In order to get the most out of your performance on the mountain there are 4 important steps you should consider before buying a snowboard. We can help you out with this so here's our little guide for choosing the perfect gear:
1. WHAT'S MY RIDING STYLE AND LEVEL OF ABILITY?
Finding the right board for you starts with determining what style of riding suits you or, in other words, what you want to do with your board:
The typical freerider spends a lot of time off-piste and in backcountry terrain always looking for the next powder line to catch. Just occasionally hanging out on groomed runs, cliff drops, steep terrain and huge turns at high speed is what you're really looking for.
As a freestyler you basically live in the terrain park while working on your tricks. Whether it's jumps, rails or just jibbing along the side of the slopes you just can't stop playing and having fun.
If you like to be flexible and go on all different sorts of terrains then an all-mountain board may be what you want to go for. Suitable for the entire mountain, whether you like carving on-trail, shredding some powder or going crazy in the terrain park, you can't go wrong!
We all started as beginners once! Thus, HEAD specifically designs different snowboards for each level of ability. Beginner boards can help you learn and improve your skills more easily. Depending on the amount of time you've spent snowboarding so far you should therefore define for yourself whether you're BEGINNER, ADVANCED or EXPERT.
2. WHAT BOARD SHAPE SHOULD I PICK?
Now that you know what type of rider you are you need to decide on the right shape. Depending on the type of riding you're going to use it for, a board's shape majorly defines its performance.
DIRECTIONAL or TWIN? What does it mean?
TWIN refers to the symmetric nose and tail in terms of shape and flex as well as the centered positioning of the bindings. With their even swing weight this shape makes going switch more natural which suits freestyle-oriented riding perfectly.
DIRECTIONAL (often referred to as directional twin) means asymmetric setup and fits all-mountain and speed riding. Riding feels smooth and more natural as the nose is longer and the bindings are often positioned further back towards the tail of the board.
So many shape technologies! In addition to the standard Rocker/Camber profiles HEAD has developed several hybrid versions only aiming at increasing our customers' benefit – your benefit! Here's an overview that will help you making the ideal decision fast and easily:
Hybrid Camba DCT:
The Hybrid Camba DCT features a mix of regular and flat camber and a tapered, narrow waist for increased torsional flex. This makes for great carving and an exciting all-mountain experience.
Hybrid Camba POP:
he Hybrid Camba POP is composed of a shorter pintail, a long, wider nose and extra volume for float. These features provide stability, speed and lift, especially in backcountry, or when cruising on groomers.
HEAD's take on regular camber remains the profile of choice for more seasoned and skillful riders.
Rocka is HEAD's version of reverse camber and perfect for park'n'pipe as well as urban features. It's playful, easy going and most importantly fun in all terrains.
Flocka combines the playfulness of a rocker with the precision and predictability of a camber.
3. HOW MUCH FLEX DO I NEED?
Although the established Flex scale goes from 1 (soft) to 10 (stiff) boards usually range in-between 5 and 9. If you are heavier, know that the board will tend to feel softer, and if you are lighter, it will feel stiffer.
Soft boards are rather playfull and forgiving which makes for great maneuverability and, hence, suit freestyle riding & to begin with.
Stiff boards give you stability and precision even at high speeds and will be your best friends for freeride and all-mountain terrain.
Still not sure? Try going with a board in the middle of the Flex range to maximize your versatility.
4. WHICH BOARD SIZE IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR ME? DO I NEED A WIDE BOARD?
Now that you know all that, you can already decide on a board model! Before buying though it's important to sort out length and width of your new best friend. In accordance with your body height and weight as well as your style and ability level you can simply find out your board length from our size table.After all, there is not the ONE size for your body height as it can vary from the chin to the bridge of the nose depending again on your riding style & level. Freestylers may want a slightly shorter board while freeriders usually prefer longer ones.
Do I need a wide board?
Well, that depends on your foot/shoe size since toe and heel drag become a problematic from a certain point on. Check your boot size (in MONDO, which is cm) and compare it to the board width. You find this information in the specs. A mid-wide board might be a good option for you if you ride a boot size from US 11.5 up. Now you know all you need in order to get your favorite board! Getting the right snowboard will only help to add to the fun you will have while riding.
HEAD offers the fitting board for each level and style – just make your choice! Enjoy the snow and #ridehead!!!
HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY BOARD?
There are a couple of things you can do to enhance the lifetime and get the most out of your snowboard. One of the things that everybody talks about, but few have really done themselves is waxing. Reducing friction makes you faster which enables you to shave seconds of your best. A lot of HEAD boards have special sintered bases which absorb wax even better. But wax is only as efficient as you apply it. All you need is a scraper, an iron and, of course, wax!
Firstly, you start off by scraping the base of your board. This way you make sure that all old wax and other dirt is removed. Once that is done you heat up the iron and apply the wax to the board by holding the wax against the hot iron. You can either let the liquid wax drop onto the board or rub the wax stick on the surface while reheating it every couple of seconds. In any case, the wax should be spread all across the base. After that it’s time to iron it in! You will want to do a couple of laps on the board to make sure it is absorbed by the surface and fills all the pores. It is important that you give your board at least an hour after ironing to allow the wax to be fully absorbed. Finally, you can start scraping which is mainly to get off extra wax that’s of no use (the important parts have been absorbed into the base).
Having that done you’re gonna be unstoppable on the slopes! Check out our video tutorial to see it being done first-hand by two of our team riders!
Another thing that you can do is to deburr your edges from time to time. When being used a lot they might lose their sharpness and accuracy. Shops often offer that in combination with waxing as a general makeover. It is also possible to tune your edges.
However, you can attune your boards turning characteristics (sharp=precise, skewed=forgiving) to your personal riding style or local conditions by changing this angle as this modifies the grip in a turn. Carving fans and speed freaks will like sharper angles whereas beginners will appreciate a smoother response.
In any way, use care when grinding as this process is irreversible, so only do this if you know what you are doing!
A HEAD dealer near you can advise and help you out!
Above this, it is always possible to get a base repair in case you got really bad scratches on your base surface. P-Tex, a synthetic material that comes in the shape of a candle, is mostly applied to fill holes and gouches. While some people do that at home as well, it is recommendable to go to a professional board shop if you are less experienced.