Everything you need to know about snowboarding!
Want to practice your first turns on the piste? Comfortable on a board, what you like is riding fast and strong in powder snow? Whatever your level of snowboarding, you'll find all the equipment you need in our online shop. But how do you choose your board? And by the way, what are the origins of this sliding sport?
WHAT IS SNOWBOARD?
Snowboard is a sliding sport that is practised on a snowboard. It is a mix of three sports disciplines: skiing, skateboarding and surfing. To equip himself, the snowboarder, which is the other name for snowboarder, needs a snow board, a pair of bindings and suitable boots. Don't forget a helmet and elbow and knee protectors to protect yourself in case of a fall.
WHERE DOES THIS PRACTICE COME FROM?
The origins of snowboarding go back to the 1920s. At the time, it was a simple game: the goal was to stand on a board and let yourself slide on the snow. In 1963, the American snowboard champion Tom Sims invented the skiboard without ever registering a licence. It wasn't until the 1980s that the patent was filed in the United States by Jake Burton. The idea simply came to him while he was improving a model of snurfer, a board imagined by Sherman Poppen in 1965. A rope was attached to the front of the board so that it could be oriented. In 1979, he marketed his prototypes, equipped with a fastening system to attach the boots to the board. The success of this winter sport started at the end of the 80s. The boards were rigid, with a standard camber and plate bindings. Soft and cozy boots did not exist, nor did the practical and easy to put on Burton bindings; snowboarders wore classic ski boots. Today, the comfort of the equipment has improved and Burton Snowboards has become the world's largest snowboarding brand.
THE VARIOUS DEVELOPMENTS OF THIS SPORT
Snowboarding has gradually divided into three branches which require the use of very different boards. These are freeride, alpine and freestyle. This is where the annual Winter X Games competition was born in 1997. Organised in the USA, it is dedicated to extreme sports through big air, superpipe and boardercross events. In 2010 the first European version appears and brings together the best freestyle athletes from around the world. Snowboarding also made its appearance at the Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998 with the giant slalom and half-pipe events. Freeride is also highlighted at the Freeride World Tour World Championships. Vertiginous slopes, cliff jumps and powder turns are on the programme, to feel the thrill of pure pleasure.
THE VARIOUS PRACTICES
Each activity has its own specific board. Whether you are a novice or already an expert in snowboarding, your choice depends largely on the use you wish to make of it.
Are you an off-piste enthusiast? Freeride snowboarding is for you. The board is usually long and wide enough to provide better flotation. It's also stiffer in the heel for a powerful boost on rough terrain, and its inserts are offset backwards to provide optimum stability. Tailored for curves and snowboarding, the K2 snowboard offers maximum fluidity in the turns, for even more sensations.
If your pleasure consists of performing tricks in full flight to land in powder snow or sliders on the snowpark jumps, opt for a shorter, supple and twin-tip board, in other words a twin-tip board so that you can ride in both directions. You will gain in balance and manoeuvrability, but also in feeling when you trick. Top of the range, a Nitro snowboard will not disappoint you in your freestyle practice!
Going down the slopes with a succession of bends makes you shiver? You need a rigid, relatively long and thin board. At the level of the snowboard binding, the shoulders are facing the slope. If you want to move easily from groomed slopes to powder snow, opt for an all-mountain model.
This discipline has recently become very popular among lovers of wide open spaces and nature. If you want to get into it, take a look at the splitboards. This type of board is designed to be able to roam the mountains and look for unexploited spots. With a freeride profile, these boards have the particularity of splitting to allow you to make ascents on touring skis. All you have to do is put the two parts together to go back down on your snowboard.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD?
A soft snowboard is more suitable for beginners. It is more flexible and reduces edge errors. For experienced snowboarders, a rigid model offers more grip and prevents stalling in high-speed curves.
Regarding the size of the snowboard, the top of the board should be between the chin and the shoulder. Keep in mind, however, that a freestyle model should be 20 to 25 cm shorter. A small size makes jumps and rotations easier, while a large one is more stable in speed and landing. If you opt for an all-mountain snowboard, it should be between -10 and -15 cm shorter than your height.
If you are light, turn to the smallest size. On the other hand, stronger snowboarders will prefer the larger size for better stability.
Finally, the camber is used to determine which parts of the board are in contact with the snow. A positive camber has two support points at the tip for maximum responsiveness. A flat camber is fully in contact with the snow to provide excellent grip, better stability and more power in the supports. Ideal for beginners and those who want to improve their freestyle skills, the inverted camber provides a single point of contact with the snow for better handling.
WHICH BOOTS AND BINDINGS TO CHOOSE?
The choice of a pair of snowboard boots depends on your level. The flex should be flexible enough for beginners and stiffer for experienced snowboarders. The snowboard boot can be fitted with laces, which are longer to tie but also easier to replace. The boa system is equipped with knurls for quick and efficient tightening. For perfect foot support, make sure that the boot fits your size. Prefer a size above, so that thick socks don't compress the toes. As for snowboard bindings, there are several types. The classics have an instep strap and a toe strap. If you're looking for a cheap snowboard, this is what you need! However, if you're looking for a snowboard binding that's quick to put on, the rear entry binding has a drop-down spoiler so you can put the binding on without touching the straps.