Snowboard Glossary

BANNED is located at the bottom of Big Bear Mountains, so here are some useful technical terms


A board is measured flat from one end to the other end along the base. The length of the board affects the distribution of the snowboarder’s weight on the snow and is a good indication as to the handling of the board.


Nose width - Is the measurement of the widest point of the Nose.
Tail width – Measured at the widest point of the tail.
A board should be wide enough so your toes and heels don’t drag over the sides and narrow enough so that your toes and heels aren’t too tar from the edges. The narrower the board, the quicker it is edge to edge. The wider the board, the more stable it will be in landings; it’s easier to ride in power (wider planning surface) and it allows for lower stance angles.


Tip/Tail lengths:
The nose and tail length are measured from the end of the contact points to the end of the board.


The waist is the narrowest point of a snowboard. Regarding Forum models, on the twin Series the waist is usually found midline, on directional series the waist is slightly shifted toward the back. On most Pro-models, the waist is found between the center of the effective edge.


Contact Points:
These are generally defined as the portion of the board that is actually in the contact with the snow when the board is flat.
Effective edge:
Is defined as the portion of the board that is in contact with the snow when the board is being ridden.
Blend Area:
This is the area where the side cut is blended into the effective edge to the starting radius of the Nose and Tail area. The blend area is key for smoother riding.


The inserts are the parts built to the center section of a snowboard, which are used as the receptacles for the bolts that mount your binding to the board. Higher quality M6x12, high-grade stainless steel capped insert are recommended. This prevents rusting and maximum screw penetration without screwing through the board.


Edges are the metal pieces that run along the perimeter of the board from the nose to the tail. The edges are what allow the board to grip the snow while riding. For example, Forum’s material is Rockwell hardened 48, high-grade steel. However, buyers beware! Not all snowboards are built the same.


Configurations of wood strips within the core affect the torsional and longitudinal flex characteristics. A laminated core means that strips of wood are glued together. The more laminates/Strips of wood, the more strength and resistance the core has to warping. Many cores, including Forum, Rome and many other high end are a combination of soft and hard wood for lightweight, snappy lively feeling. The lighter/soft wood is used in interior section, away from the impact areas. Forum and other better brands use hardwoods along the edges and in areas where insert pull out might be a problem.


Dampening is the reduction of vibration or chattering a board may encounter while riding. The use of rubber foil-a micro porous dampening agent is used by many snowboard brands, which also adds to the board’s structural integrity.


Base Materials:
The material that is on the bottom of the board that comes in contact with the snow. This material is often referred to as Ptex: originally produced and supplied to ski manufacturers by European-based company – Elan.


Sintered Ptex:
This material is made by packing polyethylene powder into a cake that is heated and compressed (sintered) to form a log, or a billet. The material is then shaved off in thin layers to the desired thickness. Technically, sintered material is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, meaning it has a very large molecular chain length. The advantages of this over the extruded Ptex are numerous: 20-25% higher abrasion and impact resistance also the ability to absorb two times more wax.


Extruded Ptex:
A low molecular weight polyethylene that is manufactured by heating up above 150F and pressure feeding it through a die or a slot to the desired shape and thickness.


Camber is measured by the arc of a board along its effective edge length; it is the amount of vertical height between the base of board and a flat surface without any pressure applied. Camber gives riders that extra spring and snap as a board rebounds out of a turn, allowing acceleration instead of slowing the rider down. Camber reacts to a person’s body weight allowing the board to carve.


Side cut:
Side cut is what gives the board its hourglass shape. A board starts wider at the nose, narrows towards the center and becomes wider again at the tail. The side cut helps a board carve by distributing pressure along the length of the board. A simple rule: boards with deeper side cuts (the lower the number) handle tight and/or turn quicker with ease. Forum for example, has what is called Fblend, that is a blend of different side cuts together, allowing easy turn initiation and more stability during transition from edge to edge. The slightly larger sidecut towards the nose and tail are blended into a steeper side cut toward the midsection of the board creating a well-balanced feel.


Torsional Flex:
Torsional flex is the flexibility of a board from edge to edge. Torsional flex can be felt by the force it takes to twist the nose in one direction, and the tail in the opposite direction. Torsional rigidity (stiffness) gives better holding power on ice or hard packed snow and more stability at higher speeds. This is because the nose and tail are more responsive to your edging power. Rigid boards, however, require more energy and power from the rider to initiate turns. Bards with softer torsion are usually more forgiving.


Longitudinal flex:
Longitudinal flex is the relative flexibility (softness and stiffness) a board has along its center axis. This flex pattern dictates the arc the board takes while carving a turn on its edge.


Snowboard parts:
Cap Technology:
The outside layer of material forms a one-piece top and sidewall combination. Forum cap technology provides all the torsional stiffness necessary to hold an edge without sacrificing the longitudinal flex.


Prepreg Tri-axial glass:
Forums’ fiberglass prepreg matrix contains a combination of fiberglass stitched in three directions (+45°, -45°, 0°).
This matrix is the strongest and the most responsive reinforcement available. Each matrix is tailored to each boards’s specific geometry, weight and flex, giving each board it’s own unique ride.