Boarding around at the speed of sound, hitting the slopes, and shredding some mountaintops! Almost nothing beats the amazing feeling of sliding down the hill as you feel the cold breeze hitting your face!
However, snowboarding isn’t always easy, learning can be a daunting task for those who are unprepared. That’s why beginner snowboards are an absolute must for those who wish to learn the masterful art of snowboarding. These boards provide better balance, lower speeds, and are overall safer experience than the average boards.
Finding the perfect one for you is a must though, and having to pick from the hundreds of products available can be quite a challenge. That is why we decided to simplify it for you, by providing a list of the best beginner snowboards available on the market.
Top 8 Beginner Snowboards 2019
Burton Instigator 2020
Salomon Pulse Snowboard 2020
Runner-Up, Most Versatile
K2 Standard Snowboard 2020
Salomon Sight Snowboard 2020
Best Lightweight Design, Perfect for Jumps
Burton Ripcord 2020
Best for Parks
Burton Riglet Snowboard 2020
Best for Younger Children
Arbor Formula Rocker 2020
Best All-Mountain Ride
GNU Recess Asym BTX Snowboard
Best for Older Kids
1. Burton Instigator 2020 – Editor’s Choice
Burton’s instigator series have a reputation for being easy to ride and perfect for learning, the 2020 model is no different. Designed specifically to minimize the amount of days you’ll spend falling down during your first week of snowboarding, you’ll find it is a very smooth ride!
Burton’s Instigator features a Flat Top rocker, twin flex, and a directional shape with a 5mm taper, these traits help promote its status as a beginner board, allowing for high stability and easier mobility while riding down the slopes.
- Great turns
- Very forgiving
- Not the best for flat parts of the trail
2. Salomon Pulse Snowboard 2020 – Runner-Up, Most Versatile
Yet, another amazing ride and one of the best boards for beginners available in the market, the Salomon Pulse 2020 is one of the best beginner rides available. Featuring a soft flex and de-tuned edge to make it even more beginner friendly than other competitors, but by making these compromises it also misses out on some advantages.
The Pulse is smooth and flexible, which helps it run fantastically in the fresh soft powder, and while you can ride it on icy slush, it’s not recommended to do so for beginners. Still, newbies can’t help falling in love with this ride (especially if it’s their first one)
It does however, require a bit of effort to master, but in doing so helps you learn and sharpen your skills.
- Easy to grasp the basics
- Good for a variety of environments
- Difficult to master
3. K2 Standard Snowboard 2020 – Most Balanced
Don’t let the name fool you, the K2 Standard Snowboard 2020 is anything, but basic or average. K2, designed this board to stay with you throughout your career at least from beginner stages to advanced rider levels.
It’s patented Catch Free Baseline helps you pick up the basics faster allowing you to master turning, transitioning, and speeding up with relative ease. Furthermore, once you’re ready to jump and perform your own tricks, the K2 has been optimized for air maneuvering thanks to its lightweight design.
- Well Balanced and Stable
- Not the most durable board
4. Salomon Sight Snowboard 2020 – Best Lightweight Design, Perfect for Jumps
Once again, Salomon arrives with another awesome beginner snowboard that is sure to please! This top quality board is totally worth the price of admission.
This board is popular for those seeking to master shredding down the slope trail at top speed, thanks to its Cross Profile Camber providing you with better control and stability as you land.
As a side-note, its lightweight design makes it great for popping ollies while going downhill.
- Great for ollies
- Well balanced
- Camber profile has a learning curve
- Can be difficult to maneuver
5. Burton Ripcord 2020 – Best for Parks
A reliable board, brought to you by a reliable manufacturer, the Ripcord 2020 slightly, improves on the overall design of the previous year’s model.
The Ripcord is a great starter board that will stay with you until master the basics. Feeling flexible enough to withstand all the bumps on the road, but firm enough to keep you steady. You’ll also find the board provides a smooth and easy ride.
Plus, a flat top provides you with a catch-free ride that will make going downhill a total joy!
