Snowboarders tend to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: Some snowboarders live to hike backcountry trails in search of perfect powder runs; other snowboarders stick to half-pipes or park areas. Finding your own tempo as a snowboarder can be a bit of a tricky proposition; however, a bit of experience will help to discover your own leanings and unique styles as a snowboarding aficionado.


Here are just four major types of snowboarders and why they each make the sport special.


The Half-Pipe Rider

When it comes to snowboarding, half-pipe riders are certainly a breed apart. Closely related to ramp-style skateboarders, half-pipe riders are able to push themselves to truly breathtaking speeds and heights due to the steep inclines of half-pipes. This high-velocity riding enables half-pipe snowboarders to achieve astonishing levels of complexity with regard to tricks.


Half-pipes are not for the faint of heart and might not be for beginners. However, people who love half-pipes tend to swear by them.


The Powder Rider

Because of their soft and smooth rides, some snowboarders are simply passionate about powder runs. You’ll probably find these types of snowboarders on trails in places like Utah and Colorado after big snowstorms. Some riders even hire out helicopters to locate untouched powder runs on resort-free slopes!


Some powder riders love hiking off the beaten path to backcountry areas with no set boundaries. However, riders of this type definitely need to make sure that they’ve scouted out their runs ahead of time. Safety precautions are essential in such areas.


Park Rider

Park riders usually love the conceptual overlap between snowboarding and skateboarding. Doing complex “jib” tricks on rails is a specialty of park riders. These types of snowboarders usually hang out in special areas within mountain resorts and do plenty of hiking to get in their favorite ramps and rails. But their approach to snowboarding always pushes the sport forward.


Free Rider

A free rider loves nothing more than a season pass and a quiet lift line. They’re not necessarily big on tricks or fancy park riding; however, free riders do love great snow and a bit of a challenge. You’ll probably see them on black diamond runs at some of the country’s biggest ski resorts. These riders simply love snowboarding as an activity in itself.