What’s the best way to choose your snowboard?
That’s the question that many of us ask, and all the jargon doesn’t always make it easy for a snowboarding newbie…..
Are you more freestyle or all mountain?
If it sounds like double Dutch to you, you’ve come to the right place.
Do you like to do one run after another, full steam ahead? Prefer floating through powder snow? Like to throw a few 360°turns in the snowpark? The perfect snowboard is the one designed to suit your favourite terrain type.
You can improve really quickly when you’re learning to snowboard, so it’s better to buy a board that is best adapted to the type of terrain you intend to spend the most time on.
Type of snowboards:
All Mountain or Freeride
An All Mountain snowboard can be used in many different conditions and types of terrain (backcountry, park, on and off piste). It’s the perfect buy if you’re not sure which will be your favourite type of terrain.
This board is often recommended for beginners because its versatility makes it easier for you to learn, keeping you safe but allowing you to experience thrills and great sensations.
This is the best board for having fun and doing tricks in the snowpark.
Freestyle snowboards are short, lightweight, flexible and symmetrical, which makes landing a lot easier.
They are great for anyone wanting to push themselves out of their comfort zone, whether in a snowpark or off piste.
Their major disadvantage is their lack of stability when you’re going really fast or in bad conditions (ice, hard snow etc…).
This is the perfect board if you want to get off the beaten track. It splits into two parts, creating touring skis so that you can climb up the mountainside. When you get to the top, you just need to put the two parts back together again and enjoy the run back down.
This type of board is normally used off piste so you need to know the mountains well and be aware of the risks involved, ensuring you take safety equipment with you. If you fancy giving snowboard touring a go, you’ll find plenty of useful info here:
Swallowtail: powder snowboard
Called a swallowtail because of its shape, this board is exclusively for use in powder snow. With a tapered profile and a longer nose than other boards, it floats better in deep snow.
To find the right length of board, you should use the manufacturer’s instructions, which will advise you on the best length of board to suit your height, weight and board type.
As for the board width, if your boot size is 43 or more, opt for standard width. If you’re boot size is larger than that, you’re better off with a wide, which tends to be slightly broader than a standard so that your boots won’t touch the snow as you turn.
If you want to try before you buy, head along to an event like Val Thorens’ Grande Première event (LINK) where you can try out lots of different boards in the test village.
So, now that you’ve found the perfect board, you can head to the slopes of Val Thorens with no further ado!
What’s the perfect board for you?