Right, first off we'd like to say that this isn't a definitive list. These aren't the only styles out there and there are a hell of a lot of different styles that take bits from everything. We'd also like to point out that style is subjective, and what we might define as something, you might interpret differently.
But, in this article are 10 different ways in which we'd define some key styles in snowboarding. We'd argue that style isn't always how you look, but the way in which riders approach snowboarding itself.
And at the end of the day, it's just meant to be a bit of fun, and who doesn't like fun?
The Swiss Army Knife – Eero Ettala
There are some riders that can slay it all; street, pipe, rails and park are all part of their repertoire. One of the riders we'd take to us on a desert island would definitely be Eero.
As comfortable as landing double backside rodeo 1080's as he is sending it in the backcountry or switch frontblunts on bridges. Some people argue that Eero's style is almost that he has no style. Whilst they're entitled to their opinion, we think that's more horseshit than a weekend at the races.
When you can handle that many different types of terrain, you've got style pumping through your veins from birth.
The Edge of Control – Morgan Rose
If Morgan Rose - aka 'Coonman' - ever releases another edit of him riding, it should definitely be to the tune of a band called The Gossip and their track called 'Standing In The Way of Control'.
Coonman's riding style is personified by the mantra of 'huck and hope' and whilst we might commend him for his complete disregard for his own personal safety, it really is like watching a car crash in slow motion.
Maybe when he learnt to snowboard, his instructor just took him to the middle of the backcountry instead of taking him to the learner slope and teaching him how to ride.
Whilst it’s not the nicest riding to watch, it’s hella ballsy.
The Cat – Terje Håkonsen
Terje Håkonsen's nickname of the Sprocking Cat has followed him around for the majority of his career. His uncanny ability to always land on his feet has cemented his legendary status in the snowboarding hall of fame. Whether it's disaster frontflip landings in icy behmouth quarterpipes, or revert landings, Terje always rides away.
We reckon Terje must have trained as a tightrope walker when he was younger - if you look at his arms they’re always out and countering his balance to keep him charging. Whilst some prefer the cleaner arms locked into the body style, Terje’s arms make him instantly recognizable in any edit or film
The Powerhouse – Devun Walsh
Whilst Devun might be small in stature, he rides like a snowplow navigating through terrain. Almost the polar opposite of Terje, you’ll find Devun’s arms superglued to his sides, only rising when he boosts off cliffs for his signature low rotation spins.
The unflappable Canuck is renowned for his no grab spins, just look at his part from Forum’s The Ressistace and you’ll understand what we mean. Keeping his knees tucked to his chest, as he wafts over the depths of the BC backcountry, rotating so slowly and with so much control, you wonder if he was made in a Swiss watch factory.
The Surgeon – Ståle Sandbech
If there was one way to describe Ståle Sandbech’s riding, it would be clinical. It’s almost like he’s the lovechild of Terje and Devun, possessing the best qualities of each. An unflappable poise, but with a hint of the Terje arm movement make Ståle one of the most consistent riders in snowboarding right now.
Whilst some people might think that to have their style called clinical would be an insult, his snowboarding is so composed and executed so well that it's just plain good to watch. Whilst he might not have the japans of Sage Kotsenburg or Kyle Mack, there aren’t a lot of riders that can go stiffy to method, or melon to method quite like Ståle.
The Charger – Johan Olofsson
Johan Olofsson exploded onto our screens back in 1995 for Standard Films’ TB5. Whilst recently we’ve seen more brands and production companies taking park riders and plonking them into the untamed wilds of backcountry riding, Johan was the guinea pig. At the time he was a low key Swedish park specialist when they took him to the barren peaks of Alaska.
What resulted changed the course of big mountain riding. Everyone from Blauvelt to Rice build on Johan’s genre defying assault on Alaska. Charging for hell or high water, Johan descended 3000ft in 35 seconds which pans out at a 96kph decent.
The Technician - Jed Anderson
Whilst the idea of a technician might make you think of C3PO, Jed definitely isn't a shiny, slightly camp robot. His technical ability on rails defies beggar’s belief, and he can hold his own when taken from the urban to the rural. Jed’s ability to read features and interpret them in his own way stands Jed apart from his peers.
His part in Nike’s Never Not needed an engineer to deconstruct – his ratio of first hit stomps defines his calculated riding style. With a background in pipe riding, his board control has been perfected on the hardened walls of transition and translated into being a mechanized urban artisan.
The Beast – Dan Brisse
Some say in the Pyramids of Egypt, there’s a hieroglyphic which archeologists have been trying to make sense of for decades. There’s a snowboarder gapping between two pyramids, millennia before snowboards were invented. We reckon it’s Dan Brisse, caus he goes so big he probably broke the time space continuum.
There is pretty much no other way to describe Brisse’s riding apart from big…gargantuan or enormous maybe? Whilst in some riders you see glimmers of the so called ‘beast mode’, Brisse just has it at full throttle 365 days a year. If anyone can show us a trick done below 10ft, we’d be surprised.
The Surfer - Erik Leon
Erik Leon definitely has one of the most unique riding styles out there. It’s almost like a tribute to the surfers of the North Shore in the late 50’s – arms akimbo, absorbing the transition and incorporating the terrain into his natural flow.
Erik’s an accomplished jibber, but it’s in the backcountry where his own personal slither of snowsliding comes into its own. He might not be dropping the biggest sheer faces or throwing the most tech tricks, but he undeniably makes snowboarding look fun.
The King of Pop - Peetu Piiroinen
If you google the King of Pop, it'll tell you that he died in 2009. Well guess what? He's alive in spirit through the means of sending it 10ft higher than anyone else, and in this case, we're talking about Peetu Piiroinen.
There's nothing more entertaining than watching a livecast from a competition where the cameraman loses Peetu out of frame 'cause he's gone so much higher than anyone else. Peetu's the equivalent of Brisse, but just not off buildings. Maybe Peetu is actually the only member of the Finnish space program...