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Colton Taylor
Colton Taylor


Most snowboards can be ridden in any type of terrain. However, there are specialized boards designed to help you get the most out of your experience. If this is your first time snowboarding, consider referencing our guide "How to: Snowboarding for Beginners" before you head out to the slopes!


Freestyle SnowboardsFor the playful rider in and out of the park.Freestyle snowboards are made for tricks, jumps and hit jibs. They are light, short and flexible. Good for riders looking for more mountainside action, or those who like to push their limits.

Freeride SnowboardsCreated for snow lovers. Designed to go fast. For smooth, controlled riding and carving the Freeride board is ideal. Slightly longer, with quick response and narrow or wide designs, they are meant for higher speed and cleaner carved turns. With a setback stance and more nose than tail, this snowboard will deliver quick edge turns and stability for speed.

Splitboards Best for climbing in the backcountry. For the adventurous spirit, the Splitboard can be separated into two ski-like parts used with climbing skins to trek up backcountry slopes. Once you find the summit, the two halves can be connected to form a regular snowboard for a memorable, downhill ride.

Asymmetrical Asymmetrical snowboards incorporate a sharper, deeper sidecut on the heel edge compared to the toe edge. The core is also softer on the heel side. This allows the rider to flex the board for a tighter, more precise, and more natural turn.

DirectionalDirectional snowboards are designed to be ridden in your natural stance. With a pointier nose and stiffer tail, they maintain stability better at high speed. Great for cruising and carving.

Directional Twin At first glance, a directional twin snowboard looks like a twin, but the default stance is slightly set back and/or the flex is not symmetrical. They can also transition easily to the park to perform tricks on rails and jumps.

However, there's no need to worry, we've got a snowboard for just about anyone. Our Burton Guides have the extra know-how to point you towards the board size you're looking for. Please give them a call at: (800) 881-3138

Snowboards are boards where the user places both feet, usually secured, to the same board. The board itself is wider than most skis, with the ability to glide on snow.[1] Snowboards widths are between 6 and 12 inches or 15 to 30 centimeters.[2] Snowboards are differentiated from monoskis by the stance of the user. In monoskiing, the user stands with feet inline with direction of travel (facing tip of monoski/downhill) (parallel to long axis of board), whereas in snowboarding, users stand with feet transverse (more or less) to the longitude of the board. Users of such equipment may be referred to as snowboarders. Commercial snowboards generally require extra equipment such as bindings and special boots which help secure both feet of a snowboarder, who generally ride in an upright position.[1] These types of boards are commonly used by people at ski hills, mountains, backcountry, or resorts for leisure, entertainment, and competitive purposes in the activity called snowboarding.

In 1917, Vern Wicklund, at the age of 13, fashioned a shred deck in Cloquet, Minnesota. This modified sled was dubbed a "bunker" by Vern and his friends. He, along with relatives Harvey and Gunnar Burgeson, patented the very first snowboard twenty two years later in 1939. [3]

Snowboarding began to spread internationally. In 1981, a couple of Winterstick team riders went to France at the invitation of Alain Gaimard, marketing director at Les Arcs.[5] After seeing an early film of this event, French skiers/surfers Augustin Coppey, Olivier Lehaneur, Olivier Roland and Antoine Yarmola made their first successful attempts during the winter of 1983 in France (Val Thorens), using primitive, home-made clones of the Winterstick. Starting with pure powder, skateboard-shaped wooden-boards equipped with aluminium fins, foot-straps and leashes, their technology evolved within a few years to pressed wood/fiber composite boards fitted with polyethylene soles, steel edges and modified ski boot shells. These were more suitable for the mixed conditions encountered while snowboarding mainly off-piste, but having to get back to ski lifts on packed snow. In 1985, James Bond popularized snowboarding in the movie A View to a Kill. In the scene, he escapes Soviet agents who are on skis with a makeshift snowboard made from the debris of a snowmobile that exploded. The actual snowboard used for the stunt was a Sims snowboard ridden by founder Tom Sims. By 1986, although still very much a minority sport, commercial snowboards had started appearing in French ski resorts.

