Most of the trends in snowboarding have been surrounding the design of the board, boots, and bindings to give riders the best equipment for any terrain they find themselves facing while on the slopes. Some of the most popular ones right now include:
Smaller Boards: Smaller have been gaining traction in recent years given their lively ride qualities. The smaller sizes allow for quicker turns in tight places. With advancements in construction little to no effect on edge hold is experienced. Also with new shapes the floatation of these boards is not greatly effected as well. These boards are a lot of fun, especially in areas like ours, with smaller hills.
Asymmetrical Shapes: Most snowboarders will confirm that even the seasoned veteran will have one edge that is easier than the other. Also almost no one will ride their bindings setup with 0 degrees. With that in mind, board companies are now designing boards to accommodate this. Some boards are now designed with a specific toe and heel edges, so that regardless if the rider is goofy or regular they will have the desired ride qualities. As well, the board’s construction is not perpendicular to the edge to accommodate more aggressive binding angles.
Hybrid Rocker Shapes: Hybrid rocker shapes have almost become the norm in board construction. We have dabbled with full camber shapes in the past. Although they have great edge hold and great pop, they can be too aggressive, and too stiff for some. They also have the tendency to dig in deeper conditions. Vice versa we have experienced full rocker shapes. Although these shapes are great to learn on, easy to press on park features and rise on top of the snow in deep conditions, these shapes have also been associated with inferior edge hold, little pop and a little lifeless. The hybrid rocker shape is a happy medium. It brings camber construction under the foot, to give great pop and edge hold, while bringing rocker (of varying degrees from board to board) to the tip and tail to give quicker turn initiation, easier to use on park features and have the tendencies to float in powder and mixed snow conditions.
Smaller footprint bindings: Smaller footprint bindings allow more of the board to flex. Boards are designed to flex to remain in contact with the snow. When we attach a stiff binding, this flex pattern changes under the foot. To offset this, some companies have made their bindings hinge underfoot to give better board feel and flex. While others have made their total footprint of their bindings smaller by going with smaller discs. Both result in a smoother, more dependable board feel
Boa: Although laces are still around, as well as other speed lacing systems, the Boa System has become the most popular. A spinning dial that tightens the boot by a metal cable is a reliable and easy system to use. There are different models of Boa, but they all have the same qualities, some just tighten the whole boot at once, while others focus on certain areas of the boot.