Buying a Snowboard is not as easy as it used to be. There are lots of different manufacturers and even more of different models. It can get very confusing process.
The snowboard has evolved from a simple design to many different styles and functions.
Purchasing a snowboard requires a few key questions to be answered, but guess what! We have the answersfor you right here. Your weight, height, foot size and riding style are the main factors that will define the appropriate stiffness, height, width and shape of the board you will buy.
So lets start with the first question.
Note down your answers so you can take them to the shop when you go to rent or buy a snowboard.
Your riding ability?
If you’re a beginner, first time, newbie, taking a lesson, snowboarded 1-3 times.
Intermediate- board 3-5 times a year, ride switch/fakie catch some air, turns no problem.
Advanced- buttering up those 270s on to boxes?
What type of riding style do you enjoy most?
Your desired riding style or the terrain you wish to ride will help determine the type of board you should rent or buy.
The three main categories of riding styles are.
1. All Mountain / Freeride style snowboarder utilizes the whole mountain. You enjoy carving, catching air, making turns in fresh powder or just cruising the slopes. If you fancy a bit of everything, then all mountain is where your style is.
2. Freestyle includes mostly trick riding. Jumps, spins, grabs, jibbing, rails, basically tearing it up. Technical freestyle riding is usually found in the parks or near the halfpipe. Freestyle boards can tend to range from very soft boards(ideal for buttering and jumps) to very stiff(ideal for pipe).
3. Carve/Alpine style combines speed and deep turns and utilizes everything the mountain has to offer. Alpine riders are continually transitioning from one turn to the next. It is all about high speed and hard carving. Next we move on to the question of your weight and height, this will help us pick the correct size of board.
A good rule of thumb for all mountain is that the board should stand between your chin and your nose when set on its tail. For freestyle it should be a little shorted so you can make faster spins or put more pressure at the nose or tail of the board.
Snowboard width is usually directly related to your foot size, you need a board wide enough so your heel and toes do not drag in the snow while turning.
A major factor in determining the correct board size also has to do with your weight. Riders who are heavy should look for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need a board with a softer flex. Also if you are heavy for your size then pick a longer board this will give you more surface area. Like wise if you are light for your size pick a shorter board. As the increased size will make it harder for you to control the extra surface area of the board.
CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD
There are multitudes of board manufactures, a good idea is when going into your local rental shop or ask the honest opinion of the brands. If you’re a newbie rider, go for one of the bigger brands, they tend to have better support and warranty.
A new snowboard costs between U.S. $99.00 and $600.00.. Most Snowboard companies offer a selection of boards at different prices. The higher end boards are usually pro models or have a high technical built to them.
Snowboards are a great way to get a message across. Most buyers choose a snowboard because of its graphical nature. This is a way to show the world your inner spirit, or not. Snowboards are quickly becoming works of art. Most Snowboard companies provide a large selection of designs and colors to choose from. Many manufacturers will not keep the same graphic for the model type board regardless of size. Graphics is a personal decision and should be considered only after the proper board characteristics have been decided. But most riders choose a board based on graphics rather than compatability.
TIME TO BUY?
Wait! Rent first
If you are beginner it is a good idea to rent. This will allow you to try a few different styles, models and brands of Snowboards. Ski Resorts offer snowboard rentals. Board, boots and bindings can all be rented at the same time. Many local sporting goods shops also offer snowboard rentals. This is helpful to do the day before so all proper adjustments can be made.
What about a used board
A used board is a great way to go if your budget is tight, Just make sure the condition of the board is good otherwise you could be wasting your money on a board that wont ride very well. Check the rails(metal edges)for any cracks or separation from the board it self. Top sheet for any cracks in the top of the board, it might be an indication to how hard to board has been ridden. Check the base for any large scores or any signs of separation from the rails. Some boards can be fixed if they’ve had a nasty hole put in them and they can be as good as new. But just check , you your common sense.
What about Last year’s models?
This is a good way to get a new board at a great price. Unless some new material is found in outer space, it is a safe bet that last years model will ride just about as good as this year’s. Summer time is a great time to start your search for last years model, (even though its the same calendar year). Most shops want to get rid of these boards so they can make room on their shelves for the new boards. EX demo boards. Every shop will have last year’s rentals or ex demo board lieing around somewhere. Ask them and you might find yourself a bargain.