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Snowboard Types - Different Types of Boards

There are Three Different Types of Snowboards available on the market today: Freestyle, Freeride (All Mountain), and Alpine (Carving) Boards. Each board has a unique construction technique and materials, shape, flex pattern, and size. The type of Snowboard you ride should correspond to your particular style of riding.

Freeride or All Mountain Board

Freeride or All Mountain Snowboard Of the three Snowboard types, the Freeride Snowboard is the most popular. Accounting for half of all Snowboard sales, this type of board is a good all-mountain, park and Halfpipe Snowboard that is designed to float well in Powder Surface. You can enjoy carving, catching air, and basically all riding aspects with this type of Snowboard.

Freeride boards have a directional shape and are meant to be ridden primarily in one direction. Having a directional shape means that the Snowboard's tip is different from its tail. In freeride, the tail is generally more narrow, shorter, and flatter than the tip of the board. With this, the stance on freeride boards is usually offset toward the tail of the board. Still, freeride boards can be ridden Fakie, despite their directional shape.

Freeride Snowboards are usually fairly soft and maneuverable enough for beginners, but stiff enough to hold a fast turn in hard snow. This type of Snowboard bridges the gap between Freestyle and Alpine carving. However, it isn't as stable as a carving board and it isn't as agile as a freestyle board.

Freestyle Snowboard

Freestyle Snowboard A Freestyle Snowboard is wider, more stable, and more forgiving to ride. Also, it is shorter, lighter and (compared with a freeride board) softer in flex, which makes it easier to turn. These characteristics make a freestyle board very responsive to the rider. Consequently, it is the best choice for the beginner.

These boards are built mainly for performing tricks in terrain parks and halfpipes (e.g. spins, air, grabs and riding fakie). Still, Freestyle Snowboards have limited edge grip and stability, and are not good for carving turns or cruising fast.

Most Freestyle Snowboards are either twin tip boards or directional-twin. Twin tip boards have a centered stance with a tip and tail that are exact copies of each other, making them symmetrical in shape. Both ends of a freestyle Snowboard have a shovel, and freestyle boards with twin tip design makes it easy for beginners to ride both forward and backward (fakie). Directional-twin Snowboards are similar to the regular twin tip Snowboard; only, its tail is stiffer than the nose.

Carving, Alpine, or Race Board

Carving or Alpine Snowboard Carving Snowboards are narrower than freestyle and freeride boards. Their long, narrow, stiff constructions are configured for higher speeds and cleaner carved turns. With this, carving boards allow quick edge turns, swift, superior edge-holding power on hard snow, and good stability for speed.

Also known as alpine boards, these snowboards almost look like an enlarged Ski. They are made in both symmetrical and asymmetrical styles and tend to only have a shovel on the nose. Similar with
freeride boards, carving boards are made to ride only in one direction.

While carving boards offer a higher level of performance, they are more difficult for the beginning rider to use and are generally reserved for more advanced riders. Alpine Snowboards are mainly preferred by Snowboard racers for a great day of fresh unridden powder. Keep in mind that alpine Snowboards are configured for riding and carving downhill, not for doing tricks.

To summarize, freestyle, freeride, and alpine or carving Snowboards are the three basic types of Snowboards. It is easier to maneuver a soft-flexing, twin-tip, gradual side cut Freestyle Snowboard. On the other hand, it is harder to maneuver a stiffer-flex, directional, aggressive sidecut All-Mountain Snowboard with scores of combinations in between. Always remember that the type of Snowboard you ride should correspond to the type of riding that you like to do, and that both Freestyle and Freeride boards are good Snowboard types for beginning snowboarders.

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Article Comments
Thursday 12th March 2009 at 12:31:25 PM  

When Choosing a SNOWBOARD!!! (Cause i work at a shop and have sold hella boards over the years)

1) Think about where you want to be on the hill:
-In the Trees?
-In the Park?
-Just cruising on the groomers?
Or are you searching for DEEP Pow?

Dont be fooled, you can take any snowboard anywhere on the mountain, however, certain boards will allow you to excel in specific disciplines!

1) Deep Powder/Big Mountain Snowboards
-Typically have a larger and longer Nose/Tip of the snowboard versus the tail: MEANING YOU ARE SET BACK TOWARD THE TAIL
-Typically, these boards are stiffer and are directional
Positives: Will be stable at high speed, will let you float through powder, usually a faster snowboard all around.
Negatives: Will not be fun on rails or on jibs...too stiff

-typically have a centered stance, with equal nose and tail
-softer and shorter allows it to flex easier on rails and boxes, allowing for better feel on the said object
Positives: Easier flex means an easy ride, less effort. Better for spending the day lapping the terrain park.
Better feel on rails means you can put your weight into the board so you can manipulate it the way you would like. Usually a cheaper price point board (cause they assume you will break it in the park)
Negatives: Not stable at very high speeds, Cheaper price may reflect the quality of the board. May not be a good choice on a deep powder day, for if you are centered in it, there will be no float.

All Mountain Snowboards (everything else)
Usually set back 1.5-3 inches from tip
Not too stiff nor too soft
Can be ridden all over the hill
Positives: A great ride for anyone during any conditions
Negatives: Too many choices!!

Remember: buy a board that is in your price range, fits your style of riding. Looks are not as important (except for the ladies of course) but u can litter it with stickers!

