At TSA we are big fans of innovative snowboard companies and any tech that is going to make our time on the mountain more fun gets the thumbs up! This year, manufactures have poured more research and technology into their snowboard design than ever - which we can tell you have lived up to the hype in our board tests.
The shape of a snowboard has a major influence on how it rides and the way you travel across the hill. There are three classic board shapes that most snowboards are based around but it is the altercations and idiosyncrasies that set them apart.
From the centre of the board true twins are identical going out to both tip and tail. The main advantage this gives is that the board will perform identical going both forwards and backwards. This balanced weight gives the board more rotational control as it has less of a pendulum effect.
A twin shape is great choice if you enjoy riding the park, want to travel switch and like hitting up indoor domes.
Directional boards are have a different shape, flex and stance from nose to tail. They are designed to primarily travel in one direction (forwards) and are much easier to manoeuvre.
This shape suits riders who will not be travelling switch much and are going to spend their time riding powder.
Directional Twins feature the same shape as the true twin board, however they differ from the true twin - setting both the stance and flex towards the tail of the board.
This shift makes the board more versatile for those riders who want to ride all types of terrain. It compromises out and out freestyle performance but the benefits on and off-piste are worth the trade-off.
Swing weight is the term used to describe the rotational forces that exist at the tip and tail of the board. These forces affect both the way the board turns and the control that the rider has in the air.
If the tip and tail of the board are heavy, the weight rises if directional forces are raised at the ends of the board. This pendulum effect makes the board difficult to control in the air and makes it want to push out the turn. By reducing the weight the tip and tail become more controllable, however if you eliminate the swing weight altogether the board will feel dead.
The blend zone is the area where the edges merge into the nose. A long blend zone produces a mellower transition into a turn (ideal for beginners) and helps the board to float in deep snow.
A shorter blend zone reduces the swing weight and gives a faster turn initiation, useful for quick reactions when in the park.
The amount of taper varies from board to board, ranging from 0 to about 30mm. It is class as taper when the nose is wider than the tail. This gives easy turn initiation and exit, increased stability and improved flotation. Pure powder boards have the most taper whilst freestyle boards have none.
Each snowboard and its shape is going to be a better fit for a specific rider and terrain – it’s a bit like a marriage, there are bits you like and some bits that you are not so keen on but you learn to enjoy them over time and work with work on the rest. For more help in finding your perfect other half drop into your local TSA store and have a chat with are expert matchmaker staff.