Best Beginner Snowboards 2024
How we tested
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Questions You Should Ask
What kind of snowboard should a beginner get?
There are a few different factors that will guide a beginner to their first board. What style of riding they are most interested in as they progress, if they have had any experience renting or borrowing previous boards, and their budget. Generally speaking, the characteristics that make a good beginner board are easy to turn, soft flex, and a forgiving shape. Most brands have a beginner board in their lineup and work to achieve these characteristics in different ways. It's best to not get too concerned with tech specs or finding the PERFECT board. Most of the beginner boards from any major brand are great options to maximize the first days on the hill.
How much should a beginner spend on a snowboard?
There is no right answer here. Everyone's goals, budgets, and mountain accessibility are different. While some riders will progress to a new setup within a year, others may not have the ability or access to do that. A snowboard that is sized appropriately, boots that fit, and bindings that match are far more valuable than a specific pricetag.
That said, as a beginner looking for their first setup, they should be comfortable spending between $750-$1000 for a board, boots, and bindings total.
Are shorter snowboards better for beginners?
Yes and no. Typically speaking, a properly sized snowboard is the best for beginners as a shorter snowboard can be easier to turn and engage on edge but can also feel less stable at higher speeds. Rider goals, terrain, and the type of snow they encounter most frequently will dictate the appropriate board size.
Another consideration is boot size. A shorter snowboard will traditionally have a smaller waist width. Toe and heel overhang can become an issue if a board is too short and narrow and create rider frustration and/or make learning needlessly difficult.
Best Beginner Snowboard for ForgivenessThese snowboards are for the riders who are brand new to snowboarding and have ridden only a handful of times. They feature forgiving board attributes such as full rocker profiles and soft flexes, which offer an easy learning experience and prevent unnecessary falls!
First days on the hill
Learning turns with forgiveness
Confidence building in a new rider
Intermediates and above
Really deep snow
Stability at higher speeds
The Formula Rocker has a profile that keeps the contact points (widest point of the board) disengaged from the snow until the board enters the turn. Catching an edge usually starts when riding flat and the opposite contact point engages the snow when it's not supposed to. So having these contact points off the snow makes the board very easy to turn with as little risk as possible of catching an edge. The Griptech bumps at the feet provide extra grip and a steering point at the feet where a rider has the most control.
Linking your first turns
Learning to ride camber with ease
Getting started with a freestyle mindset
Bigger riders who will want a stiffer snowboard
Stability at high speeds
The Salomon Pulse is a great place to start for riders on the East Coast or those that are interested in getting into riding park. The camber profile provides better edge grip than more rocker dominant options but the board comes detuned at the tips from the factory. That detuning means the board is less likely to bite into the snow at the tips when not desired, so it's less likely to catch an edge. It has decent pop for a board in this range and is very forgiving to mistakes.
Taller riders and those with bigger boot sizes (due to options in sizing)
Predictability during progression
This a great value snowboard
More advanced riders
Edge hold on hard snow or ice
Going fast in variable terrain
Nitro's Flat Out Rocker (rocker nose and tail, flat everywhere else) and directional twin shape create a forgiving but predictable ride that is perfect for riders looking to invest in their first setup. Nitro also has a wide range of sizes which makes this a great option for riders who are taller with bigger boot sizes, as well. This is a board that a rider can really progress with.
Best Beginner Snowboard for Your First TurnsThese snowboards are for the riders who are building confidence on the bunny hill and easy green circle trails! They have a soft/medium flex and mostly rocker profiles which provide a forgiving yet confidence-inspiring platform that the casual beginner rider will appreciate!
Getting on the hill for the first time
Light weight and smaller riders
Forgiveness during progression
Heavier riders will want something stiffer
Stability in variable terrain
Edgehold on hard snow and ice
The flat-to-rocker profile of the Play makes this an ideal option for a beginner looking to maximize their first days on the hill and minimize their chance of catching edges. The flat profile is very predictable to be on since the board reacts less to weight shifts than other profiles and doesn't punish small mistakes. Nidecker builds the Play with a softer flex to further increase the predictability of the board. The rocker at the tips keeps the widest points of the board from catching the snow when not wanted, minimizing the chances of catching an edge by accident.
