TRANSFER Buyer's Guide 2012 - Choosing the Right Snowboard

1st of May 2012


The author of the piece on a board that is about the right length! Photo Joey Corcoran.

Transfer Snowboard Magazine | Alex Cameron

What do you look for when you buy snowboards ? Everyone is different. Do you like rocker, camber or some combination of both? Do you like stiffer boards or softer boards? Or do you just choose based on the brand and the graphic? There is no correct way to choose a board, but some boards will be better suited to you and the way you ride so it is important to know what to look for when you stroll into your local shop.

The three most important considerations are:

Length
While length is ultimately a matter of personal preference, there is a fairly established rule for how long your snowboard should be. Generally the nose of a board should come up to about your chin when the tail is resting on the ground. Anything above your forehead or below your shoulders will make snowboarding more difficult. However in the past couple of years snowboard manufacturers have innovated new ways to make boards shorter; some of these boards break the conventional rules about length and still perform incredibly well. So speak to the people at your local snowboard shops to make sure you find the right length.

Rocker/Camber
These terms describe the board profile from end to end. To determine whether a board has rocker, camber or some combination of the two simply place it on a flat surface. Boards with rocker will only be touching the ground in the centre, and will rise up at the tip and tail. Boards with camber will be touching the ground near the tip and tail, and rise up uniformly through the middle of the board. There are two other less common profiles as well; combination boards will have more complicated profiles that are cambered in some areas and rockered in others, and flat boards are... well, flat. Board profile has perhaps the most significant impact on the performance of a snowboard. In general, cambered boards are more responsive so they are suited to the snowboarder who likes to ride groomed trails and varying snow conditions. Rocker snowboards are less responsive, but are the pick for riding powder. They are also better suited for beginner snowboarders because they are more maneuverable.

A graphical representation of different board templates.

Stiffness
There is a huge variation in snowboard stiffness between different brands and models. Again there is no right or wrong, only personal preference. If you're someone who likes to ride the mountain, then as a general rule the stiffness of your board should increase with experience. Softer boards are more forgiving and therefore better suited to beginners, while stiffer boards perform better at high speeds and in varying snow conditions so they are better suited to advanced boarders. For the park rats, softer boards are better for riding boxes and rails, while stiffer boards are better for riding jumps and halfpipes. The most common test for board stiffness is to place one end of the snowboard on the carpet in the snowboard shop and hold the other end in both hands with the base of the snowboard facing away from you. Slowly press your knee into the middle of the board and feel how much it flexes. Softer boards will bend noticeably and can be held out of shape. Stiffer boards will not bend much and quickly snap back into their natural shape.


Nick Hyne and Will Jackaways watch on as Nick Brown flexes his board. Photo Vaughan Brookfield.

2012 Buyers Guide
Over 400 products for all your winter 2012 needs.
All the best brands.
Having the right gear is the key to a good time.


Related Articles
Jeremy Jones Launches Thredbo and POW Partnership – A Step in the Right Direction
Jul 28, 2017
Thredbo becomes the first resort to partner with Protect Our Winters, undertaking a genuine initiative to combat climate chang...
Roxy Announces Girls Ride Day - Thredbo Resort - September 4th
Jul 27, 2017
Roxy is hosting the ultimate gathering of girls at Thredbo, including the likes of Torah Bright and yourself...
Jye Kearney Wins the 12th Annual Burton Cattleman's Rail Jam - CRJ12
Jul 23, 2017
Under clear skies, and a record sized crowd, Australia's most prestigious snowboarding event took place – The 12th Annual Burton Cattleman's Rail Ja...
Rip Curl's GromSearch Snow - Stop One Wrap - Perisher
Jul 20, 2017
Grommies Go For Broke at Stop One of the GromSearch Snow Series...

Shop Latest

News

Roxy Announces Girls Ride Day - Thredbo Resort - September 4th

Read more

Torah Bright Mini Shred - Thredbo - Wrap Up

Read more

Burton Snowboards Announces the 12th Annual Cattleman’s Rail Jam

Read more

Buller X – Big Mountain Riding in Our Own Backyard – How To Vote

Read more

Thredbo 60 Years of Stoke - The Next Generation

Read more

Editor's Top Travel Picks

Mountain Biking Season Officially Open at Thredbo - MTB Trail Report

Read more

Exploring Japan's Remote Ski Resorts in Tohoku - Travel Guide

Read more

The Mountainwatch Guide to the Hakuba Valley - Travel

Read more

Here's Five Reasons You Should Ski Aspen This Year - Travel

Read more

Discovering the Ultimate South Island Short Break at High Peak Heliski - Travel

Read more