GET THE RIGHT GEAR FOR YOU
Whether in a shop or on the Internet, sifting through the mass of new snowboarding gear can be daunting—but buying a proper setup is not. Just ask yourself what type of riding you do (or want to do), and follow this simple advice for buying your new kit.
Common Rule: Stiffer (generally more expensive) boards, boots, and bindings are very responsive and supportive—making them ideal for fast, aggressive riding or freeriding. On the other hand, softer gear is more forgiving—better suited for learning the basics, jibbing, and stretching out grabs. There's also plenty of gear that sits right in the middle and does it all.
NAVIGATE THE CAMBER JUNGLE
Never has the snowboard been offered in so many different shapes, accompanied by so many confusing names. These new board shapes give you options and excel in specific conditions and certain riding styles. Whatever your fancy, take a minute to consider the attributes of each, right here.
Zero camber is the middleman. Sitting right between a cambered and rockered shape, these offer a completely flat profile.
- Best for: A consistent flex with subtle benefits of both camber and rocker—not too aggressive, not too loose.
- Weaknesses: A dead zone between the feet, sluggish at initiating turns.
Reverse Camber (Rockered) boards have an up-lifted shape. It can be as subtle as a small rise toward the tips, or a drastic V-shape throughout the length of the board.
- Best for: Easy jibbing, powder float, playfulness, and learning the basics.
- Weaknesses: Instability, unpredictability, and looped-out landings.
These boards utilize elements of both camber and rocker throughout, in an attempt to capture the best of both designs.
- Best for: Variable conditions and terrain, one board quiver.
- Weaknesses: Disrupted flex patterns, weird balance points on boardslides, subtle instability.
TWIN: A 100-percent symmetrical snowboard that rides identical in either direction. The nose and tail are the same shape, and the stance and flex are centered.
DIRECTIONAL: A board where the stance and flex pattern (or both) are set back from center. Typically featuring a slightly longer nose than tail; they're designed to ride best forward, but can be ridden switch, too.
DIRECTIONAL TWIN: Combining elements of both the directional and twin shapes, they may have a twin flex pattern but a directional shape or core, or vice versa.
W (Wide): These boards are built wider across the waist to accommodate a bigger boot size. The extra width eliminates toe and heel drag. Wides are recommended for riders with size eleven or larger boots.
MW (Mid-Wide): Mid-wides are built slightly wider for riders with size ten to eleven boots and mellow stance angles, or riders simply looking for a little extra float in a board.
REGULAR: These boards are built with simple, traditional camber. Laying flat with the base down, the profile of the board arcs to its high point at the waist of the snowboard.
ALTERNATIVE: These boards are constructed with some sort of variation on traditional camber. These variations include but aren't limited to reverse camber, rocker, flat, concave, or any possible combination of these.
Board length is the overall measure of a snowboard from nose to tail. Length is measured in centimeters.
Board width is the distance across your snowboard at the waist or middle point. Width is also measured in centimeters.