If you've ever shopped for a snowboard without the help of one of our advisors, you know it's easy to get lost once you start looking at all the different types of shapes out there. Today, we want to enlighten you on the different snowboard shapes, and we want you to be able to understand what boards are for. Rocker, Camber, Taper, Directional and all the rest.
A twin board is a 100% identical board on each side. If you find the center of the board and measure each end, they will have the same length, width and curvature. This is often the type of board given to beginners, because it's easier to start snowboarding with two equal ends.
It is also the ideal type of board for park rats. A true twin board is perfect for people who do a lot of jibbing or street riding. You can ride on your natural side or even in switch, the board is identical! So if you always play on metal when snowboarding, it's probably a true twin you want to have!
Here, it says it in the name, the board is made to be ridden in one direction. A directional board always has the front longer than the back, and the shape is often different on the nose and tail. It happens that the front of the board, in addition to being longer, is also made wider than the back. The idea behind it is to make the front of your board float on the snow and thus allow you to float more easily on big powder days.
Why choose a directional board? Because it's the type of snowboard that is made to be ridden all over the mountain: it allows you to float in soft snow, but also to carve nicely on the standard slope.
This is where it starts to get complicated. A directional twin board is really a mix between the other two types. The purpose of this board is to allow you to have the feeling of a twin board, but which still has a slightly longer nose. The difference in length between the nose and the tail is much less important than the directional board: it is often less than an inch difference. The board, when you ride inside the contact points, therefore gives a twin feeling, but outside the contact points, the nose is a bit longer! It also sometimes happens that the back is made stiffer than the front, giving the board pop and helping with landing. As the difference between the nose and the tail is minimal, it is possible to ride switch with this type of snowboard. The directional twin board is made this way with the aim of offering a balance between steering and switch descent, and this is what has made this type of board so popular for riders of all mountain freestyle!
A camber board is a board that has 4 points of contact near the ends. The center, between the bindings, arches upward. This principle allows you to put more pressure on the natural contact points of the board, and thus to have a better grip on the board when turning on the snow. The camber also gives your board better pop, since the board is, in a way, already in tension against the pop. This is the ideal type to go fast and do big carving!
The rocker is the opposite. It is the center of the board that touches the ground, and the two ends go up. We often give the image of a banana when we talk about a rocker board. This type of board gives a smoother and less aggressive descent. The rocker also floats more easily in the snow, since the tips of the board are oriented upwards. Again, this is the ideal choice for those new to snowboarding and for those who mostly jib!
Many snowboard models also opt for a mix between rocker and camber. It often happens to see for example a classic camber between the bindings, then the nose and the tail pointing upwards like a rocker. This mix offers grip and bite in the turn, just like the classic camber, but with its tips that go up, the board will float better in the powder. It's the same for directional boards which have a camber from the tail to the front binding, then a rocker for the nose which is longer. The same idea is behind this mixture: adhesion and aggressiveness in turns, but increased flotation in powder snow!
SOME INTERESTING TECHNOLOGIES
Arbor offers this technology which consists of raising the edges of the board, at the contact points, by a few degrees. These fenders do two things:
- Raise the edge at the contact points and give the board a smoother feel, while taking the bite out of the edges when going straight down (flat-based)
- For wider boards, the Uprise fenders facilitate edge to edge transitions.
Still at Arbor, the grip tech is contact points that are added along the board. For a rocker board that tends to be smoother, the grip tech therefore adds road holding and therefore offers better adhesion to the track despite the rocker of the board.
3D Outline Basics
Jones Snowboard offers the 3D contour. This technology consists of giving a curvature to the tips of their snowboards, thereby raising the contact points on each side. Imagine a spoon, it's a bit like this kind of shape that the 3D contour gives to the noses and tails of the boards. All this makes the descent smoother and more dynamic. In addition, the 3D contour allows you to float better in the powder because the snow is naturally evacuated thanks to the curvature of the spatulas. So you can ride faster and float better!