What do the Different Snowboard Shapes Mean?
There are so many types of boards to choose from and it’s very difficult to figure out what will work best for your riding style. Below is a breakdown that should help you decide what type of board you should demo or buy – demo as many different designs as possible before throwing down your hard earned cash. The shape of the board and the type of contact it makes with the snow will have a large impact on your enjoyment on the mountain.
A twin board is called a “twin” because the bottom half (tail) and top half (nose) are mirror images of each other and the flex is exactly the same on both ends. The nose and tail are the same shape, flex and same camber profile. You can ride the same way with either your right (goofy) or left foot forward (regular). Twins have a centered stance, which means that the binding mounts are dead center in the board. So in summary everything about the board is symmetrical.
An Asymmetrical Twin is just like a twin except for one thing. They change the flex or side cut to match a Duck (15 front -15 back or 12 -12 ect.) stance. Most have a side cut that is one way for your toe side and another for your heel side but some keep the side cut the same and just change the flex. At this time all asymmetrical boards we have tried are twins because most ride twins with a duck or close to duck stance.
A directional twin looks like a Twin but there is usually one, some or multiple things about it that aren’t symmetrical. Here are some examples:
1. The tail could have a stiffer flex than the nose
2. There could be a set back stance.
3. The camber profile could be different on the nose compared to the tail.
4. The board could have a slightly higher nose than the tail for easier float in powder.
5. It could have one, any combo or all of these traits above.
When you see “directional twin”, read the description very carefully in order to understand what makes it not a twin.
A Twinish or Twin Like board has a tip, tail and side cut that is slightly different in shape. At first look it seems like it might be a twin but then upon closer look you notice that the tail is slightly different in shape from the nose and the side cut is directional instead of the same riding either way. This allow’s the board it to ride/turn better with the nose going forward but still be good riding switch (tail forward). Sometimes they have a set back stance and sometimes the stance is centered.
Directional boards have the same tail/nose width but there is usually a very noticeable difference in shape and length. The side cut is also different and favors directional riding much more than switch. You can ride switch but it’s noticeably different.
A tapered directional board is like a directional board, but has a tail that is smaller in width than the nose. Almost everything about the tip and tail are different. The stance is usually set back, the nose is much bigger than the tail and its usually more of a surf style one direction only kind of ride.