guide to jibbing snowboards

Jibbing Snowboards 101: Everything You Need to Know to Start Hitting Park Features

Jibbing, or “to jib,” is a verb we use in snowboarding that means to ride or slide on anything that isn’t snow. Most often, that means sliding across a rail or box feature that is set up in a terrain park at a ski resort. However, it is also very common for riders to jib handrails when they are street snowboarding, too.

In other words, jibbing is the snowboarding equivalent to skateboarding’s grind and slide tricks.

Let’s begin by dropping you right to the sections you want to learn about.

Which part do you want to learn first?

So Where Did the Word “Jibbing” Come From?

The word jibbing was first used by pro snowboarder Nick Perata in an interview in 1989. Perata explained jibbing as, “riding on everything that you see in your path. Logs, rocks, small children, anything.”

Today, jibbing has become a very popular type of freestyle snowboarding, allowing riders to showcase their skills, creativity, and unique style. While jibbing can technically be done anywhere, it’s often practiced in the streets, hitting handrails or in the terrain parks, hitting features like rails and boxes.

While riding in powder is awesome, Jibbing makes freestyle snowboarding accessible in areas where there isn’t a lot of snowfall each year. Riders can progress their skills by simply setting up a rail or box. As a result, riders from less snowy regions of the USA, like the Mid-West and East Coast, have gotten exceptionally good at jibbing over the years. The progression of this style of snowboarding has surged over the past few years, and board manufacturers now offer boards specifically catering to riders who love jibbing more than any other style of riding.

Do You Need a Special Snowboard for Jibbing?

Technically, no you don’t need a dedicated jib board.

Any snowboard is capable of sliding across a rail. However, there are boards that are specifically designed to handle the rigors of hitting rails and actually built to make sliding across rails feel a litle easier.

What Makes a Dedicated Jib Snowboard Different From Other Board Types

  • Jib boards are shorter and have a softer flex pattern than other types of snowboards. This allows the board to nose and tail press on rails.
    • The board’s softer flex allows the it to mold around the rail feature which makes it easier to balance and control.
  • Jib boards are built with durability in mind to handle the rigors of park riding.

When you land on a rail in a boardslide position, the impact of the rail is concentrated directly in the center of the board. As your body weight slams down with your feet on either side of the rail, there is an immense amount of pressure from the rail on the center of your board. This pressure needs to be dispersed evenly throughout the board to prevent breakage. Jib boards are crafted to withstand this stress. They absorb the impact and distribute the pressure evenly, allowing you to continue sliding on the feature without snapping your board.

a snowboarder jibbing a rail

Additionally, you need a board that is flexible enough to cradle the rail which allows you to find your balance easier while offering enough flexibility for you to do certain jib tricks like a nose press for example.

In summary, Jib boards are durable, softer, shorter, and more maneuverable than other types of boards. Here are some reasons why you need a specialized jib snowboard:

Features to Look for in a Jib Snowboard

When choosing the right jib snowboard for your needs, there are several key features to consider:

  • Flex: Look for a soft to medium-soft flex for optimal press and control.
  • Shape: Twin and true twin shapes are ideal for jibbing.
  • Profile: Reverse camber or flat profiles provide a catch-free feel.
  • Size: Opt for a slightly shorter board for maneuverability.
  • Weight: When possible, opt for a lightweight board to help make it easier popping onto features with less energy.

How to Choose the Right Size Jib Board

Selecting the right size for your jib snowboard depends on your weight, height, and riding style. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s size chart and recommendations for each specific board. Check out our snowboard size calculator to ensure you find the right size. I recommend going with a size on the lower end your recommended range. It will help your board be more maneuverable for jibbing.

Maintaining Your Jib Snowboard

Jib boards require maintenance just like regular snowboards. However, knowing how often you want to wax your snowboard can help you decide which type of snowboard base to look for.

Extruded Base – If you don’t want to wax your board often, get an extruded base. This is a durable type of base that’s easy to repair and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Sintered Base – If you don’t mind waxing your board every three times you ride, get a sintered base. This type of base is faster, offers a slightly better glide on features, and is durable. The only downside is that it takes some effort to maintain.

The key information to note here is that an unwaxed extruded base is faster than an unwaxed sintered base.

To keep your jib snowboard in peak condition, regularly inspect it for any damage, and perform maintenance as needed. Waxing and edge tuning are essential for optimal performance.


FAQs

  1. What is the difference between a jib snowboard and an all-mountain snowboard?
    Jib snowboards are typically shorter, softer, and more maneuverable than all-mountain boards. A jib board is specifically designed for hitting rails and boxes. A jib board is often more flexible and durable than an all mountain snowboard. All mountain freestyle boards are meant for carving all over the resort, while a jib board is primarily intended to slide on rails and boxes in the park.
  2. Can I use a jib snowboard for other types of riding?
    You could. However, they won’t perform as well as a board that is meant to carve with like an all-mountain, freeride, or powder board. It’s best to use a jib board for its intended purpose, jibbing rails and boxes.
  3. How often should I wax my jib snowboard?
    If it’s a sintered base, every three times you ride it. If its an extruded base, you can usually get six days out of it before you should wax it. That said, the frequency of waxing depends on how often you ride and the snow conditions. As a general rule, wax your board every few days of riding or when you notice decreased glide.
  4. Do I need special bindings for a jib snowboard?
    While you can use standard snowboard bindings with a jib board, it’s recommend you pair a jib board with a softer park snowboard bindings. A softer binding will match your board’s flex pattern.
  5. What safety precautions should I take when jibbing?
    It is always a good idea to ride within your ability level, warm up before trying a new trick, and always wear a helmet and appropriate protective gear. Start your session with easier tricks and progress gradually to avoid injuries. Remember to always keep an eye on your surroundings and respect other riders in the terrain park.

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