Once you master the snowboard learning curve, the sport becomes addicting. If you find yourself in this predicament -- having powder dreams as fall segues into winter -- then it's time to fully adopt this extreme sport. But, with the plethora of board styles available -- true twin, directional and directional twin -- how do you first choose gear that suits your riding style? For a board that transitions smoothly from pow to park, opt for a directional twin. This versatile all-mountain weapon grows with you as your snowboarding skills progress and eliminates the need for owning a quiver.
The symmetrical look of a twin-tip board may confuse the snowboard newcomer. You may wonder which end goes in front. Look closely, this board style often contains directional graphics or a small arrow near the binding inserts that reveals the front end. You can ride a twin-tip board forward or backwards, making it the perfect board for fakie riding or for venturing into the halfpipe. If you plan to challenge your skills with advanced freestyle maneuvers, a twin-tip board will accelerate the learning process.
Combining the twin shape with a directional flex makes the direction twin an all-mountain annihilator. Boards with a directional flex pattern are stiffer in the tail than in the nose. This stiff rear allows stability and control at higher speeds and the flexible nose absorbs terrain inconsistencies and floats effortlessly in powder snow. The board's stiff tail also acts as a springboard should you want to become air-bound. Test out the technology by popping off your back foot and ollying off the jump's lip.
Directional twin snowboards contain setback sidecuts, or curves, on either edge. Shifting the sidecut slightly to the rear creates a longer nose, lending a floatation advantage in deep snow. Unlike a true twin with a centered sidecut, suitable more for hardpack riding, the directional twin always finds the surface in deep snow. No need for altering the binding placement.
Terrain and Conditions
Directional twin boards excel in all conditions. The narrow waist and set-back sidecut turn easily on hardpack, requiring only slight body movements. The long nose floats in deep powder and the symmetrical shape makes trick initiation and fakie riding easier. As a freeride board, the directional tackles the steeps, the groomers and the powder -- without holding you back in the halfpipe.
Christina Shepherd McGuire writes articles about adventure sports, fashion, mothering and natural living. Since 2003, her work has appeared in "Action Outdoor and Bike Magazine," "Teton Family Magazine," "The Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine" and several online publications. McGuire holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.