Snow boards are commonly used by people for the activity of snowboarding. It is very prevalent in ski hills or resorts and may either be for leisure and entertainment or as a competitive sport. The boards are the width of a person’s foot from heel to toe and are like mono skis with a slight difference. In mono skis, the user stands with the feet in line with the direction of movement and faces the tip of the mono ski while travelling downhill. In snowboarding, the user stands with the feet transverse to the length of the snow board. Hence, while travelling downhill, the user will be sideways to the movement.
Extra safety precautions like bindings and special boots are worn in competitive snowboarding to ensure stability of the user who has to stand in an upright position.
Here are a few details on snow boards, their dimensions and materials used for manufacturing them.
Size of snow boards – The length of snow boards varies greatly but the most common ones are between 140-165cm with children’s boards being as short as 90cm and that of professional Alpine riders as long as 215cm. The specific board being used by a rider depends on the riding style and weight and individual preferences.
The width is measurement of a snow board at the waist. Freestyle boards measure around 28cm in width but most riders prefer to be in the 24-25cm range. However those with large feet may find these narrow boards difficult to manoeuvre and will need boards upward of 26cm.
The tail and nose width of freestyle boards are the same and this enables a constant level of performance from both ends. However, free ride and alpine boards have a wider and longer nose that facilitates easy movement and quick directional changes.
- Board Construction – The core of a snow board is typically made of laminated fibreglass around wood which is generally beech or poplar and to a lesser extent bamboo and birch. Substitutes of wood are being experimented with now and the most preferred options are aluminium and composite honeycomb.
The base of the snow board that is in direct contact with the snow is made of a porous plastic material saturated with wax to make a very smooth and almost frictionless plane. Wax is a very important component here as it enables the rider to easily change directions in snow.
To make snowboarding easier it is always advisable to wear special boots manufactured exclusively for this purpose. These apart from keeping the rider’s feet warm also help to protect the user with adequate support. Hard boots have to be necessarily worn with special bindings though soft boots have no such restrictions.