So you've spent a few days on the slopes, thrown money out the window at ravaged rentals, and are finally ready to grab some gear of your own. You've got a pretty keen eye on that board you saw online, so you buy it. It's the wrong size, stiff as a door, and so aggressive it gets thrown in the cupboard, never to be ridden again. Nope.
For first time buyers, snowboard technology can really seem like a foreign language, but with a little help, it's really quite simple. Firstly, you need to consider where you are going to be riding and the style of riding you are going to be doing, as this will determine wether you require a longer or shorter board.
If you're an aspiring park rat, you may choose to size down slightly to make quicker turns, faster spins and have more control while buttering through boxes and rails. If you prefer chasing powder and traveling overseas, you may want a slightly longer board. The added surface area will help you float above the snow much like a surfboard in water. Typically for the average rider in Australia we recommend a slightly smaller board compared to what we might recommend to someone traveling overseas. To determine what size is right for you, click here.
Now let's talk cambers. As a first time buyer, you're most likely after something with all those easy turning capabilities of a rental board, but with a bit of upgraded tech and durability. We're going to keep this pretty simple, but if you want to read more, we go into a bit more depth right here.
As a rule, snowboards with a reverse or flat camber are generally going to be the easiest to ride. To put it simply, raised edges make turning easy, and you spend more time standing up than falling down. Without making things complicated, hybrid cambers give you the best of both worlds, and can be a combination of reverse, flat, or positive cambers.
One other thing to note is the shape of your snowboard, and for a first board, we suggest a twin. Unlike a directional board, twin shapes ride exactly the same both forwards and backwards, meaning you can spin, jib and butter in any way you please.
Now, if that still doesn't make any sense, we've got you covered! Here's our top first-time mens and womens picks for the season. But before you hit the go button on that board you saw online, just remember this...Don’t lie to yourself about your riding ability. You might might dream of stomping backside 1260's, or dropping cliffs in the backcountry, but if you're really sticking to the groomers, buy a board to suit your style and skill. Progression will only happen on the right board for you.