There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a snowboard….the type of riding you prefer should be a driving force in that decision. Whether you ride the park all day, bop through the trees, cruise groomers, or try to achieve Mach 4 on a snowboard will go a long way to determining the type of board you will want.
Indentifying the type(s) of riding you want to do is the easy part. Choosing a snowboard to get you there is a little bit tougher because there are so many options available.
The question of whether you should get a directional or true twin snowboard should be pretty top of list when you are narrowing down your options. Here’s why…
Directional boards can take two forms plain old directional boards, and directional twins. A true directional board has a longer nose than tail. The insert packs and sidecut are set back from the center of the board making the nose longer than the tail. And there’s usually a taper toward the tail of the board making the nose wider than the tail. Generally you will have a stiffer tail than nose to launch onto and off of stuff.
Directional boards are often easier to ride in powder because your weight is already more toward the back of the board so you don’t have to lean back so much to sink your tail and get your nose up, and your back leg doesn’t get as tired. They are also typically designed to float better in powder because of that longer, wider nose.
Your riding style will be a little different on a directional board- controlling things a bit more from the back leg- especially in powder where quick, little, surfy adjustments can have you dodging trees like a pro.
Directional snowboards are not generally as playful or butterable as twin boards, but they are designed for freeriding, powder, big mountains, or aggressive, fast riding. They like to be up to speed when initiating turns. They are more stable at speed. And they are essential for high-speed carving and big turns. They are generally not as buttery and playful since they are made to shine at speed. And they are pretty awkward to ride switch.
Who are directional boards good for?
People who don’t ride switch a lot
People who like to go fast and straight
People who get to ride powder a lot and want extra float
People who like big, technical lines
People who like to make big, carvey turns
People who aren’t as interested in buttery tricks
It’s easy to see the setback on this board because of how the inserts line up differently with the stripes on the tip vs the tail.
True twin snowboards
True twins are symmetrical so that you can ride them regular or switch just the same. There is as much tail as nose, the sidecut and insert packs are centered, and the flex patterns of the tip and tail are the same.
Many true twins still have great float in powder- especially if you set your stance back a bit, and some twin boards will handle gnarly terrain just as well as directional boards. There’s much more to how and where the board will excel than just whether it is directional or not- like it’s rocker/camber profile and the overall flex, and flex pattern, of the board.
Who are true twins good for?
People who spend a lot of time in the park
People who ride switch a lot
People who like doing tricks
People who like buttering around a lot
The stripe that cuts this board in half makes it easy to see the symmetry of the insert packs and the shape of the tip and tail
Directional twin snowboards
These are kind of in the middle. And there are really no rules here. There can be a multitude of differences between the tip and tail of a directional twin board. Some options are
They can have slightly set back stances.
The flex pattern can vary from nose to tail.
The rocker/camber profile can vary
…or you can have any combination of the above
It’s much harder to see that the nose of this board is slightly longer than the tail. It will still ride very much like a true twin, but that little setback will give you extra float in pow.
Usually directional twin snowboards are designed so riding switch isn’t awkward, but they generally favor your normal stance. When considering a directional twin snowboard, you will want to learn what features make that specific board a directional twin so you can determine those characteristics match up with your riding style.
When you are buying a snowboard, whether it is directional or twin will probably be one of the big factors you consider. And it will help narrow your field of options. There are no hard and fast rules about choosing a snowboard. So if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed, don’t fret. There are plenty of options out there and your local snowboard shop should be happy to help you find the type of board that is right for you. You may find you want one of each for different types of riding…that’s how quivers start.
Tags: directional snowboard, choosing a snowboard, buying a snowboard, local snowboard shop,directional twin snowboard, rocker camber profile, snowboard shapes, true twin snowboard,picking a snowboard