Buying a New Snowboard
I bought a new snowboard last week and ran into a lot of questions along the way to make sure that the money was well spent. I took out my new board this past weekend for the first time and it was great! I’ll write a review on it later, but for this post I want to share some answers to some of the questions that I ran into to help y’all pick the right snowboard for yourselves.
When it comes to getting a new snowboard, a lot of questions can come up. How long should I have used my previous board for? How much should I pay for one? How stiff of a board should I buy? What size board should I get? I don’t know where to start, where can I find good board recommendations?
Most of the answers to these questions will depend on a person’s skill level, desired improvement over time, and what they like to do when they’re snowboarding. I’ll break it down by question.
How long should I have used my previous board for?
This question entirely depends on how serious you are about progressing and your past experiences, assuming finances aren’t an issue. If you want to keep spending down, then I’d recommend buying a board to last at least 2 seasons.
If you snowboard frequently and feel like you’re outgrowing your board, such as if you bought a beginner board for your first season and have been snowboarding over 15-20 times, then you should consider buying a new board if you’re looking for as stiffer board for more controlled and carved turns. Otherwise, if you don’t snowboard too often each season, I’d recommend sticking with your board for a few seasons unless you really feel like you’ve somehow outgrown it.
Another reason to get a new board is for different uses depending on the day. There are 3 main terrain types and boards designed for each of them and in between certain areas – Freeriding (going down a groomed hill), Freestyle (parks and tricks), and powder (fresh snow stacked high that isn’t groomed. Pro tip: don’t fall in these conditions unless you want to get stuck in the snow and struggle to get back up).
If you want to lean more towards a specific area or hybrid of those areas, then you should probably get a new board to suit your needs. I noticed some people on other sites and forums say something like “it’s not the snowboard it’s the rider”, but, especially after trying out this new board, I know that having a high quality board in the area that you want to ride makes a noticeable difference.
How much should I pay for a snowboard?
If you expect to keep the board for a few seasons, I’d recommend getting a top quality one that you can enjoy. I think quality over quantity is key for snowboards. I currently have 3, and I expect to only use one of them. Of course, it turns out that the board I plan to use was the highest quality board and most expensive, but it also suits my needs the most as an all-mountain freestyle board. Overall, you should try to plan ahead buy a good board in the off-season around May or June for heavy discounts on last season’s boards. Getting a good quality board for about $350-$450 with discounts shouldn’t be too difficult.
Lower quality boards can be very inexpensive. And if you’re willing to use Craigslist, you can get even cheaper boards, but I wouldn’t go down that route. I still think you should go with a quality board, with the exception of beginners who are new to the sport. The good news is that beginner boards are generally cheaper, and you should be able to get a decent quality beginner board for around $200 in the off-season.
How stiff of a snowboard should I buy?
Evo.com provides stiffness ratings for snowboards on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being more stiff.
This depends on 2 factors – How advanced of a rider are you? What type of riding do you want to do? If you are new, you want a more flexible board so that you don’t fall on your face every 5 seconds. If you aren’t new, you want to get a snowboard with a stiffness similar to what you want. Generally, powder boards and freeride boards are stiffer while park/freestyle boards are more flexible for maneuverability. So, if you want to mainly carve and freeride the mountain, go with a stiffness on the higher end (around 7/10). If you want to only do freestyle, go for a more flexible board (around 3/10). If you want to do both freeride and park, try to buy a snowboard in the middle of that range (about 5/10).
What size board should I get?
Snowboard size (for length) should be based mostly on your weight, but you might need a wide board as well depending on how big your feet are. The manufacturer should have min and max boot sizes to help in the board waist width aspect. As far as board length, in general freestyle boards should be shorter than the freeride boards per rider for increased maneuverability. The manufacturer of the board should have weight and boot size recommendations per size, o you should take that into account as well. To determine the general length to buy for you, this site is useful: http://snowboardsize.info/
I don’t know where to start, where can I find good board recommendations?
There are a couple of places I used and valued when deciding where to buy a board. http://boardarchive.com/ has a great set of videos for snowboard reviews. The blackboard experiment on YouTube is also a great resource where pros test out unmarked boards and rate them for unbiased scores https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mHFGbyqnrU. angrysnowboarder.com has good written reviews for all kinds of boards, and SnowboardProCamp on YouTube also has good recommendations https://www.youtube.com/user/SnowboardProCamp.
I hope you all find a great new snowboard! Happy shredding!