Freeriding - Out of Bounds Freedom
Untouched powder as far as the eye can see, out in the open, and there’s nobody around but you, your freeride snowboard and your riding buddy. It’s the kind of thing you can only experience away from the groomed pistes - snow covered faces that aren’t serviced by any lifts… the backcountry.
Freeriding has always been an important part of snowboarding’s rich history and was pioneered by legends like Craig Kelly. These days, riders like Jeremy Jones, Nicolas Müller and Travis Rice are pushing the sport to a whole new level with each of their new films and video parts. But you don’t have to be a fully paid professional to get your fair share of sweet powder turns. With the right equipment, you too can get out and experience the backcountry in all its majesty. Alongside the right snowwear and touring equipment (an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel), you’re going to want a freeride snowboard and bindings.
Experience Unforgettable Backcountry Lines with the Right Freeride Snowboard
Freeride snowboards differ from freestyle boards in both shape and ride characteristics. The nose of a freeride board tends to be longer and often wider than the tail because your binding inserts are normally set further back towards the tail, which tapers off somewhat. A directional twin shape is a good all-round performer as the board is still essentially a twin board with the bindings set further back towards the tail. A tapered board on the other hand, such as the Salomon Derby, is designed specifically for freeriding.
When choosing a snowboard for the backcountry, always go for a board that’s longer than you would normally ride on piste. Doing so will make for a smoother, floatier ride in deep powder. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t release the beast on backcountry booters or jib the odd tree stump here and there. So once again, when choosing a backcountry snowboard, keep these things in mind:
- A directional twin or tapered shape will give you more float
- Freeride snowboards are always longer and wider
- Snowboards, snowboard bindings, and snowboard boots should all complement each other.
Searching for that Backcountry Feeling? You’re Spoilt for Choice
There are a number of brands who specialise in freeriding, like Jones Snowboards and Lib Tech. As well as a range of varied designs, you can also choose between boards with powder rocker, traditional camber or a hybrid construction. Due to their shape, rocker boards offer a tonne of float and tend to be softer and more playful. A standard camber board will guarantee you good edge hold no matter what the conditions. Hybrid camber boards combine the best of both worlds and are the ideal all-round solution. The Burton Custom is a good example of a directional twin and is available with hybrid camber (the Custom Flying V) or standard camber (Custom). Similar concepts are available in the Nitro Black Light, for example, or from other brands like K2, Arbor, Neversummer or Flow.
Naturally, there’s plenty of choice for ladies who love to shred out of bounds. Alongside the Burton Feelgood and the Salomon Pillow Talk you’ll find a huge selection of female specific freeride boards from a whole host of other great brands.
Back to the Roots for the Line of a Lifetime
A whole new category of freeride snowboards has appeared that take their inspiration from old-school shapes, first-gen snowboards and surfing. Boards like Bataleon’s Cameltoe or the Slash Straight by Gigi Rüf have been specially designed with fish tails to make it feel like you’re surfing one long perfect wave of powder snow. Even more extreme is the swallow tail found on boards like the Burton FT Pile Driver. Also worth checking out is the Capita Springbreak, a wider board with a super light Surflite™ core that generates unbelievable amounts of float in the pow. These are boards for true pow-hounds and soul surfers looking for the line of a lifetime.
At Blue Tomato you’ll find an extensive, carefully chosen selection of the best freeride snowboards. Make sure you’re ready for the next big dump and get your new freeride snowboard in the Blue Tomato Online Shop.