Alpine Snowboarding is a generic name for using an Alpine Setup. This refers to Free-Ride or Race Type Boards, with plate bindings and hard shell boots. This setup is really best on groomed runs where the rider will make high speed arcing turns. However, alpine setups are also used for extreme and backcountry type riding, primarily in Europe. Recently this is less common as many backcountry and extreme riders are more comfortable on a softer Freestyle type of setup.
Longer, stiffer board designed for all mountain riding or designed for carving. Plate bindings are a metal base that attaches to the board with a bail and clasp type binding to secure a rigid boot. The boots are hard plastic injection molded type boots. Much like a ski boot, the hard shell snowboarding boot offers a much stiffer flex and allows for quicker edge change and more commanding edge pressuring by the rider. Great for carving trenches, the alpine setup is choice for Slalom and Giant Slalom racing.
You must love to carve arcing turns across the fall-line with aggressive edge transitions and angulation. This kind of riding setup just takes time to get comfortable with. Once you get a grasp on it though, it is incredibly fun.
Alpine Snowboarding in its groomer shredding environment most closely represents slalom skateboarding. The setup on a nice groomer results in quick, true carve turns. The style created by this setup is distinctly different than that of freestyle type setups. With narrow boards, the binding angles on the board are at a much higher angle across the board to avoid heel or toe drag. Where a freestyle rider might ride angles of 12-18 degrees on the front foot, and 0 to -12 degrees on the back foot, an alpine setup is more like 45 degrees on the front foot and 40 degrees on the back. This dramatically changes the appearance of the riders’ stance and alignment on the board. Alpine riding can resemble the appearance of a Slalom Water Skier with the body coming close to the ground during the apex of each arcing turn.
Alpine Snowboarding also has a very different clothing style. While it still often has a skate style backbone, most alpine riders are also influenced by mountaineering and more endurance type summer sports. Running, Road and Mountain Biking and other technically physical athletics form much of the persona of the Alpine Rider.