The 10 Best Beginner SnowboardsPublished on 09/21/2023 · 10 min readSo you've decided to invest in your first snowboard! Now for the big question - which board should you get? Keep reading for a list of the best beginner snowboards!
Photo by Jarmoluk
If you’re a beginner snowboarder, shopping for your first board and bindings can be an intimidating process. There are many different types of boards available for different riding styles and sizes, and not all snowboards are created equally. This is why today I’m going to present ten of the best beginner snowboards that’ll make your learning curve much easier and more fun!
Throughout this article, I will be referencing common snowboard terminology to help you identify the key features of each board. Use this guide to translate as needed!
- Directional: A directional snowboard has a distinctly different nose and tail and is meant to be ridden in only one direction.
- True-Twin: A true-twin snowboard has a nose and a tail that look identical and is meant to be ridden in either direction.
- Directional Twin: A directional twin snowboard is almost completely symmetrical but has a slightly larger nose than tall. Easily ridden in either direction.
- Waist-Width: The width of the snowboard at its narrowest point, typically directly in between the bindings.
- Profile: The shape of a snowboard when laying flat and viewed from the side.
- Camber: A snowboard profile in which the part or all of the snowboard arches in an upside-down “U”.
- Rocker: A snowboard profile in which part or all of the snowboard arches in a “U”.
- Flat: A snowboard profile in which part of the snowboard has no arch.
- Hybrid: A snowboard profile that contains two or more profile styles (such as camber and rocker).
5 Men’s Beginner Boards
The Mechanic is an entry-level snowboard from Rome Snowboards that will help you master the basics and then help you show up your friends as your progression takes off. This is an all-mountain snowboard with a bit of freestyle flair to it. Its true-twin shape makes it phenomenally easy to ride in either direction — great for those who like to ride switch or end up switch on accident, as many beginners do.
The real beauty of this snowboard is its flat profile with rocker in the nose and tail. This profile is extremely forgiving and catch-free, so adventuring into new terrain isn’t nearly as intimidating as on other boards. Couple all this with a medium flex, and you’ve got one of the best snowboards out there for the newer rider who’s interested in progressing and making the entire mountain their terrain park.
The Rossignol Evader is a beginner/intermediate board that’s on the inexpensive side if you consider the amount of use you’ll get out of it. This is an all-mountain snowboard with a soft flex that is designed for riders still getting their legs under them on the hill (quite literally). It has a directional shape and an approachable hybrid profile that is predominantly rocker with a small section of camber in the middle. I particularly like this board's profile. It provides the forgiveness of a classic rocker profile, as well as the solid grip and edge hold that one would expect when carving with a traditional camber profile. This makes the Evader great for riders who want a board that will progress with them all the way from total newbie to confident intermediate.
The Evader also comes in a variety of sizes including a couple of “wide” versions (i.e. versions with a larger waist width). This makes them a great option for riders with a larger boot size who need a wide deck that their toe or heel won’t hang over.
Arbor is known for making snowboards with an emphasis on durability and versatility. Although the Arbor Foundation Rocker is one of their least expensive boards, it’s safe to say it still retains both of these qualities.
This snowboard has a directional twin shape—which means it’ll ride smoothly in either direction—but has a slight setback stance that favors one direction. Coupled with an entirely reverse camber profile (i.e. rocker), this is an all-mountain board that’ll hold its own in powder because the setback insert packs and rocker profile give it a good amount of float.
Typically on entry-level products targeted towards beginners, the gear is pretty straightforward and lacks special features. However, when building the Foundation Rocker, Arbor decided to include “grip-tech edges,” which is a tri-radial sidecut. Basically, this improves edge grip when conditions are hardpack or icy, making this snowboard excessively versatile for anywhere you ride!
4. Ride Manic
The Ride Manic has features you might see in a more advanced all-mountain board, while still being very much tailored to beginners. This means this is another great option to learn the basics on, but it will also keep up with you as you progress into an amazing rider!
The largest difference you’ll see on this snowboard vs others on this list is its hybrid camber profile with camber between the bindings and rocker in the tips. This means that this snowboard is going to provide more carving stability at high speeds than other boards on this list will. It’s going to lock into those carves thanks to that camber as well as a “quadratic sidecut'' which provides extra contact points.
The Lib Tech Skate Banana is often considered a more intermediate freestyle board. However, I want to make the case for why I think this is one of the best snowboard options out there for the beginner. It all comes down to versatility.
Yes, the Skate Banana is quite a popular option for riders who want to throw down tricks in the park all day, but it can do so much more! With a true-twin shape and a camber-rocker-camber profile, this board is going to be just as comfortable carving on groomers as it is ripping through powder fields in a freeriding scenario.
