The origin of snowboarding is a vague one at best. Some reports say the first snowboard dates back to 1929 courtesy of M.J. “Jack” Burchett. He reportedly built a “snowboard” by cutting out a plank of plywood and securing it to his feet with some clothesline and horse reins. Other reports attribute the first snowboard to Sherman Poppen. In 1964 Mr. Poppen attached two skis together and gave it to his daughter. Sherman Poppen would later start producing what is now known as the Snurfer. In 1970, Dimitrije Milovich who was a surfer started creating snowboards based on the feel of surfingand mechanics of skiing. Dmitrije was the first to make a real attempt at bringing surf to snow. While these fine gentlemen might have sparked the invention of snowboards, it is Jake Burton that first introduced ski technology into snowboards in 1980.
Types of Snowboards
Traditonal Camber Snowboards: Traditional cambered snowboards have a profile of an upside-down U. So when you lay one flat, the mid-section is lifted off the ground. This is the original shape for snowboards and exists even to this day. Traditional camber snowboards deliver the most response, edge precision, and snap.
Rockered Snowboards: Rockered snowboards are the exact opposite of traditional camber snowboards in terms of profile. Laying one flat will see the tips lifted off the ground with the mid-section touching. Rockered snowboards provide increased float and forgiveness/playfulness.
Flat Camber Snowboards: Flat camber is exactly what it sounds like: flat. You lay the snowboard flat and the profile will sit flush with the ground with only the tips lifted slightly. Flat camber gives you more float than traditional camber, but less than rocker. Same goes for handling characteristics: it sits in between traditional camber and rockered. Flat cambered snowboards tend to be the fastest.
Hybrid Snowboards: Hybrid snowboards are a combination of any or all of the above rocker types. These are arguably the most versatile snowboards on the market. They combine the best characteristics of each shape into one snowboard. These would be your “Jack-of-all-trades” snowboards.
Directional Snowboards: Directional snowboards have a stance that is setback off the center leaving you with a longer nose and a tapered tail. This is the standard shape for snowboards. It offers the most stability control of all the shapes.
Twin: Twin snowboards are freestyle focused. The stance on a twin snowboard is centered and the tip and tail have the exact same dimensions. Twin snowboards are great for park riders or all-mountain freestyle shredders because the board’s handling characteristics will be the same when riding switch.
Directional Twin Snowboards: Directional twin snowboards are basically twins with a setback stance. You get the same stability from directional snowboards with switch characteristics similar to a twin. Directional twins are the standard for all-mountain freestyle.
Extruded: Extruded bases are made from normal P-Tex. These bases are super easy to maintain and repair. And extruded base will also be faster than an unwaxed sintered base. The downfall is that they do not absorb wax very well.
Sintered: Sintered bases are also made from P-Tex, but via a different method. The result is a super porous base that is highly wax absorbent. A waxed sintered base is much faster than an extruded base, but slower when unwaxed. Basically put, you want to make sure there’s wax on your sintered base when you snowboard.