How to choose your snowboard?

Choosing the snowboard that's right for you is a crucial step in making the most of your snowboarding season. With so many models, brands and features available on the market, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the process of choosing your snowboard, providing essential information and practical advice.

Understanding your skill level

Before diving into the world of snowboard selection, it's essential to understand your skill level.

Snowboards are generally classified into three main categories:

  1. Beginner: If you're new to snowboarding or have little experience, opt for a board designed for beginners. These boards are generally softer, offer better stability and are more forgiving of mistakes.

  2. Intermediate: Intermediate snowboarders are looking to improve their skills. Intermediate boards are versatile and will enable you to progress in different types of terrain.

  3. Advanced/Expert: If you're an experienced snowboarder looking for top-level performance, consider an advanced or expert board. They're stiffer, more responsive and designed to meet the demands of seasoned riders.

Types of Snowboard

There are several types of snowboard, each designed for a specific riding style. Here are the main categories:

  1. All-Mountain: The All-Mountain snowboard, a true champion of versatility, is designed to conquer all mountain terrain. Whether you're on groomed slopes, in deep powder or exploring off-piste areas, the All-Mountain snowboard is your trusted partner. With its ability to excel in all conditions, it offers the perfect balance between agility and stability. Ready to push your limits on the mountain?

  2. Freestyle: Freestyle snowboards are distinguished by their twin-tip shape, offering symmetry for a versatile ride on regular or switch. They feature perfect balance, ideal for jibbing on rail, box or ledge. With their smaller size, these boards offer great maneuverability for fast progression on modules. Profiles vary from flat to classic camber, offering different combinations of grip and pop.
    As a general rule, freestyle boards are responsive and playful, similar to a skateboard. Jib boards have a soft flex for spectacular nose-presses, while half-pipe or big air boards are stiffer, offering power and grip on icy half-pipe walls.

  3. Freeride: Freeride snowboards are specially designed for off-piste and fresh snow enthusiasts. They feature a robust construction and a slight increase in length compared to standard boards, giving them greater stability and superior power in rough terrain.
    Most often featuring a directional profile and rocker, these boards float through powder with ease, while offering a smooth, intuitive ride and excellent grip on hard snow. The back foot position makes it easy to initiate turns.
    Although generally associated with off-piste, freeride boards also excel on the slopes. They offer precise turning and powerful response thanks to the classic camber frequently found between the feet. Freeride boards are often high-end models, ideal for passionate riders who like to challenge the mountains at high speed.

  4. Splitboards: Still relatively new to the world of snowboarding, splitboards appeal to lovers of wide-open spaces and nature. These boards have a typical freeride construction and profile, but their distinctive feature is their ability to split into two or four parts, thanks to systems such as Voilé or Karakoram bindings. The world of splitboarding may seem technical, but remember that splitboarding offers exceptional versatility: it allows you to climb peaks like a ski tourer, then come back down on a snowboard, offering a unique experience. Splitboarding requires excellent physical condition and a thorough knowledge of mountain environments before venturing out of ski areas and enjoying the powder. For an in-depth understanding of how it works, and to make informed decisions, we invite you to consult our dedicated splitboard tutorial.

  5. Alpine: Alpine snowboarding, a discipline dedicated to performance and speed, offers an unparalleled experience on the slopes. Designed for riders looking to push their limits, this type of snowboard features a directional shape and rigid construction, ideal for precise turns and excellent high-speed stability. Alpine snowboards are specially adapted to groomed slopes, guaranteeing maximum grip and superior control, even in the tightest turns, especially when carving!
    If you're looking for adrenalin and precision, an alpine snowboard is your best choice. Ready to defy gravity? 

The Size of the Board

The size of your snowboard is a crucial factor. A board of the right size will improve your balance, maneuverability and comfort. The ideal size depends on your weight, skill level and riding style.

  • Determine your weight: Weighing your weight correctly will help you choose the right size. Heavier snowboarders may opt for longer boards, while lighter snowboarders will choose shorter boards.
  • Skill level: Beginners and intermediate snowboarders generally prefer slightly shorter boards, as they are easier to maneuver. Advanced riders may opt for longer boards for greater stability at high speeds.

    Width of the board

    Board width is another factor to consider. This is generally measured at the waist width. A board that's too narrow will cause stability problems, while one that's too wide can be difficult to maneuver.

    • Boot size: Your snowboard boots should fit the width of your board perfectly. Make sure your toes and heels don't stick out! 
    • Ride style: Your preferred riding style can also influence board width. Freestyle riders generally opt for narrower boards, while powder riders prefer wider boards for better flotation.

