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Snow sports have become extremely popular, and you’re ready to invest in an option for yourself. When you’re trying to find the perfect snowboard for surfing down the snow, you can often get tripped up when it comes to the question, “What size snowboard do I need?”
Before you can start looking into the best quality snowboards, you need to know how to size them. After all, there’s no point in buying a board you can’t even use comfortably. If you’re ready to hit the slopes but need a little help picking out your board, we can help you.
What Size Snowboard Do I Need?
You’ve come here for one reason: to find your snowboard size. Unfortunately, there is no magical number or formula for determining your perfect snowboard size. This article will tell you about a few different features to look for and how to match recommended sizing ranges to skill level and comfort.
The length of your board will change with your body weight and height, as well as the type of ride you want out of your board. It is no longer the case that you just grab a board that hits your skin when you stand next to it. There are a ton of factors that also need to be considered.
For example, if you’re freeriding then you may want longer boards that will offer more stability and speed. Freestyle boards, on the other hand, need smaller sizing so you can spin around and maneuver around half pipe and park terrains.
Snowboard Size Chart
Everyone has a similar starting point, though. This chart is a great starting point when it comes to snowboard sizes. If can point you to a decent range to begin your search, and from there you will look for the different variations within your suggested range, or just outside of it on either end.
Rider Height – IN
Rider Height - CM
Rider Weight – LB
110 to 120
128 to 136
115 to 130
133 to 141
125 to 135
139 to 147
135 to 145
144 to 152
140 to 155
149 to 157
150 to 165
154 to 162
160 to 175
159 to 167
When it comes to how to size a snowboard, there are a few specific factors to look for when you shop. For example, park and freestyle riders may want to pick a board on the shorter size of their range. The best all mountain boards, powder, and freeride boards should be longer or volume shifted boards. People who weigh more than average should consider longer boards, and beginners should look for shorter boards in their range.
The tables you find are estimates based on height and weight for your length necessity. When you find the right range, you can start looing into standard length and adjusting for your preference and ability level. The real length is the board you find after shopping around in your standard length that fits the chart as well as your skill level and personal preferences.
Board Length by Weight
Weight is more important than height when considering your board because of how weight gets distributed across the surface area of your snowboard. Essentially 2 people who weigh the same but have a 6-inch height difference will still distribute the same amount of weight throughout the snowboard’s base, so the affect it has over their speed, powder float, and stability will e the same.
Snowboards are designed with flex, but the flex is influenced by weight. If you’re too heavy or light for the ideal weight the board design had in mind, it won’t flex properly. Added weight will significantly increase board flex behavior. When you’re too light for your board, you won’t be able to apply enough pressure to make it flex at all.
Board Length by Height
Although this is nowhere near as important as falling within the recommended weight range for a board, it still matters because of the stance a rider takes on a board. Taller people will need much wider stances to have the same relative stance on a board as shorter people. The stance widths will get narrower as board length decreases.
Tall riders on boards that are too short won’t be able to stand as wide as necessary to position the board well. Short riders can’t get as narrow a stance as they will find comfortable if a board is too long for them, or they’ll feel like they have too much board outside of their inserts.
A snowboard waist width that is perfectly sized will have your best snowboard boots hanging over the edges a little but, but not enough to hit the snow when edge riding the board. Extending heels and toes a little over the edges will allow a rider to use leverage to modulate and control the pressure with their ankles. If the boots hang over too far, they’ll hit the sow when you turn and you’ll end up falling.
Another options for width preference is when your feet are roughly the width of the board at the inserts, or in the binding area. Essentially, in bare feet your heel will be on the edge and toes likewise for the top rated bindings for snowboarding. These both result in the same width and sizing, but just change how you arrive at that amount.
Width mattes because you really don’t want to end up dragging the ground when you snowboard. This will cause you to fall, and make turning and maneuvering impossible. You’ll end up with a miserable experience.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of great sizing charts released with board specifications. For whatever reason, the board companies don’t think this information is relevant or necessary. They do publish waist widths, so you can just estimate based on these. Here’s our best guess range recommendations based on the available information.
Men wearing boots sized 5 to 7.5 should keep their board waist width between 236 to 245 mm and look into narrow or women’s boards. The same waist width and board width apply to women with boot sizes 6 to 8.5 For women with boot sizes below 6, their board width will be the same, but the waist width may be better suited to 225 to 235 mm.
Men with size 7 to 9.5 boots and women with 8 to 10.5 size boots should grab a board waist width around 246 to 250 mm and look for a regular snowboard width. Men’s 8.5 to 10.5 and women’s sizes 10+ should also grab a regular snowboard width, but their waist width will likely be 251 to 254v mm instead for an ideal fit.
Finally, men who have 9.5 to 11.5 sized boots need a waist width of 255 to 259 mm and should find mid-wide or wide boards. Any men with a boot size of 10.5 or greater can also look for mid-wide and wide boards that are 260 mm or wider at the waist.
Snowboard Size by Ability Level
Now that you know how snowboards are sized, you can see that there is no direct answer. The sizing comes in recommended ranges. You may be wondering, “What size snowboard should I get?” The answer will be pretty different based on your ability level, because some snowboard sizing proportions are easier and harder to maneuver than others. Here are some guidelines based on your skill level when it comes to snowboarding.
A lot of manufacturers have been making it a little easier to find the right board for your skill level. Be realistic and honest when assessing your skills, and take a look at the manufacturer’s indication. This isn’t one of the most important factors but it can help you find the right range of features. Many of them will say whether the board is a beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert board, and several have even gotten specialized enough to indicate what range within that skill level.
Beginners will need some forgiveness from their board until they master precision in their techniques. Shorter boards are generally good for beginners because they require a lot less muscle to get the board to maneuver and turn properly.
Softer flex snowboards that are popular with freestyle and all mountain snowboarding are very forgiving and easy to turn, so they make great beginner boards. They’re not ideal at high speeds, but for beginners it’s a nice soft feel at the slower speeds.
Beginners should look for a board that feels stable underfoot, easily initiates turns, and won’t catch an edge easily. The camber profile boards are usually great for this riding. You need a board that offers stability ad balance, and that can make linking turns very easy because beginners will take some time to learn how to snowboard.
Avoid trying to save money by buying a board to grow into because it will make it nearly impossible to learn properly and master your technique. It’s going to be better in the long run to sell your beginner board off later and use the money towards buying an advanced board when you progress. Even if you’re a very quick learner, the newer your board is when you sell it the more money you’ll get so you won’t have an issue reselling.
You also want to find a board with some versatility. Until you lock down the style of snowboarding you like best, you’ll probably be playing around. For this reason, it’s best to grab a board that can handle freestyle, backcountry, grooming, playing in the park, and more. That way, you can get a feel for the snowboarding you love the most and buy a more specialized board to that type of snowboarding once you’ve gotten the hang of basic technique.
Stance also matters. Centered stances are best for beginners because you can learn switching easier and keep your balance. True twin shape boards are perfectly symmetrical, which are great for beginners thanks to their stability and balance. This is also best for learning tricks and switch from the get go.
Intermediate riders will be a little more comfortable balancing, and can tart riding a toe and heel edge easily on the board. They’re starting to learn switch riding and discovering their favorite terrain.
If you’re an intermediate rider, then you should let your style dictate your board. You will be transitioning from versatile, all purpose boards into more specialized boards that won’t be able to tackle as many terrains, but will be able to absolutely excel at what they are designed to do.
Advanced riders are almost as comfortable on a board as they are on their own feet. The terrain should also guide their purchase because they’ve gotten used to the right length and width and can confidently handle maneuvering at this point.
Advanced level snowboarders should look into customizing their boards to fit their preferences and quirks. A lot of these boards are designed perfectly for the individual rider. Suggested sizing becomes a little looser of a guide here, and features like terrain specialization, playfulness, profile, flex, and specialization take precedence.
As you can see, there are a lot of different factors that go into choosing the right snowboard size for your needs. Weight is one of the most important factors, because it has the most impact on board performance rather than just personal comfort and stance.
Still, pay attention to height, width, and flex. Beginners will need shorter boards that they can easily maneuver. They should also look for some versatility. Unlike intermediate and advanced snowboard riders, they’ll need to choose a board based on ease of use and stability rather than how a board performs in a specific terrain, because they’re still learning technique and preferences.