Freeriding is on the list of almost every thrill-seeking snowboarder because of its limitless freedom. Instead of refraining from fast speeds, freeriding relies on faster speed to maneuver easily through the snow. This style of snowboarding does not feature artificial restraints or set guidelines-just rugged terrain.
The individuals can move through the snow as fluidly and safely as they can. People often mistake this style with freestyle, but the difference is that freeriding does not employ the use of artificial obstacles. If you are interested in freeriding, there are multiple destinations in the world where you can test out your skill.
Any good snowboarder wanting to freeride knows that a dependable freeride snowboard is as good as gold. You can find a variety of attractive and durable freeride snowboards that give value for money in the marketplace. We have listed five of our favorite freeride snowboards below; take a look and see which model appeals to you best.
1. Jones Flagship Snowboard
The Jones Flagship Snowboard is a 161cm long model ideal for maneuvering through technical terrain. This 2021 snowboard features a tapered profile for direction in addition to Traction Tech 3.0; these two features give the user better edge control when rolling on hard snow.
Furthermore, the snowboard possesses a 3D contour base to move fluidly through different textures of snow. You can stomp, make straight lines or flagship carves without losing balance or missing the mark. The snowboard’s design allows the tapered end to sink into the snow; therefore, you can make quick turns with much more ease.
Aesthetically, it has a simple design bearing the brand’s logo; it measures 67 x 12 x 3 inches and weighs 3.53lbs. You can rest easy as the snowboard is durable; it features basalt/flax stringers, powder core, and engineered veneer top sheet.
- Maneuvers technical terrain with ease.
- Created from durable Super Sap Bio Resin.
- Tapered design offers better directional control.
- Excellent at carving.
- Not suited for beginners.
- Simple appearance.
2. Lib Tech T.Rice Gold Member FP Men’s Snowboard
Coming in lively colors is the Lib Tech T.Rice Gold Member FP Snowboard. You can use this snowboard for all-mountain or free-riding activities fluidly without any problems. It is a durable model that will survive the outdoors as it has an aspen, paulownia, and Balsa base.
The camber model features an eco-sublimated bio beans top and an eco-sublimated sintered base to keep up with daily wear and tear. It is a lightweight model weighing 12lbs; thus, it should be easy to control around light or heavy snow. The freeride snowboard measures 61 x 12 x 0.7 inches with a lightweight spin slim tail for easier maneuverability. It is a premium model that is stiff, but it has a softer nose for a softer landing.
- Vivid, attractive colors.
- Lightweight for seamless movements.
- Good speed and curves well.
- It is durable.
- Only available few sizes.
- It is not suitable for beginners.
3. YES. Optimistic Snowboard
Next, we have the YES. Optimistic Snowboard, available in four sizes, 151cm, 154cm, 157cm, and 161cm. The stiff modern camber snowboard was designed for carving perfectly, even on different types of snow. This directional snowboard features a medium-wide waist paired with an aggressive cut to facilitate optimal carving.
Other than a great carving feature, the snowboard is stable and has a reliable hedge hold. It has an UnderBite that pinches the edges alongside the bindings to redistribute pressure to the tail and the tip. This, in, turn allows you to have better edge hold and control as you carve at high speeds or maneuvering icy chutes. The 7.47 model comprises a bamboo/poplar core and carbon-wrapped stringers for more flexible movement.
- Features durable bamboo and poplar core.
- Available in different sizes.
- Lightweight with a great float.
- Tackles hard snow with ease.
- Can be rigid while turning.
- Not ride switch friendly.
4. Gnu Mullair
The Gnu Mullair model offers dynamic hard turning, excellent speeds, and good grip. The stiff board created from paulownia, aspen, and balsa is durable and stable enough to traverse floaty pow with ease. This directional cambered snowboard is lightweight, which makes it easy to gather fast speeds.
It has superiorly high molecular weight sidewalls fashioned from a soy-based elastomer for fluid movements without compromising durability. The model possesses Magne-traction that promotes excellent hedge hold and helps it adapt to different snow conditions.
