Winter’s come again, and you have decided that this is the year you will take up snowboarding.
You’ve got your helmet, your boots, and your hand warmers, but you don’t yet have your snowboard.
How do you go about choosing a board to use? And once you’ve picked your ideal brand and type, how do you go about ensuring that the board is properly sized for you?
Learning how to size a snowboard can help you determine which brand of snowboard, as well as which type, will be best for you.
You might find that, over time, you develop a preference for one type of board over the other, and that preference is likely to impact the sizing of your board.
However, no matter what kind of snowboarding you do, there are some essential elements that will always factor into the sizing of your board.
Elements to Consider When Snowboard Sizing
When preparing to go out and buy your first snowboard (and many snowboards to follow) be sure you have the following information on hand.
Height and Weight
Typically, snowboards are meant to run, in length, from the tips of your toes to between your chin and nose.
Naturally, if you are rather tall, this means you will be taking on a particularly long snowboard. Comparatively, shorter individuals will have suitably shorter snowboards.
It is not height, however, that is most important when sizing a snowboard, but rather your weight.
No one likes to talk about their weight, but how much you weigh impacts your stability while snowboarding. You want a board that can support you while also allowing you to have a good time.
Consider, as well, how your height and weight impact the size of your stance. Bend your knees and plant your feet at just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, then adjust until you feel that you’re comfortable.
This enables you to develop a basic understanding of what your snowboarding stance may feel like, and you can choose your snowboard size accordingly.
If you already have your snowboarding boots, then you will want to ensure that they can fit into the mounts of your potential snowboard – or that you buy the appropriate mounts to attach to the board, yourself.
The size of your boots also impact how wide your snowboard will be.
You do not want your toes or heels hanging off; not only does this indicate a badly-sized board, but loose toes or heels can damage your ride down a slope.
Make sure your board is wide enough to offer some wiggle room, and you’ll be on the right track towards proper sizing.
Be honest with yourself when determining what kind of snowboard you need. How good are you at snowboarding? What is your skill level?
If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely be better suited towards a smaller, more maneuverable board. If you’re more experienced, you can play around with the size of your board more freely.
Learning how to choose a snowboard size is often an exercise in honesty. Don’t short yourself a better ride for the sake of a cooler looking board.
Type of Snowboarding
Determine early on what kind of snowboard you want, and you’ll have an easier time choosing the size of your board.
Freestyling boards, or boards best for park riding, are shorter than boards meant for freeriding, or riding on non-groomed courses.
Likewise, all-mountain snowboards are of shorter length, and they are ideal for beginners.
The flex of your board determines how well it responds to you in the midst of a turn and how well it responds to the environment you are snowboarding in.
Understanding flex and its relationship with your ability can help you choose the snowboard that best suits you.
Softer flex, for example, is the best flex for beginners; it ensures that your snowboard is forgiving and that turns are simpler. Boards with a softer flex are also ideal for park riding.
Comparatively, a stiffer flex for a board makes high speeds all the more fun. Stiff boards lend themselves well to freeriding and terrain that isn’t meticulously controlled.
Here’s a video showing some extra informaiton on snowboard sizing.
The sizing of your snowboard will impact how well your run goes, from your first time on a board to your hundredth.
There are other factors, beyond those listed here, that can impact your decision-making when it comes to choosing a size.
These basics will ensure that you can step out onto the slopes for the first time with a board that will suit your body, build, and goals.
With more practice and a better understanding of your preferences, you’ll be able to customize the size and style of your board until it is uniquely your own.
Do you have any extra tips for snowboard sizing?