In the snowboarding world there are three main types of snowboards: All Mountain, Freestyle, and Alpine.
The boards have their own unique construction, material, shape, flex pattern and size. There is no answer to the type of snowboard you should ride. It all depends on your height, weight, preference and riding style.
Professional snowboarders choose their boards based on the condition and terrain they will be riding on. A tip for those hunting for their first snowboard is to choose one that is about as high as your chin!
Types of Snowboards
All-mountain snowboards are the most popular snowboard as they’re designed to perform well anywhere on the mountain: to float well on powder surface, carve on the pistes and handle lumps and bumps.
Most snowboarders use the all mountain because of its versatility, it is great for beginners too. If you’re going to buy one snowboard, then it makes sense to choose one that can take you anywhere.
An all-mountain board comes with a directional shape, which means that the tip is different from its tail. The tail is generally narrower, shorter and flatter compared to the tip. This makes the position on the all-mountain board usually more balanced towards the tail. Despite the directional shape, it can also be ridden backwards with the tail facing in the direction of travel.
Freestyle snowboards are light, short and flexible, designed mainly for performing tricks in terrain parks and halfpipes. They have a limited edge grip and are not stable enough for carving turns and travelling fast.
Some freestyle snowboards have either twin tips or directional-twin. The tip and tail of the twin tip board is symmetrical in shape with a centered stance. This design makes it easier for beginners to ride both forward and backward. The directional-twin, on the other hand, is similar to the twin tip with the only difference being the tail, which is stiffer than the tip.
The alpine is narrower compared to all mountain and freestyle, configured for riding and carving downhill and not suitable for performing tricks. The long, narrow and stiff design is meant for higher speed and cleaner carved turns. The alpine is ideal if you are looking for a board that will deliver quick edge turns and stability for speed.
The alpine is both symmetrical and asymmetrical and only has a shovel on the tip unlike the all mountain and freestyle which has shovels at both ends. The construction means that, the alpine is supposed to be ridden only in one direction.
Additional Snowboard Features
The camber on a snowboard refers to the bottom contours of a board. The downward pressure applied and released when camber is flexed from a rider’s weight initiates continuous edge contact with the snow and lively turns. Before reverse camber was introduced, the traditional camber was a mellow curved rise from the contact points of the tip and tail with an apex at the midpoint.
Cambers have evolved over the years into different types producing different amounts of edge contacts and pressure on the snow changing the way a board turns, pops and feels underfoot. The bottom contours and shapes react differently to riding styles and terrain.
A flat camber enables quick turns and maximum feel at the same time increasing float.
Rocker And Reverse Camber
A rocker and reverse camber creates upturned tips and tails and the design is excellent in powder, jibbing and rails.
Mixed or Modified Camber
A mixed or modified camber has grown in popularity with manufacturers producing many variations to address particular performance features.
Looking for a snowboarding holiday?
Courchevel and the Three Valleys are snow-sure throughout the season from December to April, and have great terrain parks, lovely wide blues and greens, and some more challenging steeps and powder fields for more advanced boarders.
At Ski Magic we have group-friendly catered chalets in La Tania and Le Praz: