Snowboard Riding Styles Explained
These aren’t the end all be all definitions but just our way of helping to categorize the boards out there in an easier way to understand. Rarely is a board designed for one purpose and there is often overlap so we will go with the board that’s strongest in one riding style. Here is our breakdown.
These boards aren’t just for powder only but this is where they excel the most. They just aren’t as good elsewhere as they are in the deepest of deep. That’s why you might hear us say mostly powder boards. These can come in all shapes and sizes but often they are tapered directional rides with a good amount of directional float.
Size- Usually mid to larger sized boards but there are many that are shorter but have much more volume.
Flex- Usually a Med/Stiff to Stiff Flex.
Alternative Freeride Boards are like Freeride boards in the sense that they can ride both groomers and powder equally well but they just come in different shapes. Some are normal length boards but have more taper and/or more of a setback on board. There are some that are surface area shifted so they are meant to be ridden a little shorter and a little wider than you normally would. Others come in a really short/fat package, are more snowsurf oriented, or are super long. The taper can range from a massive amount to only a little. It’s a very diverse group of boards.
Size- All shapes and sizes
Flex- Often Medium to Med/Stiff to Stiff Flex.
Freeride boards take it a step more directional than an All Mountain Board. They have more set back on board and start to have a little to a decent amount of taper in the tail. They might need a little more weight on the back leg on groomers but often have less rear leg burn in powder. They are really good in groomers but also do better in powder than an all mountain board would. Some even kill it there.
Size- Usually mid to large.
Flex- Usually mid to stiff flex.
Aggressive All Mountain
These boards are usually med/stiff to stiff, directional, often have a set back on sidecut as well as board and can be unforgiving if you get off your game. Like most freeride boards they are stiff and aggressive but usually aren’t tapered or set as far back so they don’t wash on the tail if you weight yourself on the center of the board. The tip and tail are usually different length’s but the widths are the same. Powder riding is still important and they cater to the rider that likes speed, groomed runs, usually hard carving, directional jumps, and the pipe.
Size- Usually mid to large.
Flex- Usually a med/stiff to stiff flex.
Other than “Shred”, “All Mountain” is probably one of the most abused words in the industry. Most boards here are directional twins or twinish boards that have a set back stance. They are really good for centering up the board on groomers to get more of an all mountain freestyle feel and then when it dumps you can set it back to get a more freeride feel for better directional float in powder. We found most do well just about anywhere except for the jib park but generally aren’t amazing at anything. It’s a nice overall compromise for those looking for a one board quiver.
Size- Usually in the middle of the sizing chart.
Flex- Usually but not always Med to Med/Stiff
Aggressive All Mountain Freestyle
Usually for riding the same places as all mountain boards except the stance is centered and often the board is a twin or pretty close to it (twinish). It’s for those who like to charge the mountain regular or switch and treat it like a high-speed terrain park. If you don’t set your stance back on deep powder days then this board usually works well as an all mountain board.
Size- Usually mid size like all mountain boards.
Flex- Usually Med to Med/Stiff
All Mountain Freestyle
Usually for those that like to spend equal time in the park and mountain. When on the mountain they like to turn the mountain into a park but also occasionally like to make good turns and enjoy groomers. These riders spend a lot of their time riding switch. When in the park they are also more into the pipe and jumps. Some can ride well on rails/boxes but most aren’t that solid there.
Size- Usually small to mid size.
Flex- Usually Med/Soft to Medium.
If you want to ride the park but also like to ride the mountain like a park, these are great boards and there are a lot out there. They’re also not bad when it comes to riding the mountain at moderate speeds.
Much more of a full-time park board that is usually friendly with jumps and jibs but often times is good in the pipe too. Most are mainly for the park but there are some that overlap into the All Mountain Freestyle category and can ride the mountain well too. They just shine more in the park.
Size- Usually small to very small.
Flex- Usually Med/Soft to Soft.
This is pretty much for going at slower speeds in the park and isn’t too friendly on the other side of the park fence.
Jib to Street
Mainly for the jib park and the street.
Size- Usually on the smallest side of the spectrum.
Flex- Usually pretty soft.
This is pretty much for going at slower speeds in the jib park or taking it off the mountain to find some urban features to hit.