      Snowboards are generally classified into 4 width categories:

      • Less than 25 cm: Narrow snowboards are designed for riders with small feet, with a skate width of less than 25 cm.
      • From 25 to 25.5 cm: Standard snowboards are suitable for most riders, covering sizes 41 to 43.5.
      • From 25.5 to 26 cm: Mid-wide snowboards are designed for riders wearing sizes 44 to 45.
      • 26 cm and over: Wide snowboards are suitable for riders with large feet (size 45 and over).

      The Shape of the Board

      Shape Twin : 


      Twin shapes, also known as twin-tip or true twin, are among the most common shapes found on freestyle snowboards. A twin board is completely symmetrical, so much so that if you were to fold it in half, the nose would overlap perfectly with the tail, as would the inserts. The flex of the board is uniform along its entire length, so that without distinctive markings, it would be difficult to distinguish front from back.

      These boards are designed to allow the rider to feel comfortable in switch (downhill with feet reversed from the normal position) as well as in regular position, making them ideal for freestyle performance. They excel at park and street sessions, making it easy to perform tricks like 540s and nose presses. Twin boards are distinguished by their agility and playfulness, making them excellent choices for riders looking for freestyle performance.

      Shape Twin Directional : 

      The directional twin shape is a versatile variant of the twin shape, specially adapted to all-mountain riding. It features symmetry, just like a classic twin board, with an identical nose and tail. However, the inserts, which define the position of the bindings, are slightly offset towards the rear. This offset gives the board improved performance on a variety of surfaces, from hard snow to powder, while increasing its maneuverability. Although designed primarily for forward use, this shape also allows switch maneuvers from time to time, offering optimum versatility. That's why it's commonly found on all-mountain boards.

      The directional twin shape features various variations, including asymmetrical flexes, with softer noses and/or stiffer tails. More recently, the Volume twin concept has emerged as another alternative. In simple terms, the Twin Directional shape is designed to offer maximum versatility, suitable for a wide range of conditions and riding styles.

      Directional Shape :

      The directional shaped snowboard is specifically designed for an unparalleled freeride experience. Similar to twin directional snowboards, these boards generally have inserts offset towards the rear to allow a more natural weight transfer towards the rear. Typically, a directional snowboard features a longer and/or wider, sometimes even tapered nose, while the tail is often shorter and stiffer. The wider nose offers greater lift, ensuring effortless flotation, while the stiffer tail gives the board greater responsiveness and precise handling. Its shorter length makes it easier to sink the nose in powder, enabling more efficient lift.

      Some snowboards feature a swallow tail configuration. This particular shape further enhances maneuverability in powder snow and offers a feeling of fluidity similar to surfing. However, this type of shape is less suited to switch or freestyle riding. A directional-shaped snowboard is designed to be ridden goofy or regular, but not to alternate between the two on the way down.

      Le Cambre de la Planche

      Snowboard camber refers to the board's longitudinal curvature. There are different types of camber, each of which has an impact on the board's behavior:

      Classic camber:

      In snowboarding, the classic camber is the oldest and most widely adopted profile, predating by far the inverted, hybrid and "W"-shaped cambers. Although it can be more complex to master, it stands out for its exceptional performance. You can easily recognize it by laying your board flat, as it forms an elegant upward arc. The points of contact with the snow are close to the tips, while the center of the board rises above the ground, creating a configuration where the middle of the board is the element furthest from the ground.
      Classic camber is appreciated for its unmatched stability, precision, dynamic pop, and ability to efficiently transmit energy. They excel in carving, offering exceptional performance. They maintain excellent hold at high speed, making them particularly suitable for experienced snowboarders in search of thrills. On the other hand, it's worth noting that classic camber can make the board less forgiving and more prone to edge errors, making it less suitable for beginners looking to take up snowboarding.
      In summary, classic camber is a wise choice for experienced snowboarders looking for peak performance, but can prove a challenge for novices due to its sensitivity to edge errors.

      Inverted camber (Rocker):

      The inverted camber, often referred to as the banana camber, has revolutionized the snowboard industry. Unlike the traditional camber, it features a completely opposite design. Here, the lowest point is in the center of the board, while the two tips curve upwards, avoiding any contact with the snow. The adoption of inverted camber offers a multitude of advantages for snowboarders. With high contact points, edge errors become less frequent, offering a more forgiving and playful board. Turns become more accessible, and the board stays naturally on the surface, facilitating riding in deep terrain. Inverted camber is also extremely popular in the freestyle discipline. Their playful, forgiving nature makes them ideal for jib tricks and presses of all kinds.
      However, it should be noted that inverted camber does not rival the stability offered by a traditional camber at high speeds. It is also less responsive, less responsive and less precise. It's impossible to say that inverted camber is inherently superior or inferior to traditional camber. Each has its own distinct characteristics, and the choice between the two depends on your personal preferences and snowboarding style.

