Snowboards vary in flex which greatly affects their performance. Generally speaking, the stiffer something is, the more responsive it is.
Very Soft boards are the most forgiving option for a beginner rider. They are even less responsive than “soft” options, making them even easier for first time riders to gain their confidence while catching their edges less.
Soft boards are ideal for a beginner because they are forgiving and will not react to every movement like their stiffer counterparts. Due to this, an advanced rider will find a soft board to chatter at higher speeds or more aggressive riding. Some park riders also prefer soft boards as they are more playful for hitting boxes or rails.
Medium boards are slightly stiffer, providing the progressing rider a bit more response without totally sacrificing a forgiving feel as they continue to explore their riding style.
Stiff boards will respond quickly to movements made by the rider with very little energy lost. These boards are ideal for hard charging aggressive riders who tend to find themselves riding at higher speeds. A beginner will find a board that’s too stiff hard to control and progress on.
Very Stiff boards are going to be the most responsive, aggressive boards out there designed to be ridden by advanced riders looking for top performance out of their boards. They tend to hit the highest price points and are not intended to be ridden by riders still progressing their abilities.