All about Freeride & Freestyle Snowboarding

Snowboarding isn’t just snowboarding, at least when it comes to styles and preferences. In fact, there are at least 25 official types of snowboarding styles. If you’re fairly new to this particular wintertime activity, you’ve probably heard about freeriding and freestyle snowboarding. Below, the snow sports experts from ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for gear, repairs, and snowboard rentals in Mammoth, take a moment to explore the differences between these two popular snowboarding styles.


There isn’t an official definition for either one of these styles. This being said, freeride generally refers to off-piste riding areas in the snowboarding locations deemed to be safe for use. It’s also a style of snowboarding where speed is the goal. Freeriders like to ride fast. Some people preferring this style like to do tricks while in more open areas, although speed is really the focus with freeride. What you’re doing is learning how to push your limits once you learn the basics.


Tricks are a big part of the freestyle riding experience. For example, a more experienced rider might do 15 to 20 tricks during a single session. If you’re new to snowboarding, you can always learn and practice tricks in regular snowboarding areas before coming back to the freestyle area. Therefore, the main difference between freestyle and freeride is that tricks are the main focus with freestyle, while speed is emphasized with freeride.

Board Differences

Freeride boards are typically larger, stiffer, and shaped a bit differently than traditional snowboards. The reason for these design characteristics is because of the higher speeds associated with the freeride style.

Freestyle boards are generally shorter, wider, and a bit more flexible to make it easier to do various tricks. The flexibility of freestyle boards also makes them good for snowboarders at the novice or beginner level. What’s more, the wider design common with freestyle boards makes it easier to land even if you do something wrong when trying a trick or working on a new one.

Enjoying the Best of Both Styles

It doesn’t have to be one or the other with snowboarding. You can always rent one of each type of board and try out both styles. Plus, you won’t have to commit to purchasing two boards if you end up preferring one style over the other.

Taking Lessons

On a related note, popular resorts like Mammoth Mountain make it easy to try both styles of snowboarding. Mammoth has some highly recommended backcountry areas. You can also take on-site lessons while visiting Mammoth Mountain. Many of these lessons can be personalized to fit the particular style of snowboarding you wish to learn or improve upon. Instructors can even teach you to do some common tricks if your preference is tricks over speed. On the reverse side of things, you can also learn how to safely handle higher speeds if you prefer the freeriding style.

Now that you know more about these different types of snowboarding, head to the mountain and try them out yourself. To make sure you have all the gear you’ll need, drop by and see us at ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for equipment, repair, and Mammoth snowboard rental. For more info, give us a call at 760-965-3444.