      Cambre plat (Flat):

      Flat camber, also known as zero camber, represents a harmonious balance between inverted camber and classic camber in the world of snowboarding. With this profile, your board remains perfectly flat from nose to tail. Opting for a flat camber offers a number of interesting advantages: it combines better grip, increased responsiveness and superior stability compared to inverted camber, while remaining more forgiving, playful and accessible than traditional camber.
      Flat camber is a wise choice if you plan to change terrain several times during your snowboarding day. If you like to switch from piste to park through powder, this profile is an option to seriously consider for your all-round needs. In short, the flat camber offers versatility and ease of transition between different types of terrain, allowing you to make the most of every moment of your snowboarding session.

      Cambre W


        The W-camber, also known as hybrid, medley or mixed camber, is distinguished by its clever fusion of rocker and camber. While the flat camber can be seen as a solution that mitigates the disadvantages of classic and inverted camber, the W camber goes a step further by maximizing their advantages. In fact, it combines a true camber underfoot, significantly increasing the board's responsiveness and pop, while including three rocker (or reverse camber) zones at the nose, tail and between the feet. These sections optimize the board's playfulness, forgiveness and lift in powder.
        The W camber is the ideal choice if you're looking for a board that fully exploits the advantages offered by all types of camber. This versatility will enable you to enjoy a complete snowboarding experience, adapted to various terrains and riding styles. All in all, the W camber is a great option for snowboarders who want to get the most out of their equipment.

        Cambre + Rocker (Camrock) : 



        The Rocker camber, although it may appear similar to the multiple camber at first glance, is distinguished by its key feature: it has no inverted camber between the feet, opting instead for a classic camber. This profile consists of just two rockers, one at the nose and one at the tail, which makes it slightly less suited to pivoting turns than the multiple camber.
        However, it offers notable stability, impressive responsiveness and excellent pop. The Rocker camber provides a fluid experience while maintaining good grip and a dose of nervousness. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for exploring a variety of snowboarding terrains. It'll let you get the most out of your riding session, whatever the challenges and conditions you encounter. Opting for the Rocker camber means choosing versatility and adaptability for the ultimate snowboarding experience.

        Board Flexibility

        Snowboard flexibility is a key element that affects your control and ability to make turns. Flexibility varies from soft to stiff.

        • Soft board: Soft boards are more forgiving and generally suitable for beginners. They allow for easier turns and better manoeuvrability.
        • Rigid boards: Stiff boards are more responsive and offer greater stability at high speeds. They are preferred by experienced snowboarders and those who like fast descents.

          The choice of flexibility depends on your skill level, riding style and personal preferences.

          Specific features

          In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are many specific features to consider when choosing your snowboard:

          • Binding system: Some board models are compatible with specific binding systems, such as the Burton Channel System. Make sure your board is compatible with the bindings you plan to use.
          • Board core: The material of the board core can affect its performance. Wooden cores are popular for their lightness and durability.
          • Board construction: Board construction methods can vary, from using layers of fiberglass and carbon to incorporating specific technologies to enhance performance.
          • Graphics and design: Don't neglect the visual aspect of your snowboard. Choose a model you like visually.
          • Price: Set a budget before you start looking. Snowboards can vary considerably in price, so make sure you find a model that suits your budget.

          Popular Snowboard Brands

          To help you start your search, here are some of the most popular snowboard brands on the market:

          1. Nitro Known for its versatility and durability, Nitro offers a range of boards for all skill levels.

          2. Burton : Burton is an iconic brand that focuses on innovation. It offers a wide variety of models for all riding styles.

          3. Ride : Ride is characterized by its balance between performance and accessibility. Their boards are durable and versatile.

          4. CapitaCapita is appreciated for its creative design and commitment to sustainability. Their boards often feature bold graphics.

          In conclusion, choosing the perfect snowboard is a crucial step in optimizing your experience on the snowy slopes. By keeping key factors such as camber, shape and flex in mind, you can customize your equipment to suit your riding style and preferences. And don't forget to store your snowboard safely in Snow covers for even greater durability!

          Make sure your snowboard, snowboard bindings and snowboard boots work in harmony to give you the control, stability and comfort you need. Whether you're a beginner, amateur or expert, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference to your enjoyment of the snowy slopes.

          As well as selecting the ideal snowboard, it's just as crucial to pay special attention to your snowboard bindings and snowboard boots. Snowboard bindings play an essential role in your connection to the board, influencing your ability to control direction and responsiveness. As you explore the"How to choose your snowboard bindings" buying guide, be sure to consider factors such as compatibility with your board, the flex of the bindings, and the comfort they provide. Snowboard boots are just as important, as they have a direct impact on your comfort and performance on the mountain. By consulting the"How to choose your boots" guide, take into consideration elements such as size, flex, and lacing to find the perfect pair of boots!