Snowboarding during the winter vacation is popular with youngsters all over the skiing world. Choosing the right board from the range of freeride, freestyle, backcountry and Park/Pipe boards can be daunting for the first timer. Many factors have to be considered such as the user’s weight, height, foot size experience and riding style and these will define the appropriate stiffness, height, width and shape of the board to buy.
It may be a good idea to initially rent a snowboard on your vacation till you get a hang of the sport and decide your riding style.
The correct length of the board when set on its tail is up to your face, between your chin and your nose. Snowboard width is usually directly related to your foot size. You need a board wide enough so your heel and toes. People who are heavy should opt for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need a board with a softer flex. Boards are expensive so you could buy a used board or last year’s model, to save money.
There are many styles of riding and boards for them. Freeriding is the most popular and uses the mountain’s natural undulations and obstacles to cruise around or get air and do tricks. This is a versatile board that bridges the gap between freestyle riding and alpine carving. Both ends of the board are turned up for floating through powder and performing freestyle maneuvers. They are soft and can be maneuvered by beginners, but stiff enough to hold a fast turn in hard snow.
Freestyle is popular among the younger snowboarders and includes trick riding such as jumps, spins, rail sliding and riding backwards. Technical or freestyle riding is popular in snow parks or near halfpipes. Freestyle boards are shorter, lighter and softer in flex, which makes them more maneuverable and the board of choice for a beginner.
Alpine or carve is a European discipline and is referred to as “cross-over” as most of these riders were once skiers. Alpine boards are narrow, stiff boards designed for fast direction changes, higher speeds and cleaner carved turns. They are longer and are perfect for fresh powder.