Can You Ride Switch On A Directional Snowboard?

by Tom

Riding switch is one of the greatest challenges in snowboarding. Not only does it feel unnatural, it’s utterly depressing to go from cruising in your normal stance to struggling to even stay upright!

However, there are a few ways to make your life easier. Using the right snowboard certainly helps. But can you ride switch on a directional snowboard? 

You can ride switch on a directional snowboard, although it may be marginally more difficult than on a true twin snowboard. Directional snowboards have a longer nose than tail, meaning they ride slightly differently in either direction. 

But does a directional snowboard make it more difficult to learn switch riding? Let’s take a look. 

Can You Learn To Ride Switch On A Directional Snowboard?

Directional snowboards have a slightly longer nose than tail. This allows the board to float and turn better in powder. Why? The tail sinks down, keeping the nose floating high above the snow. 

Unfortunately this means that the board is not quite symmetrical. They are therefore not necessarily the best snowboards for riding in switch. 

But can you learn to ride switch on a directional snowboard?

Yes. Traditionally, riders were told that directional snowboards are too difficult for switch riding. However, modern snowboards are good enough that directional snowboards are more than capable of switch riding. Most snowboarders won’t even notice the difference. 

This does depend on just how directional the board is though. Some powder boards have almost zero tail. This will certainly present a challenge! 


Additionally, boards with specialized powder tails (like the image above) will add an extra layer of difficulty. Is switch riding possible? Yes. Is it pleasant? Nope!

So which snowboards are best for riding switch?

Do You Need A Twin Snowboard To Ride Switch?

You don’t strictly need a true twin snowboard to ride switch. However, as twin snowboards are identical in either direction, switch riding will be much easier than with other snowboard shapes. 

If you’re new to switch riding and keen to learn, a twin snowboard is the easiest option!

Final Thoughts

If you have a directional snowboard and want to learn switch, get out there and give it a go. Don’t worry – switch snowboarding feels awkward on any snowboard at first! A twin board is not a quick fix. 

However, if you’re buying your first board with plans to progress to switch riding (which you should), then consider picking up an all-mountain twin. 

Hopefully that helped? 

For more tips on how to ride switch, head over to our learn to ride section. 

Good luck!

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Stiene Desimpelaere March 3, 2023 - 7:28 pm


I’m a regular snowboarder with a directional board. I want to practice my switch riding. Is it better that I change my stance or can I leave it at -18/+6?

Kind regards

Fraser March 3, 2023 - 8:20 pm

Hi Stiene!

If you plan to keep those stance angles all the time and only ride switch occasionally, you’ll be fine. Of course your regular and switch riding will not be symmetrical, which will make it slightly harder. You’ll adjust to that pretty quickly though.

The issue with reverting to a true duck stance (say 15/15) is that even in regular stance you won’t feel natural and you’ll be relearning turns both ways (to some extent). So it’s probably easier overall to stick with what you know.

The exception would be if you’re relatively new to snowboarding and plan to progress into freestyle. If you do want to advance in freestyle (which includes a lot of switch riding) then I’d give 15/15 or 12/12 a try. This is only a marginal difference for your front foot and you can always go back.

Hope that helps?



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