A beginner may not handle this model well due to its stiffness; thus, it is more suitable for an advanced rider. If you are looking to rip and carve a mountain, this snowboard will not disappoint.
- Maneuvers through trees seamlessly.
- Provides great traction for strong hedge hold.
- Lightweight for fast speeds.
- Possesses an attractive design.
- Not suitable for switch rides.
- The top sheet could be more robust.
5. Bataleon Carver
The Bataleon Carver does what its name suggests; it carves optimally with little effort. It features a camber profile with a 3s shape design that offers great edge control. The turned-up edges reduce the board’s catchiness while its shape facilitates faster edge changes. This snowboard’s commendable carving abilities are due to its distinct base profile.
Combining both the rocker and the camber midsections, the snowboards can attain higher speeds while avoiding catching edges. This model is lightweight as it features hollow carbon tubes parallel to the snowboard’s sidecut. It is suitable for rough terrain because it is easy to handle due to its lifted nose and tail points.
The lightweight model only comes in one size, so confirm suitability before you purchase.
- Offers great carving.
- Lightweight, thus easy to work through trees.
- Durable and stable.
- Good speed and response to aggression.
- Available in one size.
- Not ideal for beginners.
Before getting a suitable freeride snowboard, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. There are so many who have ended up wasting their money on the wrong snowboard because they did not take their time to understand which characteristics are best. These characteristics presented below might be the difference between an average freeride and an exhilarating one.
You cannot wake up one morning and decide to get any snowboard for freeriding. You have to choose the right snowboard to avoid accidents. Novice users should find short and soft boards to permit fast turns and tricks. Selecting a long and stiff board without experience can only lead to a loss of balance.
Expert freeriding snowboarders should pick models that allow them to carve and maneuver along edges easily. Once you are an expert, you can use boards of different lengths and stiffness depending on the type of snow available. Be sure to select a model made of strong materials, whether for amateur or professional reasons; that way, it will last long.
When it comes to snowboards intended for freeriding, you will find that they lean more on the stiff side. A stiff board (7-10) is considered better for stability and edge control while cruising at high speeds. Most of the models in the market are not entirely stiff; they have to have some flexibility to better movements.
If you don’t want a super soft or stiff board, settle for a model with a medium stiffness (5-7). This way, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. You can tell a prospective freeriding board’s flexibility by checking the product details because many manufacturers specify the flex expected.
Shape of the Snowboard
There are different snowboard shapes with different functions depending on what you are looking for:
- Twin-tip snowboards have a perfectly symmetrical shape as both the tail and nose possess the same dimensions. You will also find that there is no difference in movement when snowboard rides back and forth. These types are suitable for jib and freestyle boards where there are kickers and rails.
- Directional-tip snowboards feature a symmetrical shape, too, but this does not translate to other board areas. The other parts of the board lack symmetry due to profile and flex patterns intended to propel the snowboard forward. Such snowboards are ideal for all-mountain riding or parks.
- Directional snowboards, as the name indicates, are for riding forward at fast speeds. These models feature a longer nose and slightly narrow backs that provide more power while carving on-piste and superior flotation on soft snow. You will find this shape synonymous with all-mountain and freeriding models.
- Asymmetrical snowboards are fun to use for all-mountain riding, jib, freeride, and freestyle activities. They have a shorter sidecut toeside to the hillside for easier maneuverability.
- Tapered snowboards sport a narrower tail compared to the tip. In most cases, this is the perfect style for freeriding because it offers more buoyancy facilitated by the wider nose section.
Suitable Length and Width
Unlike a set of new crayons, we are not all of the same height. A freeride snowboard for a tall person may not be comfortable for a short one to use. There used to be an old rule that stated that the perfect snowboard for one’s height should reach the chin. This rule does not apply in all areas because freeriding snowboards tend to be longer or shorter, depending on the user’s preference.
Consider your weight and height to make it easy to narrow down a possible model. If you are unsure how to measure the right length, check online and find some size charts to work with.
Once you know the ideal length for you, it is time to consider the width. Most of the freeriding models possess a narrower shape compared to the rest. Just because freeriding models are narrow, it does not mean that you select a snowboard that is too small for your boots. The right width allows you to carve without losing balance.
