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Snowboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. Originally called a "snurfer" and created by binding two skis together with rope, the modern day snowboard has gained significant technological developments since its early stage. Today, snowboards are typically made with fiberglass, wood/foam cores, and metal edges which make it easy to carve (turn). There are various components to keep in mind when selecting a board.
Depending on your level and personal preferences - whether you like to ride in the trees or kill it in the half-pipe - there are certain boards designed specifically for you.
Types of snowboards:
Freeride - these boards are the most popular for boarders wanting to ride a variety of terrain. They are easy to maneuver but stiff enough to turn quickly in hard/icy snow.
Freestyle - these boards are wider than the freeride style and thus provide a more "comfortable" ride. They are great in powder snow and going over the bumps.
After selecting the style of snowboard you are looking for, determine how much you want to spend. Again, much of this choice depends on how frequency you plan to use the board and what your level of expertise is.
A basic dollar value guide is given below:
Now that you have selected the style and price range for your board, what length and width do you need?
The length of the board is measured from tip to tip. Depending on the type of terrain and your ability, you may select different lengths. When you are standing:
Medium boards - reach between your chin and eyes. This is a great "all-around" size and is a great beginner/intermediate board.
Long boards - reach from your forehead to the top of your head. This style is best for powder and backcountry riding, but is more difficult to maneuver.
Determining necessary width typically relates to your foot size. If you have "skis" for feet, you'll need a wide board. If your mother bound your feet as a child, you will need a skinnier board. The main thing is that you don't want your toes or heels to hang off the board (while wearing boots) or you'll have difficultly carving.