An Expert Guide to Ride SnowboardsPublished on 02/13/2023 · 11 min readSnowboard Expert Kate Wilson details the considerations to think about when figuring out which Ride Snowboard is right for you, and lists a few of their top boards!
Photo by Ryan Leeper
If you're in the market for a new snowboard, RIDE is a brand that should definitely be on your radar. With 30 years of experience in the industry, they are most recognized for their bold attitude, killer gear, and dynamic team of pro riders. And let's face it, who wouldn’t want to ride the same boards as the pros? At Curated, we’ve got the scoop on all things RIDE, including wild stories from their dynamic beginnings and, of course, the top boards for every skill level, riding style, and budget. Let’s go!
Who Is RIDE Snowboards?
RIDE’s tale doesn't follow the normal, boring brand history, it is the story of a snowboard company that’s been defying the norms since day one. In 1992, Tim Pogue (of The Pogues band), Roger Madison, (Harvard graduate, serial entrepreneur, and lawyer), and Jamie Salter (of Kember Snowboards) founded RIDE Snowboards. They set up shop in Madison’s tanning bed warehouse in Seattle. The original name was actually “Hardcore Snowboards,” but Pogue, determined to bring a rebellious, hard-charging attitude to the snowboarding world, suggested RIDE instead. His inspiration was the skateboarding scene, and Pogue knew snowboarding was going in that direction—primed to be the next big thing.
With their team-based, street-inspired approach, RIDE Snowboards quickly gained a following of snowboarders who were looking for something different. They put together an epic team of pro riders, including Dale Rehberg, Roan Rogers, Circe Wallace, Jake Blattner, Jason Ford, and Russell Winfield.
With their “good times only” attitude, exceptional talent, product knowledge, and customer service, the success of RIDE was evident. However, despite the steady flow of orders, the partners realized that they lacked sufficient private funding to escalate the business to its next phase.
Determined to achieve their goals, RIDE Snowboards made history in 1995 as the first snowboard company to go public and quickly became the second-fastest growing stock on NASDAQ. They were unapologetically different—and it paid off. They’ve now solidified their reputation as a trailblazer in the snowboarding industry.
As the brand grew, so did their reputation for pushing boundaries. RIDE is a company with more stories to tell than pow days in Colorado. And those stories include their pro-riders getting kicked out of Japan for partying, bold and edgy ad campaigns, and bribing the electric company with snowboards to avoid a shut-off. Want to learn more? Check out their documentary, Rough Around the Edges, to hear from the founders and team riders themselves; it’s an awesome journey!
So, the question is, are you ready to make a statement all over the mountain and show the world that you're also not afraid to push the limits? Let's dig into the details of RIDE boards!
What to Consider When Buying a RIDE Snowboard
What Is My Preferred Riding Style?
Riding the groomers is a popular choice, but don’t limit yourself—there are a variety of other riding styles and categories to explore:
- All Mountain: While this typically means riding the groomed runs, all-mountain riding is performed all over—from park to in-bound trees, and even up to the double blacks. If you’re interested in everything the mountain has to offer, make sure you are looking for a board that isn’t specialized or designed for just one style.
- Freestyle/Park: This type of riding is all about having fun. From buttering and spinning across the mountain to hitting the terrain park’s jumps and rails, or even on urban terrain features, freestyle is a more playful way to experience snowboarding. RIDE has more than enough options for this type of board.
- Freeride/Backcountry: The ultimate adventure: roam the entire mountain, from the lush untouched tree runs to untracked powder and steep descents. Freeriding has no set course, goals, or rules, and is more about experiencing the raw beauty of less-explored terrain.
- Powder: Feel like flying? Grab the right board and get ready to experience the blissful, floaty, lighter-than-air feeling that only fresh powder can provide.
Choosing the right snowboard can seem overwhelming, but by knowing your preferred riding style, a Curated Snowboarding Expert can easily find you the perfect match. Next up we’ll talk about how important it is to select a board that is best suited for your level.
What Is My Skill Level?
- Beginner: A brand-new rider, or one who has low confidence in balancing and controlling their board. Also, one who is unable to consistently link turns without catching an edge, and who is unfamiliar with snowboarding terms and techniques.
- Intermediate: Someone who has progressed beyond the limitations above, is comfortable on different types of snow and is able to ride on steeper terrain and make quicker, more controlled turns. This rider may be experimenting with small to mid-sized jumps.
- Advanced: A rider who has complete control in any condition (like ice or hard, packed snow) and on steep terrain, who excels at carving and is stable at high speeds. They are also comfortable experimenting in different terrain, and generally have a solid understanding of mountain safety.
What Is My Ideal Price Range for a Board?
RIDE offers high-quality snowboards at various price ranges. Their least expensive option for adult riders is the Agenda (unisex) or Heartbreaker (women’s), both currently just over $400. Both are considered beginner boards. If you’ve got some room in your budget, the Shadowban or Magic Stick (women’s) are the next step up in terms of skill level and price, while more advanced and premium boards like the Peace Seeker run about $600.
What Bindings or Other Gear Do I Already Own?
While most snowboard bindings are universal, older models of the Channel or EST from Burton will not work on RIDE boards. Similarly, a soft, beginner binding or boot is not going to be the best choice for a stiffer freeride or powder board. So, be sure to leave room in your budget if necessary to buy gear that will be compatible with your new board. RIDE also makes some incredible bindings, you can find those here!
What Size Boot Do I Wear?
When it comes to RIDE snowboards, as length increases, so does the width. For most men's boards, the standard width is suitable for boots up to size 10.5.
