Winter is the time of the year where pretty much everything slows down – the days are shorter, and most people spend more time indoors than outdoors. But winter also brings the opportunity to have fun, and yes, we’re talking about skiing and snowboarding.
Snowboarding is an adrenaline-packed sport, but only if you know how to do it, and with the right equipment. And no, we don’t mean just getting the first snowboard you lay your eyes on, but carefully picking one that will suit your level of experience and snowboarding style.
There are different types of snowboards, with each type corresponding to a different snowboarding style and the type of terrain you can ride on. If you don’t know which one is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. Go through our comprehensive guide on the various types of snowboards, and by the end of it, you’ll know which one to get.
Types Of Snowboard Shapes
We’ll start off by explaining all the different snowboard shapes, their characteristics, and the style and terrain they are suitable for.
A directional shaped snowboard is the type of snowboard that can be used to ride only in one direction. Their design is characterized by the pointy tip and blunt tail, with the tip being the main factor in improving front movement, while the tail helps increase balance by allowing you to tilt backward a bit so that you can add more grip to your turn.
This snowboard shape is more suitable for backcountry and freeriding, as it gives you an advantage on powder snow. The pointy tip you can find in directional shape snowboards improves float in deeper and softer snow.
Some people see twin-directional and true twin snowboards as one and the same, but they are different.
Twin-directional snowboards have a slightly bent nose, an almost flat tail, and are generally stiffer than others. This makes them perfect for all-mountain or freestyle, as their stiffness allows for you to make stronger turns and to have more control while landing and jumping on the terrain park.
True Twin Shape
Unlike the twin-directional, where the tip and the tail differ in shape and size, true twin snowboards are the same on both ends and are also much more flexible. This makes them perfect for riding in both directions, and the fact that their bindings can be set at various positions adds to their versatility.
You can ride on each side without feeling a difference, which is perfect for snowboarders who like to shake things up every now and then, and who spend a lot of time going fast and performing long jumps.
The driving force behind your snowboard is your body, and since your body is asymmetrical, why not have an asymmetrical snowboard?
Asymmetrical snowboards are slowly becoming a popular choice, and this is due to their tuning capability, which allows riders to significantly improve their turning ability and all-round control with just a few tweaks of the places where the bindings should be.
Asymmetrical snowboards usually have a shorter sidecut, and most of them are made to have a fairly soft flex, making them suitable for different styles of snowboarding.
Types Of Snowboards Based On Style
Okay, so you want to snowboard, but how? What style will you have? Will you ride down groomed snow, go backcountry, or maybe hit the terrain park and perform tricks?
The answer to these questions will narrow down your choice of snowboard by a lot. Here you can read about the different snowboards and the styles that go with them.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll find that all-mountain snowboards will suit you the most, as these are best for all who haven’t defined their style and are willing to try out different terrains and maybe go for the terrain park. All-mountain snowboards can do it all.
Most all-mountain snowboards come with a directional shape, a short tail, and a deeper sidecut, making it easier for riders to engage strong curves.
For riders who are addicted to making tricks and flicks, freestyle snowboards are their perfect partner in crime. Their shape can be true twin, or twin-directional, but with a more centered balance point, making it easier for the rider to switch sides or initiate mid-air turns. All fun and games on the terrain parks, but not really suitable for riding slopes as they have longer sidecuts, which makes initiating curves mid-ride a bit more difficult, but not impossible.
Freeride snowboards are basically backcountry snowboards with a bit of extra stiffness to aid in doing tricks on soft powder. They mostly come in a directional shape which enables a backward stance, making them perfect for going downhill on unexplored terrain. The tip is slightly bent, but more than the tail, which ensures better float, and the deeper sidecut allows you to make stronger curves in powdery snow.
Yes, freeride snowboards are good for powder, but they aren’t as good as powder-specific snowboards when it comes to deep soft snow.
The deeper sidecut of freeride snowboards makes them unsuitable for deep powder, because the deep sidecut allows for easier turning, but that also means you lose a lot of momentum and you might come to a stop if you try it. Powder snowboards come with broader tips and tails, which significantly improve float, but reduce turning ability, meaning your legs better be ready for some hard action if you grab one of these.
All the different types of snowboards out there might seem like someone trying to over-complicate the fun that is snowboarding, but they are needed. The best part is, there are versatile snowboards, like the all-mountain type, which will allow you to explore your snowboarding potential and see if you belong in a certain category or not.
Spend some time going over all the specifics and types, and soon enough you’ll find the snowboard which will be the source of fun for many years to come.