Originally Posted by geline
And Why it is Important to Know the Difference
In the few decades that snowboarding has been around, a few distinct styles have emerged within the sport. These styles are characterized by their preferred terrain, their specific equipment and their own competitions.
It is important to know what type of snowboarder you are -- or are interested in becoming -- before you drop your savings on a new board/boots/bindings setup. Manufacturers carefully design boards for specific types of riding, and you don't want to make the mistake of buying a $450 big mountain board if you're going to spend all day in the pipe.
Freestyle riding is the flavor of the day. This style focuses on jumps, tricks, rail slides, halfpipes and switch riding.
Snowboard movies typically showcase freestyle riding; it is fun to watch and where pros can really show off their skills.
Freeriding is the most general style of snowboarding and has correspondingly versatile equipment. Like freestyle, freeride equipment uses a soft boot. Boards in this category are relatively longer and more directional in their shape. If you don't know what kind of terrain you like, or know that you like everything, this is your category.
Freecarve / Race
This often overlooked style of snowboarding focuses on carving and racing. Sometimes called alpine snowboarding, freecarving takes place on hard-pack or groomed runs and focuses on the ultimate carving turn. Little or no jumping takes place in this discipline.
As a beginner, it is advised that you should look for a good all-around design, most likely a freeride or freestyle setup.
sorry, i'm too stupid to actually quote it how i'm supposed to