, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 93-101,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 26 Nov 2008

Investigation of snowboard stiffness and camber characteristics for different riding styles


Previous research has indicated that the flex pattern and camber of a snowboard are crucial to its perceived “feel”, or the physical and psychological feedback given to the rider whilst snowboarding. These features are the primary cause of variation in snowboard performance for different riding styles. Consequently, this article deals with the identification of stiffness and camber characteristics for freestyle, freeride and versatile test boards, and their statistical correlation to a comprehensive list of qualitative feel-based performance requirements. It has been determined that the test boards spanning the major styles all possessed similar bending profiles, that were highly representative of each snowboard’s respective thickness distribution. The torsional stiffness curves however appeared to be driven by the composite architecture used in construction. Unsurprisingly, the freeride test board showed the greatest level of overall stiffness. The versatile board exhibited the greatest fluctuation in bending stiffness along the chord, whereas the freestyle profile was far more even throughout, with less variation from tip to tail. All of the subjective performance parameters except forgiveness showed positive associations to the body stiffness and camber, with manoeuvrability exhibiting the strongest correlations. The forgiveness showed the exact opposite trend, implying that higher levels of flex and less camber promotes a forgiving snowboard.