The first question you ask when a customer is looking for a snowboard is what size foot
They have. The size of their boot may narrow the board selection for the customer.
Snowboard Boots are the most important aspect of snowboarding.
Size and comfort!
Size 11 is pretty much the magic number!
Size 11 boots need a little bit wider board.
Size 11 needs at least a 25cm waist width or wider.
1 cm will not make much difference, there are a lot of boards sized at 24.9 and this is fine for a size 11 boot.
Here is a good guide to follow!
Boot size 11 > 24.9/25 or wider (at least)
Boot size 12 > 25.5 or wider
Boot size 13 > 26 or wider
Boots also vary in stiffness and access into the boot!
Break down as follows:
-Softer boot > good for park, freestyle riding and cheaper $$$
-Stiffer boot> good for freeriding, some park depending on how stiff and usually cost more $$$
Inner liner boots make up about 98% of the boots on the market. Flow used to make a boot without liners.
They called it a built in liner system.
Most Inner Liners have a lacing system which secures the foot inside the boot.
-this makes for a tighter fit, and a more comfortable fit.
Most boots will heat up and pack out to your foot.
The perfect boot fit right out of the box is having the boot laced up nice and tight and the big toe is
Just barely touching the end of the boot. Not cramed into the end of the boot and not wigglying free.
Just touching the end.
If a customer says the boot doesn’t fit right after sliding their foot into the boot and not lacing it up
You need to instruct them to lace it up. By lacing the boot up the heel of the foot will be pulled into the
Heel of the boot securing a great fit.
The newest style of boots out on the market is the BOA system. This is a coil lacing system with a turn dial
Which tightens the boot as you turn the dial. The cable that goes into the dial and laced throughout the boot
Is airplane grade cable and is very durable.
Some boots are now coming with dual BOA systems.
1 for the inner liner and one for the outside of the boot!
Remember that boots are the most important ingredient to snowboarding.
You can have the best board $ can buy an have a pair of uncomfortable boots that give blisters and bruises
And have a horrible day!
Advise the customer to put the bulk of their budget into the boots. They will be very happy returning customers.
Bindings are very adjustable.
In many situations you can fully adjust a bindings to fit into any boot.
There are many different designs of bindings.
-One Piece systerm- this is a one piece base such as FLUX and is usually more flexible than a 2 piece
-Two Piece system- this has an aluminum heel cup that ties into the base and this makes the binding more stiff.
This system is usually a little more durable and will last longer.
-Triangle system- this refers to the FLOW bindings and the K2 Cinch. The back of the binding releases
And comes down to let the foot enter the binding rather than using the conventional ratchet system.
Zytel (fiberglass) material - Can be soft or stiff depending on the mix of the fiberglass (Medium Price)
Plastic material – Very soft / Very cheap
Alloy and Aluminum Material – stiff more expensive
Carbon – Most stiff/ Most expensive
The straps across a 1 piece or 2 piece binding are call ratchets.
-Toe Cap system- the toe cap system come on either a 1 Piece or a 2 Piece binding and covers the
Toe of the boot. The toe cap systems pulls the heel of the boot into the heel of the binding for more
Control and a better boot/binding fit.
Be careful when setting Boards and bindings up with Toe Caps. The toe cap often hangs over the
Edge of the board a lot further than just the toe of the boot would without the toe cap. The customer
Might need a wider board.
Bindings come as follows:
-Softer bindings> usually for park/freestyle riding and are not as expensive..Cheaper$$$
-Stiffer bindings> usually for Freeriding, big jumps, racing, pip3 and cost more.
Carbon is often added to the highback and the base of the bindings to make them more stiff.
A Stiffer binding can soften a board and a Softer binding can stiffin a board.
When matching the Boot and the Binding make sure the boots fits nice and tight on the base and heel cup of the bindings. A bad fit will have voids between the boot and bindings and cause the boot to more around unsecure and may cause injury. This is will also not be as responsive as the rider would really want it to be. If the boot can move and not cause the binding to react and make the board move the way a rider wants then adjustments
Need to made. Make sure the boot and bindings make a good match! Make sure the straps are centered across the boot!
The Discs are the plates that fit inside the base of the binding in order to bolt the bindings to the board!
There are 2 different types of discs:
3D-Discs all Burton boards
4 Hole Discs all other snowboards on the market
Refer to the pictures below to help give a better understanding of the different binding systems.
Choosing the right board
Sizing up a customer on a Snowboard can be very difficult!
With the boot size you can narrow the board selection down for the customer.
