You might think of a snowboard as a cross between an alpine ski and a surfboard, or as a very fat alpine ski. It traces its origins to a sliding device called a"Snurfer" that appeared in the 1960s and consisted of a simple board with a tether rope attached to the tip, which you held on to for all you were worth while you careened downhill.
By about the early 1980s, pioneers such as Tom Sims, Jake Burton Carpenter, and Demetre Malovich were designing hoards that incorporated the properties of an alpine ski, enabling them to turn easily.
Like a ski, the tip and tail of a snowboard are wider than its narrow waist, a design aspect known as "sidecut."
A snowboard works in much the same manner as an edged ski. When you tilt the board to make a turn and the weight of your body presses down against the board's center, the board bends like a bow. This bending property causes the board to carve an arced turn as the steel edges cut into the snow surface like a knife.Like skis, boards are manufactured around a core of wood or foam wrapped and sandwiched with composite materials like fiberglass and Kevlar. They come in different lengths for people of different weights, ranging between 130 and 170 centimeters (between about 4 and 5.5 feet), and incorporating different flex patterns.
Freestyling boards generally are"softer," meaning they flex, or bow, more easily when you press on the center. This allows the boarder to spin radically on the snow and otherwise perform his tricks. To help them turn more quickly, freestyle boards rate low in "swing weight," the effort it takes to rotate the board when a rider jumps into the air, and are designed with a turned-up tail and tip so the boarder can travel backward unimpeded.
Stiffer boards are used for alpine boarding or racing. They have less tendency to distort or skip when put on edge while carving at higher speeds. Their tails don't turn up (this property is known as "kick") because they must keep as much of their edge on the snow as possible
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication