If you enjoy doing tricks on the snow and can’t wait to spend some time in a terrain park, you need a freestyle snowboard. These boards are not your regular all-mountain boards. Compared to them, the best freestyle snowboards are a lot more playful and exciting to ride. Whether you enjoy jibbing, jumping, or any other trick you can be sure that your freestyle board can keep up.
To achieve all this, there are some tweaks in the construction of park boards. They are softer, lighter, and shorter, among other things. For this reason, we’ve created a buying guide that explains all the features you should look for when going freestyle. But first, check out the awesome park boards we’ve picked out for you.
How To Choose A Freestyle Snowboard – Buying Guide
As we’ve mentioned in the intro, park boards have a different design compared to regular alpine snowboards. This is the secret that allows you to play on the snow and execute all types of tricks. Take a look at what makes them different and learn how to recognize a good freestyle board.
Jibbing is a snowboarding term that means sliding a snowboard on different surfaces (for example boxes or handrails). It’s a big component of freestyle snowboarding and one of the most interesting things to do in the park. If you want to master jibbing snowboards, you need a board that will make the task easier.
When you jib snowboards, it’s the base of the board that does all the work. Unlike carving groomed slopes, the edges of the board aren’t active here. This is why you need a model that has the ability to jump on an obstacle and slide on it without losing balance. Many people who like jibbing choose boards that have a flat underfoot to give them a better slide.
Jump And Pop
A pop is a push that your board gives you when you jump. In relation, a good pop is required to get more airtime and perform tricks. It definitely makes using the freestyle board a lot more exciting. The best freestyle snowboards need to have a good push so you can perform different types of jumps.
Unfortunately, not all boards are equally able to perform jumps. This is one of the reasons that park snowboards have a softer to medium flex. Compared to firm boards that can even be too stiff, softer boards give you a better push and give you more control over the jump itself. If you like jumping around, it’s a big plus if the board has rocker ends – slightly lifted ends make it much easier to get off the ground.
As you probably know, a board’s flex shows you how much the board bends. As a rule, terrain park snowboards have a softer to medium flex. This type of flex allows you to practice tricks and your snowboarding technique. To begin with, a softer board makes it easier to do nose and tail presses. In addition, freestyle boards feel softer on landings when you jump, allowing you to retain your balance.
On the other hand, softer boards also have their downsides. They can be a bit slow downhill and don’t have the same stability at speed as firm boards. However, they are a much better choice for the park, because a firm board significantly reduces the number of tricks you can successfully do.
Most top freestyle snowboards have a twin shape, meaning that the left and right sides of the board are identical. This is important because it allows you to ride the board both regular and switch (where your non-dominant foot is forward). You’ll often be in this situation when jumping and making turns, so the board should feel the same either way.
A twin shape can either be a true twin or an asymmetrical twin. In a true twin, there are no differences between the sides or between the nose and the tail. An asymmetrical twin has the same sides, but there are slight differences between the nose and the tail, in order to make turning a little bit easier. Unlike freestyle boards, many all-mountain and powder boards have a directional shape (designed for riding one way).
The profile you choose when buying a board largely depends on your personal preferences. This being said, a typical freestyle snowboard is cambered or flat between the feet and rockered at the ends. A camber gives you better balance when landing and holds the edge when carving the snow. If you like jibbing, a flat middle section is the way to go.
On the other hand, some snowboarders like a full or hybrid rocker profile. This type is a good choice if you like jumping and sliding on rails. Bottom line, the best park snowboard is the one designed for your favorite tricks and this is up to you.
Freestyle boards are generally shorter than alpine boards. This is a common pattern in both mens and womens freestyle snowboards. A shorter board gives you better maneuverability, making the board more playful and better at performing tricks. It’s also more convenient because a shorter board fits in a snowboard bag more easily. The downside is the decrease in speed when carving and going downhill.
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The width of the board has a huge impact on its overall performance. When compared to regular boards, the best freestyle snowboards have increased width. This is actually a good thing, as it improves the balance when jibbing. It also makes it easier for you to nail a tough landing.
On the other hand, they are less responsive than all-mountain snowboards and take a larger effort to go from edge to edge. Also, a board that is too wide can be very slow downhill, so be careful not to go overboard with the width.
Stability and Versatility
Because of their construction, park snowboards are less stable than all-mountain boards. Those who snowboard free style like it when the board feels alive, but this is achieved at the expense of downhill stability. Park boards often feel too soft, causing stability issues at higher speeds.
However, many of these boards are fairly stable in the park. Their design places the bindings and the stance exactly in the middle, allowing you to maintain balance when jumping. Still, if you want to do both downhill and park riding, you should go with a hybrid (an all mountain freestyle snowboard). These are usually camber-dominant with a medium flex, so they perform well in both settings.
Q: What Is Freestyle Snowboarding?
Freestyle snowboarding is a type of riding where the boarder performs various tricks. You ride the board in a terrain park that contains features like rails, boxes, jumps, pipes, and other objects. These objects help you do all types of snowboarding tricks and allow you to be creative. However, everyone who snowboards freestyle knows that it’s different from alpine snowboarding. Still, it’s really exciting and a great way to get your snowboarder workout.
Q: What Type Of Snowboard Is Best For Park?
A freestyle board is specially designed for park use. These are softer boards that are lightweight and fairly easy to maneuver. Also, they are generally shorter than all-mountain boards. All this allows the best park snowboards to effortlessly perform jumps and jibs.
Q: What Is A Freestyle Snowboard?
It’s a type of board that allows you to play on the snow. You can do tricks, jumps, stunts, and many other things. The freestyle board has a good pop, slides well on flat surfaces, and has enough flexibility for buttering. In terms of construction features, there are a lot of differences compared to other snowboard types. Keep in mind that a freestyle board is not the same as a freeride board (made for off-piste riding and ungroomed terrain).Related Review: Freeride Snowboard
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If you want to bring some excitement to the snow this year, try a freestyle board. It’s fantastic for park riding, allowing you to conquer rails, boxes, and jumps without breaking a sweat. Park boards have a softer flex and a stronger pop, so it’s easier to perform the tricks that you always wanted to. Now that you know how to pick the best freestyle board, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy your time on the snow even more!
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