Snowboards

Snowboards

LENGTH

When buying a snowboard, it is important to make sure that the size matches your personal preference in riding style, as well as your own height and body weight. If you have ever rented a snowboard you may have had to stand next to the snowboard and if it hit your chin it was the board for you. While this may be a good starting point, there is much more that needs to be factored in to get you the best ride possible.

Picking the right size board depends often on what you want out of your riding and therefore you may be unsure about what would best benefit you.

The basic rule for picking a snowboard’s length is as follows:

  • If you will be mainly riding park or freestyle, then aim for a shorter board for more control with your tricks.
  • If you will be mainly all-mountain, powder, backcountry or just riding fast and hard on the groomers then aim for a longer board for better stability.
  • If you are above average weight for your height then a longer board may be better.
  • If you are a beginner or an intermediate level rider then a shorter board may be better and provide you with better control.

Use this size guide to help you choose the right size for your body dimensions.

 

 

 

 

TYPE
Picking the right snowboard for the type of snowboarding that you will be doing is essential to getting the most out of the mountain. While you are able to ride any snowboard on each type of terrain or condition, making sure you get the right board can vastly improve your ability.

Below are the main types of snowboards to help you better understand what they exactly do.

All-mountain
All-mountain boards are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to snowboarding. They are able to take on almost any type of terrain and feel at home on almost all types of runs that will be found in Australia.
Freestyle/park
Freestyle or park snowboards are for those who prefer to hit jumps, rails, boxes and terrain parks, as well as prefer to ride switch (non-dominant foot forwards) and play around on the runs. Freestyle boards are commonly shorter than most boards with a large amount of flex and a true twin shape which is best for switch riding. The trade-off with freestyle boards is that they may lack the versatility of other boards, meaning that they won’t be as good in the more complex run riding.
This board combines the versatility of an all-mountain board with the playfulness and flex of a freestyle board. These are a great option if you enjoy riding park and harder runs but don’t want to buy two separate boards.
Freeride
Freeride boards are for those who prefer to take themselves off the runs and into the variable terrain of the backcountry. These boards often have a stiffer flex and are usually longer than standard snowboards. Freeride boards are often given a directional shape, which performs optimally riding in one direction.
Powder
Powder snowboards are for…. you guessed it, powder. These boards usually feature a wider nose with a narrow, often cutout, tail which requires mainly directional riding as well as set back bindings to provide better float in the deep snow.  The tradeoff is their run-carving ability. These boards are not best suited for Australia and instead are best in places like Japan and Canada where there is more snow and more backcountry areas.
Splitboard
Splitboards are boards specifically designed for backcountry exploration. They are built with the ability to be broken in two along the center to form separate halves almost like skis, which allow for touring and uphill climbing with ski skins attached. Once you have reached the top of the run you simply connect the two back together and ride down like on any other snowboard. These aren’t really designed for Australia and instead, like powder skis, are best used in the overseas backcountry.
Directional
This shape of board is common for most freeride and all-mountain boards where the focus is on riding in one direction. These boards can feature softer flex in the front with a stiffer build in the back of the board for allow for more grip and better edge control in carving.
True twin
This board shape is usually the more common shape that you can see on the mountains. It features two symmetrical ends with an identical flex and a stance usually in the middle to better allow for riding switch and parks.
Directional twin
This shape combines the benefits of both the directional and true twin shape. This board is the best of both worlds as it allows for directional carving and better backcountry performance while still allowing for park riding and tricks.
Asymmetrical
These boards are an attempt to improve many of the issues that are seen with regular shaped boards. The design principle of these boards is that we are not symmetrical, so why should our snowboards be. These boards incorporate a sharper side cut on heel edge to better aid with carving.
CAMBER/ROCKER
As a good rule, all these snowboards aim to achieve different goals so it’s best to think about what type of snowboarding you want to be doing and then pick what would best fit in this category.
Camber
Cambered boards are designed to have the contact points at the ends of the board with the center of the snowboard rising up in the center which is pushed down once the rider is standing on the board. This allows for the snowboard to have large amounts of pressure on the contact points, which provides better edge control and hold. It has the added benefit of increasing the board’s jumping (pop) ability, as it is pre-tensioned, allowing for more power to be put into your jumps.
Rocker
Rockered boards are often called banana boards, which is for good reason. These boards have the main contact point in the middle with the board curving up at each end. This board provides a loose, playful feel with its main benefit coming from the extra float in powder or deep snow. The downside to these boards is that they aren’t as fast or as good at holding an edge or turning compared to cambered boards.
Flat
These boards are designed to have a flat contact with the snow across the whole face, and only rise up at the tips of the board.  These boards provide a smooth ride and a good edge hold due to the rider’s weight being spread evenly across the board and its contact with the snow. The trade-off to this is that they lack the playfulness and pop that cambered boards provide.
Hybrid
Hybrid snowboards are designed to combine all the different shapes into one board. These can appear in a variety of different combinations with different profiles aiming to create the best all rounder possible. For example, this may be rocker in the middle with camber between the bindings, which aims to provide easier and looser turning while still keeping pop.
FLEX
Most brands record their board stiffness in a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means the softest and 10 means the stiffest. However, the scale in-between this can differ from company to company so if you’re worried about board stiffness then it may be best to check what the brand says about the rating.
Soft
Soft flex is most common in freestyle/park snowboards and many all-mountain boards where people require a more forgiving snowboard that allows for easier turning and initiation of tricks. This type of board is best for beginners, casual riders and park riders. It provides a loose, buttery feel at low to medium speeds; however, it lacks hold and control at high speeds.
Medium
A medium flex board is for those who want to be stable at high speeds and have the benefits of a stiff board while still maintaining the flex and being less unforgiving compared to a stiff snowboard.
Stiff
Stiff boards are built for freeride and backcountry. They are better at holding an edge and are more stable at high speeds. These boards are more common with advanced riders as they are more difficult to control if you are a beginner or a lightweight rider.
WIDTH
Snowboard width is dependent on the size of your snowboard boot. The aim is to have just a little bit of your boot go past the edge of the snowboard, but not an overhang that will cause your boot to drag on the snow.  If you have a regular sized foot then most snowboards will be fine, it is only when your foot size is larger or smaller than the average that you may want to go for a narrow or wide board respectively.
BINDING INSETS
Binding insets come in 4 different designs that differ across brands so it is important to check what type of board will match your bindings. The standard universal binding insert is a 4×4 or a 2×4 pattern. These are used across most brands except Burton; therefore, if you are not using Burton bindings or a Burton board then you will have no problem using these inserts.
BINDING INSETS
Burton uses their own two different designs: a 3D insert pattern and a channel insert. If you are using Burton bindings then they will usually work for all 4 patterns, but bindings from other brands may not be compatible with Burton boards unless you use an adaptor system to connect the two. If you have a Burton board with the channel inset and are purchasing non-Burton bindings, please check if they come with a Burton channel adapter.
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