Wondering how to buy a snowboard? Read along!
There are around 10 to 12 million skiers and snowboarders in the US. Nothing feels better than ripping through the snow on your snowboard. To smoothly ride down a mountain, you need killer skills and a high-quality snowboard.
Whether it’s going to be your first snowboard or 10th, buying a snowboard is always a fun, exciting, and very personal process. With so many options available, it can be really overwhelming to choose the right one.
Buying a snowboard is no walk in the park, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Purchasing a snowboard is like you making coffee for your family; your brother might think it’s too dark, while your sister might think it needs more milk. A snowboard that might work for your friend would not necessarily work for you.
To act upon your needs, you first need to understand your needs. Ask yourself these six how to buy a snowboard questions, and by the time you reach the end, you will know which snowboard you are getting:
What Type of Snowboard Do You Need?
Think about your riding style when you are buying a snowboard. The type of snowboard you should get depends on your riding style. Learn more about the five types of riding styles to see if you are a mountain or do-it-in-the-park person.
- All-mountain snowboards are designed to go anywhere on the mountain. They are suitable for beginner riders who like to explore a wide range of terrain.
- Freestyle snowboards are suitable for park riding. They have a directional twin shape and are typically shorter.
- Freeride boards are designed for adventurous riders who love doing tricks.
- Powdered boards are designed with deep snow in mind. They are longer and wider than other snowboards and feature a rocker for better rotation.
- Splitboards are normal snowboards that can be split into two halves. They are a little heavier, which makes them perfect for backcountry snowboarding.
How Good of a Snow Boarder Are You?
Now it’s time to determine what ability level you are. Different snowboards are designed for people with different abilities. There are three skill levels of riding:
- Beginner: If you have learned to sideslip, control your edges, and take correct turns, you should consider getting an all-mountain snowboard.
- Intermediate:If you are know how to make turns and stops, consider getting freestyle snowboards.
- Advanced:Feel free to buy a snowboard according to your style if you have learned how to make quick turns at any speed.
- Expert:If you have mastered your game, buy specialized equipment for the different styles of boarding you do. Boarders who want to show off their talent in parks purchase freestyle boards, while the ones who are into backcountry snowboarding find their love in split boards.
Are You Looking for a Specific Shape?
Learning more about the different shapes can help you make the most out of your riding. There are five snowboard shapes that you can choose from, including:
- True twin shape
Boards with true twin shapes are completely symmetrical. They can be identified by the equal tip and tail. You can normally find this shape in freestyle and all-mountain snowboards.
- Directional shape
Directional shape boards help you sustain stability while carving at high speed. Unlike true twin shape boards, their nose is longer than the tail. A directional snowboard for freeriding and power boarding.
- Directional twin shape
A directional twin is a combination of true twin and directional shape boards. They feature an asymmetrical shape with a softer tip. They are mostly used by mountain and freestyle riders.
- Asymmetrical shape
Your body is not symmetrical from front to back, why should snowboards be?
Asymmetrical boards feature shorter heel side and longer toe sidecuts, which makes carving easy and fun.
- Tapered directional shape
Tapered directional boards have a wider nose than the tail. They are particularly suitable for free riders. Tapered shape boards are great for floating in powder and maneuvering in the trees.
What Length of Snowboard to Get?
It is important to keep your preferred riding style in mind while purchasing a snowboard. Previously, people were told to get snowboards that perfectly rest against their chin. That’s not the case anymore. The most trusted element to use while calculating the length of your snowboard is your weight. Snowboard manufacturing companies have size charts available on their website. All you have to do is look for the length according to your weight and height.
Are You Looking for Horizontal Flexibility or Vertical Flexibility?
Horizontal or also called longitudinal flexibility is the flexibility from the nose of the board to the tail. It can be progressive or continuous. If you are a freestyle snowboarder, you should consider getting a softer board to ensure a smooth landing.
Vertical flexibility, also known as torsional flexibility, refers to the flex across the width of the snowboard. Softer vertical flex helps with sharper turns, spins, and landings. Snowboard companies rate a board’s flexibility on a scale of 1 to 10.
- 1-2 means soft flex
- 3-4 means medium-to-soft flex
- 5-6 means medium flex
- 7-8 means medium-to-stiff flex
- 9-10 translates to stiff flex
Freerider boards generally have a flex rating of 7 to 10, while all-mountain riding boards’ rating is between 4 to 7. Which flex is best for you depends on your riding, style, ability, and weight.
What About Snowboard Width?
Snowboards come in a variety of widths. Generally, a narrower snowboard is easier to control. But, it might not necessarily be the case with you. To pick the right size, you will need to see how your boots fit on the waist of the board. If your feet fit the exact width of the board, buy it!
Our Final Thoughts
We hope that you now know how to buy a snowboard. Buying a snowboard can be a really personal journey. It’s okay if the steps overwhelm you. A snowboard can last you between 150 to 200 days and costs anywhere between $200 to $400. It wouldn’t feel like you got it for a song. So, it’s important to follow the steps to ensure that you find a snowboard that is best suited for your needs.