Contemporaneously, the Snurfer was being turned into a snowboard on the other side of the iron curtain. In 1980, Aleksey Ostatnigrosh and Alexei Melnikov - two members of the only Snurfer club in the Soviet Union started changing the Snurfer design to allow jumping and to improve control on hard packed snow. Apparently unaware of developments in the Snurfer/snowboard world, they attached a bungee cord to the Snurfer tail which the rider could grab before jumping. Later, in 1982, they attached a foot binding to the Snurfer. The binding was only for the back foot, and had a release capability. In 1985, after several iterations of the Snurfer binding system, Aleksey Ostatnigrosh made the first Russian snowboard. The board was cut out of a single vinyl plastic sheet and had no metal edges. The bindings were attached by a central bolt and could rotate while on the move or be fixed at any angle. In 1988, OstatniGROsh and MELnikov started the first Russian snowboard manufacturing company, GROMEL

The first fibreglass snowboard with binding was made by Santa Cruz inventor Gary Tracy of GARSKI with the assistance of Bill Bourke in their factory in Santa Cruz in 1982. One of these original boards is still on display at Santa Cruz Skateboards in Capitola, CA. By the mid-80s, snowboarding had considerable commercial success with multiple competing companies. Burton had established a European Division by the mid-1980s. In Canada in 1983, a teenager named David Kemper began building his first snowboards in his garage in Ontario, Canada. By 1987, Kemper Snowboards was launched and became one of the top snowboard brands among Burton, Sims, and Barfoot.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) recognized snowboarding as a discipline in 1994. Snowboarding made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. Men's and Women's halfpipe and giant slalom competitions were an instant success due to their overwhelming popularity with spectators. However, FIS was responsible for the scoring system and course design which were riddled with issues. FIS did not consult snowboarding pioneers and experts, and instead deciding to leave the contest rules and governing up to inexperienced FIS professionals. The giant slalom course was not properly maintained and the snowboarding events were scheduled right after the skiing events, which posed dangers to contestants due to ice and chop. At the 2002 winter games held in Salt Lake City, UT, FIS decided to consult US snowboard industry experts and together they made the competition safer for the athletes and added a viable scoring system. The 2006 Winter Games in Turin saw the addition of snowboard cross. Slopestyle events were added in 2014, and Big Air in 2018.

The bottom or 'base' of the snowboard is generally made of UHMW and is surrounded by a thin strip of steel, known as the 'edge'. Artwork was primarily printed on PBT using a sublimation process in the 1990s, but poor color retention and fade after moderate use moved high-end producers to longer-lasting materials.[6]

Snowboards are generally constructed of a hardwood core which is sandwiched between multiple layers of fibreglass. Some snowboards incorporate the use of more exotic materials such as carbon fiber, Kevlar, aluminium (as a honeycomb core structure), and have incorporated piezo dampers. The front (or "nose") of the board is upturned to help the board glide over uneven snow. The back (or "tail") of the board is also upturned to enable backwards (or "switch") riding. The base (the side of the board which contacts the ground) is made of Polyethylene plastic. The two major types of base construction are extruded and sintered. An extruded base is a basic, low-maintenance design which basically consists of the plastic base material melted into its form. A sintered base uses the same material as an extruded base, but first grinds the material into a powder, then, using heat and pressure, molds the material into its desired form. A sintered base is generally softer than its extruded counterpart, but has a porous structure which enables it to absorb wax. This wax absorption (along with a properly done 'hot wax'), greatly reduces surface friction between the base and the snow, allowing the snowboard to travel on a thin layer of water. Snowboards with sintered bases are much faster, but require semi-regular maintenance and are easier to damage. The bottom edges of the snowboard are fitted with a thin strip of steel, just a couple of millimeters wide. This steel edge allows the board to grab or 'dig into' hard snow and ice (like the blade of an ice skate), and also protects the boards internal structure. The top of the board is typically a layer of acrylic with some form of graphic designed to attract attention, showcase artwork, or serve the purpose similar to that of any other form of printed media. Flite Snowboards, an early designer, pressed the first closed-molded boards from a garage in Newport, Rhode Island, in the mid-1980s.[citation needed] Snowboard topsheet graphics can be a highly personal statement and many riders spend many hours customizing the look of their boards. The top of some boards may even include thin inlays with other materials, and some are made entirely of epoxy-impregnated wood. The base of the board may also feature graphics, often designed in a manner to make the board's manufacturer recognizable in photos. 041b061a72


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