If you are new to the sport of snowboarding, you might be overwhelmed with all of the information and equipment surrounding it. An important thing to know when you are getting started is the different types of snowboards.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor, and I’ve been helping many people learn how to ride, or improve their abilities, over the last ten years. I’ve used every type of snowboard, and I have firsthand experience with the differences and similarities between each one.
In this post, I’ll explain the different types of snowboards to help you understand when and why you might want to use one style over another. It’s basic knowledge but good stuff for every rider to know.
Let’s get started.
Freestyle boards are the type that is built for the terrain park and for doing all sorts of tricks and maneuvers on the snow. These boards are a lot of fun to ride and allow you to be creative and controlled on different airs and features.
Freestyle boards will have a twin shape, meaning that the board will be very symmetrical. This gives you the ability to ride switch easily. You can take off and land in either direction, which expands what you can do inside and out of the terrain park.
This type of board is usually lighter and more flexible than other styles of boards. This gives you plenty of flex to complete tricks like butters and presses while also being easier to maneuver in the air.
A freestyle board is also usually a little shorter than what a rider would use for other situations. This usually translates into a couple of centimeters shorter than your regular length for a standard board.
Freestyle boards are great in the terrain park but have limitations in other situations because of their softer flex and shorter length. They will chatter at high speeds and don’t do great in cruddy conditions.
All-mountain boards are the most common type of board you will see on the mountain. This is because they are incredibly versatile and can very literally perform all over the mountain. If you want a one-quiver option, you’ll want an all-mountain board.
All-mountain boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can work for all ability levels from beginner to advanced as well. Boards of this type can be either directional in shape or more twin-leaning.
Directional all-mountain boards will perform better in big mountain situations where the terrain is a little more technical. Twin-shaped boards will allow you to ride switch and use that to your advantage in the terrain park.
The average all-mountain snowboard will have a medium flex, but you can get one that is slightly stiffer or softer, depending on your preferences. A good all-mountain board will hold up well in just about any situation you can find yourself in.
The downside of an all-mountain option is that they don’t specialize in a particular condition or terrain. They will be capable in just about everything, but they won’t be as good at freestyle as a freestyle board or as good in powder as a powder board.
Also Read: Best All-Mountain Snowboards
Freeride boards are built for more serious riders who like to venture outside of the typical resort run. They have an aggressive personality that translates into powerful performance when you need your board to be at its best.
Most freeride boards will have a directional shape. This allows you to handle high speeds and challenging terrain better than a twin shape. It also means that they aren’t really designed for riding switch.
Freeride boards are aggressive by nature, and that means they will have a pretty stiff flex. They are meant for experienced riders who know how to handle a performance board. If you are a beginner, you probably won’t be able to handle a freeride board.
Backcountry riders often prefer freeride boards. They are versatile enough to handle a variety of conditions and do well in powder situations. They aren’t good for freestyle riding because of their stiffer flex and directional shape.
I love freeride snowboarding and think that a dedicated board in this style is a must if you want to challenge yourself and get away from the crowds. They are built for high performance and are a ton of fun to ride on.
Read More: Best Freeride Snowboard Reviews
Powder boards are designed for the deep stuff. That makes them a very specific type of board that you might not want to use every day on the mountain. But when the flakes start to fly, having a powder board can pay off.
Powder boards are usually a little wider than other styles of boards. This gives them more surface area to float and surf over deep snow. They also have a directional shape that sometimes features a cutout tail.
This shape can help you lean back on the board and keep your nose out of the snow. It makes for an amazing experience in deep snow. Powder boards usually have a medium flex that is responsive without being too soft or too stiff.
Powder boards will also have a heavily rockered profile which keeps the tail and tip floating on top of the snow. This makes them less capable in groomed or icy conditions but ideal for powder.
Here are some quick answers to the most common questions relating to the different types of snowboards.
What are the 4 types of snowboards?
The four types of snowboards are all-mountain, freestyle, freeride, and powder. They all have slightly different shapes and flexes, making them more ideal in a particular kind of riding over another.
What is the most popular snowboard?
The most popular type of snowboard you’ll see is the all-mountain board. This type is very versatile and can be used all over the mountain. That makes it a popular choice with beginner and advanced riders alike.
What type of snowboard should I get?
You should match your board choice to the type of snowboarding you like to do the most. If you like the terrain park, get a freestyle board. If you live for fresh tracks, go with a powder board. If you want versatility, an all-mountain option is best.
What is an aggressive snowboard?
An aggressive snowboard usually has a stiff flex, making it harder to control while offering better performance in challenging conditions. Aggressive boards are better for advanced riders who know what they are doing on the mountain.
If you are an experienced rider, you probably have a few boards that are different styles. If you are just getting started, an all-mountain board will give you the versatility to explore and figure out what your favorite style might be.
Make sure you match your riding ability and conditions to the type of board you choose. This will let you have the most fun and use the board to your advantage.About Lorraine