Oftentimes beginners don’t know exactly what they like to ride and need a versatile board they can explore with. The Skate Banana fills this role perfectly and lets riders experiment with all sorts of different riding styles!
It doesn’t hurt that this board also has an aspen and paulownia wood core, making it lightweight and nimble. Pair that with “Magne-Traction” serrated edges, which provide traction on even the iciest days, and you’ve got a snowboard that is truly ready for anything!
5 Women’s Beginner Boards
A quick note: Women’s snowboards typically have a narrower waist width than men’s snowboards because women typically use smaller boots than men.
This is an all-mountain women’s board built to make its rider’s life as easy as possible. This snowboard allows for smooth progression so that whoever is lucky enough to ride it spends less time on the ground and more time falling in love with the sport.
It possesses a directional twin shape that provides an easy ride in either direction. It also has a similar profile to that of the Rome Mechanic, with a flat profile underneath the feet and rocker in the nose and tail. This flat profile between the feet makes turn initiation a breeze and makes it seriously difficult to accidentally catch an edge and fall.
It also has a flex rating that is just short of what’s usually considered a medium flex; this gives the board the forgiveness of a soft-flexing board but also some of the stability at higher speeds that comes from a medium-flexing board.
Combine all this with a “rhythm core” that absorbs vibrations when riding, and you’ve got yourself a seriously smooth and relaxed ride!
Burton is one of the most highly regarded snowboard brands in the industry, and with that reputation typically comes expensive products. However, the Burton Stylus is an exception to that and is quite the deal for an entry-level snowboard from one of the top board manufacturers in the world!
Like the K2 Dreamsicle, it's got a “flat-top” profile with a flat profile between the bindings and rocker in the tips; this will make it super easy to enter and exit turns and difficult to accidentally catch a random edge in the snow. With a soft flex, it will also be forgiving of mistakes such as jolty movements or overcorrections; this will allow beginner riders to explore new terrain without fear!
One important thing to note about the Stylus is that Burton uses a particular sort of binding mounting system known as the “channel system”. While many bindings work with this type of mountain system, not all do. So if you choose to go with the Burton Stylus (or any Burton snowboard for that matter), make sure to verify the bindings you select are channel compatible. If you’re unsure about this, your best bet is to go with a Burton-branded binding as all Burton bindings use the channel system.
The Ride Heartbreaker is the women’s equivalent to the Ride Manic discussed above. All the details and features translate between the two snowboards.
The reason the Ride Heartbreaker is more advisable for the female rider than the Ride Manic is due to sizing. Women’s snowboards tend to have a smaller waist width and come in shorter lengths. So if the Ride Manic caught your interest but you’re looking for a women’s board, the Ride Heartbreaker might just be for you!
While many beginner snowboards tend to follow a pretty similar formula, the Salomon Lotus stands out on this list. It’s an all-mountain snowboard that is comfortable enough to pop a few tricks on in the terrain park. With its soft flex and directional twin shape, it resembles many other beginner snowboards. However, things get interesting when it comes to this board’s edges and profile.
The Lotus has “bite-free” edges. While most snowboards come with sharp tuned edges from the factory, the entire length of this board is actually detuned. The advantages of detuned edges are that it becomes incredibly difficult to wipeout on and allows you to turn, swivel, spin, and do almost whatever you want without fear of accidentally sinking an edge in and getting a face full of snow. This provides a ton of creative control when riding this snowboard!
The board also has a unique profile with camber underfoot and a small flat section just outside the binding inserts. The camber provides stability and carving control a rider wants in an all-mountain snowboard, and the flat tips increase the effective edge length of the board. By increasing effective edge length, you can ride this board in a shorter length than usual without compromising stability; this makes it great for tricks as shorter boards are a good option in the terrain park.
The Bataleon Feelbetter is the only snowboard on this list with a full-camber profile and should be considered a more niche beginner’s snowboard. The Feelbetter is incredibly popular amongst all levels of riders, including professionals, but is still a viable option for beginners if they have an interest in jibbing and tricking.
This board possesses a very soft flex, which will make it forgiving as you learn. It also really shines when doing tricks, as it’s easy to play with. In other words, it’s going to make any beginner park rider’s progression take off. The most unique feature of it is Bataleon’s signature 3BT (triple base technology). This means the board’s edges are slightly lifted at its widest points (the nose and tail) which provides a smoother and quicker turn response as well as decreases the chance of catching an edge.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
After reading through, you now have a good list of potential beginner snowboards. However, if you’re still not sure about which one is perfect for you, that’s not a problem. Maybe you have more questions about one particular board, or maybe you’re just seriously torn between two.
Either way, there’s a solution: at Curated, you can connect with a Snowboarding Expert like me. Tell us what you’re looking for, and then get personalized advice and recommendations all for free! It’s the easiest way to get yourself your next snowboard and prepare for shred season!