While snowboarding is all about breaking the rules, selecting your snowboard setup is one thing that should be done right. At The House Boardshop, we want to help you find the gear made for you and your specific riding habits. By sharing a bit of info, we hope to answer all of your questions. Advice and general guides can be found below for sizing a snowboard, choosing the right boots, and picking out the perfect bindings. If you read through this guide and still have questions, feel free to give us a call, we have an experienced staff standing by to help you.
- Snowboard Sizing
- Snowboard Size Chart
- Snowboard Width
- Snowboard Size by Ability Level
- Riding Style and Snowboard Types
- Board Shapes
- Snowboard Profile Shapes
- Sidecut and Effective Edge
- Women’s Snowboard size chart
- Kid’s and Youth Snowboard Sizes
- Snowboard Boots
- Common Questions
Through years of experience, snowboarders have developed many ways to find the size snowboard they think may be correct. Some still use the traditional sizing method of standing a board up on end and measuring to their chin and others by using various snowboard sizing calculators and formulas. While there is accuracy to these methods, they do not always cover all of the important factors involved when choosing a snowboard.
The following information and snowboard sizing charts are meant to be used as a guideline to decide on a board that is best for you based on various measurements. The truth is, everyone is different and we all have our own expectations when choosing a snowboard. So peep the information below but don’t forget to also think for yourself.
Board Length by Weight
Your weight is the most important factor in determining board length. Having a board that cooperates with your body weight will allow you to ride your best and not have to worry about losing control. If a heavier rider gets a board that is too short, the board tends to get loose and less controllable at higher speeds. A board that is too soft and short can also result in over-flexing and possible wipe-outs. It can go the other way as well. A lighter rider who gets too long of a deck will have a tough time maneuvering and flexing the board.
There are some cases when riding style comes into play where it is acceptable to size down your board for a lighter setup and added mobility to help throw down those heavy ass tricks. Freestyle riders who spend most of their time in the park or in the street tend to use sized-down boards for a more skate-inspired style and feel.
If you’re on the heavier side, or looking to just ride powder, or both, scaling your board up a bit may also be appropriate. A slightly longer board will help you keep that nose above the snow line, allowing you to float across the fluff at faster speeds. A longer board will also provide a stiffer board response for added stability.
Check out the chart below, it’s a guide to the average snowboard length required for a given rider’s weight. It’s also always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s specifications for each deck because every board is designed for specific functions and each model can vary greatly.
Snowboard Size Chart
|Rider Weight (lb)||Rider Weight (kg)||Snowboard Size (cm)|
|80 or less||36 or less||90-135|
|210 and up||95 and up||159-168|
Board Length by Height
Height is probably the first measurement that comes to mind when thinking of choosing a snowboard length, but it might not be the best sizing method on its own. Even so, people have been sizing snowboards by height alone since the beginning and will probably continue to do so forever. There are several methods of sizing snowboards by height that have developed over the years. We have provided you with a few of the more common options below.
Using the traditional method, some believe a shorter board for your size range should come up between your collar bone and your chin when the board is stood on end. These shorter length boards are good for beginners and freestyle riders. A longer board could reach from your nose to just over your head. The longer length boards are good for powder and high speed. These are very vague guidelines to live by and not as accurate as some of the other methods available, but still a solid rule of thumb that many riders like to implement into their board buying decision.
Some snowboarders like to use snowboard sizing calculators. Since most snowboarders ride a board that is 85% to 92% of their own body height, plugging a couple numbers into a simple formula can tell you the board length that might fit you best. The formula is as follows: Your Height (in inches) X 2.54 X 0.88 = Your Recommended Board Length. While this formula may seem like the absolute answer because it involves numbers, math and a bit of homework, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the number you get as a result. It is really meant to be used as a starting point when picking out a new deck.
So height is an important variable, but don’t forget to factor in your weight, riding style and the manufacturer’s tech specs for each board as well. With that said, use the chart below as a guide to find the average snowboard length required for a given rider’s height.
Snowboard Sizing Chart Based on Height
|Rider Height (ft/in)||Rider Height (cm)||Snowboard Size (cm)|
A key measurement in board sizing that often gets over-looked is the width of the board. The width of a snowboard is usually measured at the board’s narrowest point (usually the center of the board) and should correspond directly to your boot size. Typically, your snowboard boots should hang over the edges of your board just slightly; with too much or too little you could have some trouble. A board’s waist width is important for two big reasons: achieving maximum edge control and avoiding toe and heel drag.
