My snowboard feels catchy

My Snowboard Feels Catchy (Troubleshooting Common Problems)

When trying out a new snowboard or a different setup, it´s pretty common to experience an unusual feeling when riding. This is usually a “breaking in” period in which you adapt your skills to find the perfect way to ride a new style or shape of snowboard. But sometimes there can be some technical issues hindering the snowboarder from dialing in the perfect ride.

In this article, we will explain more about what makes snowboards feel catchy and changes to make for a better riding experience.

*Authors note (In this article I assume that the issue is not the snowboarder. Correct snowboard technique is a huge part of how a snowboard feels underfoot. If you are sure the issue is not you and you have had success with other snowboards please read on)

Let’s dive in…

What Does A Catchy Snowboard Feel Like

A “catchy” or over-responsive feeling whilst riding a snowboard can ruin the confidence of even experienced riders.

By catchy, we mean that the rails engage in the snow very easily and sometimes randomly making the snowboarder likely to “catch and edge” and probably crash. This is one of the most common and painful ways to crash a snowboard, especially when you catch the downhill-facing edge and get thrown forward. (we have all been there)

Many riders complain about a catchy feeling on their snowboard in which the edges seem over-responsive or the board seems to be pulling back to a flat base during turns. This can cause issues switching between toe and heel carves and can affect the balance of the rider. This can also cause issues when trying to ride in a straight line on a flat base. This issue is most common with out-of-the-box snowboards with extra sharp edges.

For beginner riders, this catchy feeling could be technique issues that can be easily improved with a few lessons but for experienced riders, some small technical changes could make a huge difference to how the board rides.

If you hate the catchy feeling of your new board, don’t throw it in the trash just yet! Follow the simple tips below and turn that barn door into a hard-charging machine in no time! 

Snowboarding carving - My snowboard feels catchy

1. Your Snowboard Style

Firstly we will look at the style and design of your snowboard. Do you have the right snowboard for the style of riding you want to do? If you are trying to ride rails on a stiff carving board then you’re not gonna have a good time.

There are 4 main things to consider when choosing a snowboard for your type of riding, Profile, shape, size and flex. Here is a quick breakdown of these factors…


Snowboard profiles refer to the shape of the board when viewed from the side. Different profiles affect how a snowboard performs on various types of terrain and in different snow conditions.

Two of the most common snowboard profiles are rocker and camber, but there are also variations and combinations of these profiles. Having the wrong profile for your style of riding can make your snowboard feel unresponsive or catchy.

snowboard profiles explained

Image credit: Tess Kohler

Here’s an explanation of the most common snowboard profiles

  • Camber: Traditional camber boards have a slight upward curve in the middle, with the contact points near the tip and tail. Camber provides excellent edge hold, pop, and stability at high speeds.
  • Rocker: Rocker boards have a reverse camber shape, with the center of the board raised off the snow. Rocker provides better float in powder and a more forgiving ride, making it easier to initiate turns.
  • Flat: Flat camber boards have a flat profile between the contact points, offering a balance between the camber and the rocker. Flat boards provide stability at speed, good edge-to-edge response, and versatility across various terrains.
  • Hybrid: Many modern snowboards feature hybrid camber profiles that combine elements of camber and rocker or flat sections. These hybrid profiles aim to provide the benefits of both camber and rocker, such as stability, float, and maneuverability.


Snowboard shapes can vary based on the intended riding style, terrain, and personal preference of the rider.

Common types of snowboard shapes and their uses

  • Directional: Directional snowboards are designed to be ridden primarily in one direction, typically with a longer nose and a shorter tail. They are commonly used for all-mountain riding and freeriding because they offer better stability and control at high speeds and in variable conditions.
  • Twin: Twin snowboards are symmetrical in shape, with identical tip and tail dimensions, as well as a centered stance. This shape allows for equal performance whether riding regularly or switching (backward). Twin boards are popular for freestyle riding, including park and halfpipe, as they offer balance and versatility for performing tricks in both directions.
  • Directional Twin: This shape combines elements of both directional and twin boards. It features a directional shape for better performance in one direction (usually the nose is slightly longer and wider) but maintains a symmetrical flex pattern and centered stance like a twin board. Directional twin boards are versatile and suitable for riders who want the stability of a directional board with the ability to ride a switch.
  • Powder/Freeride: Powder or Freeride snowboards are designed with a tapered shape, featuring a wider nose and narrower tail. This shape allows the board to float more easily in deep snow, providing better control and maneuverability in powder conditions. Freeride boards often have setback stance options to enhance performance in powder, and they are favored by riders who enjoy exploring off-piste terrain.
  • Asymmetrical: Asymmetrical snowboards have a non-symmetrical sidecut and/or core profile, designed to better match the mechanics of human body movement. The heelside and toeside edges are often tailored differently to enhance performance and edge hold, particularly during turns. Asymmetrical boards can offer improved control and responsiveness, especially for carving and aggressive riding styles.

snowboard powder carve


Snowboard flex refers to the degree of stiffness or flexibility in a snowboard, which significantly impacts its performance characteristics and suitability for different riding styles and conditions. Flex can vary along the length of the board, with different flex patterns tailored to specific purposes. Using a board with the wrong flex for your intended purpose can cause it to feel catchy, especially if it is too stiff.

