Snowboarding always looks easy from the outside, until you take your first few falls during your first lesson. Some people even find it hard to stand still when strapped to a snowboard for the first time. Whether you’re trying to learn on your own or are taking some classes, you will need a quality board to ease you in.
Laid back stance models are popular because they don’t require an uncomfortable position to steer or catch speed. Elevated edges are also a must if you want to have a catch-free board. A decent flex level is also necessary, although you don’t need more than a 4 at first.
Here are three of the best snowboards for beginners that we can get behind. They all have features designed for a smooth ride and easy learning experience. However, one of them turned out to be the best overall, and we will share our thoughts and reasoning behind this decision.
The flat base of the Ripcord Snowboard from Burton is a model aimed at beginners. The motion is much more predictable and easy to get used to than with other snowboards. This product also features raised edges, which makes it more catch-free.
The design of the Ripcord is directional and features a 5mm tapper at the tail. The flat top profile will ensure that sliding on the snow with it will be a smooth experience. The fiberglass makes it quite durable, too.
There is not much maintenance required for this snowboard. The extruded base model requires little waxing, and the durable materials make it tough to break under normal riding conditions.
There is also a soft flex to the Ripcord, about a level three. The FLY-core, which is a Burton trademark by now, means that the board has a wooden core from tip to tail. The use of the squeeze box low technology is unique to Burton and helps turn this board from an entry-level one to intermediate.
Not only is this well suited as a starter snowboard, but as you progress, you can still use it without feeling held back. The design offers enough speed to keep you entertained past the intro lessons. It really rivals their Clash model, at least in some standard categories.
There’s more to this 152cm board than just its size and softness that makes it a good choice for beginners. The design looks simple, but there are a lot of things that make this profile work wonders.
Starting from the tip, the EZ-profile has been fitted with slightly raised edges to make it catch-free. Then it has a bit of a flat surface followed by a chamber. The middle has a rocker convex base that helps with stability and also gives more flex to the board. The pattern then repeats itself.
The base, the sidewall, and the topsheet all have polyurethane fillings that make up the unique Kush Control from Flow. They help increase performance and durability at the same time. This feature is what allows this snowboard to be viable under any weather conditions.
The combination of urethane and fiberglass along with other materials makes this board robust, yet easy to handle. An experienced snowboarder will feel as if they’re cheating when riding one of these. The turns and jumps you can make with the Verve are guaranteed to boost your confidence while still improving your skills.
The EZ-profile feature provides a different way of dealing with flexing and stability, as it doesn’t use wood as much as the Burton snowboards do. In a way, it still delivers as far as control goes. We’re just not sure that it will prove to be as durable in the long run.
The Clash model from Burton comes with another directional snowboard design. The same, slightly raised edges are present in order to give it the catch-free option. This makes is just as easy a ride as the Ripcord.
The smoothness of the ride doesn’t come solely from the elevated contact points. The convex nose shape and flat top profile are also major factors involved in the performance. The flex feel is between 3 and 4 but utilizes a twin-flex design.
Although it’s more of a back stance snowboard, the twin-flex means that you get the same amount of flex no matter how you ride it. This offers more versatility when it comes to what slopes you can ride it on and what tricks you can do safely.
On the nose and the tail you have thinner wood sections, while the channels have thicker segments. These make up the squeeze box roll core profiling, which is another feature unique to Burton. The EGD wood core profiling is great for stability and control as it allows for a better transfer of energy from the body to the board.
The extruded base is nothing new for a Burton snowboard and we see no reason to change that. The die-cut base has proven to be very effective in the snow, as well as low maintenance. Not only does it not require constant care, but it’s also really easy to repair, and any small nicks that go unnoticed won’t affect your riding.
All these products have their merit. Each of these three snowboards delivers a catch-free product by making use of elevated contact points. They have a similar price tag, which did make it harder for us to make our decision.
The Burton snowboards have an interesting approach with their squeeze box technology. The Verve from Flow has a similar profile design with different segments, only they use polyurethane instead of wood. They achieve an impressive flex point, but because of this, the snowboard doesn’t seem nearly as durable in the long run.
The biggest debate was between the squeeze box low vs. the squeeze box roll. Both seem similar, but after a while, the latter seems to be more versatile. It’s why the Ripcord underperforms compared to the Clash at both beginner and intermediate levels. Of course, the twin-flex feature is also unique to the latter model.