If your snowboard is too narrow for your boot size, a loss of edge control is certain to happen by means of toe and heel drag. Toe and heel drag is bad news, not only will this problem slow you down – it could also cause you to bail. Yes, minor toe and heel drag is manageable, but if you’re setting up for a trick and happen to snag your toes or heels on the lip of a kicker or edge of a feature, it’s probably not going to end well.
While width is important, getting a wider board to eliminate the above issues is not always the best answer. Sometimes it is just a matter of adjusting the angle of your bindings, trying bindings with the ability to raise your toes above the edge of your board, or getting boots with the smallest footprint available.
Snowboard Size by Ability Level
If you’re still learning how to link turns, you’re a beginner. Beginners should abide by the standard weight, length, and width requirements for snowboards, but you might want to check out some softer boards on the shorter side of your size range.
A softer board can help get beginners down the hill quicker by flexing softer. This allows you to have more control over the board with less effort. Stiffer boards require a bit more muscle and exertion, and learning how to ride is already tough enough. It is possible for a board to be too soft. Too soft of a board can actually decrease your ability – the key is finding a balance between flex and stability.
As for length, a board on the lower end of your size range will allow you to maneuver the board easier and can also help you link those turns fluently. Scaling down the size of your board will give you more control by slightly slowing you down too. It won’t affect your ability to keep up with your friends necessarily; it just gives you a little extra time to regain control before taking a nasty spill into the woods.
Remember, you’ll still want to get a board that is in your size and weight range. Be sure to check out the technical specifications for each board because it varies from company to company, model to model, and year to year. And don’t forget to factor in your personal preference, which is important when developing your style of shred.
It’s been a couple seasons now and you’re ready for more. You ride the tow-ropes like a champ, ollie the “closed run” ropes for freshies, and have made friends with all the locals. As an intermediate rider, you can now start to hone-in your skills towards a style of riding you like best. While trying to stay in your snowboard size and weight ranges, look into a board that is suited specifically for the type of riding you do most or would like to improve upon.
If you like to do it all and would like to keep that versatility under your feet, then sticking with an All-Mountain type of board in the middle of your snowboard size range is your best bet.
If you’d like to start spending more time lapping the park and dialing-in hits on those boxes, a Freestyle board on the lower end of your board size range is standard issue for almost all park rats.
Do you really like to get after that pow on the backside of the mountain? A freeride board at the longer end of your size range is a solid choice and will hold up nicely in the deep.
If you want more details on these types of boards and others available, please check out the board type section of this reference guide. And once you find a board that you think fits the bill, be prepared to progress because having the right board for the right job can make a huge difference.
You know the drill. You’re a seasoned vet with a bag full of tricks, years of experience and a preferred riding style. With this hard-earned experience, you have no problem picking out gear that works for you, but it’s time to start focusing on the details in your riding and on your setup.
By now you know the type of board you need and the relative size it should be, but do you really look at the technical specifications to see how they can improve your overall abilities? If you don’t,you should. Now it’s all about fine tuning your already advanced skills so you can have the most fun possible.
Start looking at things like sidecut, profile shape, fiberglass, and carbon/kevlar bars. These topics are considered irrelevant by most novice riders; they just want a board with sick graphics and a brand name. True shredders go a bit further than that and actually pay attention to detail.
If you would like to know more about these snowboard construction details, refer to the appropriate section of this reference guide. Experiment with several combinations of each subject to find the perfect board to make your session righteous.
Riding Style and Snowboard Types
Riding style and snowboard type are important variables in the snowboard sizing formula. Riding style refers to the type of terrain you choose to ride. Some people like to ride it all and others like to focus on just powder or only park riding. Since there are specific riding styles, there are also terrain-specific boards to match. That is where the board type comes into play. The board type is directly related to your riding style. Someone who rides powder probably shouldn’t use an edgeless street deck, they should use a deck made for powder. That’s why it’s a good idea to know the difference between the types of boards available.
To help you figure out what type of riding style you have and what board type you need, each of the categories are described below. Remember these guidelines are just a starting point; boards can also come in a combination of board types such as the all-mountain-freestyle models for a versatile ride with the playfulness of a park board etc. Find a riding style and board type that best suits you and you’ll be one step closer towards finding the perfect shred stick to fulfill your personal requirements.
