Do you like to jib in the park, seek out fresh powder or cruise down the groomers? No matter what you do, there is a board for you.
Types of Snowboards
These boards are best for all around terrain and conditions. Whether it’s groomed runs, park & pipe, or backcountry powder, these boards offer the most versatility. All Mountain boards with a softer profile are great for beginners who are still exploring and developing their riding preference.
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This is your best option for riding in the park. Freestyle snowboards are light, flexible, and short. These boards suit the experienced park rider who wants to push their limits in park and ride a livelier board. However, they’re not as stable at high speeds and on hardpack.
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This is a backcountry specific board that allows you to go up as well as down. The board splits in half, turning into two skis for uphill travel. They are lightweight and the best option for snowboard touring. This is a great design for backcountry devotees who have the skills and knowledge needed to safely explore the backcountry. These boards are not stiff as they are able to be split in half, but a few brands like Odin and Winterstick make stiffer models for backcountry charging.
Camber – (also known as regular or positive camber)
Camber delivers a lively, stable ride and provides pop and responsiveness on hardpack or groomed runs.. Experienced, speed-oriented riders favor cambered boards.
Flat – (neutral, or no camber).
Flat camber enables quick turns and maximum feel while increasing float in powder. Think buttering turns!
Rocker – (aka reverse camber)
Rocker style boards have upturned tips and tails. The design excels in powder and when jibbing or riding rails in the park. Rockered boards are softer than cambered boards and more appealing to novice riders. Experienced riders are still able to coax powerful rides out of them.
Mixed camber – (or modified rocker)
Mixed camber has exploded in popularity, and manufacturers have hatched lots of rocker variations to address specific performance attributes. There are far too many varieties to explain here, take a look at this fantastic article from REI.
Twin boards are symmetrical in design and have no difference in performance whether you ride them forward or backwards, this makes them the popular choice for park and pipe riding.
Directional twin boards are great for people who ride all over the mountain from groomers to the park.
Directional boards are designed to be ridden forward/downhill. These are less common and built for mocking groomers at high speeds. Essentially a race board.
Different snowboard manufacturers offer different mounting options, so make sure your bindings and board are compatible. For more details on bindings and compatibility check out our article on how to choose the best snowboard binding for you.
Deeper sidecut boards will have a larger variance between the tip and waist. These boards turn quickly and easily, and are great for beginners and people who spend most of their time on groomers
Shallow sidecut boards will have wider waists and excel in powder. These are better for high speeds and more stable when plowing through crud.
Snowboards have a metal edge that will bite into the snow helping provide control and steering. The effective edge is the edge that makes contact with the snow throughout your descent.
A longer effective edge provides stability and grip while at high speeds and turning. Longer effective edge provides better grip on icier slopes.
Shorter effective edge allows the board to turn and spin easily.
Soft boards are forgiving and easy to turn. They’re usually preferred by beginners, riders with lower body weights and park riders.
Stiff boards provide more grip when turning and hold speeds better than softer boards. They also hold an edge better when descending fast.