So you’re excited to buy your first snowboard, but you’re not sure what to get… well there’s 2 ways to go about it.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of each.
Method 1) You buy a very flexible, short beginner snowboard
Many people will advise you to go for a snowboard that’s more flexible and short. Here’s why.
More flex makes it easier to butter and bend your snowboard, which means you’ll find it easier to manipulate your snowboard for turns, butters and other techniques.
A flexible snowboard is more forgiving on mistakes in your technique because you don’t need your entire body working together to get it to bend like you would a stiff snowboard.
Shorter snowboards also mean your snowboard will be easier to throw around if you try any 180s or basic rail tricks. Less swing weight = easier spinning and manoeuvrability.
One more thing is that beginner soft, flexy snowboards are also usually cheaper due to the fewer features packed into them.
Flexible, short snowboards aren’t great outside of smaller park features, rails and early stage snowboard learning. Don’t expect it to be a good all-mountain snowboard that you’ll be able to grow into and keep forever.
Softer, shorter snowboards don’t float well on powder and don’t lock into high speed carves with the precision of a good all-mountain snowboard. Overall, softer, shorter snowboards tend to be less stable at higher speeds.
In the end, there’s a good chance you’ll end up buying another snowboard to replace your short, flexible snowboard once you become more experienced.
Method 2) You buy a good all-mountain snowboard that you can grow into
Many people end up going with an all-mountain snowboard as their first board. Example of these types of snowboards include the Lib Tech TRS B2 CTX and the K2 Raygun.
You’ll be able to take this snowboard everywhere. It’ll handle powder, park, pipe, carving, cliff drops, everything you can throw at it.
A good all-mountain snowboard is something you can keep and use forever. For me, I spend 90% of my time in the terrain park and I still keep my old all-mountain snowboard around for powder days and cruising around the resort.
You’ll also find all-mountain snowboards more stable at higher speeds as they cut through the snow with less wobbling and bounce.
With a good all-mountain snowboard, the better you become, the more you’ll be able to take advantage of your snowboards capabilities and the more you’ll enjoy having that extra performance.
It’s not going to be the most beginner friendly snowboard. That’s not to say it’ll be particularly hard to learn on, but because all-mountain snowboards are a little stiffer, you won’t find it as forgiving as a super flexible beginner snowboard.
For example, techniques like flatground butter tricks and locking into your snowboard’s edge will take more effort when you’re first learning. It’s not as easy to get a stiffer all-mountain snowboard to do what you want as a beginner.
You won’t get away with mistakes as easily as you would with a flexible, short beginner snowboard and you may find it harder to throw it around due to the longer length vs a short, flexible board.
So which option should you pick?
Honestly, you need to look closely at what type of person you are. Ask yourself:
- Are you going to end up buying a new snowboard once you get better anyway?
- Are you a quick learner?
- Will you get easily frustrated if learning to turn and carve takes a little bit longer with a stiffer snowboard?
- Will you be buying a more specialized snowboard (ie park snowboard) once you get better and will you want an all-mountain as a 2nd board?
I went with an all-mountain snowboard for my first snowboard because it fit for me. For me at least, I was happy to have something less forgiving to my early learning mistakes if it meant better performance later.
However, if you’re someone who gets easily frustrated and wants as easy a learning experience as possible, the short, flexible beginner snowboard might be up your alley. Maybe you even want to keep that board as a playful smaller park/jibbing snowboard later.
Choose what fits your style best.