How to Choose the Right Snowboard?
Looking through a snowboard catalog, you might feel lost by the different options available—especially if you’re unsure about the type of riding you want to do.
For example, on the Telos store alone you can find all-mountain boards, freestyle boards, shortboards, powder boards, and more.
What does it all mean?
In this article, we’re making it simple: You’ll see the most common types of boards, with some real examples from the Telos catalog.
Note that the categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, you have all-mountain freestyle boards, like the Chillum, which combine all-mountain and freestyle riding. Furthermore, almost all board styles (with the exception of freestyle) can be made into splitboards. Hence you have a freeride monster like the DST Carbon in a splitboard version for backcountry touring adventures.
After reading this article, you should be able to understand the different types of boards and start picking one out for your quiver.
Snowboard sizing & stiffness
One of the critical determinants is board length. Generally, you need to opt for a length that matches your body weight so you don’t have to worry about losing control. If the board is too short in proportion to your weight, it becomes difficult to control at high speeds. If it’s too soft, the board can also lead to sudden wipe-out and over-flexing. If the board is too long in relation to your weight, you could have a difficult time maneuvering it. There are some exceptions to this rule with some of the new styles of boards out there, specifically volume shifted or short boards.
Your riding style might also come into play when choosing the right size. Most freestyle riders usually opt for a sized-down board since it gives them a skate-inspired style. Sizing down adds a sense of mobility to your snowboarding activity and gives you an edge on learning new tricks. Similarly, fast riders may also prefer slightly longer boards. It provides more stability and a stiffer board response.
Snowboards are often divided into five different categories: freeride, powder, split board, all-mountain, and freestyle.
An all-mountain snowboard is an all-rounder that works well for almost any snow condition and terrain. Since they’re highly versatile, all-mountain snowboards are great for beginners who are still in the process of figuring out what terrain suits them best.
A freestyle snowboard is a sweet ride for both in and out of the park. They come with twin tips and are incredibly lightweight, short, and flexible. All mountain freestyle snowboard is a better option if you’d want a playful and lively trip down the mountain or a terrain park.
Freeride snowboards are specially designed for adventurous riders who like having fun off of the groomed runs. These are more like directional boards that offer a stiffer run compared to a freestyle board. Since it’s a directional board, one end always faces downhill.
Just as the name suggests, powder snowboards are best for deep powder snow. They’re ideal for deep snow regions and have special features for better floatation. The tail, board flex, shape of the nose, and binding inserts are all designed for better stability in deep snow.
If you’re fond of climbing in the backcountry, there is no better option than a split board. These boards are split in a way that creates two skis for touring. You can climb up untracked backcountry slopes and then reconnect the two halves to snowboard downhill. However, these are for experienced riders who have the right skill and expertise for unpatrolled slopes.
Example: Lemurian Split