The question “What Snowboard Should I Buy?” is a very important question and one that can give quite a complicated answer if you don’t know what you are looking for.
But too many snowboarders ignore this question and just buy the first snowboard that they can get for a good price, or the graphic that they like, or the board that their friend is selling, or what the salesperson tells them is the “best board”.
Why It’s Important to Get a Suitable Board
The problem with this is that the best board for you might be completely different to the best board for your friend or the sales person – and the cheapest board might be the best for you – but it very well might not be too.
If you get the wrong board your riding can seriously suffer.
If you are a beginner and you buy an advanced deck you aren’t going to have any fun and learning will be slow and painful.
If you like to ride in the park and you buy a freeride board it’s just not going to do what you want it to – or at least not well and not effortlessly.
O.k. so what should I look out for?
What are the Critical Factors to Consider
When choosing your snowboard you need a board that is suitable for:
- Your “style” of snowboarding (i.e. what you like to do)
- Your ability level
- Your Physical Characteristics; and
- The conditions you most often ride in
Once you know these things then you can find a snowboard that is the right size, flex, with the right sidecut, the right shape, the right base and the right camber profile and all the right tech.
O.k. that sounds complicated but it’s not too hard to figure out once you get started.
If you are past the beginner phase then chances are you have some preferences to how you like to ride. If you are a beginner you can skip this and go to the “ability level” section below.
- You might just like to ride easy trails casually.
- You might like to ride aggressive.
- You might like to ride the backcountry.
- You might like to ride the park.
- You might like to treat the whole mountain like a park
- You might like to do a bit of everything or a combination of a few things.
Whatever your style, there is a board out there that is well suited to it.
You can check out the post below to see what type of rider you fit closest to.
Snowboards tend to fit in one of the following categories
Check out the links below to see what specs to look out for for each type of board once you have decided on the type of board you want to go with.
- How to Choose a Snowboard for Freestyle riding
- How to Choose a Snowboard for All Mountain Riding (including all-mountain freestyle and aggressive all mountain
- How to Choose a Snowboard for Freeriding
If you are beginner I can’t recommend enough that you get a snowboard that is suited to beginners.
A lot of people want to get a board that will last them forever so they buy a more advanced board thinking they can grow into it – this is a big mistake.
You wouldn’t want to learn to drive in a tank with the engine from a rocket attached to it! It would just be too difficult to learn in.
Similarly with snowboards it’s just too difficult to learn on some snowboards and if you try you’ll probably end up with:
- Lack of confidence
- Poor technique
That’s if you don’t injure yourself first.
You can always sell the board once you’re finished with it if you outgrow it and need something more advanced. So it is a cost effective way to do things too.
If you are only riding 5 to 10 days a season then you’ll be able to ride a beginner/intermediate deck for 3-4 years anyway and if you ride like 30 days in your first season you might outgrow the board quicker but the resale value will be higher because you’ve only ridden it for one season.
To learn what specs you should go for in a beginner deck check out the link below.
Your physical characteristics, mostly your height, weight and foot size – will determine the size of snowboard that is most suitable for you.
You need to get a snowboard that is both the right length and the right width.
The length you choose is also influenced by your style and ability level.
To learn how to choose the right length and width for you check out the links below
- How to Decide on the Length of your Snowboard (includes charts)
- How to Decide on the Width of your Snowboard (includes charts)
The Conditions you Most Often Ride In
The conditions you ride in will also influence your choice of snowboard.
If you tend to ride on a mountain that has slow concrete like snow then having edge-hold tech that gives you great grip in icy conditions is unnecessary. But you will want to have a setback stance and most likely a fast base.
If you tend to ride in icy conditions then you will want edges that grip well. In that case you might want to get a board with some kind of edge tech like magne-traction.
Most likely you will get a mixture of conditions and most snowboards accommodate for that – but if you do ride a mountain that has particular conditions then this is also something that should be factored into your snowboard choice.
Thanks for Reading
I hope this post, and relevant links, has helped you to understand the type of snowboard that will be best suited to you.
This can seem complicated at first but once you start looking into it and doing a bit of research it starts to make a lot more sense. Look through the links above and you’ll learn a lot and find out the best snowboard for you.
If you are still having trouble deciding, leave a comment in the comments section below and I’ll try to help out with any questions you might be having.