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If you really want to snowboard but don't know what gear to buy, here's our best advice:

Snowboards: You should get a board that fits not only according to your height and weight, but your performance level. They all look the same, but each board has a different flex and intended use.

Beginning riders should size their board to the chin and it should have a softer flex. This makes it easy to turn the board and is more forgiving.

More advanced riders are better off with a board that comes up to their nose or eyes and has a stiffer flex to handle higher speeds. The exception to this is someone that wants a park board, which is softer and shorter than normal.

These are some snowboard specifications that we are able to gather and provide when available. Most of the information is not important to 90% of you riders, but if we know something we try to pass it on. So if you see the following specs on a board at our site, here is what they mean:

Sidecut refers to the width of the board at the tip, waist (middle), and tail. Most boards will have very similar tip and tail dimensions. When the tip and tail widths are the same this is usually a board that will excel in the park. A board with a tail much narrower ("20mm) than a tip will be more designed for carving. And the wider the waist the better a board is for powder or to allow for bigger boot sizes.

Contact Length is how much of the length of the board that will be on the snows surface on a normal groomed slope, this differs from the board length because the tip and tail are turned up.

Effective Edge is the length on and edge that would be in the snow if the board is tipped on it's side. The higher the ratio between effective edge and total length, the more a board is designed for groomed runs. More edge equals better grip on hard pack but also tougher landings when doing tricks. Effective edge and contact length are always nearly the same but may not be identical because of camber or some other board shape features.

Nose/Tail Length are the length of tip and tail that would stick up off of the snow if the board was laying flat on the snow. Longer and similar nose/tail lengths will signify a park board because you have more area to land and can land facing either direction.

Sidecut Radius determines how short of an arc a board will naturally make when on its edge. A smaller number means a board will have a short natural carve arc. Shorter boards will always have a smaller radius than longer boards so comparing different sizes is fairly meaningless. Powder and specifically park board will generally have a longer turning radius because you do not want the board to turn on its own.

Camber refers to the arc in the board itself when laid flat on the snow. Park riders generally want more camber because the board will 'pop' easier for tricks.

Rocker is where the nose and tail rise off of the snow a bit earlier than usual making for superb float in powder and easier turn initiation on groomed runs.

Stance Width is the allowable distance between feet that the various binding mounting holes on the board will accommodate.

Stance Offset is how far forward of center the center point of the binding holes are. Park riders want a smaller number than all mountain riders because they want a more even distribution of weight for riding switch (when the rear of the board is pointing forward.) Unless you have a very wide stance, the offset probably won't matter what terrain you wish to ride and you can use a variety of the boards hole patterns to choose where to mount the bindings.

Expert Advice
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