Usually a snowboarder would want the board length to be between their chin and their nose.
Shorter for the Park and Freestyle and longer for big jump, going faster and freeriding.
My board actually comes up to the top of my shoulder. So it is a good bit shorter then my chin but
I love it.
So between the Shoulder and the Nose is he best guide depending on the type of riding.
Another very good factor to determine when trying to help a customer decide which board will be
Best for them is the sidecut. This is usually on the back of the board. If you cannot find It on the back of the board then you can find it on our website: Tightboards.com
Sidecuts will range from 7.0 ---------------------------7.5----------------------------8.0---------------------------8.5
More Advanced Freerider
Advanced Freestyle Rider
Intermediate / Beginner / Powder Rider
The larger the side cut the more foregiving the board is and easier for a beginner or a Park/Freestyle rider to use
The larger the sidecut the less likely a rider is to catch an edge and hook a jump will taking off.
-155cm 25 waist width and 8.1 sidecut. This board will be very foregiving and great for the all types of riding but mostly great for freestyle.
-158cm 25 waist width and 7.8 sidecut. This board will be great for all mountain, going super fast and carving it up, Powder and all other terrains.
While we are on Sidecuts we should go ahead and talk abou the construction of the boards a little:
-Snowboards are made up of 2 different sidecuts
Radial: which means this board is a TWIN. Meaning that either way you ride the board it should feel
The same both ways.
Radial come in 3 defferent Radi !
Single Radial: One big circle is used to cut a smooth continuous edge
Bi-Radial: 2 Big Circle come together and make up a usually deeper sidecut.
Tri-Radial: 3 Big Circls come together and make up a sidecut
See pictures for all 3 Radial sidecuts
The other sidecut is called Progressive: This sidecut will ride differently if ridden both directions;
Bi-Progressive: 2 circles come together to make up the sidecut
Tri-Progressive: 3 circles come together to make up the sidcut
See below pictures:
All boards are either make TWIN or DIRECTIONAL
There are 4 total types of snowboards between these 2 types
- Centered Bolt Pattern / TRUE TWIN park/freestyle Radial Sidecut
- Set Back Bolt Pattern – stance is not centered tip to tail but board will feel the same both ways
Park and freestyle riding Radial Sidecut
- Centered Bolt Pattern / stance is centered on the board but the board will not feel the same both ways
- Set Back Bolt Pattern/ TRUE DIRECTIONAL (freeride ,powder ,raceboards)
There are 5 different types of snowboards on the market!
Sidewall / Sandwich Constrution:
This makes up about 95% of the snowboards made right now!
These snowboards used to be about 10% made and Cap was the most but the sidewall
Boards have proved that they are more durable and they actually ride a lot better.
The sidewall acts like a ski edge and it really cuts through the terrain, such as granular and
Ice. These boards are great for the east coast!
They are also less foregiving, not to say that a beginner cannot ride this because they can,
Just that they are more likely to catch their edge because the edge is so deep, like a ski!
Sidewall boards tend to cost more at retail because of the durability and how much effort
goes into making them!
The production of these boards have really diminished the past couple of years. All of the models
that were Cap are now sidewall. Usually the only time you see a cap constructed board is when
they are less expensive models. They tend to be cheaper, not made as well and they are more forgiving
compard to a sidewall constructed board. The top sheet of the snowboard actually roles around the
side of the snowboard and connects to the metal edge.
You will vary rarely see this king of construction in a snowboard. I believe that the only board we
have in the company that is a Hybrid is the Academy Merrit. The board is dope but the construction is wack!
It looks like a CAP/ with a little Sidewall. Refer to diagram.
These boards tend to be more expensive because the boards presses are not really set up to make this
Construction so it takes a special machine press to make it.
It will ride like a sidewall but be more foregiving just like a CAP!
The only company that can make this type of construction is MERVIN!
The MERVIN brands are GNU, LIB TECH and ROXY. Mervin has been making MagneTraction for 3 years now. They used to make only one model and now they have flipped it to where they are all through their line.
You can buy a Riders Choice Sidewall and a Riders Choice Magne Traction.
The word is that it cuts like a knife throught the terrain. They say that it is straight on the rails but I don’t trust it. Some people swear by them and some people hat them.
The construction is basically a Sidewall constructed boards that is wavey like a steak knife.
This board will ride like nothing else. Like a sidewall but with more carve in it. The whole sidecut theory
That you read earlier about deeper sidecuts kind of goes out the window with this board.
These boards are a lot more expensive but they will hold an amazing edge!
