what is a jib snowboard

What Is A Jib Snowboard? (And Why You Need One!)

by Fraser

So you’ve spent countless hours drooling over this seasons snowboards? You finally pick one up only to spot the state of the early-season groomers… rocks, debris, obstacles! Maybe you should have picked up a jib board! But what is a jib snowboard?

A jib snowboard is a smaller board made explicitly for jibbing (riding rails, trees, boxes, etc). These boards are often shorter than a regular board and almost always have a soft flex. Their bases will likely take heavy damage, keeping your other boards in good shape for other areas of riding. 

Let’s take a look at whether you need a jib snowboard…

What Is Jibbing?

If you are unfamiliar with a jib snowboard then you may be unfamiliar with the term jibbing in general. This term was coined by snowboarders to describe riding anything that isn’t snow.

Riding handrails or fallen trees comes under the category of jibbing. So does tail tapping signs, urban snowboarding and hitting the obstacle line in the park. 

The easy way to think about it is that if someone is riding on something that isn’t snow then they are most likely jibbing.

Jibbing is very similar to grinding on a skateboard and a lot of the skills are transferable. If you have ever grinded on a skateboard then chances are you will already know how to jib on a snowboard.

What Makes A Jib Snowboard Different?

The biggest difference with a jib board is the size.

A jib board is usually a lot shorter than your regular snowboard. This enables quick turning and reduces the risk of hang-ups or catching the tips on the obstacles. 

A jib board is almost always a twin board, meaning it is the same shape front and back. This just means that they feel the same whether you are riding in regular or switch, a useful feature for switch dismounts.

Another big difference is the cost. Jib boards are often a lot cheaper than regular boards. There are plenty of reasons for this, not least the smaller size, but also the fact that they have commonly have extruded bases. While this slows the board down on the slopes this is not a concern for a dedicated jibber.

That brings us to the final major difference, the flex. Jib boards have a soft flex, some are a bit stiffer than others but they all fit into the soft category.

This makes it easier to move the board around which is obviously a massive advantage for the type of riding you will be doing with a jib board. Those nose presses are about to get tasty! 

What Is A Jib Snowboard Used For?

Jib snowboards are great for a number of things. Here’s what I use my jib snowboard for:

  • Riding rails and boxes
  • Urban snowboarding: hand rails and ledges.
  • Early and late season riding: when the snow cover is patchy, you don’t want to be riding your new $500 deck! 
  • Hiking nearby hills: climbing up the local hills and building your own jump
  • Learning new tricks: when learning new butter tricks or presses it seriously speeds up the learning curve to use a softer board.
what is a jib snowboard

Do You Need A Jib Snowboard?

Basically, if you plan on doing any of the above and don’t want to use your daily driver… pick up a jib board!

This doesn’t need to be expensive and many brands offer cheap jib boards. 

Alternatively, many riders designate a used snowboard from previous years as their “jib board”. Old boards may have softened up anyway and you’re less likely to care about any potential (inevitable) base damage. 

Using A Jib Board For Training

Beyond being a fun board for performing tricks and messing around on, a jib snowboard can also be a useful training aid.

This is because they are much smaller and lighter. If you are training indoors or on smaller slopes then it is a lot less strenuous to practice your movements on a jib board than a full-size one.

You get all the benefits of training but just without the extra strain on your body. This is also the case if practicing inside on a balance bar or trampoline. 

Summary

So there we have it, a jib snowboard is a shorter board used for riding rails, trees, stones, and more. The board is smaller than a regular board, has a soft flex and is almost always a twin board. To top it off they are often a lot cheaper than a regular board.

I hope that answered any question you may have about jib boards. If you found this article helpful, why not have a browse around the rest of the site.

Happy riding!

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