Finding the Right Snowboard Flex

Go take out a really stiff snowboard. Better yet, take it into the trees and try to control it, even at slow speeds. Seriously. If it’s not your style, you’ll get bucked around wild bronco style, like the board is riding you versus you riding the board. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s a good reason to get out your flex meter and find out what stiffness fits your style of riding before buying a snowboard.

First, the two types of flex:

Torsional Flex is the flex across the width of a snowboard, between the two edges, and defines how a board holds its edge. More (softer) torsional flex will make it easier to twist the board and initiate sharp-radius turns, and manipulate the board on park features.

Longitudinal Flex…. you guessed it, is the flex of the snowboard going the long way, from tip to tail. Freestyle riders prefer a softer longitudinal flex as well, for laying down ‘butters’, boardslides and bonks without catching an edge.

The longitudinal flex will either be balanced through the length of the board or progressive, ie. progressively stiffer towards the nose, or softer. For example, a softer nose than tail is ideal for soft snow because it resists diving beneath the surface, while the stiffer tail helps maintain edge control and create ‘pop’.

Really it comes down to personal preference, and most boards will have a flex rating on a scale of 1-10. Once you’ve gauged your own flex preferences, that’s a good place to start. And remember, the softer the flex the easier a board is to turn, but if it’s too soft you won’t feel stable committing to turns at high speed. -MH

29 Responses to “Finding the Right Snowboard Flex”


  1. Mike on said:

    hi house, i have a 2010 dc pbj 144cm, but am looking for something a little biger im thinking on the pbj 2011 149cm but i’d like to ask if it is just as good as the 2010 modal, like does the rocker effect any thing like the speed, turning/handling,or flex of the board or any thing like that. the 2010 is a perfect board for what i need it for but i need it a hiar bigger and i want to try out a rocker, and if u want can u give me any suggestions.
    my hight is 5’5″, boot is a 8, my wieght is 130-140


  2. Andrew on said:

    HI so I am looking for a very forgiving park board. I’m looking for something set aside more for boxes and rails then park. Easy flex for presses and all. As of currently i’m looking into a stairmasater. I was looking for your opinion on that. I would like to stay to a cheaper budget.

    I’m 5 8 weigh about 130


  3. Andrew on said:

    HI so I am looking for a very forgiving park board. I’m looking for something set aside more for boxes and rails then jumps.it will be used for urban. Easy flex for presses and all. As of currently i’m looking into a stairmasater. I was looking for your opinion on that. I would like to stay to a cheaper budget.

    I’m 5 8 weigh about 130


  4. gufrocks on said:

    Hey Andrew- The Capita Stairmaster is a perfect board for street. You should also check out the Forum Contract, Signal Rocker or Park, Stepchild Street Recession, and Ride Kink.


  5. hey man,
    I am a 5’8 160-170lb male who is going to spend most of my time on the east coast mountains in virginia. mostly wintergreen where conditions can be less than ideal at times. rarely ever is there a lot of powder and at night i find that it can get icey. i like to spend equal time on terrain park and just cruisin the mountain looking for fun stuff to shred. im looking for a board, knowing all of this what would you reccomend?


  6. I would recommend check out the new Lib Tech Hot Knife. If you like control and power it would bea great board.


  7. William on said:

    I’m 5-10 about 195lbs, male. Currently looking for a new board, perhaps a powder board. I enjoy riding deep powder and through wooded areas, mainly. I don’t spend much time in the terrain park, but do enjoy a good jump every now and then. Any ideas?


  8. im looking for a snowboard with soft flex and some good pop 5’3 and 123 pounds


  9. Hi
    I am 5’9 and 198lb male. I mostly snowboard on pisted slopes, occasionally powder and a few runs in the park. Have not been on a snowboard for 15years but keen to get going again. What type/brand etc would you recommend?


  10. Hey Fred,
    Based on you size you going to want to get about board around 157-159cm. I would suggest check out the Burton Process Flying V.

    Another board you should check out is the Rossignol One Magtek. This is one of my favorite boards to ride and it is great on groomed runs and in the back country.

    If you would like some more help feel free to give me call at 1 800 409 7669 just ask for Dana.


  11. Hey Wyatt. Check out the Ride Kink. It has a med flex but it will give you the pop you desire.


  12. Gotta love the pow! I would check out the Barracuda.

    Another board that I really like to ride all over is the Capita Totally FK’N Awesome. There is not much I can say about it except that it is Totally Awesome! It has a Hybrid camber shape. Meaning it has cambered under foot for control and rockered up in the tip and tail to make the board more forgiving and adding extra float in the powder.


  13. Derek on said:

    Been riding a burton blunt , 156, I’m really into big jumps, and back country freestyle but at the same time deff spend time in the parks, I’m looking for something lighter and more flex , any ideas for new boards , thanks Derek


  14. gufrocks on said:

    Hey Derek,

    If you want to stay with in the Burton line like the Blunt I’d suggest checking out the Process Flying V (http://www.the-house.com/9852btprfv14zz-burton-snowboards.html). Although the Process has a similar feel rating as the Blunt it will be a little better for big jumps and floating in pow because of the Flying V profile bend which is combination of stable camber and loose rocker.

    -Guf


  15. Nathan on said:

    Hey I got a DC ply last year good board but I want something with alittle more flex i’m really into park don’t go any where else also getting into street wondering if you had any suggestions on a board i like a shorter board as well I’m 5,9 185lbs
    thanks nathan


  16. Casper on said:

    Hi im looking for a board that has a lot of flex. I only ride park, and love jibbing and buttering. Any boards u could prefer
    I really like rome, capita and stepchild but open for new brands


  17. Casper on said:

    Hi Im looking for a board that has a lot of flex. I only ride park, and love jibbing and buttering. Any board u could refer
    I really like rome, capita and stepchild but open for new brands

    Thanks
    Casper


  18. Check out the Salomon Sanchez and the Rome Artifact.


  19. I would suggest check out the Nitro Haze


  20. Natalie on said:

    Hi. the board i have now is way too stiff and is hard to maneuver down the hill. Im looking for something with a little more flexibility so that I can go down the hill and have fun carving in and out. Im female about 5’8, what board would you suggest?


  21. Dominick on said:

    Hey I have been riding an all mountain board(wild life-ride). It’s awesome for bombing the mountain and hitting big jumps for me. I use it for the park but it’s not forgiving.
    I want to start buttering/jibbing with also park riding with rails and small/medium jumps. What board(s) would you recommend that is not stiff and able to perform the above.
    I am 5’11″ 200lbs with size 13 feet so a wide board would have to come into play.
    Thanks in advance!


  22. For guys with big feet…. I am a huge fan of the Lib Tech Skunk Ape.


  23. Ardeshir on said:

    Hey House, i am looking for a forgiving board that will hit rails and butter but will do good at high speeds. I want it more freestyle but want control. Thanks


  24. Dana on said:

    How much do you weigh and what size feet do you have? Also, where do you ride?


  25. Ardeshir on said:

    I weigh 130 shoe size 10.5-11 and i ride anywhere from Vermont to North Carolina but want to expand out west (Utah or Colorado )


  26. Ardeshir on said:

    I am looking at the Burton superhero2013 would that be a good choice and fit my criteria?


  27. Ardeshir on said:

    The house, inward also thinking about the k2 slayblade what is your opinion


  28. Dana on said:

    A superhero wide would be a pretty good option. When you say expand to to Utah or Colorado… do you mean move to or just a vacation?


  29. Ardeshir on said:

    Currently vacation but hopefully in the near future move

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