Powder lines? Shredding the park? A bit of everything?
Regardless of what do you want to do on the mountain, buying the best snowboard for your needs is not an easy task. To start, you have to consider what kind of a rider you are. This means that your snowboard gear has to be on point from nose to tail. As a beginner you might not benefit from a high-end board and vice versa. However, following our buyer’s guide for snowboards will help find the right products and make you progress faster.

Different types of snowboards

Depending on your needs, snowboards come in a variety of different types widths shapes and sizes. Different strokes for different folks!

All-mountain boards

All-mountain boards live up to their name because they are versatile in any terrain and all conditions. They can handle pretty much everything you throw at them from backcountry runs to freestyle at the park. They come in either directional shapes or twin tip shapes.

Due to their versatility, all-mountain models are the most widely used shape because they are good for beginners and advanced riders alike. Their jack-of-all-trades properties make learning new snowboarding styles a breeze. This might just be the best snowboard for riders that like to do a bit of everything.

Freeride boards

If groomed runs is what you are looking for, a longer and stiffer board should tickle your fancy. Most of these models are directional shape and specifically engineered for riding in varied terrain day-in and day-out.

Powder boards

Ahh powder – the feeling of weightlessness when bombing downhill a beautiful mountain range. While freeride and powder snowboards are often mistakenly associated of being synonymous, they do have some differences. Powder snowboards have a narrower tail and wider nose for maximum float on deep snow. Usually these designs have a rocker shape to further help you conquer the mountain. The absolute best snowboard shape for powder enthusiasts.

Freestyle boards

Freestyle boards are for those riders who enjoy a responsive and fun ride from their board. These boards are light and meant for tricks in mind. However, this playful ride does not usually translate to stability on hard snow or at high speeds – might not be the best option for racing against your friends.


Split boards are designed with backcountry excursions in mind. These boards are split in half that create two skis while you hike up the mountain. Of course, split boards can also be reconnected so you can use it as a board when it’s time to ride downhill. Split boards are mostly used by experienced backcountry riders who have the skills and knowledge to explore off piste hiking and snowboarding.

Women’s snowboards

Woman’s snowboards are made specifically for female riders in mind, with narrower waist width and with a slightly softer flex and less camber. Therefore making it specifically tailored for the female body. Taller women or individuals with a boot size of 9US or higher may find it easier to find a suitable board from the men’s category.

Kids snowboards

Kids snowboards are basically miniature versions of adult snowboards. Most of them are all-mountain boards that are more forgiving and more flexible for an easier ride.

Even if your child is growing fast, we do not suggest that you buy an oversized board because it will be difficult to handle. The best snowboard is the one that fits the rider.

Camber or rocker construction?

Cambers are favored by more experienced riders who demand more power throughout their turns. They also provide more pop and responsiveness at high-speeds, hard snow and even ice.

Flat snowboards have neutral or no camber, which makes for quicker turns and an increased float in deeper snow.

Rockers or “reverse cambers” have slightly higher noses and tails. This helps with deep snow and especially park riding, jibbing and rail sliding because you are less likely to catch an edge when compared to a flat or a camber board. Rockers are often a good choice for beginners since they are softer, more flexible and easier to maneuver.

Mixed camber boards have risen in popularity during the last few years and a lot of manufacturers have created their own interpretation of a mixed camber board. However, there are so many different versions around that you should check out your favorite brand’s selection for more information.

Directional or twin construction?

The two main snowboard shapes are at the directional and twin tip (or “true twin”) shape. There are also some in-between models that are usually called directional twins.

Directional boards are designed to be ridden one way, making the tails somewhat shorter and stiffer for easier maneuverability.

True twins are symmetrical and you can basically ride on either stance just as easy as with the other. These are usually made for freestyle riding and they are a popular choice for park and street snowboarding.

Directional twins are a hybrid of these and they are good for all mountain snowboarding as well as freeriding. They also have better stability at high-speeds when compared to true twins.

The size of the snowboard

Measuring your snowboard is a simple task. Put the snowboard vertically next to you and it should reach your nose or chin. If you are planning to do a lot of jib tricks or hitting a lot of rails you should look for a shorter board. For a more stable ride, a longer board will give you more power and aggressiveness in turns.

Waist width

The middle part (waist) of your board should always be wide enough for your feet. However, a board that is too wide will feel clumsy under your feet. So, try to find the one that fits you perfectly.

If you are in the “big boots club” you might want to consider a wide board. Usually this is US size 11 for men and size 10 for women. Otherwise when you turn your toes are your bindings might hit the snow and left your boards edge. Losing an edge will almost always end up in a nice slam.

A board that is too wide will feel clumsy under your feet. A board that is too skinny will result in losing edges on hard snow. Try to find the perfect fit.


One thing to consider when buying a board is your own weight. A board that is too soft will be hard to handle at high-speeds and will not give you enough aggressiveness in turns. On the other hand, a board that is too stiff will be clumsy and hard to handle – just not fun at all.

Board flex

Boards can flex both torsionally (across the board’s waist) and longitudinally (along the boards length). Longitudinal flex is usually considered the more important one for overall performance. Soft flex boards are fun, more forgiving and easier to turn making it a better choice for beginners and park riders. Stiffer flex boards provide more grip during turns, better stability and more speed.

Board geometry and effective edge

The effective edge of a snowboard shows how much of the metal edges actually touch snow when you turn. The radius of the effective edge is shown in centimeters and a longer effective edge is going to give you more stability and grip on high-speed and icy slopes. A shorter effective edge makes it easier to spin and turn. Nowadays there are also multi-radius edge designs that combine the best of both worlds for more versatility and enhanced control on ice.

Base materials – sintered or extruded?

Both snowboards and skis use similar polyethulene (PE) bases that come in two different forms. Sintered bases are more durable as well as faster and stronger. However, they require waxing and are a bit more expensive than extruded bases, which are relatively easy to maintain and less expensive. On a downside, they are not as durable as sintered bases.

Not all boards are compatible with all bindings. So make sure that your preferred combination can be used together before buying.

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