Beginners that want to explore the whole mountain
Progressing carving with confidence
Deeper snow and steep, ungroomed terrain
Intermediate and advanced riders
The K2 Standard has a profile that makes learning to turn and carve a smooth and forgiving process. The nose has a little more rocker than the tail making entry to turns really smooth but with a little more power in the tail to exit with more grip and confidence. This also makes the Standard a good board for the beginner that expects to ride in fresh snow from time to time. K2 has great sidecuts that work well for a rider looking to progress their turning and carving skills.
Best Beginner Snowboard for Progressing RidersThese snowboards are for the committed beginner who is confident on green circle trails and ready to take on blue square trails! They feature a middle of the road medium flex and mild camber which will provide stability and better board control than a true beginner board can.
Grip on hard snow
Stability at higher speeds
Riders looking to explore the whole mountain
True beginners might want something with a rocker profile
Riders that see a lot of deep snow
The Formula Camber is a great option for any progressing rider looking to step up their game. The positive camber profile will provide energy and snap through turns and higher levels of pop. The Griptech edges (bumps at the feet) combined with the Fenders at the contact points (widest point of the board) make the board grip really well on hard snow and ice but maintain a forgiving and smooth transition between edges. It is great for a rider looking for a board to move on from rentals and into an option that will work for them for years to come.
Riders looking for a first setup that is all mountain focused
A beginner/intermediate's first powder day
Developing more precise edge control
Bigger and more advanced riders
Best Beginner Snowboard for Growing IntoThese snowboards are for the rider who is on the cusp of being an intermediate, and plans to snowboard many days (10+) each season! They have a camber dominant profile and a medium flex which allows for easy exploration of new terrain such as freestyle, off-piste, and steeps!
Exploring the whole mountain, from peak to park
One board quiver on a budget
Grip on hard snow and ice
Riders that want to spend all their time in the terrain park
The Outerspace Living is an amazing option for the rider looking to not only explore the whole mountain but also invest in their snowboarding. A combination of camber and rocker in the nose and tail make this snowboard predictable and forgiving but will also put the rider in control. This is a great launchpad for the rider with big ambitions and who wants to ride a bit of everything.
Moving from skidded turns to carved turns
A board to grow with
Riding everywhere with one board
Steep, technical terrain or high speed riding
Riders looking to really dive into the terrain park
Can be a bit grabby on edge
The Basic was the first board designed by YES. It is built to handle any riding from park to pow with confidence. The edge profile dips in under the feet at the transition between the camber and rocker zones. When ridden more aggressively, the board grips hard snow really well. A middle-of-the-road flex makes the Basic versatile but not demanding for a rider looking to expand their skills on varying terrain.
Progressing into all mountain performance
Edge hold on hard snow
Smooth grip on rough snow
Ride doesn't make wimpy snowboards. The Agenda is no exception and Ride built this board with serious riders on a budget in mind. It has full-length urethane sidewalls that ride smoothly and absorb vibration. The camber dominant profile offers great stability and grip with rocker in the nose and tail to further benefit a smooth feel from edge to edge. Mid-level flex makes the Agenda easy to control, but capable of being ridden more aggresivly. Great for a progressing rider looking for a smoother ride with a little stiffer flex.
Best Beginner Snowboard for Intro to ParkThese snowboards are for the riders who have decided jumps, rails, and butters are for them but are still learning the basics! They’re lightweight, flexible, and contain camber which are three features that’ll help riders excel in freestyle faster than they could with an all-mountain board.
Hitting small to medium park features
Getting into freestyle riding
Powder, off-piste, or high speed riding
Riders looking to ride the whole mountain
The Sleepwalker is a team favorite for hitting street features and ripping parks like Trollhaugen and Big Bear. The camber between the feet provides snap and locks into boardslides while the rocker in the nose and tail makes pressing and buttering effortless. The edge is layered with rubber pads under the feet to absorb impacts and keep things smooth. The twin shape keeps the board predictable both regular and switch for progressing park riding. The Sleepwalker is a great first park board option or can even be a good option for the advanced rider focused on jibbing and buttering.
3D shaping is forgiving but predictable. Ideal for learning to butter without sacrificing turning
Riders looking to get into the park without breaking the bank
Pop with forgiveness
Deep snow or steep terrain
Mellow riding on icy terrain
Aggressive riders that want a lot of response
Bataleon uses a unique 3D shape in the tips that give the rider the benefits of a full camber board and the forgiveness of a board with rocker in the tips. All the power and pop of camber but with contact points that are picked up out of the snow to keep the board forgiving in a park setting. The tips are soft and forgiving and the 3D shape makes buttering insanely easy. Good snap and stability off jumps with the full camber profile. A great option for a first park board for someone looking for something a little different.