The most common riding style would have to be all-mountain. Most snowboarders are versatile creatures of winter and explore all that the mountain has to offer. If you decide you want to take a few laps in the park before winding your way through some woods runs, you might just be an all-mountain maniac. For the curious adventurers of all that is shred, this is definitely your category.
The all-mountain board type is meant to accommodate all you can throw at it. Take it off jumps in the park, have fun in the pipe, blaze groomers, and even get buried in a fresh dumping of powder. These things do it all well. Snowboards that fall under the all-mountain board type can have various board shapes and camber profiles. Find your favorite combination and get after it.
This board type is also a great category for beginners to start with. The all-mountain versatility will allow you to ride anything you want until you find a type of riding that you do most.
For the pipe jerks, park rats and back-alley street cats, your riding style falls into the freestyle category. If you spend more time on tow-ropes and handrails than you do on the chairlift, your riding style is certainly freestyle. Sure freestyle snowboarders can do it all, but their main focus is to progress in the park, pipe and street and they do that with a freestyle oriented deck.
Freestyle snowboards are usually sized-down a bit from your average length deck and contain a bit more flex. The shorter size allows you to throw the board around easier when performing tricks. And a softer flex will allow you to tweak those tricks for proper style and steez. These boards are often built with a badass base and some hardcore edges to withstand daily park-induced punishment. Freestyle boards have a true twin shape and can have a range of camber styles such as flat, traditional, rocker, or a combination.
This is another board type often used by beginners because of the low weight and forgiving flex of the board. The smaller board allows beginners to gain control of the board and its edges easier and quicker.
If you think snowboarding should be done solely on snow, you’re most likely a freeriding fanatic. The freeride riding style category encompasses riding from blazing groomers to plowing through a pile of pow in the backcountry. Pretty much, if there’s snow, it’s good-to-go. This riding style is common among riders who are fortunate enough to have legit mountains to ride or happen to get a good amount of snowfall in the area. Freeriding is snowboarding at its core and will always be a huge part of the sport. It’s a whole other world on the backside of that mountain. You’re going to need the proper tool for the job, and that is a Freeride specific board.
Freeride board types are often on the longer end of your board size range. That extra few centimeters makes all the difference for staying atop pillows of pow. Freeride boards are most often directional shaped boards but could also be a directional twin shape. These boards also have a stiffer flex for added response and stability when bombing at high-speeds and slashing deep.
If you’re a true-spirited shredder, a hike-your-own-line kind of guy, then splitboarding might be your riding style of choice. The war of skiing verses snowboarding is over. It’s time to utilize the best of both sets of gear and have the most gratifying good times possible. Splitboards are for the riders who won’t wait in line at the ticket booth or gondola. These people earn their turns by hiking up every inch of what they descend. Anybody who says ski and board bums are lazy has never heard of split-boarding.
Splitboards are the type of board for extreme freeriding. A board made from two separate pieces that detach into a pair of skis is like a backcountry rider’s dream. Use the skis to climb up and through some newly found terrain, then reattach them together and shred your line back down on a snowboard. It’s the perfect design for adventurous types that have the determination to tackle untracked slopes.
The feel of a snowboard is heavy determined by the board’s shape. Board shapes will either benefit the rider or hinder a riding depending on what type of terrain is being ridden. Freestyle boards designed for jibs, jumps, and halfpipe are generally a True Twin shape, where as most all mountain, freeriding, and powder boards have a Directional or Directional Twin / Twin Like shape.
Most common among freeride snowboards and sometimes found on all-mountain boards, the directional shape is a non-symmetrical construction designed to be mostly ridden in one direction. This means that they have a specified nose and tail; each end may differ in stiffness, shape and contact points.
Directional boards usually have a stiffer tail than nose to create a stable ride when flying down mountains. Boards that feature this shape also tend to have the binding inserts set back closer to the tail end of the board so your body weight is correctly distributed for a fast and powerful ride through deep pow.
Although this shape can be found on just about all board types, true twin dominates the freestyle scene. True twin, also known as twin tip, means that the tip and tail are identical. The symmetrical shape allows park, pipe, and street riders to perform and land technical switch tricks easier.
