Snowboard season is almost here. Are you ready for it? If not, the winter inventory has arrived and includes All- mountain and Freestyle boards, boot bindings and boots, and of course, helmets and goggles. If you’re new to the sport, the shop has a solid selection of boards from Arbor, Salomon, and Burton.

Where to Begin?

It’s essential to think about what type of boarding is exciting to you. Do you prefer powder over hard-packed snow? Do you want to do butters and jibs in a park or float over the powder off-piste? Your board’s uniqueness is aligned to its flex, size, and camber profile. Let’s take a look at the different board types. Although there are more than 25 types of snowboarding niches, here are three general types of boards: All-mountain, Freestyle, and Alpine.

All-mountain boards are versatile in that they are excellent for any terrain and conditions. The tail is narrower and shorter to create more balance, thus making them more suitable for beginners.

Freestyle boards are shorter, wider and are more flexible. Freestyle boarders prefer doing tricks in a park or on rails in the street. Their focus is repetition and mastery of spins and jumps versus riding fast in a natural landscape.

Alpine boards are ideal for speed downhill. The board is narrower and longer than the all-mountain and freestyle boards.

To Camber or not to Camber? That is the Question.

A camber profile is the shape of the board when looking at it sideways. Camber is a slight upward curve where the board is raised at the center, and it touches the ground at the nose and tail. (Picture a traditional ski or snowboard). This design allows for more pop and springiness and is more fitted for groomed snow and hard snow. It has excellent traction and allows for precise carving.

The reverse camber or rocker is the upside-down version of a camber. (Picture a waterski), where the contact points are out of the water. This profile is less poppy but is excellent in deep powder and helps the boarder stay on top of the snow, offering a smoother ride that’s catch-free.

There are other camber profiles: hybrid, flat, flat to rocker, hybrid rocker, etc. Think about your style of boarding and your destination.

Flex Time

One last criterion when choosing a board is its flex scale, how flexible the board is. Beginners may look for a softer flex board for slower speeds. There are two types of flex: longitudinal, which is the flexibility of the length of the snowboard (from nose to tail) and torsional, which is the flex width from edge to edge. Different manufacturers use different scales; however, a broad scale range is 1-10. 1-2 is soft, 3-5 is medium, 6-8 is stiff, and 9-10 is very stiff. A softer flex board is more for everyday skiing, whereas a stiffer board is appropriate for higher speeds and harder landings.

When you head into the shop, be sure to look at the camber profiles on the boards and let them fit you for one that matches your board style and comfort level. To top off the gear are new and used jackets that are heavy duty and stylish.

See you on the slopes!

by Shandon Foley