Variance in size and shape adapted to the size of the board made a distinct, skill levels, snow types, and styles. Short boards are usually considered youth size, designed for use by children, although some types of short boards are specifically designed for special purposes, such as the performance of snowboarding tricks. The trick is to occur in Snowpark with freestyle skiers.
The bottom or 'base' of the snowboard is generally made of various constructions of plastic, and is surrounded by a thin strip of steel, known as the 'edge'. Especially printed artwork on PBT using the sublimation process in the 1990s, but poor color retention and fade after moderate use high-end manufacturers to move to a durable material.
Snowboards come in several different styles, depending on the type of riding intended:
Freestyle: The most common type. Generally shorter in length with a form of Semi-directional or twin-tip. Moderate to soft in flex. Combining a deep sidecut for quick / tight turning. Used pipe and in the park on various jumps and terrain features including boxes, rails, and tables.
Park / Jib (rails): flexible and short, twin shaped with twin flexible to allow the switch is easy to ride, wider stance, with the edges filed dull. Used for skateboard-park like snowboard parks.
Freeride: longer in length, and semi-directional. Moderate to stiff in flex. Used for long, fast turns in various types of snow from hard-pack prepared into a fine powder.
All-Mountain: Also very common. A mixture of freeride and freestyle boards. The 'jack of all trades, master of none.' Usually the focus on good form with flexible twin or directional.
Split: Not to be confused with the swallow-tail, the split board consists of a stable powder board that can be divided into two touring skis, used when hiking in the outback conditions.
Racing / Alpine: long, narrow, rigid form, and directed. Used for slalom and giant slalom races, the board is designed to excel on the slopes of neat. Most often saddled with the "hard" plastic snowboard boot (similar to a ski boot), but also ridden recreationally with soft boots, particularly by riders in Europe.
Snowboards are generally constructed of hardwood core sandwiched between multiple layers or fiberglass. Some snowboards incorporate the use of more exotic materials like carbon fiber, Kevlar, Aluminium (as a honeycomb core structure), and even incorporated Piezo dampers. The front (or "nose,") the board is upside down to help the board glide over uneven snow. The back (or "tail") board also reversed to enable backwards (or "switch") riding. Base (the board that contacts the ground) is made of Polyethylene plastic.
Two main types of base construction are Extruded and Sintered. Extruded base is the basic, low-maintenance design which basically consists of a plastic base material melted into its form. A sintered base uses the same material as an Extruded base, but first grinds the material into a powder, then, using heat and pressure, molds the material into a desired shape. A sintered base is generally softer than the co-extruded, but has a porous structure that allows it to absorb wax. This wax absorption (along with 'hot wax' is performed), greatly reducing the friction between the base and the snow surface. Snowboards with sintered bases are much faster, but requires a semi-regular maintenance and are easier to damage. Base-edge snowboard equipped with a thin strip of steel, only a few millimeters wide. This steel edge allows the board to grab or 'dig' for snow and ice hard (like the blade of an ice skate), and also protects the internal structure of the board.