Know Your Snowboard Terms
Here are a few terms you should know before choosing a snowboard:
“Camber” – The downward arc built into the core of the snowboard. Camber is usually present underfoot in most rockered boards and the running length varies by model and usage. A cambered board flattens when force is applied, responding like a spring as the rider moves from turn to turn.
“Rocker” – 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.
"Flex” – 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.
“Sidecut” – The inward arc created by the edges of the board.
“Radius” – 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 that is better for riding at high speeds.
Know Your Skill Level
Whether you’ve been riding for years or are just getting started, your skill level will influence the ideal length, shape, and material makeup of your new board.
Level A: Safe & Fun
You’re just getting started or you board a couple times a year. Still gaining experience on different snow conditions, you enjoy easier runs and fun is your first goal.
Level B: Solid & In Control
You can probably handle almost any area of the mountain. You get out snowboarding a few times a year and are most comfortable in ideal snow conditions.
Level C: Fast & Confident
You can snowboard anywhere on the mountain with confidence in whatever snow conditions the hill throws at you. Faster than most riders, your performance is your biggest concern.
Know Where You Ride
Do you enjoy practicing your snowboarding skills on jumps and rails or are you a slopes-only rider? To help select the ideal board for you, first you should know where you prefer to ride and the typical snow conditions of your favourite mountain.
Snowboarders who spend time in the park and on the half-pipe typically prefer shorter boards which are easier to maneuver and spin. Most snowboards are designed as multi-directional twin-tip boards with a rocker at each end so they can be ridden in either direction. When riding a freestyle/park-style board, the rider is typically positioned in the middle of the board in order to provide more versatility for you to land jumps and other park tricks.
If you prefer to spend more time on the slopes than in the park, you might choose a slightly longer board that offers increased stability and increased control at higher speeds. An all-mountain board is a great all-purpose choice for freeriders. Sometimes freeriders go for directional boards that are meant to be ridden primarily in one direction and position the rider towards the back of the board.
Know Your Weight
The most appropriate length of snowboard for you depends on the size of your body. Measured in centimetres, the length of your snowboard should directly correlate to your weight and the type of riding you plan to do. If you’re too light for your board, you’ll find it challenging to properly maneuver on the hill, resulting in less control and a greater potential for falls. Alternatively, heavier riders can experience less control at higher speeds if their boards are too short.
A note for beginners: As it allows for greater control and responsiveness when learning to turn, most new riders opt for a shorter board.
The width of your board is an often overlooked element but is an equally critical factor when choosing the right board. The board you select should be wide enough to accommodate both your boots when in the bindings. You don’t want your toes and heels hanging over the edge of the board, creating drag or catching, resulting in a slower ride or even a fall.
Know Your Boots
Boots that are properly fitted to your feet will help you make the most of your time on the hill, maximizing your performance on the snowboard and your overall enjoyment while riding. Pairing the right boots with high-quality bindings and equipping yourself with a certified snowboard helmet will help keep you safe and secure on the mountain.
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.