Defining The Lingo

Capped-A construction term. Capped boards have a topsheet that wraps all the way to the metal edges. The other main construction technique is sandwich (see definition).

Dampen(Damp)-To deaden or decrease unwanted vibrations and the resulting instability. A “damp” board is one that rides smoothly and doesn’t chatter on hard snow.

Directional-Boards with longer noses than tails designed to be ridden primarily in one direction. Nose length and shape adds versatility for freeriding in varied snow conditions. Sidecut and binding positions are set “back of center,” toward the tail.

Effective Edge-The length of the edge that comes in contact with the snow when turning-usually 25- to 35-centimeters shorter than the overall board length. Determines how long a board feels.

Inserts-Threaded-steel holes in a board’s topsheet to which the bindings are attached. A four-hole pattern is standard, except in the case of Burton, who uses a three-hole layup. Six-millimeter screws are used in groups of six, eight, or ten to accommodate different stance widths.

Length-The distance from the tip of the board’s nose to the end of its tail, measured in centimeters.

Longitudinal flex-The degree to which a board bends from tip to tail when pressure is applied to it. Commonly referred to as “flex.”

P-Tex-A brand name of polyethylene plastic that makes up the base of most snowboards. Available in sintered and extruded varieties. Sintered being higher performance.

Sandwich-The traditional method of snowboard construction in which layers of material are stacked on top of the base in a specific order; usually fiberglass, wood, more fiberglass, and a topsheet made of plastic. Unlike capped boards, a sidewall is created along the edge by a strip of plastic (called ABS).

Sidecut-The curvature along the edge of the board that determines the turn size a board will make. Essentially, the difference between the board’s tip and tail (wide points) when compared to the waist (narrow point), measured in millimeters of depth.

Sidecut Radius-An estimate of turn size based on the theoretical circle the sidecut arc would create if the board tracked on edge for 360 degrees. Variations include elliptical, parabolic, progressive, multi-, tri-radial, etc. Measured in meters (e.g., 8.6 meters). The smaller the number, the deeper the sidecut (see “Sidecut” above) and the tighter the turn the board will make.

Torsional Flex-The degree to which a board bends or twists from side to side (edge to edge). Also called torsional rigidity.

Twin-Tip-A symetrically shaped board that has identical nose and tail outlines to facilitate riding in either direction. Most commonly used for freestyle.

Waist Width-The narrowest point of the board, usually found near the center (between your feet). This measurement, in centimeters, determines what boot size the board will accommodate as well as its quickness edge to edge.