If you have larger boots (11+), it’s worth taking the time to learn about the benefits of choosing a wider board. Generally speaking, your heel and toes should be on the edges of your board, with minimal overhang. Too much overhang can slow you down and negatively impact your overall performance. Also note that if the ends of your boots don’t make it to the edges, it may be harder to apply pressure during turns and the board will be less responsive.
Don’t worry—RIDE has all of these bases covered. With standard, wide, and volume-shifted options, there is definitely one that will accommodate your boot size. And be sure to check out the brand’s boot selection, too! They’ve got larger sizes and even a wide option available!
What Are the Different Types of RIDE Snowboards?
Everything RIDE does screams style and attitude; and their boards are just one shining example of this. While you can certainly search for an all-mountain or freestyle board, you can also search by collections to find something that matches YOUR attitude!
RIDE hit up the rugged wilderness of Alaska for the 2022/23 Thrash Collection, and even filmed some of their best days at the epic Alyeska resort. Thrash boards are for the rider who's ready to dominate the steeps, hit every natural and man-made feature, and leave a path of destruction in their wake.
- Benefits: Made with high-quality, durable materials, these boards are nearly indestructible and designed for the experimental rider who doesn’t shy away from a challenge!
- Keep in Mind: These more expensive boards are not necessary for the rider just looking to keep it casual on the mountain.
This collection is for the rider on the hunt for fresh tracks and pow. It features top-performing boards like the Commissioner, Berzerker, Smokescreen, Psychocandy (also in the Thrash collection since it’s indestructible!), Magic Stick (women’s), and the latest Peace Seeker model, too!
- Benefits: The setback stance places the rider’s weight closer to the tail of the board for better float. Stiff flex offers more stability at speed, and volume-shifted options shorten/widen the board for even better performance and float.
- Keep in Mind: Definitely for more advanced riders, these are not forgiving or soft in flex and not ideal at all for freestyle.
Whether you’re hitting the park, cruising on groomers, or dipping into the trees, the Resort Sport Collection has got you covered. Boards like the Algorythm, Shadowban, Saturday (women’s), and Compact (women’s) are ready for any condition on the mountain.
- Benefits: These boards are great for the rider who likes to experiment all over the mountain and doesn’t spend a significant amount of time in one place or another—other than traditional groomers.
- Keep in Mind: All mountain boards do not necessarily shine in any one area, so if you’re looking to excel in the park or in the powder, check out other options from RIDE first!
Designs inspired by the RIDE team for all-day performance and style.
- Benefits: Twin or asymmetrical twin tips, softer to mid-flex , and more freestyle-oriented boards are going to be more playful and designed for terrain park or tricks and playful (but still aggressive) playing all over the mountain.
- Keep in Mind: The Street collection is not meant for speed or steeps. While some are capable, they shine at freestyle riding!
Features to Look Out for When Buying a RIDE Snowboard
Park/rail riders or freeride enthusiasts that take their boards through rocky terrain will appreciate the Cleave Edge, which offers nearly 50% thicker steel edges for added durability. Boards with this technology include the Kink, Warpig, and Burnout.
RIDE has developed a topsheet made of fabric infused with Urethane, which is 50% lighter than traditional plastic. It’s also super smooth, and offers unique graphic elements that are already in the fabric—such as the silvery glints in metallic thread. This adds a design element that doesn't require extra heavy ink and is hard to replicate.
Impact Plates Laminates
With enhanced compressive strength to prevent board breaks in crucial areas, added reinforcements have been placed under each binding zone.
Carbon Slim Walls
RIDE takes their innovative Slim Wall tech to the next level by incorporating a full-length Carbon-Urethane composite laminate that enhances edge grip and energy transfer. The Superpig, MTNPIG, and Benchwarmer are equipped with this feature.
Silencer 5 Laminates
Purifying the response of RIDE’s Carbon Array 5, specially designed urethane layers filter out vibrations for a super smooth and snappy feel. Check out the Commissioner to experience this feature.
How to Choose the Right RIDE Snowboard for You
Finding the right snowboard can seem like a daunting task with so many options to choose from, but now that we’ve talked about the different types of boards RIDE offers, we can start narrowing down your choices. I’ve helped hundreds of riders find their perfect match on Curated, and I’d love to share some of the key factors I consider when making my recommendations. Check out a few of the customers I’ve worked with below!
Maddy: The Park Rat
Meet Maddy, the self-proclaimed park rat who loves shredding the East Coast’s parks. She is looking for a board that is durable enough to handle her aggressive experimentation, but still provide a smooth and stable ride when she takes it on the hill with her little brother.
Features that a beginner like Maddy should look for:
- Impact plates for added durability
- Twin shape
- Sintered base that is durable and faster on the mountain
- Lightweight but strong core, the perfect blend for park/freestyle
SUGGESTED BOARD: RIDE Saturday
Kevin: All-Mountain Rider
Kevin is an adventurous rider who is always looking for new challenges on the mountain. He is seeking a board that can keep up with his fast pace and provide a smooth, fast carve. He wants a board that can be taken all over the mountain, from groomers and a little backcountry, too. It needs to be responsive, stable at high speeds, and also fun and lively.
Features that Kevin should look for:
- A directional board with a camber-dominant profile for extra pop
- High-grade, carbon-infused sintered base that’s designed for speed
- Aluminum/Carbon top sheet that provides a damp ride, stellar edge hold, turning power, and speed
SUGGESTED BOARD: RIDE Commissioner
Connect With Us
So, there you have it: the story of RIDE Snowboards—a company that's been defying the norms and bringing an edgy punk rock attitude to the snowboarding world since 1992. Get in touch with a Snowboarding Expert here at Curated for help finding your perfect RIDE board this season!