You might have heard the terms freestyle and all-mountain being floated around when talking about snowboard gear but might not be sure of the differences exactly.
This post will highlight the major differences between freestyle vs all mountain snowboards so that you can decide which type will be the best option for you.
I will take a look at the differences for the following snowboard specs
- Camber Profile
In general freestyle snowboards will have a softer flex than all-mountain snowboards.
Freestyle snowboards typically have a medium-soft flex (a 3 or 4 out of 10 with 1 being the softest and 10 the stiffest). And some freestyle riders who are more jib oriented or street riders may go even softer and go for a 1-2 out of 10.
Check out the post below for more on freestyle snowboard specs.
All mountain snowboards still need to be able to ride the park and ride freestyle but they also need to tackle the groomers and, for some, the backcountry.
For this reason all mountain snowboards tend to have a medium flex (5-6 out of 10).
Not too stiff so that you can still do tricks, hit jibs etc but stiff enough so that you get the edge-hold, speed and stability at speed advantages of a stiffer flexing board, for when you’re riding steeps and more challenging trails or in the backcountry.
Check out the link below for more on all mountain snowboard specs.
Freestyle boards virtually always have a true twin shape. If not a true twin then an asymmetrical twin (which is really close to being a true twin).
All mountain boards on the other hand are more likely to be directional twins. Though all-mountain snowboards do come in almost every shape available they are most often directional twins – with the directional shape being the next most common.
Check out the all mountain link above for detailed stats.
When choosing a freestyle board you will typically choose a board that is a few centimetres shorter than your “standard length”. A shorter board allows for greater ease of throwing the board around for tricks.
The standard length is the same as the all-mountain length. The all-mountain board needs to strike a balance between all sorts of riding so you will want a board that is in between a freestyle length and a freeride length.
Check out the post below for more on choosing the right length.
99.9% of the time a freestyle snowboard will have a centered stance. That is to say that you will ride completely centered on your board.
This is because freestyle riders are often riding in the switch position and a centred stance will be the easiest stance for riding switch.
A centred stance also makes it easier for hitting jibs and doing spins etc.
All mountain snowboards are rarely centered. They usually have a setback stance. But they are rarely set back a huge amount either. Typically an all mountain snowboard would have a setback stance of anywhere between 5mm and 20mm.
Whilst freestyle snowboards come in every type of camber profile, most freestyle snowboards have some amount of rocker in them.
All mountain snowboards some in every type of camber profile and what you go with really depends on your personal preference.
There are some freestyle snowboards that have a sintered base but a majority come with extruded bases.
This is mostly because sintered bases are more expensive to produce and therefore the cost of the snowboard is more – and they are unnecessary on a freestyle snowboard. In fact a lot of freestyle riders prefer an extruded base because it checks their speed better when approaching obstacles.
Extruded bases also require less maintenance (not saying that freestylers are lazy!).
Often the decision between an all-mountain board with a sintered or extruded base comes down to what you are willing to spend on a snowboard. Sintered bases aren’t 100% necessary for all all-mountain riders but they’re a nice-to-have if you’re willing to spend a bit extra.
Thanks for Reading
I hope this has helped you to learn the difference between a freestyle and all-mountain snowboard and helped you to decide which one is more appropriate for you. For more a more indepth look at the different types check out the links below.
If you aren’t sure whether a freestyle or all-mountain snowboard is the best choice for you then you might want to look at freestyle-all-mountain snowboards.
Freestyle-All-Mountain boards are a hybrid of freestyle boards and all-mountain boards and have some specs that are typical of freestyle boards and some that are typical of all-mountain boards. Check out the post below to see if you think this type of board might be what you are after.