Here is how snowboard flex can affect your ride:

  • Soft Flex: Snowboards with a soft flex are more flexible and bend easily. Soft-flex boards are forgiving and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for beginners, park riders, and jibbers. They provide a playful feel and are more forgiving on landings, allowing riders to press and butter with ease.
  • Medium Flex: Medium-flex snowboards offer a balance between stiffness and flexibility, providing versatility across various riding styles and terrain types. They offer a blend of stability, responsiveness, and maneuverability, making them suitable for all-mountain riding, freestyle, and intermediate to advanced riders. Medium-flex boards are often classed as “all-mountain boards and are the most common choice.
  • Stiff Flex: Snowboards with a stiff flex are less flexible and have minimal bending. Stiff-flex boards provide maximum stability, edge hold, and responsiveness, making them ideal for advanced riders, aggressive carving, and high-speed riding. Stiff-flex boards excel in groomed runs, icy conditions, and steep terrain, where precise control and edge-to-edge responsiveness are crucial.


A snowboard can feel catchy and difficult to turn if it’s the wrong size for you.

If a snowboard is too wide for a rider, it can lead to difficulties initiating turns, reduced control, toe and heel drag, decreased responsiveness, and discomfort or fatigue.

If a snowboard is too small for a rider, it can lead to instability, poor floatation, limited edge grip, less forgiveness, and reduced speed.

2. Highbacks

Many riders overlook the highback adjustment on their bindings when tuning in their riding. Poorly set-up highbacks can lead to a lack of control of your snowboard and can make your board feel catchy.

Generally the more forward lean you place on your highback the more edge control you will gain (sometimes at the expense of comfort).

If you ride a stiff directional snowboard or a more advanced freeride board you will need to ride it aggressively and at speed to make it work to its full potential. This usually means that you will apply lots of forward lean to ensure control at all times. Without the forward lean the board can feel catchy and sometimes feel like it wants to go off in its direction.

Edge sharpness image

Photo credit: Burton Snowboards 

3.  Edge Sharpness and Angles

Snowboard edge sharpness and angle are crucial factors, influencing the performance, edge hold, and maneuverability of the board on snow. Different riding styles and conditions ask for slightly different edge tuning. having the wrong edge setup can lead to your snowboard feeling too responsive and catchy, or completely dull and unresponsive

How edge sharpness and angles vary for different styles of snowboarding:

  1. All-Mountain Riding: All-mountain riders require a moderate “normal” edge sharpness, providing grip on groomed runs and ice yet forgiving in softer snow. A standard edge angle of around 90 degrees is preferred, striking a balance between grip and maneuverability.
  2. Freestyle/Park Riding: Freestyle and park riders prefer slightly dulled edges to reduce catching during tricks, with an edge angle typically around 88 degrees or less. This lower angle provides a forgiving feel and allows riders to get away with mistakes while landing tricks off angle.
  3. Freeride/Backcountry Riding: Freeride and backcountry riders favor sharper edges for reliable grip in challenging terrain, including icy conditions. Edge angles around 90 degrees, similar to all-mountain riding, balance grip, and maneuverability in changeable snow conditions.
  4. Powder Riding: In deep powder snow, edge sharpness is less critical as riders rely on snow buoyancy over edges for control. Many powder riders dull their edges to prevent catching. They often use a lower edge angle, around 88 to 89 degrees, for easier skidding and surf-like turns in powder, allowing the board to float more freely.

Edge Detuning

Many new snowboards come with super sharp edges around the board. This allows the rider to tune it to their personal preferences, leaving some parts sharp and blunting other parts. This is fairly common practice for freestyle boards but can be useful for all types of boards if they feel catchy or too responsive for your riding style.

Why Detune Edges

    • Prevent Edge Catches: Dulling the edges reduces the sharpness that can catch on snow or obstacles, particularly in soft snow conditions or when riding in terrain parks.
    • Enhance Maneuverability: Rounded edges allow for smoother, more forgiving turns and transitions, especially when skidding or sliding sideways.
    • Improve Park Performance: Detuning can make the board more forgiving for freestyle riding, reducing the risk of catching an edge during jumps, rails, or other park features.
    • Increase Float in Powder: Rounded edges allow the board to plane more smoothly over powder snow, enhancing floatation and reducing the risk of the nose or tail digging in.

When to Detune Edges

      • New Boards: New snowboards often come with sharp edges straight from the factory, so detuning may be necessary before riding to prevent edge catches.
      • After Sharpening: If you’ve recently sharpened your edges for improved grip on hardpack or icy conditions, detuning may be necessary to reduce edge sensitivity in softer snow.
      • Park Riding: Freestyle riders may detune their edges more frequently to minimize edge catches when hitting jumps, rails, or boxes in the terrain park.
      • Powder Riding: Detuning can also benefit powder riders by enhancing floatation and reducing the risk of catching edges in deep snow.

How to Detune Edges

      • Use a diamond stone or metal file to gently rub along the edges near the tip and tail of the snowboard.
      • Focus on removing any sharp burrs or nicks that could catch on snow or obstacles.
      • Gradually smooth and round the edges, working from the contact points towards the center of the board.
      • Be cautious not to remove too much metal or alter the overall shape of the edges.
      • Follow this video for a visual description 

4. Binding Placement

Placing your bindings correctly for your body dimensions, style of riding and terrain can make a huge difference. fitting your bindings in the wrong position can make your snowboard feel catchy and uncontrolled.

When setting up your board for the terrain you are planning to ride, consider:

  • Stance Width
  • Stance Angle
  • Binding Positioning
  • Weight Distribution

To know more about positioning your bindings correctly check out this article from Jones Snowboards

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