As with all technical snow sports, the number and range of snowboards on the market is massive. There is a snowboard to suit all tastes, budgets and riding desires. So how do you go about choosing the perfect snowboard for you?
If you’re just starting out, it’s a safer bet to rent a snowboard. That way you’ll find out if you really do enjoy this sport, once you have overcome the first hurdles of learning to snowboard.
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Now you’ve decided to buy a snowboard
What is your chosen snowboarding passion? All mountain or freeride snowboarding; freestyle, powder, back country, boardercross? And who are you? A beginner, intermediate, expert, man, woman or child? And how tall are you and what do you weigh? All these factors need to be taken into account when buying the best board for you. See, nothing is ever straightforward!
So there are: Freeride snowboards, freestyle snowboards, backcountry snowboards, wide snowboards, powder snowboards, children’s snowboards, women’s snowboards and boardercross snowboards.
Consider your riding ability when buying a snowboard
Beginner: Snowboarded one to three times.
Intermediate: Board three to five times a year, turns are no problem, you can ride fakie and catch some air.
Advanced: Oh, you're looking fab and skilled on and off piste!
What type of snowboarding do you most enjoy?
All mountain or freeride style: You like to carve, ride on and off-piste, do a few tricks and have fun.
Freestyle: You’re a keen trickster, enjoying the half-pipe, jumping, spinning etc.
Carve or Alpine style: This is high speed and includes lots of hard and accurate carving.
Now for the snowboard dimensions
Length: Most experts advise that when standing a board up against you that it should land between your chin and nose.
Width: Ensure you have a board that is wide enough to prevent your heel and toes touching the snow when you turn.
Weight: A heavier snowboarder needs a board with stiffer flex, while lighter riders should go for softer flex.
Once you have made a list of all your likes and dislikes, plus your personal statistics, it’s time to shop around. There are a multitude of brands and designs, as well as prices.