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Play it cool with the right snowboard

Do you have more fun in hot weather or cold weather? This coming 2014 Winter Olympics might have you second guessing popular opinion. Winter weather can be limiting, but don’t let it limit your fun! Embrace the cold weather and show off your skills on the slopes by picking up a snowboard. Snowboarding is a popular activity because it’s a great source of fun and exercise. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, make sure you’re getting the best out of the snow with the right board.

snowboards

When choosing the perfect snowboard it is imperative to consider these three factors:

1. Height
2. Weight
3. Desired Snow Terrain.

Once these factors are determined, you’re good to go!

When it comes to snowboards, size does matter.

The easiest and quickest way to get a rough estimate of your perfect snowboard length can be done from home without a snowboard. Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground and measure from the ground to anywhere between your chin and nose. This is an extremely good starting place and gives you a rough estimate of how long your board should be. If you think you’re ready to fly down the slopes with great speed, without breaking anything besides the sound barrier, you can opt for a longer and thinner board. This model is more inclined to go faster than a wider model.

Your height affects your center of gravity and the higher your center of gravity is, the more board length is required for stability. If there is an imbalance of weight and height you are sure to not be flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

Although measuring from the ground to anywhere between your chin and nose is helpful, this is not the most important factor in determining the perfect length. Obviously your height is essential, but your weight is the most important. If there is too much weight and not enough surface on the ground this will cause the board to sink into the snow. Additionally, too much length for your weight will result in more speed and a loss of control. For an exact calculation check your stats.

Once these factors are determined, you’re ready to choose a model! It’s important to keep in mind that choosing a model is predominantly targeted toward the kind of terrain you will be boarding on.

Types of Models

All Terrain

terrain snowboard

All Terrain models are the most common and are perfect for beginners. Beginners who don’t hold any specific preference in snow terrain will largely benefit from this board. This all-purpose snowboard enables one to simply enjoy all kinds of snow and terrain.

Freeride

free snowboard

A Freeride board is for the more experienced boarders as it is designed for a specific speed and terrain. If you’re riding one of these, you should be experienced. They’re designed to go especially fast! A Freeride board is generally longer and stiffer than other models. This design enables one to go fast without losing control. Freeride boards provide stability for coarse snow and are perfect for off piste boarding.

Urban

urban snowboard

This board is for all you crazy ones out there who like to live on the dangerous side. The Urban board is also better known as the “trick board”. This term is employed because this board is not for a long scenic ride down the hill. It’s lighter and shorter design makes it easier for “shredding” it on rails, pipes, ramps or anything else you can find in the urban jungle.

Split Boards

splitboard snowboard

If you’re also into skiing and going off piste, a split-board is very practical since it is essentially a pair of skis and a snowboard in one. Divide the board, hike up to the perfect summit and then simply reassemble the parts and enjoy the ride down the slope.

Powder

Powder snow can be amazing, but you need the right board to get the most out of the experience. A powder snowboard is designed in such a way that it doesn’t sink due to its upturned tips. Watch out though! Since this also makes it unwise to use on any groomed slopes.

Design

design snowboard

If Urban boarding is too intense for you, let your wild child out on the snowboard designs. Purchasing a snowboard may seem like a technical affair, but you can get creative by personalizing your board as you see fit. Luckily snowboard designs are in wide variety so this can make for a fun experience. Choose from basic colours, your favorite bands, cartoons to crazy avant-guarde art.

Snowboard Profile

Not only is the length of the snowboard important, but so is the profile. There are a large range of snowboard profiles, but the main three ones are:

Camber

If you’re an avid skier, you’re already familiar with the Camber profile. This is the typical profile for skis and snowboards. This has a slight upward curve in the middle of the board and is best for speed and stability. The setbacks of the board are that it requires more effort and focus when shifting your weight.

Rocker

This is also better known as the “reverse camper”. It’s the camber turned upside down. This shape produces more pressure on the snow. This is not the most stable snowboard, but it is well recommended for a beginner.

Flat

This is exactly as it sounds. It’s a board with a completely flat profile and is also recommended for beginners. The downside of the board is it’s harder to maneuver on turns.

Cost

Snowboard Accessories

Generally boards cost between £200 and £400. This, however, does not include the necessary snowboarding equipment such as helmets, boots, bindings, pants, jacket, goggles , etc. Obviously prices vary, but the price is heavily dependent on the brand of the board.

If you have no idea about snowboard brands, the most popular brands include: Burton, K2, Ride, Lib Tech, Gnu, Captain, Forum, DC, Rome SDS Rossignol and Salomon.

Deciding on the perfect snowboard can be a bit overwhelming especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you follow these simple guidelines this may make for your best winter season yet!

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