True twin boards open up a whole new window for freestyle snowboarders. With a nose and tail with the exact same flex patterns and measurements, riders can have complete confidence in their board when riding switch.
Commonly found in all-mountain boards, the directional twin shape is a great all-around board choice. Directional twin consists of a nose and tail that are different in construction. Although the tip and tail might not be exactly the same, riders may ride switch in the park or pipe without noticing any negative effects.
Directional twin boards often have a slightly longer nose than tail and could also have a softer nose than tail or a combination of the two. The added length to the nose gives you an edge when riding powder and a stiffer tail will create more stability when riding at higher speed.
Snowboard Profile Shapes
Snowboard Profile Shape refers to the base shape of an un-weighted board on a flat surface. Looking at the board from the side and you can roughly decipher what Profile Shape a board has. There are several types of Profile Shapes, all with their own purpose to help improve a rider’s performance. The information below is to be used as reference to help you decide what Profile Shape is the best fit for your riding style.
Camber is the tried and true standard for a snowboard profile. It is still the most popular camber style and will probably be around forever. A traditionally cambered board has a smooth arch underneath the middle of the board that comes down and touches the ground near the tip and tail when no additional weight is applied. When a rider straps into a cambered board, the board flattens out on the snow and creates an evenly applied pressure to the edges. This camber profile provides explosive pop and response and is good for all types of riding.
The Rocker profile has become extremely popular among freestyle riders and powder-hounds alike. This profile is the exact opposite of a traditional camber. It consists of a single central contact point that when weighted, flexes to create less edge contact on the tip and tail for easy pivoting action and all-day playfulness. The rocker is also a more forgiving camber style when landing spins, jibs and other tricks. Less edge contact means less hang up on the lips and landings. Freeride snowboarders like the rocker profile because they create a surfy feel in powder, allowing you to really slash and put up a wall of white like you’re riding the curl.
A Flat board profile is another great option for progressive riders. The completely flat shape is implemented from near the tip to near the tail and is a versatile design. This profile has the forgiveness and butter-like characteristics of a rocker board, but with precise edging capabilities similar to that of a traditional camber. This camber profile is ideal for freestyle riding and is usually found in the park or street. The flat camber profile may not be the fastest board design, but it isn’t made to be raced, it’s meant to deliver a skate-inspired feel for a fun time dropping hammers.
There are a variety of board profile combinations out there. Snowboard companies are doing more and more experimentation with the construction of modern snowboards. There are profiles that consist of a rocker/camber/rocker combo, some with rocker/flat/rocker, and some with camber/rocker/camber variations. Each company has their own name for their snowboard profile combinations and each profile has its own specific purpose and function. Make sure to check out the manufacturers technical specifications for more details. And even though these camber profiles might seem a little funky, don’t be afraid to try a new design. Boards that feature hybrid cambers are still sized the same so don’t let that stop you. You never know, you could find a new favorite.
Powder Camber / Rocker / Flat Combination Profile
Riding powder is a big deal, especially if you don’t get to do it often. That’s why riding a board specifically designed for powder will make the experience so much better. Most Powder Combination Profile Shapes have a large scooping nose (bigger than Rocker Profile Shapes) that starts after the outside of the front insert packs, after that the board’s center and tail can have different shapes.
The most common Powder Profile Shape is the Powder Camber combination. Powder Camber Profile Shaped boards offer a great ride both in and out of powder. In powder the cambered mid section and tail can be pressed to lift the nose of the board even higher than it already is. Powder Rocker combination board are great for doing powder butters and even riding switch in powder. Riding fast is a crucial component of a successful powder run, and Powder Flat combination board tend to float through snow while keeping the nose afloat and sinking the tail for epic slashes.
Though some consider 3-Stage Profile Shapes to be considered a Hybrid Camber / Rocker Combination, they are far from it. 3-Stage is made up of 3 distinct flat zone; one under the feet, one on the nose, and one on the tail outside of the binding insert packs. The flat zones on the nose and tail are andled up from 3° to 12°.
Most 3-Stage boards fit within the all-mountain freestyle and freestyle genre of snowboards. The flat stable zone in between the feet offers stability while carving or setting up for tricks, and the flat zones on the nose and tail offer a great ollie platform for ollieing off of lips and locking in presses.
