When you see snow, you think of a lot of things – the Alps, hot chocolate, skiing, and Burton. It is also easy to see snowboarders gliding down to their heart’s content while carving and turning slants in the slopes. You can imagine how effortless and easy it is. Yet when you try your hand at it, you know you still have a long way to go before you can even hit a double diamond.
Snowboarding looks cool and nerve-wracking, all at the same time. If you are intent on making this your sport, then you should be prepared to have your gear. While you can rent your snowboard at the resort, having your own Burton can make you feel like you are already a professional.
Your board length depends on how tall and heavy you are. The store technician at the resort’s rental shop estimates what you need by checking out if the tip of your board reaches the space between the chin and nose. As a beginner, you can go for this first. And as you grow into the sport, you can check out other options to see which suits you best. Some experienced riders go for shorter boards for better aerial movements.
There are different types of boards, such as freeride, alpine, and freestyle. But both experts and neophytes believe that freestyle is better. It is highly recommended for beginners to use this because it is easier to turn and also lighter and shorter than most freerides. You would still be learning air spins, and riding forward and backward (also known as a fakie,) so you need something you can be safe yet easy to manoeuvre in a split second.
As you feel more adventurous and adept in riding a snowboard, you can opt to change to a freeride or alpine at any time. It is best to ride on a freeride if you will go in just one direction. But for faster speed, you should go for an alpine (also known as a race board), which does quick edge turns and sharper carves due to its narrow shape.
Snowboard width and boot size
Your boots are equally as important as your board. They should be just right to determine the correct snowboard width. Shoes that are too small will slow down your response time. However, if they are too big, it will compromise your safety since you may fall because it snags on the snow. So, you should ensure that the size is enough to keep you safe.
The design and construction of the snowboard greatly affect its performance rate. The profile is the shape of the board when you look at it from the side. For beginners, a camber profile is recommended. It has a rising centre with up-turned sides. It will give you a better edge hold and meant to be used for faster riding.
Another popular profile for neophytes is the rocker (or reverse camber), which looks like a U-shape board. Riding it feels like you are on a surfboard with a better float. If you go for bombing hills and rails, it may be best to consider a camber/flat board instead. There are endless possibilities.
While expert snowboarders prefer stiffer boards for off-piste or fast riding, beginners should opt for a softer flex. You can manage and manoeuvre it quicker and easier than others.
When choosing your board, you should consider a lot of things aside from the design. It is best to think about your riding terrain, the perfect match of the boot to board, and your current ability. Only then can you choose the best board, which will last you a lifetime.