Toe drag is a real…drag. If your boots are too big for the width of your snowboard, your toes will hang over the edge of the snowboard. They’ll drag against the snow when you come to an edge on your toe side. Not only is this frustrating, but it can be down right dangerous.
It wasn’t too long ago that large-footed riders had a limited selection of snowboards – and their selection was less than ideal. Snowboarders with wide feet were sort of an outcast in the snowboard community back in the day. Today, nearly every snowboard company offers wide snowboards of all varieties – freestyle, freeride, powder, rocker, camber, hybrid, and of course, entry level snowboards.
What is a Wide Snowboard?
Wide snowboards usually have a waist width of over 260mm. The waist of the snowboard, where the bindings are attached, is wider than that of a regular snowboard. This prevents the toes from dragging over the edge when a toe side turn is initiated.
Wide snowboards can be just as soft, poppy, mellow or aggressive as that of their counterpart. In fact, many snowboard models, like the popular Burton Blunt or Burton Custom Flying V also have a wide option. These days, there’s no reason for snowboarders with large feet to opt out of a wide snowboard.
Benefits of a Wide Snowboard
- Toe Drag Eliminated – A wide snowboard will prevent the toes from dragging in the snow when freeriding.
- More Options – Wide snowboards flaunt a larger selection than ever today. There’s a wide option for every style of snowboarding.
Who Should Ride a Wide Snowboard?
Riders with a boot size of 11 (and sometimes 10.5) and larger should ride a wide snowboard. On the other hand, if you’re a strict park rider, toe drag might not be a problem since you won’t be carving in between park features. If that’s the case, any waist width will work. For freeriding where larger turns are the norm, opt for a wide snowboard if you have larger boots.
One more consideration is the make, model and year of your snowboard boots. Older boots tend to be chunkier, which would warrant a wide snowboard for a size 10.5 boot. Mid to higher end boots from reputable brands like Burton and Thirty Two have minimalist designs making for “less boot.” Some boots from these companies even have a footprint that’s a whole size smaller than the actual size of the boot. That would mean that a size 11 boot could easily work on a Midwide board. Look for Burton boots with Shrinkage Technology.
Lastly, if you’re boots are smaller than a 10.5, don’t ride a wide snowboard. A few millimeters might not seem like that much, but that extra board you’ll have to carry beneath your feet is not necessary. The extra board means more weight, which will make it more difficult to handle.