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Guide  For Selecting Snowboard Equipment

More Snowboard Information:

The Snowboard…
There are different types of snowboards that coincide with your riding style: all-around/freeride, half-pipe/freestyle, and race. 

All-around/Freeride: This is a very common type of board.  They are sometimes called all-terrain or all-mountain because they are designed for use in all snow conditions and most can even be ridden in the half-pipe very successfully.   Free ride equipment uses a soft boot. Boards in this category are relatively longer and more directional in their shape

Half-pipe/Freestyle: These are boards designed for use in the half-pipe and for freestyle moves. They tend to be more flexible with wider foot stances more centered on the board. The board is generally more difficult to control due to the stance configuration. They are best used for groomed or packed runs.  Freestyle equipment uses a soft boot and a relatively short, maneuverable board.

Race: These boards tend to be stiff, narrow and long and are used for downhill, GS and slalom racing. They are designed for high speed use with long effective edges for carving turns. They are flatter and stiffer than other boards and usually have a squared tail.  It is also called alpine snowboarding.


What Equipment Is Needed For Snowboarding?

Along with the boards, boots, bindings, safety straps and a helmet are the necessary equipment needed to participate in this sport.  The cost of snowboard equipment is very comparable to ski equipment with a wide range of costs and types.  A beginner should learn on an freeride board that's slightly more flexible or shorter.

Riding Styles …

Knowing about the different riding styles is very important when you are looking for snowboard equipment.  Snowboarding gear is designed around the riding style for which it's intended.

  • All Mountain Freeride…
    This is the most popular snowboarding style.  Freeriders enjoy speed.  They normally hit every type of snow and every type of run.

  • Freestyle…
    This type of snowboarding involves jumps, tricks and grabbing air.  This style is growing in popularity.

  • Freecarve/Race
    This style involves cruising at high speeds over packed snow.

Other Necessary Accessories…

In addition, you will need a snowboard leash which is a safety strap that is wrapped around your leading leg and  keeps your board from getting away from you.  It is a requirement at almost all ski areas.  Purchase after you get your bindings if it is not included.  .

Stomp pads are standard equipment on some boards but can easily mounted if they are not included on your board. They are designed to offer traction to your rear foot when it isn’t secured in the binding like when you are exiting a chair lift.



Guide For Selecting Boots click here:  Boots

Snowboard Construction click here:   Construction

Selecting the Right Length and Width for a Snowboard…

The lengths of these boards range from under 100 cm to over 200 cm.  A few things to consider when determining your board length is your height and weight, as well as the terrain and snow conditions you enjoy.   Some use the rule of thumb that a board should stand between your chin and nose and from there you can pick longer or shorter boards.  In general, the more you weigh the longer your board should be. Beginners should start with a smaller snowboard as it is easier to control. Intermediate and above riders can opt for a longer snowboard for more speed and stability.

  • Longer boards (about eye height) are more stable but less maneuverable and are best for speed and deep powder. 

  • Shorter boards (about chin height) are great beginner boards because they are easier to control.  They are great for tricks and jumps.

Flexible boards turn easier at slower speeds and are easier for beginners to maneuver. Expert riders should lean toward super-stiff boards with better stability  on high-speed runs.

Snowboard width is very important. The snowboard must fit your boot size to reduce toe and heel drag. If you have a size 10 or larger boot, you may want to consider purchasing a wide snowboard that is specifically designed for riders with big feet 

Realize that every board feels different when you ride it so you should rent or demo your equipment before you buy.

Types of Bindings Available for Snowboards…

There are three different types of bindings: high-back, plate (hard-boot), and  soft-boot step-in.

  • High-back:  This binding is characterized by a vertical plastic back piece which is used to apply pressure to the heel-side of the board and with two straps which go over the foot. One strap holds the heel down and the other the toe. Some high-backs also have a third strap on the vertical back piece called a shin strap which gives additional support and aids in toe side turns.

  • Plate:  The plate or hard-boot binding is used with a hard shell boot much like a ski binding except it is non-releasable.

  • Soft-Boot Step-In:  This type of binding is a combination of the high-back and plate bindings. A soft-looking boot which has added support and a retention mechanism built into it. This retention mechanism engages with a latching device attached to the board.


Cost of Boards, Binding and Boots…

Kid’s boards will cost approximately $200 – $250.  When it comes to price, cheaper snowboards are usually geared for beginners and less aggressive.  The price of the snowboard goes up for more advanced boarders and they tend to perform better and get stiffer with more high end materials in the construction. A high end board could cost you between $500 - $1000. You will pay between $60 and $100 for bindings.  The price of boots will range anywhere from $50 to $130.  There are beginner packages that are available that include a board, bindings and boots that are normally cheaper.