June is an excellent month to take advantage of deals on cookware, lingerie, gym memberships and more!
Freestyle Snowboards, All-Mountain Snowboards
Some riders want to soar off jumps, while others prefer to enjoy a leisurely run down the mountainside. Choosing a board designed for your style and where you like to ride can not only provide a better day at the slopes but also help save time and money on tune-ups and repairs.
Our picks are all-mountain and freestyle/park snowboards. An all-mountain snowboard is the most versatile -- a jack of all trades, a master of none. A preferred choice for beginners and casual riders, it can both glide down a mountain and negotiate a terrain park.
Freestyle snowboards are designed for grinding rails, catching air, and jumping barrels in the park. In general they are more flexible, which allows for graceful landings and enhanced mobility on rails. The dull edges on pricey, highly specialized park boards can make it difficult for inexperienced riders to make sharp turns. A wide gap between the bindings also forces riders to use a wider stance, better for tight landings. The cheap freestyle snowboards on our list are more versatile. The Forum Recon can also serve as an entry-level all-mountain snowboard, according to a review at The Good Ride. In a Snowboards.net video, a K2 rep says the Vandal makes a solid all-mountain junior board, although it excels in the park. SB-RV pegs the K2 Vandal as a good board for both park riding and freeriding down the mountain. Freestyle snowboards in general are a solid choice for beginners.
Dedicated freeride boards are intended for more advanced riders who aren't all that into riding jumps or grinding rails. Freeride boards deliver sharp turns and smooth navigation and can hold high speeds with greater stability. Freeride snowboards are typically stiffer and more responsive than freestyle snowboards. They also tend to be made from more expensive materials, such as carbon fiber, so they can be more costly.
Next we'll look at a few features that make these different types of boards particularly good for different types of riding. Remember that there is really no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to snowboard features. Different variations will respond differently to individual riders, so snowboarders are encouraged to look for a combination that fits their preferences, ability level, and goals on the slopes.
Snowboard Shape.Snowboards generally come in three shapes: directional, directional twin, and true twin. Directional boards are wider at the nose or tip of the board and narrower and stiffer toward the back, or the tail. This shape is common in freeride and alpine racing boards built for speed. It helps riders make controlled turns and keep the nose of the board on the surface of the snow. A true twin is symmetrical from tip to tail and lets park riders easily switch stances as they perform tricks. The shape is ideal for any snowboarder who may want to ride both regular (leading with the left foot) and goofy or switch (with the right foot in front), rather than committing to one or the other. The K2 Vandal and Ride Lowride youth boards are true twins. The Salomon Pulse and Forum Recon are directional twins, which also have a symmetrical shape but feature a stiffer tail. This versatile shape befits a freestyle/park or all-mountain snowboard.
Think Twice Cheap Snowboards
LTD snowboards generally pop up in big-box stores and overstock shops; dedicated boarders tend to stay away. There's no arguing with the price -- just don't expect these boards to last as long as budget models from other brands.
LaMar Snowboards Review
Forum Recon Review
Ride Lowride Review
Salomon Lotus Review
K2 Vandal Review
Salomon Pulse Review
Burton Genie Review
Check out our roundup of low-cost beach gear to help all members of the family enjoy frolicking in the sand and water.
The scents of a fresh bloom linger in the air, reminding us it's time to dust off our green thumbs. ...