How to find the nose of your snowboard

It might seem like a silly question, but it is very common to see people who come into the shop with their board set up the wrong way.

Before we get started on making sure you are riding your board the right way, we need to go through the different types of board shapes.

There are 3 main types of board shapes, which are:

  • Twin
  • Directional
  • Directional Twin

Twin shaped snowboards

Twin shaped snowboards are named twin because they have the exact same shape on the nose and the tail.snowboard shape twin

Twin boards are the only ones that can be set up to ride any way, there wouldn’t be any difference what way you ride them, as they are symmetrical each way. The sidecut (giant circle that is cut out to make the shape_ is centered on the board, which is what makes it ride with the same feel if you are riding it regular or switch.

Directional snowboards

Directional snowboards have a slightly larger nose than the tail, and often have a sidecut that starts closer to the tail. A directional snowboard will have easier turn initiation when riding it in the normal direction, but will ride a little strangely switch, as the sidecut is doing the opposite of what it was designed to.

Powder boards, race boards and some of the more aggressive all-mountain boards will have the directional shape.

snowboard shape directional


Directional Twin snowboards

These are a combination between the twin and the directional shapes, made to give you the best of both worlds. Nice turning, but still have a good feel if you are riding it switch. Although not always true, most directional twin boards have a twin (symmetrical) shape, but have a directional flex, where the tail is stiffer than the nose.

snowboard shape directional twin

Setting up your snowboard the right way

snowboard nose at the topIf you have a twin board, it doesn’t matter at all which way you set up your board, the only thing that is going to change is the direction of the graphics. For all other boards, there is one easy way to tell what the nose of your snowboard is.

If you imagine your board standing up in a shop, there will be some text on it, normally in the middle of the board that you can read while it is standing up. This means that the top of the board is the nose. So far I have never run across a board that doesn’t follow this rule.

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