Board Buying Guide
Our staff are fully trained to help you choose the right equipment, but before you visit us in-store, or if you prefer to buy online, consider the following steps to get an idea of what to look for.
Step 1: What's your ability level?
Each board has been given a rating of beginner, intermediate or advanced. Below is a guide to help you find out where you are with your riding.
From your first day on snow you’re learning to side slip and control your edges, linking those first turns and stopping with control. You’re successfully conquering blue runs, venturing onto some reds and getting on and off chair lifts with ease.
You are now improving your carving ability and confidently taking on red runs. You’re trying out switch riding, looking for more challenging terrain such as powder runs and you’re into trying jumps and rail riding in the parks.
You’re now riding around the mountain with confidence and style, looking for new adventures to further your riding. You have control carving even on icy pistes and steep terrain. You’re now confident riding a variety of snow conditions, from crust and ice to park and powder riding.
Step 2: Your riding style
Now you've established your ability, it’s time to consider the kind of riding you prefer. We’ve split our range into the categories Freeride, All Mountain and Freestyle. If you’re new to the sport, the All Mountain category is a good place to start as these perform well across all terrain.
Check out the descriptions below to see which style appeals to you.
Carving down the pistes, getting air, seeking out powder turns wherever possible and exploring the entire mountain. Snowboards designed for Freeriding have a directional shape, designed to be ridden forwards and at speed. The nose of the board is longer and higher than the tail, and the stance will be set back for superior floatation in powder. They are also stiffer in flex for stability at speed.
All Mountain Snowboards:
Go anywhere and do anything, poach the powder in the morning, carve the fresh groomers in between, then session jumps and rails. All in a day! These boards are designed to perform in any type of terrain. They are directional in shape, with the nose set slightly higher than the tail to provide good float in powder. Medium in flex to enable them to adapt to any kind of terrain. This is the most versatile snowboard category.
Jumps and spins, learning new grabs, sliding boxes and rails and tricking around on anything in sight. Shorter nose and tails make them spin faster, softer flexing and shorter lengths for increased agility for park riding. Board shapes are twin, meaning that they are identical in construction and flex from the nose to the tail making for easier switch riding. Some boards in this category are also suitable for beginners.
Step 3: Your board length
Choosing the right length board is vital. The first and most important factor is your weight, and this will affect how the snowboard reacts. Refer to the weight range underneath board sizes for a guideline. The other factor to consider is what kind of riding you intend on doing. A longer board will provide more stability and fl oat when freeriding. Boards for freestyle tend to be shorter in length so are easy to throw around. If in doubt, ask our staff and they’ll be glad to help you out.
What board width?
This is directly linked to the size of your boots. A board that is too narrow can mean toe and heel overhang, creating drag as you turn. Too wide and you’ll lose the response edge-to-edge. As your rule of thumb you can allow around 1.5cm overhang.Look out for this symbol: It denotes if the board is wide.
Camber + Rocker Explained
The 2011/12 Season sees a huge increase in variations of Camber and Rocker snowboards with brands using different profiles for different styles of snowboarding. They all differ in name from brand to brand and you may have heard these profiles referred to as Rocker, Reverse Camber, Banana and V Rocker to name a few, but most commonly they are referred to as 'Rocker' snowboards. The types of rocker used will differ between brands according to their end use. Some are aimed at the more All Mountain and Freeride snowboarders and some at Freestyle and Park riders. But they achieve more or less the same result; to make snowboarding more fun!
To understand what Rocker is and what it does it's important to first understand how each board profile works. We’ve broken it down into the 4 board profiles you see below:
Camber is the slight arching upward curve in the middle of the snowboard. It helps distribute pressure evenly across the length of the snowboard, giving you that springy feeling in and out of a turn and awesome pop in the tail. Found on a selection of all mountain, Freestyle and Freeride boards.
Superb for beginners and advanced riders alike, the rise of the tip and tail away from the snow results in easier float in deeper snow, allowing quicker progression and more enjoyment in powder. It also gives a looser, more manoeuvrable feel, freeing up the contact points for less edge catching and more confidence. This works well across a variety of conditions and different companies use this kind of profile to varying degrees depending on the intended use.
The best of both worlds and well suited to riders looking for a more progressive all mountain ride. Rocker in the middle of the board with camber sections underneath the feet. This gives the springy suspension like feel of camber in and out of turns with end to end stability for more advanced riding, coupled with the easier powder float and playfulness of Rocker.
A board with flat or Zero Camber will lay completely flush to the snow into a regular rise tip and tail. This maintains the stability and pop of Camber and benefits from less edge catching and improved powder float of Rocker.