directional twin vs true twin snowboards

Directional Twin vs True Twin Snowboards

by Ben

Staring at the snowboard rack and feeling a little “snowed” under?

Don’t sweat it.

Happens to the best of us!

To help simplify your decision, let’s address the ever-present “directional twin vs true twin” debate.

That way you’ll be armed with the right knowledge to pull the trigger on your favorite board. 

Choosing Between Directional Twin and True Twin Snowboards

Before diving deeper into the specifics, let’s first understand what they represent.

A “true twin” snowboard is exactly symmetrical, with identical nose and tail measurements and a centered binding position.

Conversely, the “directional twin” is slightly asymmetrical, with a more pronounced nose than tail, and the bindings are often setback slightly towards the tail.

Each type of snowboard has its pros and cons, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision.

True Twin Snowboards

True twin snowboards are perfectly symmetrical, designed with a centered stance and a uniform flex.

They are versatile and well-suited to freestyle riding, especially spins, jumps, and switch riding.

While they offer a playful and balanced ride, they may not provide the same speed, stability, and powder performance as their directional twin counterparts.

true twin snowboard shapes

Best For: Freestyle and all-mountain riding
Worst For: Freeriding (especially powder)

Pros
  • Symmetry: Perfectly balanced shape for switch riding and tricks.
  • Flexibility: Uniform flex enhances control and predictability.
  • Freestyle Focus: Ideal for park, spins, jumps, and jibs.
  • Versatility: Performs decently on various terrains and suited to all skill levels.
  • Playfulness: Designed for fun, allowing for creative and spontaneous riding.

     

Cons
  • Powder Performance: Can struggle in deep powder.
  • Speed and Stability: Might lack the stability and speed of a directional twin.
  • Carving: Not as effective for carving as directional twins (though still very capable).

Directional Twin Snowboards

Directional twin snowboards have a slightly longer nose and slightly setback bindings. 

They are still a “twin” between the contact points (hence the name). The radial sidecut is equal on both sides – unlike fully directional snowboards which have progressive sidecuts

Compared to their true twin counterparts, they perform better on groomed runs, powder, and at high speeds. This marginally reduces their switch riding and park capabilities. 

directional twin snowboards

Best For: All-mountain riding (including freestyle)
Worst For: Powder – better than a true twin, but can’t match a directional powder board. 

Pros
  • Speed: Built for speed, providing more stability (when riding forwards).
  • Powder Performance: The slightly longer nose is helpful with floatation. 
  • Carving: Marginally better than true twins
  • All-Mountain Riding: Ideal for all-mountain adventures.
  • Versatility: Performs well on various terrains.
Cons
  • Switch Riding: Not quite as effective for switch riding.
  • Freestyle Limitations: May not perform quite as well in the park (though still very capable).
  • Learning Curve: Could be slightly more challenging for beginners due to the asymmetry and stance offset.

Directional Twin vs True Twin

To make the decision even easier for you, let’s take a look at them side by side. 

1. Comparison Diagram

2. Comparison Table

Option #1
Directional Twin Snowboards
Option #2
True Twin Snowboards
Product
Shape
Shape
Slightly asymmetrical, longer nose
Completely symmetrical
Flex
Flex
Often a twin flex. Sometimes a stiffer tail and softer nose
Same flex from tip to tail
Binding Position/Stance
Binding Position/Stance
Set slightly towards the tail
Centered
Performance
Performance
Enhanced on groomed runs, powder, and at high speed
Excellent for park, freestyle, and switch riding
Suitable For
Suitable For
Riders who slightly prefer carving and all-mountain riding
Riders who engage in freestyle snowboarding and like versatility (can also be used for all-mountain)
Maneuverability
Maneuverability
Excellent in various terrains
Superior in tricks and rotations
Ability Level
Ability Level
Beginner - Expert
Beginner - Expert
Price
Price
Often slightly more expensive
Often slightly Cheaper
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Alternative Options

If neither option quite matched your riding style, perhaps you should consider other shapes. 

For example, directional boards provide better carving, powder and freeride performance. Worth considering if you’re less freestyle-focused. 

I won’t expand on this too much here. It was discussed plenty in our previous guide. 

>> The Complete Snowboard Shapes Guide

My Personal Recommendations

If you’re interested in my personal opinion, here it is. 

  1. If you’re likely to spend at least 50% of your time riding freestyle (including tricks and spins on groomers) then choose a true twin.
  2. If you’re likely to spend less than 50% of your time on freestyle, choose a directional twin. These offer slightly better carving and powder performance.

Which Option Is Best For Beginners?

Honestly? Either!

Traditionally, the best board shape for beginners is the true twin. The symmetry and centered stance makes it a little easier to find your balance. 

But if you’ve fallen for a directional twin snowboard or will focus on all-mountain more than freestyle, you’ll be fine on a directional twin. Sure, switch riding may be marginally trickier, but carving should be marginally easier. 

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, folks – the lowdown on the true twin vs directional twin debate.

Both have their strengths and drawbacks. But if you’re a freestyle enthusiast, you’ll probably prefer a true twin snowboard. On the other hand, if you’re more about speed, carving, and versatile all-mountain adventures, consider a directional twin.

Remember though, there’s nothing one board can do that the other can’t. It all comes down to your personal style and preference.

Happy riding!

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