Refer to diagram:
Now lets talk about what is inside a snowboard!
95% of snowboards produced have a full wood core! This means that the whole snowboard is made up
of wood from tip to tail. Telling a customer that this board is here is a FULL wood core, make it sound
really good but it is really just tricky.
Wood Cores are also layed in various different directions. They might by vertical, horizontal, diagonal ect…
The way the cores are layed against each other has a lot to do with the way the board flexes and reacts
on the snow!
The other five percent has either Metal or Carbon inside.
These 2 elements are used to make the board more stiff in certain areas or have more POP to the board.
The most common used is Carbon!
Carbon is used under the bindings for support and to stiffen the board up and it is used running from tip
to tail in strips or running in X formation throughout the core of the board. Refer to Diagram!
Carbon is a soft fiber that is best when it is in its natural state. If you bend Carbon it wants to bend back.
This is why it is used in snowboards, when the carbon is forced in one direction then it wants to POP back
and that is what give a lot of life off jumps and presses.
Carbon also weighs a little more than just wood and it is more stiff if a lot is used.
Carbon inside of the board will make the $$$$ go up up up!
Metal is used mostly in the binding inserts ( for the bindings screws) and under the bindings for more supports.
These are called IMPACT PLATES. Rome uses metal under a lot of their binding inserts. This make the boards more durable and less likely to tweek under pressure! See Diagram
Rockwell Stainless Steele 48 : 99% of the snowboards are made with this material, more durable!
Bronze: less than 1%, I have seen these on the Rome artifact and the Capita Speed Tribe in black.
Basically this edge is really soft and great for rails. We will see how they hold up. These
Edges look burnt orange color just like BRONZE!
This is a particular part of the snowboard that pretty much everyone overlooks. You never really hear
A guy come into the shop asking about a 3 degree bevel on his edge unless he is trying to race someone down the hill. Now, don’t get me wrong, we are just in the southeast. Snowboarders here are different. If you go
Out to Tahoe or Colorado you will have a ton of edge tuning going on with the tech guys. We just about
Actually getting to the hill and getting on the snow than worrying about beveling our edges. Shit! Actually we try to dull our edges as much as possible so that we can hit rails and the snowboards will still ride like a snowboards and not a banana!
Base materials make up a huge aspect of a snowboard!
The 2 Main Base materials that snowboards are made with are:
Extruded and Sintered
This base is on most of the less expensive boards. This is why some boards are $300 and some are $400
There is a huge price gap in Extruded to Sintered bases.
The Extruded Base is very Hard. This base will take a beating and keep on ticking! This base is used
on rental boards because it will not damage as easily due to the hardness but it will also not hold wax
as well and will not hold repairs as well. This base is a lot slower compared to sintered!
-Sintered Bases cost more money
-they are softer
-they will have to be repaired more often and they will actually hold the repair longer
-they will hold wax longer, in return they will be faster!
-Some sintered bases come STONE GROUND, this is when the factory takes a diamond grinder
Across the base from tip to tail and creates grooves for water to flow through. This make the board
Ride smoother and faster!
-Metal mix – some companys will mix metal shavings in the base of the board, this will make the board
go faster because the friction will create more water for the board to cruise on!
This is where the $$$ comes in! There are different grades of sintered bases!
Least expensive----------------à----------------More Expensive-----------------à-----------------Most Expensive
4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000
The Forum Recon is the cheapest SINTERED Base on the market. The board cost $300
That is unheard off. This is a great selling point to the Forum Recon:
The customer is getting more bang for his buck!
Mounting bindings on the snowboard
The best mounting stance is -5 degrees and 12 degrees on average
If the rider rides switch a lot then the best set up is more twin -8 degree and 8 degrees
The Degrees are located on the binding disk. All of the little etched marks around the disc are
Why a snowboard actually moves across the snow!
This is a WOW point, meaing that when you tell a customer this, they really think that you know what you are
A snowboard moves because the thinnest layer of water known to man is created by the friction of the base
crossing the top layer of snow.
When the water is created from the melting snow it makes the board glide right across.
This is why some sintered bases are stone ground and metal mixed.
Any type of extra friction that can be created between the snowboards and the snow to create the snow to melt faster will make the board move faster.
Why waxing your board is so important!
Waxing your board is important because:
-its fills in unnecessary damage that may cause the board to not ride as smooth
-it makes the base of the board more moist. You might think that sounds crazy but if a board goes a long
time without being waxed then the base will get really dry. The base will become chalking white from the old
wax and may even become fuzzy from the not having any wax on it at all