Flex is another important factor in determining the proper setup for your riding style. Flex refers to the board’s ability to bend and twist when a rider applies and shifts their weight. There are a couple different directions a board can flex in. A longitudinal flex is a bend in the board along its length and an important factor in initiating turns and maneuvers. The second direction of flex is across the width of your board and is called torsional flex. The torsional flex direction is a determining factor in the amount of edge hold a board has.
There are several different varieties of flexibility, or softness, in the snowboards offered now days. Once again, it is personal preference, but below are a few guidelines to live by when deciding on a new board that has the right flex for you and your riding style.
Stiff Flex Boards
Freeride boards designed to man-handle the mountain and backcountry bowls are usually a bit stiffer than boards used in park or street setups. However halfpipe riders often need a stiff board for stability at high speeds. The stiffer side-to-side flexing, or torsional flex, provides an insane amount of grip when carving turns at higher speeds. The stable resistance of a stiffer flexing board also helps keep your speed up so you can burn past all your buddies. Stiffer flex in a board is also good when looking for an added edge hold at higher speeds.
It is also recommended that heavier riders utilize a slightly stiffer flex to prevent board wash-out or uncontrollable bails. In general stiffer boards are designed for advanced riders that can manipulate the board in anyway they choose. Use the weight, height, and width sizing information within this reference guide along with the manufacturer’s tech specs to find the perfect flex for you.
Medium Flex Boards
Medium flexing boards are great for just about every riding type. Similar to the position of an all mountain snowboard, a medium flexing board encompasses all spectrums of the snowboarding world. Medium flex ratings can be found in freeriding and freestyle snowboards.
If you like powdered and also like cruising down groomers or like hitting larger jumps and the pipe a medium flexing board will be a great choice. If a board is too stiff it can be inoperable at low speeds, if a board is too soft it can wash out if you land a trick off center. Choosing a medium flexing board will help you navigate any type of terrain.
Soft Flex Boards
Boards made for freestyle riding tend to be on the softer side. Some all-mountain boards also feature a soft flex for a playful versatility. Soft flexing boards are ideal for tweaking tricks in the park and pressing handrails due to their ability to bend with ease. The extra ability to flex makes it easier to control your board at slower speeds for technical maneuvers. A soft flex is not the most stable design for jetting down mountains at super high speeds, but can hold its own in park and street setups.
Softer boards are also recommended for beginners and lighter weight riders. A soft flex is good for a beginner because it will help them start linking turns easier and will be a little more forgiving if they bail. Riders who are light for their snowboard size ranges will benefit from a softer board also. They will be able to bend the board easier, allowing them to perform properly.
Use the weight, height, and width sizing information within this reference guide along with the manufacturer’s tech specs to find the perfect flex for you.
Sidecut and Effective Edge
Think of sidecut as your ability to turn at a given rate by simply applying your board’s edge into the snow. A board’s sidecut radius is the measurement your edge would create if it extended out into a full circle. Every board has a precisely calculated sidecut radius designed for a specific purpose and function.
Deeper sidecuts, often depicted in a lower number of centimeters, are present on boards with narrower waists and have the ability to turn quicker and sharper with less effort. Deep sidecuts are good for beginners and park riders alike.
Mellow sidecuts, a measurement with a higher amount of centimeters, are found on boards with wider waists such as some freeride boards. While sacrificing the ability to turn on a dime, boards with a shallow sidecut float easier on powder due to the added amount of surface area. These boards will also handle better at higher speeds and in tougher terrain.
Radial Sidecuts are the bread and butter of the sidecut world. They’ve been tried and tested through decades of riding. The entrances and exits of turns have the exact same arc, meaning if the Radial Sidecut is centered on the board a carve could become a perfect circle with enough speed.
If a board was built with the same feel as a Ferrari it would have a Progressive Sidecut. The egg shaped arc makes the transition into turns smooth and the exit out of turns aggressive. Imagine accelerating out of turns; that’s what riding a snowboard with a Progressive Sidecut feels like.
A toeside turn is more manageable than heelside turn because the toeside edge tilts with foot/ankles flexion and extension movements. Basically it’s easier to control a toeside turn over a heelside turn, and that’s why Asymmetrical Sidecuts were developed; that in part with body’s Y axis asymmetrical shape. With a smaller heelside edge sidecut radius a rider has the ability to make quicker more agile turns that mimic that of a toeside turn.
