Like many sports, the kind of gear you buy for riding may depend on what you plan to do. Just as there are differences between, say, mountain bikes and racing bikes, or racing skis and powder skis, there are differences in snowboards. In snowboarding, you can become as much of a gear and gadget geek as you can with other sports (though perhaps not as much as, say, fishing). You can also become a near-fanatical devotee to your particular form of riding or style of equipment. If you tried snowboarding years ago and haven’t seen a snowboard since, recent years have seen a lot of interesting new developments.
An “all-around” board can serve several kinds of riding styles, but you can also buy gear that is especially strong in one area. How much money do you want to spend, and how much room is in your garage or basement?
Freestyle (trick) riding lends itself to softer, flexible boots as well as boards. Extreme carving lends itself to hard boots and stiff boards. Riding in powder is easier with a wider board. If you like to ride at high speeds, a stiffer board is your friend.
Your specialty ski/snowboard shop can help you pick the right equipment, based on your skill level, favorite mountain, and type of riding. To read more, see our page, Which snowboard is for you?