If you’re looking to buy a snowboard you’ve come to the right place. With so many options to choose from narrowing down your selection can be tricky so we’ve created this easy to use snowboard buying guide.
Traditionally snowboards are cambered, giving them an upward arching curve in the middle to help distribute pressure evenly across the length of the board for a springy and responsive feeling. Still popular in freestyle boards cambered boards offer maximum energy and pop as well as good edge hold and stability on hard packed snow and at high speeds.
A rocker, also known as a reverse-camber board, is a camber turned upside down. Ideal for both beginner and advanced riders, the rise of the tip and tail away from the snow results in easier float in deeper powder. A rocker will also give a looser, more manoeuvrable feel, freeing up the contact points for less edge catching and more confidence.
A flat snowboard, or zero camber, will lay completely flush to the snow into a regular rise tip and tail maintaining the stability and pop of camber but with the less-edge catching and improved powder float of a rocker.
Camber, rocker, and flat profiles can be combined in a variety of ways to create different rocker profiles. These combination rockers give riders the best of each type for different mountain rides. Brands are constantly experimenting with new and combined rocker types.
Directional boards are, as the name suggests, intended to be ridden in one direction. They’ll usually be stiffer in the tail and softer towards the nose to ensure stability at high speed. Directional boards are common in freeride and all mountain categories.
Twin shape, or true twin, boards are symmetrical with identical tip and tail measurements and flex patterns. Bindings are usually mounted in the centre for stability whether you’re riding regular or switch. True twin boards are usually found in the freestyle category.
Direction twin shapes are a mix of both directional and twin with symmetrical nose and tail but with a directional core or vice versa. Directional twins are suitable for all mountain and freestyle.
Snowboard flex varies between boards but are not standard across the industry so brands will often give a number rating from 1-10, 1 being softest and 10 being the stiffest, with medium flex around 3-5.
So what flex should you go for? Here’s a breakdown of soft and stiff flex, with medium flex falling somewhere in between.
Softer flexing snowboards are typically good for freestyle and all mountain, allowing a more forgiving turn. Good for beginners, lightweight riders, and park boarders. They’re a little more unstable at high speeds.
Stiffer snowboards are good for freeride and backcountry riders offering edge control and stability at high speeds.
As standard there are four different snowboard hole patterns for bindings; 4x4, 2x4, Burton 3D, and Burton Channel. 3D and Channels options are specific to Burton boards and will usually only take Burton bindings too.
For more help and advice specific to your skiing needs, visit your nearest Snow and Rock store for expert advice.