As you analyze different models, you will come across different profiles. Each profile has its pros and cons; therefore, choose wisely.
- Camber profiles are ideal if you are looking for superior grip and power. People consider camber as a traditional profile that features a subtle upwards curve between the tip and the tail. When you are riding, your weight distributes on the tip and the tail for better grip.
- Rocker profiles possess a smooth curve from the tail to the tip, where the contact tip resides in the bindings. Both the tips and the tails are raised to permit easy turns and floats.
- 3D base snowboard profiles are not as flat as people mistake them to be. The tips and the tails feature a spoon-like shape that provides a broader surface for the nose to float in powder. These snowboards facilitate a catch-free turning on hard snow as well as agility in park rides.
- Powder rocker profiles offer the best time while freeriding because they are often associated with directional or tapered snowboards for agility while navigating through various terrain. These snowboards are great at tackling deeper snow thanks to its s-shape and camber/flat area.
For those who it is their first time looking for freeriding snowboards, checking the setback is essential. Typically, freeride snowboards feature a setback of 20mm or more. A sizeable setback permits you to move, ensuring that the nose remains above ground even in deep snow.
Trying to stick primarily on the center of the board forces you to lean back, thus requiring more muscle energy to maneuver. At the end of the day, you feel exhausted, which is not suitable for morale.
While freeriding looks like a lot of fun, it is rather aggressive. This means that it should have a base styled to be aggressive. For freeride snowboards to maintain proper control and speeds, manufacturers use sintered bases because they glide even better than the extruded bases.
Instead of taking the board off while navigating uphill, all you have to do is glide for a longer time. Such moves are possible on sintered bases rather than extruded bases, although the latter is cheaper to produce and repair.
What are volume shift snowboards?
If you are unfamiliar with the term, volume shift snowboards are suitable for riding powder. These types of boards are normally shorter and broader than standard snowboards. The idea is to compensate for the board’s short length for wide width, and it works! The short length makes it easy to turn, while the wide length makes floating in deep snow possible.
If you are looking for a snowboard to maneuver around trees, then this type of snowboard will do you justice.
How do I take care of my snowboard?
It does not matter if you bought a cheap snowboard or a premium-priced one; what matters is that it can serve you for long. Neglecting your snowboard not only shortens its service life but it wastes your money. You get more value for your money if you use the snowboard regularly, so we advise that you take some care measures to lengthen durability.
- Waxing is synonymous with a well-kept snowboard because, without it, the surfaces lose their glide ability. Wax your board often to maintain its appearance and grip. Be sure to remove the old layers of wax before reapplying a new coat. It is best to warm up the wax before application to give the surface an even coating.
- After a great day in the snow, clean your snowboard and take it to storage. Not cleaning it leads to the accumulation of dirt, which deteriorates the snowboard’s surface.
- If you notice a gauge in your board, scrape the old wax off and clean the section before pouring in repair wax.
- Store the snowboard away from human traffic because it is easy to get scratched or cause someone to trip over. Avoid storing the snowboard in cement; rather, just hang it in a dry, dustless area.
- Sharpen your board regularly to maintain its edges when cutting through the snow. If you don’t know how to do it, you can get it professionally done at an affordable price.
The freedom that comes with moving on snow uninhibited is an incomparable feeling. The rush of the wind and the snow beneath your feet might make you feel as if you are flying. While there are so many snowboards in the market, there are only a few that people can brand as the best freeride snowboards.
Have you seen a model that you liked? For us, the Jones Flagship Snowboard stands out from the rest. This model features a 3D contour base that offers reliable carving. While its design is simplistic, there is nothing simple about its performance. It is a well-designed snowboard that has excellent directional control, and its price is attainable.
We cannot have the same preference over which is the best model, but we can agree that the quality of the snowboard must match the price you fetch it for. Ensure that whichever model you select does the job whether you are freeriding or engaging in all mountain activities. With that said, let us know in the comment section which of the models presented caught your fancy.