- Mountain and Park Friendly
- Requires minimum maintenance
- Compatible with an assortment of bindings
- Only stays with you throughout the early stages of Beginner to Intermediate
6. Burton Riglet Snowboard 2020 – Best for Younger Children
We can’t make a fair beginner snowboarder list without including at least one or two boards for kids, and the Riglet Snowboard from Burton is definitely one of the best ones available for them.
Designed to cater specifically to little ones, these boards allow children to gain a firm grasp on all the basics from a relatively young age. It’s perfect for mastering balance, control, and even stoke. Additionally, its EVA pad provides an excellent amount of stability for their little feet.
However, it must be said that this is specifically made to help kids graduate into the next level of snowboarding, and will work perfectly for its intended purpose, but not much else.
- Perfect for kids
- Helps master the basics from an early age
- Great price
- Perfect for flats and the bunny slope
- It’s plastic unlike actual adult snowboards
7. Arbor Formula Rocker 2020 – Best All-Mountain Ride
Arbor is up there with other famous brands such as Burton and Salomon, when it comes to board quality. Their Formula Rocker 2020 is a fantastic snowboard that manages to feel responsive and smooth, while providing a forgiving experience.
The Formula Rocker has a nice profile that makes it harder to catch edges, but even if you did, the design is durable enough to withstand all the bumps and bruises of an early snowboard career.
- Excellent all-around ride
- Super responsive
- Perfect for Powder
- Suitable primarily for beginners and intermediates
8. GNU Recess Asym BTX Snowboard – Best for Older Kids
Older kids want to ride snowboards just as much as as adults, and the GNU Recess Asym is there to fulfill their desires. This mellow and well-balanced ride makes it ridiculously easy to remain in control of the board while practicing the first few runs.
The Asym also features the Original Banana Rocker type, which helps it distribute the weight of the rider across the entire board, and it is easy to maintain as well, helping them learn about the basics of board upkeep.
Kids will love this versatile board as they slowly gain the confidence to go on bigger and wilder downhill trips.
- Excellent for older kids
- Unique Banana Rocker gives it an interesting design
- Great for performance improvement
- Only for kids
How to choose Beginner Snowboards (A Simple Overview)
Buying a snowboard (beginner or otherwise) is quite a journey. It requires an understanding of several factors. But, when choosing a beginner board, you’re looking for a ride that will help you avoid mishaps as you slowly improve your overall skill level.
Below you’ll find a layman’s guide to what criteria to consider when choosing the perfect board for you.
The more of your feet the board can cover the better, riders should opt to cover the majority of their feet, but it’s important to ensure feet feel comfortable and aren’t sitting outside the board.
Keep in mind that leaving your feet outside of it will negatively impact your performance.
Beginners should always opt to go for soft or medium flexes. They’ll make it easier to move your board around and give you better control over your board. Early in your snowboarding career, going fast should not be a priority.
You’ll find seasoned boarders prefer a stiffer ride, and that’s because it provides more control at higher speeds.
The length of your board will have a huge impact on how you ride. Understanding how the size affects you will be the key to choosing your board. Beginners, however, should always opt to go for mid-sized boards as they are well balanced.
Once you’re more familiarized with boarding, you can opt for freeriding (long) or freestyling (short). Longer boards offer more speed and smoother runs, shorter ones are more agile and allow you to catch more air.
The profile of your board will be one of the biggest determining factors into your experience. A good camber profile will affect stability and make turning simpler. Additionally, it will make it harder to catch an edge meaning less wipeouts.
Three profiles that are great for beginners are (in no specific order):
- Hybrid Rocker
- Flat top Rocker
- Hybrid Camber
- Continuous Rocker
As a beginner, you’ll want to avoid the completely flat and traditional cambers.
While this will not affect your ability to learn snowboarding in the least, snowboards come in a variety of designs that are appealing to all sorts of people. Find one that matches your personality and enjoy it for what it is.
