Styles of Snowboarding

There are three distinct styles of snowboarding which have emerged over the last forty years, which are characterised by the terrain on which they are practised, the equipment which is used and their own competitions.

Freestyle boarding
This type of boarding includes jumps, tricks, half pipes, rail slides and switch riding. This type of boarding is particularly popular now, and is mainly done by professionals and experts at the sport due to its difficulty. It is great to watch and the boarders can really show off their ability and skills, and thus will be included in many competition rounds. The freestyle heats of competitions are often the most popular ones. Some resorts have built special parks with ramps and half pipes etc for boarders to practice on. Generally a short board would be used as it is easier to manoeuvre, and will handle jumps, spinning in the air and riding switch well. Often the boards that are designed for freestyle riding are obsolete outside of this type of boarding. Soft boots are worn for this type of boarding which are less rigid and allow for greater flexibility when doing jumps and tricks.

Freeride boarding
This type of boarding occurs on open mountain terrain, back country routes and fresh powder. It is the type of riding which pushes an experienced boarder to their limits, and lets them show what they can really do. It refers to the most general style of snowboarding thus the type of equipment that goes with it is the most versatile, and depends more on the rider than on the terrain although the boards are generally longer. Soft boots are also usually worn. This type of boarding will suit nearly everyone, especially those who are not sure about what terrain they like best or who have not developed a style of riding yet.

Freecarve/Race boarding
This type of boarding, unsurprisingly, centres around carving or racing. Carving is best on hard-pack or groomed runs, and is centred on turning. The boards that are used for this type of boarding are usually narrow and long, and hard boots are worn. Competitions which take place in this style are modelled on ski racing.