When it comes to snowboarding, choosing the right type of board for your riding style is crucial. Two popular categories of snowboards are all-mountain and park-specific boards. Although they might look similar at first glance, there are significant differences between the two that can make or break your experience on the mountain.
So what's the difference? Let’s break it down.
All-mountain snowboards are designed to perform in a variety of terrain, including groomed runs, powder, and even the occasional trip through the park. These boards typically have a directional shape with a slightly longer nose than tail, which helps with stability and floatation in deep snow. They also have a medium flex, which offers a good balance between responsiveness and forgiveness.
One of the biggest advantages of all-mountain snowboards is their versatility. They are perfect for riders who enjoy exploring the entire mountain, from groomed runs to off-piste terrain. They are also great for riders who are just starting out and want a board that can handle a bit of everything.
- Capita Mercury: This board has a directional shape with a camber profile that provides a lot of pop, edge hold, and stability, making it ideal for riding in steep and technical terrain. It also has a medium-stiff flex that offers plenty of power and control.
- Salomon Assassin: This board has a directional twin shape and a camber profile that provides a lot of pop, edge hold, and stability, making it ideal for riding in steep and technical terrain. It also has a medium-stiff flex that offers plenty of power and control.
- Salomon Huck Knife: This board has a true twin shape and a camber profile that provides a lot of pop and response, making it ideal for hitting jumps, rails, and pipe. It also has a medium flex that offers a good balance of responsiveness and forgiveness.
Park-specific snowboards are designed for riders who spend most of their time in the terrain park. These boards typically have a twin shape, which means the nose and tail are identical, and a soft flex that offers a lot of forgiveness. This allows riders to easily spin, slide, and jib their way through the park.
Park-specific boards also have special features that make them ideal for park riding. They often have a shorter length, which makes them more manoeuvrable, and a narrower width, which allows for easier spins. They also have a special base material that is more durable and can withstand the abuse of park riding.
- Bataleon Evil Twin: A dominate terrain park board with its true twin shape, medium flex, and Triple Base Technology™, providing effortless switch riding, precise manoeuvres, and catch-free rides. This is the ultimate weapon for pushing the boundaries of park riding.
- Burton Process Flying V: This board has a rocker-camber-rocker profile that offers a playful feel and good floatation in powder. It also has a medium-soft flex that makes it forgiving for jibbing and park riding.
Choosing the Right Board for Your Riding Style
When it comes to choosing between an all-mountain or park-specific snowboard, it ultimately comes down to your riding style and preferences. If you like to explore the entire mountain and want a board that can handle a variety of terrain, an all-mountain board is the way to go. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time in the park and want a board that is designed specifically for park riding, a park-specific board is the way to go.
It's also worth noting that there are some hybrid boards that offer the best of both worlds. These boards are designed to handle a variety of terrain, but with a shape and flex that is more park-oriented. If you can't decide between an all-mountain or park-specific board, a hybrid board might be the perfect solution.
- Burton Custom Flying V: This board has a directional shape with a slight taper and a rocker-camber-rocker profile that offers a good balance of stability, float, and agility. It also has a medium flex that can handle a variety of terrain, and a twin flex pattern that allows for easy riding switch in the park.
- Capita DOA (Defenders of Awesome): This board has a hybrid camber profile that combines camber between the bindings with rocker at the nose and tail, providing a good balance of pop, stability, and forgiveness. It also has a medium flex and a true twin shape that make it versatile for all-mountain and park riding.