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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK

Your choice of board depends on what you want to get up to on the slopes.

Most boarders tend to favour freeride boards as they perform well on most terrain and can be used for both carving and tricks.

Freestyle boards tend to be shorter and are more popular with half-pipe specialists.

The alpine board, with its curved nose and flat tail, is designed for speed and tight carving, which is why it is favoured by slalom riders.

The optimum length for a board is determined by your height, weight and where you stand on the freestyle/alpine debate.

Longer boards tend to give better control for carving and shorter boards make it easier to do tricks.

Those with bigger feet should choose a wider board to stop the heels and toes dragging in the snow.

Boards are priced from 150 for juniors and 180 for adults.

You may want to start with a good second-hand board before you splash out on a brand new one.

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