Buying a board is a big step and can be exciting if you know what you want. Each snowboarder wants different things so before you buy decide what it is you want to do with your board and what kind of snow your planning on boarding in. Different boards are going to help you rip it in the park than those designed for shredding on the mountain or enjoy the backcountry. So before you buy you should ask yourself these questions: Where will I do the majority of my riding? And what kind of snow will I be riding in?
The most important thing to consider when buying a board is the length. The length is measured in centimeters and depends on a few aspects. One aspect is your weight. Most boards come with size guidelines. However, a good rule of thumb if a size guide is not available is the longer board goes fast and the short board has more control. Stand the board up on its tail and hold it up to you.
Short (collarbone to chin) – shorter boards lead to more control. Riders who are inexperienced would probably want a board on the shorter side. Boarders who ride mostly in the park would also consider riding a shorter board.
Long (nose to chin) – all-mountain riders love the longer boards. The longer the board, the faster you will go. You forgo some control; however, you get more speed and float on snow.
Longest (nose or above) – if you ride in deep powder, a really long board might be a good option.
The next thing you need to consider is the width of the board. You want your feet to expand across the whole width of the board to ensure control. If your toes or heels hang off the edge of the board you need a wider board.
The size of the board is the most important when picking out a board that is right for you. There are many other variants in the board that you may want to consider. There is the flex of the board, camber and base. Although these are just small things, experienced riders may want to consider these when buying a board.
The camber of your board refers to the arch that extends the length of the board. For a more in depth overview of camber check out this post.
There are two types of bases: extruded and sintered. Extruded bases require less maintenance and wax. The extruded also is easier to fix when broken. A sintered base requires more waxing and maintenance but have better performance. The sintered base requires a regular wax otherwise the performance will decrease.
The flex of the board is basically how flexible the board is. A soft board is easier to control and less likely to catch edges. It’s a good option for freestyle riders. All-mountain riders usually prefer a mi-range flex, which is the most common. This flex is good for a variety of riding. If speed is your name, you will want to look for a stiff board. The stiffer boards are more stable at high speeds. They are also good for riding in powder.
When it comes to finding your perfect board, ignore the graphics and focus on what you want your board to do for you. Find out what aspects are important to you and find the board that fits your needs.