beginners: Many new riders opt for a shorter board length, as it allows for more control and responsiveness when learning to turn.

Though often overlooked, the width of your board is an equally critical factor. The board should be wide enough to accommodate both your boots, while in the bindings. Otherwise your toes and heel will hang over the edge of the board, creating drag or catch, which can slow you down or even cause a fall. 

Know Your Boots

Having properly fitted boots will help you make the most out of your new snowboard, maximizing both your performance, and enjoyment of your time on the hill. Pairing these with high quality bindings, and equipping yourself with a certified helmet, will help keep you safe and secure on the mountain. 

HOW TO CHOOSE AND FIT THE RIGHT SNOWBOARD BOOT

This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.