Multiple Sidecut boards are the SUVs of the snowboard world. Larger sidecuts on the nose & tail provide large arcing turns and smaller sidecuts in the center of a board’s edge provide smaller arcing turns. The combination of radius’ in a Multiple Sidecut board benefit the rider at high and low speeds.
Your effective edge is the length of base/edge that makes contact while the board is flat on the snow (not tilted on edge). To make it easy, the very tip and tail of your board is really the only part of your base/edge that is non-effective. The rest of your base/edge is utilized, but some parts more than others.
A cambered shaped board’s contact points are usually 3″-4″ inches long and can be found towards the tip and tail on either side of your board. Rockered shaped boards have contact points near the middle of the snowboard, and Hybrid Camber/Rocker Combination boards can have contact points on multiple places along a boards effective edge. Contact points are in connection with the snow more than the rest of your effective edge. If there is one part of your edging that you should maintain regularly, it’s your contact points.
Edges should be sharpened routinely to maintain a precise edge hold. This is especially important if you’re ripping groomed runs or getting vertical in the pipe. If you’re looking to only ride the park or in street setups, dulling your edges is also commonly practiced. Dulling your edges for freestyle riding purposes gives the board less chance to hang up on the surface you happen to be jibbing but will be more difficult to turn on hard groomers or ice.
Hole-patterns refer to the round, threaded metal insert holes that every snowboard features to secure your bindings to the board. It can be nice to know the difference between the hole-patterns if you are looking for that perfect stance that provides optimal comfort. These holes can be arranged in multiple orientations. There are a handful of different hole-patterns that snowboard manufacturers utilize most. Each style of hole-pattern has their pros and cons and they should all be considered when shopping for a new board.
4 X 4
A common and one of the most basic hole-patterns is the 4×4 arrangement. The 4×4 hole-pattern means that the inserts are spaced an equal four centimeters apart vertically and horizontally from one and other. This is a tried-and-true insert construction and offers a moderate amount of stance opportunities. This insert arrangement works with almost all binding disc designs with a few exceptions.
2 X 4
A variation of the 4×4 hole-pattern, the 2×4 arrangement offers more variety in your mounting options. This design offers more holes placed vertically on the board, which are all spaced an equal two centimeters apart. This is a great option for someone looking to be able to make some minuscule adjustments to their stance setup. This insert arrangement is found on the majority of boards today and works with almost all binding disc designs with a few exceptions.
Strictly found within Burton’s arsenal of boards, the 3D hole-pattern offers just as good of stance options as the standard rectangular row of insert holes. An important note: if you buy a Burton board, keep in mind that you might need to buy specific Burton bindings with the proper disc to fit the unique hole-patterns as well. Other companies may also produce Burton compatible binding inserts to accommodate your setup selection.
A few different companies have offered a sliding insert system over the years with the same goal in mind. The goal is to have the most freedom possible when choosing a stance setup. With slider systems such as Burton’s Channel system, riders are offered the opportunity to make very fine-tune adjustments to completely customize their stance. An important note: if you buy a Burton board, keep in mind that you might need to buy specific Burton bindings with the proper disc to fit the unique hole-patterns as well. Other companies may also produce Burton compatible binding inserts to accommodate your setup selection.
Women’s Snowboard size chart
Once upon a time, women used boards that were constructed for men. Today there a magnitude of women-specific snowboard designs available by just about every major brand. While all of the same sizing guidelines apply, women’s snowboard sizing is only slightly different than men’s, but those differences can make a huge difference.
Women’s snowboards tend to have a narrower waist width to better fit a smaller foot size. This is important because proper width allows you to apply an adequate amount of pressure to your edges to turn and stay in control. Women’s boards also tend to be a bit softer to accommodate a female’s thinner profile and lighter frame.
If you’re a taller chick with size ‘9’ feet or larger, you could probably check out some of the board’s in the men’s section as well. As long as your boots cooperate with the width of your board, you should be ok.
Kid’s and Youth Snowboard Sizes
Sizing a snowboard for the young guns is just as easy as the standard size boards. The same rules about weight and height apply to the kid’s and youth model boards also. These guidelines should still be considered when picking out a new board for the kids.
