A snowboard is a board that resembles a wide ski used for gliding on snow. Both feet are secured to the board as a person slides across the snow. There are four general types of snowboards, and choosing one largely depends on your ride styles. These are Powder, Freeride, Freestyle, and All Mountain. Each of these types has certain characteristics that suit different ride styles, ability levels, and terrains.
Like skiing and skateboarding, snowboarding takes many different forms and approaches. For instance, you are up for a casual cruise or more expressive with jumps and tricks. These techniques influence the snow boards that match your snowboarding goals.
In snowboarding and other winter sports, ‘powder’ is a snow condition after a heavy snowfall. It is freshly fallen snow on the mountainside and is always smooth and soft. You will hear snowboarders and skiers say powder snow cushions any fall. Thus, powder snowboarding is easily the most forgiving activity. Any board can be used in powder, but specific powder boards elevate the experience completely.
Powder snowboards are best used in deep snow and sometimes in steep terrain. These boards provide a stable ride in various snow conditions, but most efficiently for deep powder. It has more surface area in the nose that allows it to float better. You can put weight on your front foot without worrying if the board will sink. Powder snowboards usually run taller than other snowboard designs. It has a wider nose narrowing into the tail. The side cuts range from mellow to sharp.
Freeride snowboards excel in ungroomed snow and varied terrain. It is designed for more adventurous riders in the backcountry. It is also a good type to use for more speed, hard carves, and steep slopes. Freeride boards are usually ridden with one end facing downhill.
Freeriders are known to be big mountain riders, opting for tree runs, chutes, and rugged terrain. That’s why freeride snowboards are stiffer than other types of boards. It has a tapered directional shape for more aggressive downhill rides. Many designs have a hybrid camber profile to add stability and edge hold. Its longer length also helps in floating on powder.
For a more playful ride, freestyle snowboards are the best choice. A freestyle snowboard is known for its design symmetry. Thus, it performs taking off, riding, and landing all equally well. They are lighter, shorter, and more flexible. They are ideal to use in terrain parks and for performing tricks in halfpipes. However, they are not recommended for fast cruising since they provide less stability and have a limited edge grip.
Freestyle snow boards can have twin tips, meaning the board’s tip and tail are symmetrical in shape. This design allows beginners to easily ride forward or backward. This snowboard type can also be directional-twin, meaning the tail is stiffer than the tip. Stiffer tails make carving turns better.
When it comes to riding a mountain present with all snow conditions, an all-mountain snowboard is a rider’s choice. These boards are designed for handling a broader range of ride styles. They are a general must-have board aside from niche boards for just powder or terrain parks.
All-mountain boards are great for beginners too. Their versatility will allow you to explore any condition or practice certain ride styles. These boards are often directional, meaning the board’s tail is flatter and narrower than the tip. This design improves float and helps in going through variable snow.