Choosing The Right Snowboard


Posted on July 16, 2020 at 08:16 PM


How to choose the right snowboard


This buying guide is intended to help you understand the important factors that go into proper snowboard sizing. We'll go over how to determine what length and width snowboard you may want with help from a couple trusty snowboard sizing charts.

There are many factors to take into consideration when buying a snowboard - one size does truly not fit all! Here are some of the keys things to think about when buying a new snowboard:

  • Snowboard length: As a general rule, if you stand a board on its tail, the nose of the board should reach somewhere between your nose and chin. You can use size charts and recommended rider weights to get more precise.
  • Types of snowboards: Are you looking for an all-mountain, freestyle, freeride, powder and splitboards. The right type of board depends on what type of terrain and snow conditions you plan to ride in.
  • Snowboard camber and rocker: There are many different camber and rocker profiles to choose from. If you plan to ride fast on groomed runs, then a cambered board is a good choice. But for riding soft snow you’ll probably want a flat, rocker, camber/rocker or flat/rocker board.
  • Snowboard width: With the right width board, your boots will extend just slightly over the edges of the board. If they overhang too much, though, they could drag and make you lose control.
  • Snowboard shape: Choose a directional board for high-speed carving, a true twin board for park and pipe use, or a directional twin for all-mountain riding.
  • Other snowboard features: You can refine your search by considering things like sidecut radius, effective edge, board flex and base material.


Length

The appropriate snowboard length depends on a few things. The height and weight of the rider are the most important factors in determining a suitable length. The chart below is a guideline for determining what length board you should be targeting.

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Snowboard Length Chart

Rider Height (IN)Rider Height (CM)Weight (LB)Snowboard Size (CM)
4'10"147110 - 120128 - 136
5'152115-130133 - 141
5'2"158125-135139 - 147
5'4"163135-145144 -152
5'6"168140-155149 -157
5'8"173150-165154 -162
5'10"178160-175159 -167
6'183170-185160+
6'2"188180-195160+
6'4"193190-205160+

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Riding style should also have an effect on length choice. It's recommended that boards being used for freestyle and terrain park riding are a bit shorter. This enables the rider to spin and maneuver the board more easily. Conversely, free ride and big mountain boards should be on the longer side of the spectrum.

Beginners will find shorter boards much easier to learn on as they are more maneuverable, making them easier to turn. Length can also be a matter of preference, experienced riders will know what works for them.


Types Of Snowboards

  • All-mountain: best for any terrain
  • Freestyle: best for the park
  • Freeride: best for ungroomed snow in any terrain
  • Powder: best for deep powder snow
  • Splitboard: best for the backcountry

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Snowboard Camber and Rocker

When you set a snowboard down on the snow and look at it from the side, you’ll notice certain things about the shape. With some boards, you’ll see that the middle rises off the snow. With others, you’ll notice that the middle stays flat against the snow. This difference is the basic distinction between camber and rocker.

Camber delivers a lively, stable ride and provides pop and responsiveness on hardpack or groomed runs, especially when powering out of turns. Experienced, speed-oriented riders favor cambered boards.

Flat (neutral, or no camber) boards are what they sound like: flat or nearly flat underfoot rather than cambered. They enable quick turns and maximum feel while increasing float.

Rocker (aka reverse camber) creates upturned tips and tails. The design excels in powder and when jibbing or riding rails in the park. Rockered boards are softer than cambered boards and tend to have a surfy feel that offers easy turn initiation, making them popular among novice riders. Experienced riders, though, can still coax powerful rides out of them.

Camber/Rocker boards combine these two profiles to provide the good edge hold of camber underfoot with the easy turning and flotation of rocker toward the tips and tails. Board manufacturers have hatched lots of variations of camber/rocker to address specific performance attributes. 

Flat/Rocker boards typically feature a flat section in the middle for decent edge hold on hard snow and rockered tips and tails for easier turning and good float in soft snow. As with camber/rocker boards, there are lots of variations of flat/rocker

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Width

The ideal snowboard width allows the riders boots to slightly overhang the edges of the snowboard. This overhang gives the rider leverage and allows them to apply strong pressure to their edges. Although, too much overhang will cause the boots to catch the snow on hard, low turns. The chart below shows compatibility between snowboard width and boot size.

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Width to Boot Size Chart

Boot Size (US Men's)

5.0 - 7.5

7.0 - 9.5

8.5 - 10.5

9.5 - 11.5

10.5+

Boot Size (US Women's)

Up to 6.0

6.0 - 8.5

8.0 - 10.5

10+

-

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Board Waist Width (mm)

225-235

236-245

246-250

251-254

255-259

260+

Width Type

Women's/Narrow

Regular

Regular to Wide


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