Choosing Your Snowboard: The importance of flex
Flex is an extremely important trait when it comes to determining how your snowboard performs. Get your selection wrong and you could find yourself with a board that is either unridable or lacks performance. The degree to which a board will flex is largely down to internal construction. This includes many factors, namely:
- The type of wood used
- The direction in which the wood is laid.
- The type of fibreglass or carbon used to reinforce.
- The number of layers of fibreglass or carbon used.
- The direction in which the fibreglass or carbon is laid.
- Any special features such as carbon rods built into the core.
As budgets rise the complexity of materials and construction also increases, leading to top ends boards almost always being stiffer when compared with entry level models. With more exotic materials such as carbon the snowboard weight is also reduced but an increase in rigidity is a brands primary aim. In doing so the board is more responsive to rider input, perfectly translating your movements into the board and consequently the snow. While this is generally a desirable trait it is important to match the snowboard stiffness with your ability. The reason we mention this is that a beginner with inperfect technique would not benefit from a very stiff board. The rigidity requires a powerful physique and would make turn initiation difficult for a new rider. In addition, all progressing riders will make mistakes and having some inherent forgiveness in the form of a playful flexible board should be seen as a positive. In direct contrast a high speed experienced free rider would not benefit from having an extremely flexible board. His or her technique would be such that mistakes are rare or non existent and the flex would lead to a lack of confidence in edge hold and precision. Therefore, stiff boards are best viewed as beneficial to the experienced, while flexible models cater for beginner riders or those more experienced who are looking to play in the park.
We hope you found this information useful in selecting your next board. If in doubt, why not get in touch for advice tailored to your situation. After all, who doesn't love talking about snowboards!