Manufacturers tend to provide information on what type of board they’re selling. However, if you can’t find it on the box, reading reviews and even visiting websites will give you a good information on the level suitability of the board.
You’ll find it ranges from beginner all the way to expert.
A good sense of balance will help you master snowboarding, a board that offers a good level of stability will help you master the subtle art of balancing on the board itself. Hybrid boards (known as hybrid camber) offer great levels of stability, allowing you to gain confidence at a good pace and overall improve your skills.
There are four commonly used types of snowboards are:
- Powder: Best for deep snow, they feature shorter tails, wider noses, but makes it harder to catch air.
- Freeride: Balanced for technical riding.
- Freestyle: Short, twin-tipped, and lightweight. They allow for more air and better tricks
- All-Mountain: Highly versatile and suited for any type of terrain. It’s a fan-favorite of a lot of boarders for those same reasons.
As with the typing, you’ll find there are four common shapes of snowboards you can buy:
- Tapered: Perfect for hitting the powder due to their stiff design and featuring a tail that is slimmer than the nose.
- True Twin: Symmetrically shaped and flex, they are suitable for beginners due to their centered stance and other advantages.
- Directional: Short tail, long nose, you will find most of them have a stiffer tail and a softer nose. These are suitable for those boarders who prefer the all-mountain type.
- Directional Twin: The in-between of a true twin and a directional board. They’re great for freeriders, and feature stiff tails and soft noses.
Never spend more than you can afford on a board. Beginner boards will usually be cheaper than an expert one, and if you’re not particularly bothered by appearances, buying used boards can help keep your bank account safer.
A brand new beginner board will run you anywhere from $300+ dollars, but a good price range is anywhere in the three to four hundred dollar amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a beginner snowboard different?
Beginner snowboards are generally easier to turn, and provide a more forgiving experience to those who haven’t quite mastered snowboarding. This in turn creates a better initial experience for the rider and helps avoid them quitting before they even get started.
Short or Long boards?
It just depends on your particular style. Those of you who want more stability would benefit from a longer board with a larger turning radius, they also sit better on top of the snow.
Shorter boards do tend to be beginner friendly, turn easier and sharper.
What’s a sidecut?
The width difference between the nose/tail of the board and the center. They improve the agility and grip of the board as well as cutting into the snow as you turn.
Should I go on the bunny (beginner) slope with my beginner board?
A lot of people will recommend the bunny slope for starters, but if you’re serious about learning the sport avoid it.
Those who bought their own board will typically benefit from slopes that have ample space available, and bunny slopes are chock full of beginners.
Do yourself a favor and avoid it.
I’ve heard of Speed Laces, What are they?
Advanced boarders looking to loosen their boots quickly use speed laces for that reason. However, if you’re reading this, you don’t have any use for them at this moment.
Additionally, they’re extra expenses that you don’t need to spend at the moment and it wouldn’t bring you any particular benefits.
Are beginner boards only for adults?
No, beginner boards are made with riders of all ages in mind. Granted, there are some that specifically cater to children only, but you’ll find that overall the manufacturers offer a variety of products for all walks in life.
Snowboarding is a sport you can enjoy at any age as long as you have the physical fortitude for it. People who buy their own board are obviously serious about the sport
Are there Children Only Beginner Boards?
Yes! In fact, we have two mentioned on our list that are perfect for small kids or older children. These boards are perfect for your little ones, and will help them get started early on snowboarding.
Whether you’re hitting the bunny slope (not recommended) or the black diamond, we can all agree that snowboarding is awesome! But, it’s important to keep in mind the basics at all time. Learning the fundamentals will ensure your safety and enjoyment throughout your trip, but having the proper equipment is important. A proper beginner snowboard will help you get started on your snowboarding journey, and our list gives you eight excellent choices for kids and adults alike.
Once you’re ready to spread your snow wings, you can get a more advanced board. But, until then it’s better to remain safe than sorry, after all you don’t want your snowboarding career to end before it even got started.