When most people walk into a show room it's sometimes hard to justify the price tag. However, it's true that you get what you pay for. You'll always see a range of prices starting anywhere from $300 and up. Some people are under the impression that the more you spend the faster you'll go. WRONG. The snowboarder controls how fast they'll go. The only truth to that idea is that a board that cost more is usually torsionally stiffer and therefore will have better edge hold at higher speeds. In other words: More stability costs more money.
Companies have tons of different ideas about the technology in a board and how it will improve the rider's performance. Most ideas are effective in one way or another. However, some technologies are nothing but a dumb gimmick to get you to buy. So here are some key points to look for in your next buy...
1) What kind of wood are they using for their cores?
Companies use all kinds of woods for different reasons. What it all boils down to is whether it's Bamboo or not. Bamboo is one of the strongest, pliable, and lightest woods on the market and is one of the best materials to use for cores. Most riders would say this is most definitely an aspect to invest in.
2) What kind of side wall does it have?
The choices are CAP construction and SANDWICH or SIDEWALL construction. The difference? Cap construction is when the top sheet of the board connects with the metal edge of the board. There is no side wall. Some argue that this reduces the board's weight and therefore increases maneuverability but in most cases its just cheaper to make and does not hold an edge very well. Sandwich construction is when they use an epoxy mix to create a protective wall around the perimeter of the wood core. This elevates the rider, protects the wood core, and allows for much better edge hold in harder packed snow. Some companies make a half cap half sidewall to try to have the best of both worlds which only works to a certain extent.
3) How stiff is this board?
People who haven't done much riding may want a softer board to make it easier to get from edge to edge, as well as the people in the park because its easy to manual/butter whatever you want to call it. People who ride fast want to have a stiffer board for response and snap. If you are not sure where you fit in all of this, my recommendation is to take the stiffer board because it will get you further in your progression as a rider.
4) What kind of baseline is it?
Refer to the baseline article to see which one would be right for you.
All your other deciding factors are up to you. Graphic should not be your primary decision factor. Pick the right board for your style of riding and you will be much happier. Besides, if you mach too much it looks like you tried too hard.
Kind of like these girls...though there's nothing wrong with that.
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