Buying the right and best snowboards for you has become a lot harder than it used to be. There are so many different manufacturers and distribution companies competing for your hard earned money and so many different types of boards. This can make it an overwhelming experience to choose the snowboard that is the best fit for you especially if you’re a beginner.
There are are many different kinds of snowboards but for the most part they all fit into the following three categories. The categories are 1- All Mountain/Free Ride, 2- Free Style and 3- Alpine/Carve.
All Mountain/Free Ride boards are pretty universal. They are designed to be used all over the mountain. Whether you’re trekking through the back country, sticking to the groomed part of the slopes or pulling a couple basic tricks in or out of the half pipe, these boards can do it all. This is what makes it a great board for a beginner.
Free Style boards are used for just that, riding Free Style and busting all kinds of tricks. These boards have a lot more flex than others and because of this are easier to control. This also makes it a good board for a beginner who ultimately wants to get into catching some big air and bust some big tricks.
Alpine/Carve boards are more stiff and have a lot less flex to them. They are for tearing down the mountain as fast as possible and carving hard along the way. This would not be the best board for a beginner.
There are a few things you need to consider when figuring out what the best snowboards are for you and those are, your height, weight, shoe size and the style of riding you want to do.
You’ll also need to know what your current ability to ride is, e.g. whether you’re a beginner, intermediate rider or advanced.
First things first, what type of rider are you or do you want to be?
Beginner – You’ve been snowboarding three or less times.
Intermediate – You go about 3-5 times per year minimum and have no problem riding fakie (aka backwards), catching a little air and turning.
Advanced – You have been riding for a couple years minimum and go at least 10 times per year. You have no problem pulling off some sick tricks and making the mountain look like it’s your second home.
Next, choose what style of riding you want to do from the above listed definitions. Whether you want to do All Mountain, FreeStyle or Alpine, it doesn’t matter which you choose, it’s just your personal preference.
Once you’ve decided those two things we now get to more of the personalization of your snowboards with snowboard sizing.
For the length of the board, when standing it on it’s end next to you a good rule of thumb is that it should be up to between your chin and nose.
The width of the board needs to be wide enough that the heels and toes of your boots don’t drag when you turn.
If you weigh a little on the heavier side you’ll need a more stiff board so it doesn’t flex too easily. Where as if you’re on the smaller or lighter side then you’ll need a board that is less stiff so that it does flex a little easier which makes it easier to turn.