Live to Ride
Ride to Live

Sunday 15th March 2009 at 6:23:12 PM  

Wow, this is great i am defs gonna use this info when im working at my local ski and board shop next year


Sunday 5th April 2009 at 1:10:44 PM  

very good info dudes!!

Bert Seaton
Monday 20th April 2009 at 9:02:25 PM  


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Monday 4th May 2009 at 9:44:53 PM  

I like the orange one with a blue cross its really trendy!

Thursday 29th October 2009 at 1:02:46 AM  

Can you Explain what V Rocker is , And flying V Ect..?

Wednesday 25th November 2009 at 9:44:42 AM  

what is a good snowboard for going fast and doing a lot of tricks. Please email me back soon. I cant wait to snowboard. My first year snowboardning was last year on my last run of the i did a tail grab i was very happy! when i went down the mountain on the bigest hill i went down as fast as my snowboard would take me. Thank you

Wednesday 2nd December 2009 at 10:03:27 AM  

i know guite a bit about snowboards so if u have any questions please email me

Thursday 10th December 2009 at 3:49:48 PM  

This site was a huge help in answering my questions, just wanted to say thanks

Thursday 10th December 2009 at 9:07:46 PM  

my 13year old son just bought a pair of burton freestyle boots does that mean he needs to purchase only freestyle boards?

Saturday 16th January 2010 at 11:50:18 AM  

no it doesn''t mean that you need to buy him freestyle boards. the burton freestyle is a beginner to mid level boot. It provides medium support while still maintaining a nice soft flex. The freestyle boot is just the name of the boot not what it is necessarily meant for. a board for somebody who is 13 and just kinda starting out look at a ride control, ride agenda, burton clash or burton blunt and then get burton customs or ride lx bindings.

Monday 15th March 2010 at 9:15:19 AM  

Hi all,
I got a question. I don''t know the global situation, but I can say that here in Turkey; skiing & snowboardin includes a lot a fashion in it. When I''m in the mountain, I see that a lot of people (guys and ladies) wear well-known brand''s textiles (generally very expensive ones) and also brand''s of boards tend to be much more important than the rider''s ability or desire. So should the mountain be the place for fashion or the feel of absolute freedom? What is the situation in Europe, US and Canada??
Thanks a lot.

Tuesday 27th April 2010 at 4:07:52 PM  

Hi I think your website is awesome and really useful, well done. I have a question to. I have been boarding now for about 8 years, I bought a second hand Hammer broadline 159 with strap bindings when I started and I would like to start doing a few tricks not park stuff just small jumps and on the flat tricks. I am 5''10" tall and weigh 12 stone, can you advise me what board to buy and can I use my bindings. Many thanks, keep up the good work, regards Nip

Weight Training
Friday 9th July 2010 at 5:12:58 AM  

Hi Nip,

When buying a snowboard, It is perfectly normal to be attracted to the board with the best graphics.
Convert your height from inches to centimeters (one inch equals 2.54 cm) and then subtract about 14 cm. Yours will come to 161 cm board.

Or pick a board that, when stood on end, will reach between your nose and chin.

As far as width goes, use standard width of 25.5 cm or if your feet are big you can chose a board with widths ranging from 26 cm to almost 29 cm, depending on the model.

Wednesday 1st September 2010 at 8:24:56 AM  


Saturday 23rd October 2010 at 12:37:27 PM  


big man
Tuesday 23rd November 2010 at 5:17:55 PM  

i like doing 360 degree tail grabs

Friday 26th November 2010 at 9:15:17 PM  

If I purchase a snowboad do I need special boots and bindings or can I use my boots at home?

snowboard sizing
Sunday 28th November 2010 at 6:03:58 PM  

Great article, this will help a lot of people get the correct type of snowboard!

Monday 13th December 2010 at 5:25:28 PM  

Is it ok to ride a freestyle snowboard down a small mountain?

Sunday 6th March 2011 at 6:15:17 PM  

For alpine snowboards do you need to ride them wig hard boots or would soft boots do as well?

Tuesday 26th April 2011 at 12:39:49 AM  

The waist width (sub 21cm) and stiffness of alpine boards generally doesn''t allow softboots to be used on them. However companies like Donek do make wider softboot carving boards like the Razor, which can apparently rail like crazy.

Best Home Gyms
Wednesday 6th July 2011 at 1:55:58 PM  

Make sure you wear proper gear before heading out on the slopes. Here on the West Coast of British Columbia we often encounter icy conditions. You need at least a helmet (mandatory) and tailbone and hip protection.

Saturday 30th July 2011 at 12:10:54 PM  

I just started to ride in a pipe and I absolutely love it there but the thing is I have always been riding with a very soft and short snowboard, which was fine so far in doing tricks and little jumps and somebody told me that I should get a little longer and harder one and I have no idea what to get. I am 164cm and 120 lb. Help.....

Build Muscle Goals
Thursday 25th August 2011 at 3:41:37 AM  

What type of exercises should you do to strenghten your muscles in order to become a better snowboard rider?

rainbow riches
Thursday 8th December 2011 at 9:03:44 PM  

My favourite is the alpine.

awesome girl!!!
Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at 1:54:59 PM  

this thing is awsome and so good cuase i am a great snowborder but i want raw stuff like.....A SKATEBOARD THOSE ARE AWESOME THESES ARE JUST cool and way beyond cool

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