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A Guide to Buying Your First Snowboard: 2020

Posted September 27, 2017 @ 1:36pm | by Jack Worth

So it’s finally time to step out of the rental snowboard game and buy your first board for yourself. You’ve gone shredding a few times and now you know you’re absolutely hooked. Buying your first snowboard can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re relatively new to the sport and don’t know all the little details that make each board different, That’s why with the help of The Ski Monster blog you’ll be on your new deck in no time.

Quick disclaimer: whatever you end up going with is going to be so much sweeter than whatever you were riding from the rental shop at the mountain, regardless of the board you pick. Plus, when it doubt, you can always just get what looks the sickest.

The K2 Raygun is an awesome beginner-intermediate deck that has been elevating skill levels for years. Completely flat underfoot will give you the most stability at lower speeds and is the easiest shape to start linking those first turns together on. Still plenty of pop, which you’ll really appreciate if you’re well on your way to crushing frontside blue trails, but a flat top board with rocker in the tip and tail is designed to help you have fun all over the mountain without pushing you too hard. Plus, with lots of models in longer and wider sizes, this is a great choice for bigger dudes who are getting on their first board. 

The Ride Manic is another good choice, it's actually made in the same factory as the K2 Raygun, so right of the bat these are going to be pretty similar. What sets the Manic apart is the profile of the board. There's still lots of rocker in the tip and tail which will make turn initiation at lower speeds incredibly easy, but the Manic also has camber underfoot. Camber will grip on hardpack better and at speeds better than a flat deck, so if you're starting to hit steeper terrain on icy slopes camber is going to be your friend. Checking in at just $399 its pretty rare to find a board with camber and built this well for under 400 bucks. Not bad.

Those first two boards we’ve looked at are both great for beginners, but if you’ve already been renting for a few years and already consider yourself an intermediate rider or want something that’ll push you a bit, these next three will suit you better. 

One of the newest decks from the legendary Mervin factory out in Washington state is the Lib Tech Cold Brew. A little bit aggressive than the first two boards we’ve taken a look at; the Cold Brew combines an equal amount of rocker and camber for a perfect ride that blends together the float of rocker and the power of camber. Not a “beginner” board by any means, but definitely not overly aggressive. Any solid intermediate who's been renting for a few years or any athletic beginner and that's already hooked on the sport and wants to get better will be stoked on the Cold Brew. A true perfect balance of flex and stability.

Snowboarding icon Jeremy Jones has been innovating boards for years now since the launch of Jones Snowboards. Typically a collection of some of the most high-performance expert snowbaords on the planet, the Jones Frontier comes out of the same DNA but in a package that's more accessible for intermediates. The technology and construction of the Frontier is closer to what you'd expect to find in a $600 snowboard, the major difference being that the flex of the board will be softer - just making it less demanding for non-expoert riders. If you feel like some off-resort adventures are calling you there's really non a better first step into the world of backcountry snowboarding than the Jones Frontier. Plus, c'mon you really can't beat that graphic.  

Finally, the Never Summer West Bound is might be our favorite do-it-all board to shred on this year. The West Bound replaces the super-popular West in the Never Summer lineup and the changes for 2019-20 are the rare kind that honestly improve the board in all conditions. Again, not a beginner board, but if you’re already a capable rider who wants something that will be able to do everything on the mountain, the West Bound will be great for that. There's still a rocker zone underfoot so even though it's a bit stiffer than the other boards on this list, it's not anything unwieldy, the West Bound is a dream come true for intermediate riders, or guys whose buddies are a bit more experienced and are definitely not going to wait up.

There’s plenty of more snowboard out there for all different types of riders, these are just a hand-selected few of the awesome new boards for 2020. If you’ve got any questions about which board is right for you, hit us up on our LiveChat or give us a call. We’re always happy to talk boards and will get back to you quickly as we can.

 
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