What are the different types of snowboards?
Different types of snowboards are designed for different styles of riding, which is also dependant on your skill level.
In the following sections, we'll break down each style, explaining the type of riding the board is designed for and hopefully give you a good indication on what style will suit you.
Freeride boards are recommended for beginner use as they are easier to control if you're new to the sport.
If you're crossing over from another board sport, these boards can also be a great board for learning to ride the snow park and halfpipe.
Freeride is the keyword here... if you want a 'go anywhere' board that will perform well in most conditions and not cost you the earth, this will be the board for you!
Freeride boards, also known as All-Terrain or All-Mountain boards, are the most popular type of snowboard. This is because they are ideal for many types of terrain including slopes, snow parks and halfpipes.
Freeride snowboards usually have a fairly soft flex and are easy enough for beginner use, but still stiff enough to hold a fast turn on hard snow. The tail of the board is generally narrower, shorter, and flatter than the tip of the board. This is called a directional shape, meaning the board is designed to perform best when ridden with your normal stance, however they can still be ridden switch stance (backwards).
If you're looking for a stable board to blast around the mountain on, which will cope adequately well in both pipe and park conditions... a freeride snowboard is definitely the board for you.
Freestyle boards are generally shorter, lighter, wider and easier to manoeuvre. The tail and tips are the same shape and size. The most common freestyle boards have a centred stance, which means that both ends mirror each other, giving good balance and the ability to ride switch stance (backwards).
Freestyle boards also make a good choice for beginners who want to progress to park and pipe oriented riding as they allow greater movement and are light enough to perform tricks and airs.
To sum up, if you want to be the next Shaun White, floating massive airs out of the half pipe and throwing huge inverts in the park, a freestyle snowboard is your best choice.
What skill level am I?
There are three main skill levels. The type of boards that you can use will depend on how experienced you are.
Beginner / Novice: From total beginner to having a few days worth of riding experience. Riding supervised slopes. Starting to get into the snowboarding scene.
Intermediate: Comfortable riding without supervision, being accustomed to common riding techniques and possibly starting to try out a few tricks on the slopes.
Advanced: Proficient in riding all areas of the mountain. Experienced in more difficult tricks and airs.
What size snowboard should I get?
You don’t need to be a certain weight, or height to snowboard but that will help determine the length, width and flex of the board you should buy.
Length: Generally, the board should stand between your chin and nose when set on its tail. Measure the distance from the ground to the tip of your nose whilst standing upright, as well as up to the base of your chin. Your ideal board length will be between these two dimensions. All of our boards have the length in the title, shown in centimetres.
Width: In general you should aim for a board width that suits your boot size and stance angle. Too much overhang is bad as it will cause drag while turning. Ideally your heel and toe should sit right on the edge of the board. This will maximise pressure when turning or carving. To estimate the correct board width, measure your foot from heel to toe then allow a couple of extra centimetres for the boot.
Weight: If you are of average weight for your height and build, then using the above methods alone should be enough. If you are light for your height and build, then it is recommended that you go for a softer flex board and maybe a board that is a little shorter. If a light person rides on a board that is too stiff or too long, they will have problems with control, which can be dangerous. If you are heavy for your height and build then it is recommended you go for a stiffer flex board and maybe slightly longer. When a heavy rider uses a board that is too soft or too short, it will perform badly.
Almost all snowboarders choose soft boots, regardless of their skill level. Soft boots offer flexibility and movement... essential for advanced freestyle moves. They are lightweight and comfortable and have a choice of traditional lace locks as well as the BOA system (pictured below) which enables smooth boot closure with no pressure points.
As you would expect, we offer a wide range of soft snowboard boots from the top brands in snowboarding.
Snowboard bindings are the interface between your boot and board. Typically they have two ratchet operated straps that enable you to firmly attached your boots to the board. They are fully adjustable, both in the tension applied to your boot, along with stance width and angle.
How much you spend on bindings really depends on your budget. In general, higher priced bindings are manufactured with lighter, high performance materials and offer greater adjustment of your setup.
Snow gloves are essential out on the mountain, even if you are out summer boarding on a glacier. Not only do they provide warmth and shield your hands against the elements in the winter, they also protect your hands from potential injury from razor sharp snowboard edges and crystalised snow and ice.
If your planning on learning to snowboard on a dryslope prior to hitting the mountains, a good quality, strong pair of gloves will protect your hands from the abrasive surface.
Snowboard mitts are also very popular as they tend to keep your hands warmer, plus using these on the dryslope significantly reduces the risk of broken fingers in the unforgiving matting.
Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and cold weather is essential when out on the mountain. We stock a wide range of snow goggles, from entry-level fixed lens goggles through to the higher spec goggles that feature interchangeable lens systems.
With these systems, specialist lenses are available for your preferred goggle style, making it possible to use a lens suited to the lighting conditions - boost contrast and depth perception on an overcast day, reduce glare on a bright day... refer to the product features for guidance.
A good snowboard helmet provides essential head protection with the added bonus of keeping your head warm. There are various types of snow helmet, including ones with adjustable padding and integrated audio systems.
All the snowboard helmets we sell on the site are kitemarked or carry the CE approval standard and conform to relevant British and European safety standards.
Whether you're learning to snowboard or ripping the park, it's always a good idea to protect the vulnerable areas of your body - the safer you feel the harder you can push yourself. Bums, backs, hips, knees and wrists are all prone to injury while out snowboarding, so it's well worth investing in suitable protective gear.
The very same gear is used in Moto X and with the impacts those guys endure, you can be sure it will serve you well out on the mountain.
A padded snowboard bag is always a good investment - it will protect your board from damage while in transit and is usually big enough to store your boots, bindings and all the rest of your snow gear. Most bags also include a padded shoulder strap, making it comfortable to carry around the airport or out in resort.
The majority of snowboards available at Surfdome are supplied with a free snowboard bag.
Every sport has its own lingo, so here's a quick jargon buster to get you up to speed!
Air - Perform a jump or a trick off the ground.
Bail - To pull out of a jump or trick.
Carve - To make a turn using only the edges of the board.
Fakie - To ride with your opposite foot forward - ie backwards. Also known as switch stance.
Goofy - To ride with your right foot forward.
Grind - To ride an object, making contact with your board edges.
Half Pipe - A u-shaped structure carved out of the snow to enable riders to perform tricks from wall to wall.
Jib - To momentarily ride on or hit obstacles like tree stumps and fences.
Pow - Freshly fallen, untracked snow.
Regular - To ride with your left foot forward.
Still need help?
Feel free to contact us - 0844 357 1022. Most of us snowboard, so we'll be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.