For those of us getting ready to shred the mountain for our first time, or at least get away from that whole rental deal completely, the following guide will set up some top picks around the market for a beginner snowboard. Since we wouldn’t feel right just picking “one” as the best snowboard for beginners, we’ve found a few different types, looks, and price-points to get you going on what may fit best for you while you ride. To start, we’ll get some other factors in mind before we pick the for sure model, such as sizing and other personal preferences.
Selecting the best beginners snowboard
- Your budget – As our best snowboards guide had also shown, these things aren’t exactly cheap. Luckily for starters, as you get into the more basic boards, the price-tags won’t be jacked up just because of some extra features (well, some may) that more advanced riders are in to. Listed first as a factor to pick the best for you, the price will obviously steer you in a certain direction; however, we recommend saving up a few more bucks if you do find a model you like that’s a bit out of the price range you first came here with.
- What are snowboard shapes? Whether you’re learning to snowboard or already know your way around the mountains, there some terms out there you’ll see thrown around when it comes buying boards, and in our opinion the first and foremost to learn about is the snowboard’s shape. We’ll describe what the main shapes mean here:
- Directional: These have long and pointy noses that ask for your stance to be set more towards the back of the tail. They’re great for riding forwards and will also carve well through powder due to the short tail naturally sinking and your nose rising slightly above the snow.
- True Twin: These are exactly the same at both ends of your board. Both the nose and tail are identical while your stance is centered, giving you equal control of both the front and back of your board (best for tricks or can help you land switch if need be).
- Directional Twin: The same shape at the nose and tail however your stance will be slightly back to be considered ‘all-mountain’ — they’re great for tricks but also leisure riding, giving you flexibility for both uses. They’re the most popular, especially for beginners.
- Camber vs. Rocker – Here are a few other terms you’ll see thrown around a bit as well. Your “type of snowboard” will be important — although it’s a bit more advanced, it’s still important for you to keep in mind as you begin your snowboarding journey. To summarize the camber vs. rocker debate, these describe “snowboard profiles”. Cambered boards have more pressure on contact points, giving us some more edging control and better grip on turns. There’s also an end-load, meaning when you put weight on the tail, it’ll want to snap back into its original position, giving it some “ollie power”. It’s preferred by riders who want response — riding fast, going on pipes, grinding on rails, etc. Rockers on the other hand have a bit of a curve upwards on both ends of the board. It looks like a “banana” if you will — but why? This shape gives us a looser and more playful ride in powder. It isn’t necessarily as fast or can hold edges like cambers; however, who are starting out will prefer this more since it’s versatile and easy to use in riding through powder.
- Sizing – Lastly, picking the best model for you will entail you learn how to size snowboards correctly. Typically, we recommend beginners to have a rule of thumb for lining up a board that goes to your chin. However, if you do foresee yourself freestyling (check out riding styles for more info on what that may mean), you’ll need a longer board (typically up to your eyes); however, if you aren’t sure, sticking with the chin-rule is great.Thankfully, we have an easy chart to get that going by lining up your height. Here it is below:
The best snowboards for beginners
To get going for our top pick, we wanted to include a snowboard that balances both quality and affordability. Firstly, Burton provides some of the highest quality boards and is known in the market for their superior designs and this is one of their best beginner snowboards for those new to the sport. It has a nice and easy shape that is conducive to a wide range styles of riding (or for when you develop yours). It is also quite a flexible board, which allows some give for new riders when moving over bumpy terrain and is compatible with most bindings to allow you to set it up for the stance that is most comfortable for the way you prefer to ride. It has a flat top bend (the profile is flat overall however each side has some rock curves to keep it catch free), directional shape and flex, and an easy bevel to give us freedom while we ride. The build is also superb, giving us some high-quality Biax Fiberglass on top of it all. The Burton Ripcord is definitely a top recommendation for beginners who want a snowboard that will get them started on the right foot and not break the bank completely.
The K2 Standard is a great snowboard for beginners who are looking to advance their snowboarding skills and improve their abilities. This snowboard transitions well as you gather more experience as well. It has smooth edges for an easy ride and is flexible enough to allow you to dabble in the park once you get the basics down. The design of this snowboard makes it harder than others to catch an edge in the snow, which is great for someone who is new to snowboarding and trying to avoid having a nasty fall. Turning is also made easy and the control you’ll feel with this Standard board is pretty comforting. The board has a wood core and a great exterior made of a hybrid material that is extremely durable and easy to care for which allows you to easily keep the board in great condition. Coming in at second, the K2 Standard is one of the best reasonably priced snowboards for beginners and is a great choice for those just new to the sport but need some longevity use as well.
Another Burton board here, and this is one of the few boards out there that makes learning a daunting sport fun and easy. The balance and grip that this board has is a big standout, and that’ll allow you to remain in control as you learn the movements of the sport. The symmetrical design and the wide base of the board also help allow you to easily ride and turn in directions a bit more smoothly than others. Another highlight is the fact that this has a “twin shape” — meaning you can land on either side and not have a problem. The price is reasonable and is right on par with other beginner snowboards on the market. Again the Burton warranty applies to this snowboard and protects you from damages while you learn to ride. Of the many options available when choosing your first board, the Burton Genie, another one of the best beginner snowboards out there, is a solid choice.
