Don’t go into your local shop or chain store and pick up the first snowboard you see! First, consider the type of fun you enjoy on the slopes, and then check out how these designs can give you that cutting edge.
All-mountain snowboards are a great type of generalized snowboard. It doesn’t matter what terrain you’re riding on, how hard the snow beneath you has been packed, or what the weather conditions are.
All-mountain boards – as their name implies – are designed to handle all types of mountains. As such, they’re among the best for beginners.
These are also directional boards – a detail we’ll touch on later – but you can customize your board’s make to ensure it fits your style of riding more effectively.
So, are you just getting familiar with your terrain of choice? Then you’ll want an all-mountain board for your next winter sports adventure.
Freestyle or Park Snowboards
Are you feeling frisky? Then a park snowboard is an ideal model for you.
As the name suggests, freestyle snowboards are best in snowboarding parks, where you can attempt tricks without having to worry about your model bending in the wrong direction.
These boards are lighter than some of their sturdier cousins and far more flexible.
However, you don’t have to stick to the parks with this variety. You can take these boards out onto groomed slopes or a mountainside; just be prepared for a bouncy ride.
While park snowboards aren’t the fastest out there, you will still need to leverage some aggression to keep them stable outside the park.
Alpine snowboards aren’t ideal for trick snowboarders. However, if you want to carve down a hillside with exceptional skill, this narrower design will be excellent for you.
Alpine boards are stiff and meant to help you move quickly down a hillside. They’re also more stable than trick boards, so you’re less likely to go tumbling if you shift the wrong way.
For some, the greatest appeal of the sport is taking to the mountains and exploring the gifts Mother Nature has to offer.
If you want to trek through majestic mountainsides, or just leave the groomed slopes of a ski park behind, then a freeride snowboard is the ideal design for your needs.
Freeride snowboards are excellent for maneuvering down long, winding hills – especially those a little wilder than the kind found in a park.
They generally provide the best edge hold, and are built stiffer than average. As such, they’re great for rougher terrain, but not so easier for beginners to master. They typically like aggression.
If you’re not looking for a mountainside retreat, a day in the trick park, or a general cruise down a groomed slope, what are you after? One word: powder.
Deep powder describes freshly fallen snow that hasn’t yet been packed down by the environment or by other snowboards.
So, if you want to dive head-first into a pile of the fluffiest snow you can imagine, you’ll need a powder snowboard.
Powder snowboards are designed with deep snow in mind. As a result, these boards are less great on other types and may struggle heavily on hard-packed snow. Even still, when placed in their perfect element, you can sail over deep snow like a dream.
The bindings on powder snowboards, along with the board’s general shape, are meant to provide ‘float’, making it easier to move in and out of deep snowbanks.
This video goes into more details about the types of snowboards commonly available.