Looking for a sure-fire way to put a beginner snowboarder off for life? Easy – just give them a wildly inappropriate board that leaves them pained, frustrated, reeling from multiple edge-catches, and 100% over it.
"A decent entry-level board might last you years – so it’s something worth putting a lot of thought into"
Fortunately there’s no shortage of appropriate snowboards that are designed to make the first tentative steps into snowboarding as enjoyable as possible. They’re all relatively soft, so that it’ll be you showing it who’s boss - rather than the other way round.
That’s not to say that all of them are ‘beginner’ snowboards per se – our experienced Test Team certainly enjoyed riding some of these at full pelt, making them a great choice for the rider looking for a fun, flexy stick to pack alongside their powder gun.
Therefore while these are great for those first linked turns, you won’t have to upgrade to something ‘better’ as soon as you’re getting the hang of things. A decent entry-level board might last you years – so it’s something worth putting a lot of thought into.
Here’s what we recommend for 2017/18.
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Bataleon Feelbetter Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
Our tester singled this out as the ideal entry-level board for the female looking to progress quickly.
It’s soft and forgiving enough to make grasping the basics easy (especially with the 3BT), but when you’re way past the green runs it holds up well.
It’s more than just a set of training wheels, then.
Burton Instigator Snowboard 2017-2018
The Clash may be gone, but its replacement is just as adept at getting beginners up to speed as quickly as possible.
When learning turns is the priority, its directional shape gives you a helping hand, and the flat profile means that edge catches are less likely.
Expert riders love it too, so you won’t find yourself outgrowing it.
Lib Tech Skate Banana Snowboard 2017-2018
For the beginner that’s wanting a fast-track to freestyle, we always recommend the Lib Tech Skate Banana.
The profile gives you more room for error in the early stages, but when you’re ready to make more confident turns the wavy edges provide extra stability.
Then when it’s time to try buttering your first box, it’s ideal.
Nidecker Angel Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
The Nidecker Angel shares a lot of characteristics with the higher-end Divine, so it can hold a line when you’re ready for that.
It’s a little softer, though, making it easier to manipulate when you’re still perfecting those first turns - and for those still not sure how far they’ll be taking their snowboarding, it’s a lot less money with which to part.
Rome Mechanic Snowboard 2017-2018
The Rome Mechanic boasts a flat profile that’s very beginner-friendly, but compensates for the lack of edge bite with a clever sidecut.
That won’t interfere when you’re trying to master the basics, but when you’re ready to pick up speed it’s got your back.
It’s not the softest entry-level board out there, but if you put the effort in you’ll love its fibreglass rod-assisted pop.
Salomon Pulse Snowboard 2017-2018
This one used to be flat, but it now boasts a mostly-camber profile. You’ll have to watch those contact points at first, but once you’ve got the hang of things there’s more pop and edge grip on hand when you need it.
It’s quite soft, so you can twist the board through the waist with ease, and the pre-detuned nose and tail are helpful too.
YES Emoticon Women's Snowboard 2017-2018
The YES Basic has long helped fledgling riders develop their skills, and the Emoticon does the same for females.
The ‘Underbite’ edge tech is a really neat feature that makes those first turns even smoother, and put a big smile on the face of our expert Test Team too.