Which snowboard for powder is best?
There are five main types of snowboards, each with its own characteristics and benefits, and choosing the right one depends on the terrain you’ll be riding on. Powder riders want a board designed for fresh, deep snow — one with a wide nose, setback stance, large surface area and split tail. These boards are made to float over the tops of snow banks and give you plenty of flexible control.
The best is the Capita Spring Break Powder Snowboard, with a wide chassis, low-angle tails and impact-resistant core.
What to know before you buy snowboards for powder
Types of snowboards
The five types of snowboards are designed around the type of rider you are and the type of snow you’ll be riding on.
- All-mountains are the most common board type, built for a general type of riding. If you’re a casual rider who hits the ski resort occasionally, this is the board for you.
- Freestyle boards are best for practicing tricks at a park with ramps.
- Freeride boards are all-terrain versions meant to go in one direction, with stiffer cores for rough surfaces.
- Splitboards can be cut in half and used as cross-country skis.
- Powder boards are best for fresh, deep snow pockets.
Types of snow
The snow you’ll be riding on is as important as the type of board, and you may not always end up with the exact type of terrain your board was meant for. If you have a powder board, you may want to avoid the slopes if there is icy snow. In the Pacific Northwest you’ll find Cascade Concrete, a type of thick, wet and sticky snow. At most ski resorts and public slopes you’ll find groomed or packed snow. This is ideal for the casual rider who uses an all-terrain board.
Camber and rocker
Camber and rocker refer to the shape of the underside of the board. Camber boards are concave, with a lift in the center that leaves space between the board and the snowy surface. Rocker boards are the opposite, with a rounded bottom that lifts up on the nose and tail. Snowboard manufacturers sometimes use percentages to describe the degree of either shape. For instance, if a board has a 60% camber, then over half of the bottom will be rounded upward.
What to look for in quality snowboards for powder
With powder riding, you want a snowboard that’s lightweight enough to float. Floating means you’re able to ride on the surface of deep snow without sinking in. If your board is light enough, you’ll be able to float with ease. With a lightweight core made of a composite of wood materials, you can be sure the board won’t weigh you down. As long as the description mentions a lightweight core, it should be optimal for powder conditions.
If you want the best float possible, look for a directional board. They’ll often use a tapered design with a nose that’s larger than the tail. This makes it easier for the board to cut through fresh powder. Directional boards also have setback stances that put your boot binds further back than a standard all-mountain board. This puts more leverage on the rear to lift your nose into the air in powder conditions.
A fishtail, also known as split tail, is another feature of powder boards that offers a better ride. Surfer Steve Lis invented the fishtail in 1967 after reassembling pieces of a broken surfboard. The shape worked well in water, so it only made sense to use it in deep snow. Fishtails use a split end at the back of the board that digs into the snow. Not only does this create more directional control, it also helps lift the nose, creating a more comfortable, natural riding position.
How much you can expect to spend on snowboards for powder
Snowboards for powder cost $340-$530.
Snowboards for powder FAQ
What type of snowboard boots are best for powder?
A. Look for boots with high durability so they can take on more power when you’re making turns. You may also want boots with good traction for hiking in untouched terrains.
What’s the best length of snowboard?
A. This depends on your height. The best way to measure whether a board is the right size is to stand it on its tail and see if the nose matches up with your chin.
What’s the best snowboard for powder to buy?
Top snowboard for powder
What you need to know: This board has all the components you need for a safe, effective powder session.
What you’ll love: Its wide, lightweight chassis makes it easy to float on top of powder. It has an arching tip and tail for maximum control. The graphic art features a Lamborghini engulfed in flames on the topside, while the underside shows a large graphic reading “No parentz no rulz.”
What you should consider: It’s a fair amount more expensive than other powder boards.
Top snowboard for powder for the money
What you need to know: This board takes its graphic and shape design cues from retro surfboards.
What you’ll love: It has 60% camber at the core with more rocker at the tails. This makes it great for gripping edges and maintaining stability. It also has a urethane strip along the edges to ensure a smooth ride. The graphics feature a red upper and blue bottom with a transparent image of a squid.
What you should consider: It only comes in two lengths: 144 and 145 centimeters.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This well balanced snowboard is lightweight, flexible and durable.
What you’ll love: With a 6 out of 10 flexibility rating, the Powder Killer is perfect for thick snow. Its deep camber leaves plenty of room for maneuvering, while the flat front keeps you steady. The top graphic is made with snow camo while the bottom is flat black.
What you should consider: It’s best for taller riders with sizes starting at 150 centimeters.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.