How To Buy Your First Snowboard

How To Buy A Snowboard

When buying your first snowboard, research before you buy. You should also try and rent or demo a snowboard.  A demo board has been used.  Companies go around to different mountains and shops and let people try out their product before buying.  After the boards have been demoed they are returned to the company rep and they sell the used demo boards for cheap.  So the difference is the demo board has been ridden.  Before you start shopping there are two things you should understand to get the proper board.  First thing you need to know is about you.  The second, is information about the board.  



Information About You

When choosing which types of board you should be looking at you will need to know your boot size, skill level, your riding style, how much you weigh and height.  This information will help you to determine the length, shape, flex and width of your board.

Experience Level

It is very important to know your experience level when buying a board because many boards will be made specifically for riders at each level.  There are three skill levels of riding, beginner, intermediate, and expert.  A beginner is someone who has never been snowboarding or who is learning there way down a run.  An intermediate rider is going to be more solid on there feet, can ride toe and heel edges, starting to ride switch, possibly riding in the park or just advancing there skills.  An expert rider is very confident strapped to a board.  They can adapt and ride in any conditions and can ride in steep terrain under control.

Shape  The shape of your board will determine the style of rider you will be.  There are four basic shapes to ride on; twin, directional, twin directional and tapered. This refers to the length and width of the nose and tail.

A twin board is symmetrical, nose and tail are identical in length and width. This board is usually used by beginners. They are designed to ride forward or backwards or switch. 

Directional boards are designed to go one way and have a longer and wider nose than tail.  This board will give the rider more performance and suspension.

Tapered boards are designed for powder riding.  A tapered shape has a much wider nose than tail and that gives it more float in powder.  It is an exaggerated version of a directional board.

Flex   You might want to consider what kind of flex that you want the board to have.  You might want a soft or stiff flex.  There is a number assigned to the flex.  The flex rate is 0-10 scale, 0 being a noodle and 10 being a brick.  Flex is a personal preference.  Beginners should use a softer flex, all mountain riders usually prefer mid-range flex, a stiff board is best for hi-speed riding for stability.

Riding Style When buying your first snowboard, your type of riding will be the biggest deciding factor in your board choice.  The four main types of riding style includes, freestyle, free ride, all mountain and powder riding.  

Freestyle will be jumping, riding trails and boxes and the half pipe.

Free ride is cruising around the runs and doing long deep carving, higher speeds and more natural terrain. 

All mountain riding is freestyle and free ride combined.  Boards for this type of riding will have a twin directional shape, around a 5 flex and the length should be adjusted based on which style the rider tends to lean towards.  

Powder junkies are highly advanced riders, and the boards they use will be stiffer and longer and have many cambers for riding in powder.This is to get a better float on the powder,

Width is going to determine what board you buy.  The size of your feet is going to make a difference in your board choice.  If you have a boot size 10 or less a regular width board and if your feet are bigger than you should get a mid-wide or wide snowboard.  You should only have about 1/2 inch, or one inch of toe heel overhang.  

Length  All snowboards are measured in centimeters from the nose to the tail.  Length is important to its performance. The best way to determine if the the length is right for you is to stand the board up.  The board should come up between your shoulder and nose.  And then add your weight and riding style.  If you are a heavier person add a little more length to your board.  Beginners will like a shorter board.

Information About The Board

Camber A camber board is a traditional with an arch at the center and the nose and tail are the main contact points.  Traditional camber gives freestyle riders more pop and all mountain riders more responsive edge changes.  They also will hold their shape and flex longer than most rocker boards.

Side Walls With the side walls there is a vertical area on a board between the base and top.  They hold the board together and protect the edges of the core from damage.   

Side Cut A side cut snowboard is the curved cut in the side of the board that give it an hourly glass shape.  The side cut is measured in meters by the radius of the circle that would be created if it were continued all the way around. 

Base The Base of the board is important.  Beginner riders should buy an extruded base, this is less expensive and requires less maintenance and wax.  A higher quality of base is more costly and more maintenance and a better performance.

Mounting Bindings Some boards will have different mounting options.  When buying a board, you should know what kind of bindings you are going to use. It is important to make you sure that you buy a board that your bindings connect to your board correctly.

Core  The core of a snowboard could be made out of synthetic materials like honeycomb, aluminum or fiber base.  

 Watch this video on how to buy your first snowboard by Snowboard Addiction 

Try and buy an All Mountain board that fits under your chin. This video, would have saved me $350 on a 159″ K2 Snowboard, that was way too big for me.  My first time on a snowboard was with a Burton rental that was fit exactly to my size, weight, height and ability.  I used a rental for the weekend and then a week later went to buy my first snowboard without having the knowledge of how to buy the right board.  The salesman sold me a board based on the design that I picked, I didn’t know anything about this. The K2 board I bought was way too long and heavy.  I used it for a season, until someone said, “that board is way too long for you”. I finally bought a new snowboard that was a 140″ which is perfect for my size.  

Safe riding and always wear your helmet. Share and like on Facebook

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