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The 3B’s of snowboard gear: boards, boots, bindings

The 3B’s of snowboard gear: boards, boots, bindings

When it comes to snowboards, there’s something for everyone and every level from the beginner to the powder rider. To choose one’s board is to choose the terrain you’ll be riding! Below you will find necessary advice for the choice of a board that combines aspiration with level. Depending on the type of board and the type of discipline, the board should also be adapted to height and weight.

The board’s flex is very important. The more flexible the snowboard, the more manageable and the easier to control however the greater the speed, the harder the board will be to control. If the board is stiff, the snowboard will be edgier and will give better grip on the snow. A stiffer board is recommended for larger, experienced riders. To test a board’s flexibility, push on the centre of the board. The stiffer the flex, the more grip, the better speed, and the better hold it will offer.

Different types of boards:

  • Alpine or free carve boards: ideal for groomed runs with a steep slope. The boards are usually narrow and for series of quick turns. Longer than other boards, the alpine board is intended for speed and is very stable, less at ease in powder. Boots are usually hard.
  • Freestyle: Short, wide snowboard with twin tips for fans of the half-pipe. Ideal for hitting jumps with a steady landing. Flexible boots with strap bindings or rear-entry binding are recommended.
  • ·  Freeride boards are multi-purpose, short and wide for cruising hardback or riding the steeps or on powder. Intended for directional skiing, beginners will enjoy using these boards with good stability.
  • ·  Powder: for riders who spend their time in deep, fluffy snow. These boards have upturned or rockered tips and tails to keep edges from catching or sinking.

Boots should be the rider’s top priority and depend on usual riding style and the snow conditions usually encountered. Flexible boots are composed of two parts: a semi-rigid shell and an interior sock. They offer stiffness and good comfort while keeping the front of the tibia free. The inside sole should absorb shocks. Stiffer boots are composed of a rigid shell and an inside sock that holds the ankles in curves.

Last item in the boots-board-bindings combo, the bindings guarantee the transfer of movement from the rider to the board. The binding must be compatible with the flex of the boots and riding style. Baseplate bindings are used with rigid boots. Strap bindings are suitable for a soft flex boot with a “highback”, a contoured vertical plate that rests against the calf, for better control of the rear of the board. Recently, rear-entry bindings have become more popular among casual riders. The angle of the bindings will depend on the riding style and the boot-binding combination should be evaluated individually for appropriateness.

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