How to choose snowboard equipment
Your snowboard equipment consists of a snowboard, snowboard bindings and snowboard boots. With your choice of a snowboard, you choose a certain terrain or a way of boarding. Boards are generally designed for a specific use such as piste, powder or park. But snowboards are often much more versatile. Many boards perform well not only for their specific intended terrein, but also in other circumstances.
Flex, shape and profile
To find your way around the boards there are some terms that are useful to know. With snowboards a lot is told about flex, profile and shape.
Each board has its own flex. The snowboard flex describes, as you may understand, how flexible a snowboard is. There is a great deal of variation in flexibilities, depending on the snowboard and what it is designed for. In general you could say of the flex that the stiffer a board is, the more it is performance-oriented. However, also very good riders may choose a board with a lesser amount of flex.
The profile of a snowboard is the shape of the board seen from the side, when the board is flat on the ground. Snowboards have different profiles and each brand has own names for it. Broadly speaking you have classic camber, the forgiving rocker, combinations of camber with rocker and flat.
The shape is about the snowboard's form. If you look down on a snowboard from above, you will see that every snowboard has a shape. We call this the shape of the board. A big part of the shape is how much board you have in front of your front binding (the nose of the board) and how much behind your rear binding. So whether your binding is centered on the board or not. Directional and twin are the central concepts, where twin means that the board is completely symmetrical. If you saw a twin snowboard in half, you would have exactly the same pieces front and back. That works out well if you love to ride backwards as much as forward. The shape is not as simple as it seems, as there are directional-twin, true-twins and directional boards, which come close to a twin.
The rest of your equipment?
Because a board is the most important part of your equipment, it often gets the most attention. But that's not fair of course since your boots and especially binding determine to a large extent HOW your snowboard rides. A stiff board without a stiff binding cannot be controlled in the right way, and the same goes for your boots.
Choosing snowboard boots
Your snowboard boots are the only part of your equipment that you have direct contact with. Therefore, it is also the only part of your snowboard equipment that can cause you pain. The fit of a shoe cannot be overestimated. A shoe that fits and controls well, is what you want. Take the time to find your perfect shoe too!