As snowboarding has become more popular, the number of snowboard manufacturers has exploded.
There are over 30 brands that produce at least two models each and there are hundreds of models available! It is mind-boggling how many choices you have to choose from when outfitting yourself for your first board or choosing a new one.
So, how do you choose the right snowboard for you?
Well, snowboards are designed to help you do different things. Some boards are meant for going fast, carving turns and, some are for doing spins and jumps.
If you are a beginner, it is best to ask the advice of people who have been riding for a few seasons and choose a board that suits how you ride.
One thing that is important is how the board flexes. The flex of your board will help determine how it performs on different types of snow. It will also help how the board reacts when turning.
Soft boards are meant for beginners and make the board more forgiving to new riders. They are good for powder days or softer snow. A soft board is generally loose underfoot though, so be careful if you try to ride fast on a freshly groomed run.
Intermediate to advanced riders should look for a board that has either medium or stiff flex. The stiffer boards are generally better but because of how you ride, how hard you land your jumps, and how often you want to try spins, this is where it’s a personal choice.
Snowboarders who like to spin and do tricks tend to like a board with a stiffer flex.
More advanced riders should consider how their board actually turns. If you are looking for performance turns, look for boards that have a camber profile and side cut and an upturned nose and tail.
This allows the snowboard to carve very well and turn easier than other types of boards. Boards that have a flat profile and no side cut are for those who want to go fast and straight without turning much.
You also need to be asking yourself, what size snowboard do I need? While this is a question that only you can answer, there are some things to consider.
If you weigh more than 150 pounds or so, it will be hard for you to maneuver a small board on the mountain. Snowboarders between 100-200 pounds should look at something in the range of mid-sized boards (145cm). Boards of this size are easier to turn and more forgiving on the mountain.
Some last things to consider when choosing your new snowboard are how much you are willing to spend, how long you plan on riding for, how hard you are planning to ride, what kind of powder you prefer riding in, and so on.
To summarise, it is important that you never buy a snowboard based on how good the graphics look. There are so many choices out there, do some research and find something in your price range for how you ride.