Riders that enjoy riding the resort but want to play in the terrain park more
A forgiving ride for learning to butter and seek out side hits
Riding park in icier conditions
Not as stable on bigger jumps
Riders that don't spend a lot time in the terrain park
The Money is a great option for riders looking to get into the park and ride in areas that have mostly man-made snow or see a lot of harder or icier snow. Gnu uses a wavy edge tech called Magne-traction that creates extra hold points along the board's length that help dig into hard snow. This in combination with the rocker between the feet and mild camber under foot makes the Money a great option for anyone looking to get into hitting rails or boxes but needs a board that won't slide out on hard snow.
Quick edge-to-edge transitions
Riders valuing lighter and faster swing weight
Those seeking maximum pop
Riders who prefer a softer flex for presses
This Arbor board stands out for its lightweight design compared to their beginner models. The superior quality of wood used in its construction is evident. It leans more towards a freestyle orientation, providing an agile and responsive ride.
Best Beginner Snowboard for VersatilityThese snowboards are for the riders who ride many different types of trails/terrain and want one board that can handle wherever they go. Both rocker and camber both have their own strengths and these boards contain both for maximum versatility to explore the whole mountain.
Premium technology and materials at a budget friendly price
Solid edge hold in variable condition
Stability at speed
Riders looking to spend a lot of time riding rails
The Raygun Pop is the only board at this price point with carbon stringers which gives the board snap to get into the air and power through carves. This board will perform from the first chair through the afternoon chop and is wildly versatile. It packs a lot of premium technology at a price point ideal for riders looking to buy their first true setup and really invest in their riding.
Riders investing in their first setup and looking for a one board quiver
Grip on hard snow
Forgiveness riding switch
Can be grabby on edge
Riders that are looking to spend all their time in the terrain park
The Basic is the ideal board for a rider that really enjoys spending time on groomers and the occasional powder day. Perfect for progressing from skidded turns to carved turns and beginning to challenge their comfort zone.
All mountain riding on a budget
Enjoying whatever the weather decides when getting to the resort
Snap and pop with a light flex
The Manic is Ride's budget-friendly quiver of one. It has a camber dominant profile that offers power and grip with carbon strips running tip to tail that offer energy and pop. Rocker in the nose and tail, with a little more in the nose offers a smooth transition from edge to edge with good float in soft snow. Urethane sidewalls soak up vibration on crusty days providing a smooth ride. Durable, smooth, and versatile best sums up the Manic from Ride.
Turns with Ease
The K2 Standard is the type of snowboard that can be approached by any rider with any types of skills. From riding in the park to making those first turns, the Standard sets the bar for what a snowboard should feel and ride like. Playful enough to press and butter yet stable enough to get into some technical terrain, this snowboard can do it all
Best Beginner Snowboard for ValueThese snowboards are for the riders who are tired of paying for rentals but don’t have a large budget for their own gear. These boards offer exceptional durability and riding performance at a below-average price point! They’ll help riders get on the hill without breaking the bank!
Budget riders looking for quality
Freestyle minded budget conscious snowboarders
Durable construction made for all season abuse
First snowboard to build confidence
Deep snow or steep terrain
Riders looking for a specialized snowboard
Edge hold on ice
There are boards will fancier shapes, fancier cores, and fancier materials, but few that can match the capability and performance of the Prime Raw dollar per dollar. For a very competitive price, Nitro offers a board that is predictable, capable, and ready for whatever kind of riding the rider wants to get into.
Intermediate riders that are moving from blue towards black terrain
Budget conscious riders that want a lot of technology for value
Grip on hard snow
Snowboarders looking to spend a lot of time in the terrain park
Nidecker oversees its own wood sourcing and core manufacturing process, allowing them to have a high level of quality control of its snowboards. The Score benefits from this with a premium wood core and versatile camber profile that makes the board great in all conditions. It has a very smooth and consistent flex that is easy to get used to and keep progressing with. All of this is for a great price that will leave room in the bank.
Easy turn initiation
Stability between the feet
Riders looking for an affordable but fun snowboard
Deep snow and uneven terrain
Intermediate and more advanced riders will want a more responsive and stable board
The District InfraBlack is a great board for someone looking to link their first turns and learn their first butters. It has a predictable and forgiving AmpTek rocker profile that will take any fear out of learning whole also being incredibly affordable.
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