Lib Tech Attack Banana
The Lib Tech Attack Banana is a higher-end board known to appease both a new rider as well as a seasoned veteran of the slopes. The dynamic design of this snowboard makes it great for the park, cruising through powder, carving through trees, or just coasting down the slopes. It has a forgiving flex to it that allows you to maneuver with ease but the snowboard maintains its form through all conditions providing you with a smooth ride. The board is a little pricier than other beginner models out that you’ll see out there but the price could be worth the deal if you are looking for a board that will work for you as your skills progress through varying levels and terrain. The material this board is made from requires very low maintenance and waxing it less frequently than other snowboards will go unnoticed. In terms of a few other additives, you’re getting a true twin shape, nice contour, something called “Magne-Traction” (they place edges alongside the board in a strategic manner to help with control), as well as “Horsepower Construction” that lightens the board as compared to others. I would recommend the Lib Tech Attack Banana to boarders of all levels if you’re in to glitzy features that justify a higher price.
Capita Ultra Fear
This unique board will for sure get you noticed on the mountains. Its angled ends go against the traditional styles of most beginner boards but give it a flare that is unlike any other board out there making it one of the best beginner snowboards. The design will still allow you to ride with ease in all conditions. The Ultra Fear one of the most durable snowboards out there as well and will last through ice, rocks, rails, tree stumps and so on. You name it and this board can handle it. The shape of this snowboard allows you to gain and maintain speed for those speedsters out there that want to fly down the slopes. The price is very reasonable for the quality that this snowboard provides. The quality overall will allow it to outlast many other options which makes it one of the most durable beginner snowboards to serve as a long-term investment as you get better with time. I would recommend the Capita Ultra Fear for the beginner to advanced shredder who likes to tear it up on all sorts of terrain.
Roxy Sugar Banana
The Roxy Sugar Banana is the best women’s snowboard board for beginner snow bunnies that want to learn how to shred (it was also in our best women’s snowboard guide). The feel of this board will keep you balanced and comfortable as you learn to shift and move on the snow. The edges are smooth which make it easy to avoid catching an edge and going head over heels. The board has zero camber, which gives it a flat design that grips the snow for ultimate steering control. This is one of the more flexible snowboards available with a lot of give for trying it out in the parks or just learning to turn and carve. The light, flexible design allows for an incredibly forgiving board that will allow those beginners out there to avoid the bruised rears and the frustration that can often go with learning a difficult sport. Try this board out if you are a beginner looking for that perfect first ride. For the ladies, the Roxy Sugar Banana is another one of the best beginner snowboard for its value, not to mention great styles you can choose from.
Salomon Oh Yeah
This board is one of the favorites for those beginner-to-intermediate lady boarders and is in high demand this winter from those looking to learn the sport. The Oh Yeah board is right in the middle in terms of flexibility which will allow you to get some pop off your jumps but will still hold firm when trying out the park and hitting the rails. The shape of this snowboard is the best for beginners. It is very balanced and allows new riders to feel at ease as they get their feet under them for the first time. It is light but still very durable and the fiberglass material will withstand those icier conditions, which would damage lesser boards. The excellent curvature of the board will provide you with great stability through the middle and easy lift on the edges to keep you upright and prevent you from catching an edge. Ladies will love riding this beauty. The Oh Yeah by Salomon is definitely up there with the best beginner snowboards and will leave you wanting more mountains.
If you weren’t feeling all of the other picks and are still reading, the Arbor Westmark is yet another one of the best snowboards for beginners that will withstand any challenge you put it up to. It’s unique shape and durable build allows it to withstand anything you want to try while out on the mountain. Want to hit the park? The Westmark can take it. Rather cruise through powder? This board will fly. The smoothness mixed with the solid feel make this one of the better choices when looking for that well-rounded boarding experience. The sleek design allows you the most fluid experience and won’t disappoint even the most experienced riders. Great for beginners as well this board allows you to turn, slide, stop, spin and pop with the greatest of ease. The bang you get for your buck will also make you happy with the quality you receive with this board. I would certainly recommend the Arbor Westmark to riders of all varieties but especially new riders, as it’s one of the best beginner snowboards for many reasons.
Burton Easy Livin’
This Burton Easy Livin’ catches everybody’s eye. Any Led Zeppelin fans out there? Check out this design! The snowboard has your essential specs and traditional design allowing you to tackle most situations you might face on the mountain whether it’s out on the open slopes or in more challenging terrains. It has great hold and will grip the snow to make you feel in control as you ride. It holds the edge very well but still gives us a stiffness that’ll help give you some freedom to play around. This is due to the camber bend, twin shape as well as twin flex. The overall build sets Burton boards apart here, with both their “squeezebox” (technology to increase flex and maneuverability) as well as “Dual Density Triax” glass. Beginners will find that this board has excellent steering and allows you to direct it easily as you carve your course down the mountain. The price is great on this board and you won’t be disappointed by the cost for what you receive. If you are looking for a traditional beginner board that will perform like you would expect, then the Burton Easy Livin’ is what you want.
The Flow Verve has a very unique design — it is meant for directional boarders that want to experience intense speeds and shred through thick powder. The board has a directional camber and a directional shape, which make it ideal for those riders that prefer to never ride switch. If you prefer to fly down the slopes at high speeds with great control, this directional board is the board you want. This is one of the more expensive snowboards of its style but you get what you pay for. You’ll be happy with this choice if you prefer the groomers to the rails, and bombing down the mountain, to carving through rough terrain. This snowboard is also stated to be very durable and can withstand some serious abuse as well. If you’re a beginner looking to go fast, then this is the best beginner snowboard for speed riders. If your boarding style matches that then the Verve by Flow is probably the option you want to go with.