A common mistake parents make is buying an adult-sized board that they think their child can grow into. If you do this, you are only going to make it harder on your child to learn and progress in the sport of snowboarding. That longer board will be tougher to turn and maneuver for the little dudes. Make sure you get one that fits correctly.
Youth boards also tend to be a bit softer than adult boards, giving the rider a bit more control. It is important for beginners to have what they need so they can fall in love with the sport, stick with it and end up dominating the slopes. As a wise rider once said, “The youth is taking over”.
We cover the various snowboard binding sizes, compatibility and types in the following guide:
Everything from snowboard boot sizes, boot flex and lacing systems is covered in the following guide:
What size snowboard do I need?
This is no doubt the most commonly asked question in any shop. While there isn’t one perfect answer to the question, once you know a few things about sizing snowboards, selecting your setup is simple.
First of all, it is important to consider your weight, height, and riding style when choosing a new board. It is also recommended that you check out the manufacturer’s technical specifications for each board. And don’t forget about your own personal preference, a key ingredient in the recipe for a perfect snowboard.
Please refer to our Snowboard Sizing section of the Selecting Your Setup guide for details on each of the necessary factors involved with choosing a proper snowboard.
Is there a difference between beginner and advanced boards?
Yes and no. The answer can be considered ‘yes’ because beginners should use a slightly softer board with a shorter length for quicker progression. Some advanced freeride snowboarders use longer and stiffer boards which take more muscle and skill to control.
At the same time, the answer could be ‘no’ because some advanced freestyle riders use soft boards with a reduced size for added ability to perform tricks. This sounds similar to a beginner style board, but advanced freestyle riders use them for a whole other reason.
To sum it up, anybody can use any board they like. It is all a matter of finding the best fit for you and your type of riding. Check out our Snowboard Sizing and Experience Level sections of the Selecting Your Setup reference guide for more details.
Am I regular or goofy?
A regular stance refers to riders who ride with their left foot forward. Goofy riders ride with their right foot forward. There are a few different tricks you can do to help determine your stance.
One very common and sort of fun trick to figure out your preferred stance, is to run and slide on a smooth surface in your socks to see which foot you put forward. The foot you place forward is most likely going to work best as your lead leg on a snowboard.
Another common trick to deciphering if you’re regular or goofy is to have someone gently push you backwards from your chest and see which foot you naturally place behind you for support. In this case, the foot you place behind yourself could work best for your rear leg.
How wide should my stance be?
It’s tough to give one correct answer to this question because everybody is different. In general, your stance should be as wide as or a bit wider than your shoulder width. If you’re someone who likes to ride hit big kickers and huck like mad, adding an extra bit of width to your stance may be helpful when trying to maintain control in the air and when stomping tough landings.
A common mistake is to have too narrow of a stance. Having a stance width less than your shoulder width will reduce your ability to balance. Too narrow of a stance can also make turning and controlling your board more difficult.
Keep it simple and just find a width that is comfortable. Lay your board flat on the ground and stand on it. Adjust your stance by spreading your feet to a point where you feel comfortable and have a solid balance over the board. Now slap those bindings on and test it out, you can always make adjustments.
How often should I tune my board?
Whether you are a fresh-legged beginner or a shred-veteran, board tuning is important when trying to keep your board in good shape. Tuning a snowboard also helps the board perform its best by increasing edging capabilities and should be done regularly.
It is also common for freestyle riders to regularly detune or dull their edges to get rid of potential hang-ups such as cuts and burs. This is ideal for riders who spend a lot of time jibbing.
As a guideline, a snowboard should be tuned at least once a year by a professional in a shop. If you know how to tune your board yourself, that’s great too. If you do not know how to tune your board, refer to the How to tune your edges information found in the How-To section.
How often should I wax my board?
Snowboard waxing can be done regularly to ensure the best performance on the snow. A new coat of wax will help give your board a better glide, making it faster and more responsive.
Waxing should be done anytime the base of your board starts to look faded or dry. If you can see some faint white lines or patches, especially near the edges of your board, it’s time for a wax.
There are several kinds of wax, all with their own abilities. Some waxes are made for colder weather, some for warm. There is also all-temperature wax to accommodate most conditions.
Most shops offer board waxes for relatively cheap, but you can also wax your board yourself. If you would like to know how to wax your own snowboard, check out our How to wax your snowboard information in the How-To section.
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