Whether you enjoy riding groomed snow, performing tricks in the park, or going off-trail, a good snowboard is the centerpiece of your adventure. The snowboard becomes an extension of your body once you hit the snow, which is why choosing the right one is so important.
For female snowboarders, this task requires even more attention because of the differences in design. On average, women are shorter, lighter, and have a lower center of gravity than men. For optimal performance, a women’s snowboard needs to take all of this into account.
In this article, we’ll discuss every aspect that a female rider needs to consider to get the optimal performance on the snow. In addition, we have also carefully selected the best snowboards for women currently on the market that are guaranteed to take your experience to a higher level.
How To Choose A Women Snowboard – Buying Guide
Length and Width
Picking the right length of your board depends on your height, riding style, and experience. Generally speaking, most beginner female snowboarders should choose a board that stands at chin height when you put it upright. This being said, longer boards are faster and more stable, while shorter boards are easier to turn and have a better response.
As for the width, it depends on your weight and boot size. The board should be slightly wider than your boots so you eliminate toe drag when turning. In addition, heavier riders should go with a slightly wider board for better stability.
The flex of the board shows you how flexible it is when riding, turning, and jumping. The flex is usually presented on a scale from 1 to 10, where a lower number is softer and a larger firmer. Soft boards are best for freestyle, firm ones are best for freeride, while an all-mountain board sits somewhere in the middle.
The profile is the shape your snowboard takes when you lay it on the snow and look at it from the side. Every profile has its upsides, so we’ll tell you a few words about each of them.
Camber – The camber is a classic profile that most good snowboards for women use. The center (underfoot) is slightly lifted and then comes in full contact with the snow when you step on it. It provides great edge control and stability.
Rocker – The board touches the ground at the center and gradually rises towards the tip. While it might be less stable, it floats really well in powder and performs well in the park.
Flat – As its name suggests, a flat snowboard has a completely flat profile when resting. Because of this, it’s great for catching rails and jumping, and holds an edge pretty well.
Hybrid – Hybrids are usually blends of cambers and rockers in various degrees. For example, a rocker/camber/rocker is excellent for all-mountain board riding with additional float, while a camber/rocker/camber performs great in the park.
In addition to the profile, the shape of the snowboard also determines the performance on the snow. Much like men’s snowboards, women’s models also come in the 4 most frequent shapes so we’ll tell you a few words about each of them.
True Twin – A true twin snowboards are perfectly symmetrical on both ends, with even weight distribution on both the nose and tail. This type of board works best for beginner riders, all-mountain board riding, and freestyle snowboarders who ride switch frequently.
Directional – A directional board is designed to keep you afloat and stable when going at high speeds. Because of this, the weight is shifted towards the back. The tail is stiffer and the softer nose is a bit wider. This type makes the best snowboard for freeriding.
Directional Twin – It represents a hybrid between the previous two. It can either have a symmetrical shape but different flex (firmer tail), or an equal flex but a directional shape (wider nose). This type is generally very good for all-mountain riding.
Asymmetrical – The unique thing about this type of board is that the sidecut depth is different on the toe and heelside (it’s deeper on the heelside). This is done to make heelside turns quicker and easier, which is very useful when carving groomed snow.
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The sidecut represents the curve (arc) on the side of the board, and determines how sharp the board can turn. For example, products with a deeper sidecut will have a smaller sidecut radius which results in much tighter turns (better for trails). On the other hand, a shallower cut means a larger radius and results in wide turns (better for freeriding).
Depending on where and how you plan to ride your board, you need to pay attention to various performance factors. These most commonly include edge hold, powder performance, playfulness, and pop.
Edge Hold – The edge hold is very important for carving. A board with a camber profile is probably the best for this, because the edge flattens when you step on it and maximizes the contact points with the snow.
Powder Performance –Two aspects that impact the board’s performance in the powder are profile and shape. A good powder snowboard has a hybrid or rockered profile for floating, as well as a directional twin shape for better weight distribution.
Playfulness – The playfulness of the board impacts how it behaves when performing tricks or practicing. As a general rule, softer boards are more playful than firmer ones.
Pop And Jumping – If you enjoy riding freestyle and performing tricks, a good pop allows you to jump higher and easier so you can perform the tricks with less effort. In addition to the profile, something that also influences the pop is the wood used for the board’s core (poplar wood does a great job).
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Q: Should I Buy Individual Bindings, Boots, And A Board?
While you can do this, it’s usually a better option to buy them together as a set especially if you’re a beginner. This will maximize the performance of every piece, and even save you some money along the way. Of course, individual gear pieces might give you a more customized feel on the slopes but you need to check if they are compatible before buying.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Women And Men's Snowboard?
The most notable difference is the size – women’s snowboards are shorter and often narrower. They are also lighter and more adapted for people with a lower center of gravity. Because of this, female boarders perform much better on women's snowboards.
Q: How Long Do Snowboards Last?
On average, a high-quality board will last from 150 to 200 days of riding. After that period, it will start to get damaged and you will notice wear more and more. This being said, the longevity also depends on the maintenance as well as the riding style (park riding tends to damage them more).
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The snowboard is the link between you and the snow, so your performance and experience heavily depend on it. Because of this, you need to choose your snowboard carefully, especially if you’re a female rider. Hopefully, our list and buying guide helped you pick the best female snowboard for your riding style so you can get the most out of every run.